03 Mar Strange Things Happen Overnight at Lowe’s
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"Strange Things Happen Overnight at Lowe's"Written by George T. Robertson
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Estimated reading time — 52 minutes
Okay, so about six months ago I started working overnight at Lowe’s. Now, I really like this job. I get to listen to my podcasts and audiobooks, the people I work with are pretty laid back, I work by myself for the most part and most importantly, I hardly have to deal with the customers, and if you ever worked in retail you know how important that really is.
While I do enjoy working there, over the past six months I’ve seen some really crazy things. It started off small and not really a lot. The first thing I saw happen I originally thought it was just some kind of glitch. See, in the Lowe’s I work at there are two bathrooms set up for the employees in the back corners of the store, when I first started working there I didn’t know what they were because they were just marked employees only, but I quickly found out after I had walked the length of the store to find a bathroom which another employee had told me where it was, but of course I walked right by it.
Anyway, back on point, in these bathrooms the lights work on a motion sensor, you know the types, well as I was walking past I could see the light come on from under the door. I thought it was a bit weird because there were only two other people in the store and I knew where they were. I went up and knocked on the door. There was no answer, so I opened it and it was completely empty.
Like I said, it wasn’t much so I really didn’t think it.
The next thing that happened was small as well. If you ever been to Lowe’s you might have noticed some of the more expensive items having a little green thing attached to them. We call them turtles and they’re our alarms. If someone tries to steal something with a turtle on them, once they go through the doors they start letting out a high pitch noise which is very hard to ignore.
I was stocking some caulking, listening to the Adam Carolla podcast when I started hearing an alarm go off. It confused me so I went looking for it. It took a little bit but I finally found where it was coming from. It was a drill that was sitting on the ground and not right up front either. It was buried about four drills deep and under another display. As I was pulling the drills out to get to the one that had the turtle going off, another one next to me started going off. I will tell you that I nearly jumped out of my skin.
I radioed my manager, Mike, and told him about it and he said that it’s okay. Those things go off all the time. What was weird was at the exact time Mike told me that, both turtles shut off.
I chalked it up to coincidence and nothing more, oh how naive I was.
Nothing else seemed to happen for about two weeks and I had put those instances long behind me. I mean, why wouldn’t I, faulty sensor and sensitive turtles, sounded likely to me, I’m not, correction, was not one to just jump to the supernatural explanation. To put it mildly, I wasn’t a believer. Oh, sure I wished there were things that went bump in the night. I’m a longtime fan of Supernatural and shows like Ghost Hunters and I always watched Josh Gates (man, I wish I had that man’s life) if I can ever catch him on, but I never experienced anything myself, that was until about a month after working at Lowe’s.
It had started just like any night, Went in around 7, clocked in and started unloading the truck. It was about nine-thirty by the time we were done and everyone else had left the store so it was just us three of the night crew.
For the most part, it was a pretty normal night. I was listening to a newly downloaded audiobook by Mark Tufo working on the third cart by this time, it was close to about two am and I was working my way down towards electrical to restock some fuses when I saw it. Honestly, I just kinda stood there more about a minute or two trying to make heads or tail on what I was seeing, because a little bit over halfway down the aisle there was an arm sticking out from under the shelving racks. It kept moving around as if someone was reaching under their couch to look for the lost remote.
Once I got a least some of my wits back I called Mike.
“Mike,” I said.
“Yeah, what’s up?” Mike called back.
“Umm, Mike, I got umm…an arm…” I tried to say.
“Oh, that thing?” Mike said surprisingly unsurprised, “Yeah, don’t worry about it, just don’t get to close, it tends to get a bit grabby, it’s fast and its reach is farther then it looks, so just stay away from that aisle for now.”
I was actually flabbergasted at how lightly Mike was taking it.
“Uhhh,” I said, not really knowing what else to say.
“What aisle is it in by the way?” Mike asked.
“Okay, just steer clear of it for now. I’ll explain more later on.”
What I have come to understand is that no one really knows anything about the arm. It shows up, tries to grab things and pull them under the shelving. That’s about it. I’ve seen it about seven times now. Never in the same aisle either and it never shows up at the same time, the only thing it seems to be constant is that has it always gone back under the shelving just before four am.
One time when I saw it I chucked a can of spray paint at it. The moment that can hit the aisle floor the arm shot out and snatched it and sucked it back under the shelving, and when I say it shot out I mean it shot out. It must have reached three times the length of a normal arm and back under the shelving in less than a second. After I saw that, I followed Mike’s suggestion and just avoided those aisles that it was in until it went back under itself.
That’s all the time I got right now. I have a lot more stories like the thing that lives in the garden center and the naked, little man I keep seeing (that one’s a bit weirder than others). I’ll try to write some more down later and remember to have a Lowe’s Safe Day.
Wow, I never expected the kind of response that I have gotten. Thanks to everyone that wants to hear more of my stories, and I do have a bunch.
First, let me address a few questions about the arm from my first post.
1. The arm looks like a man’s arm, no sleeves or tattoos of any sort, though I can see that it has darkish hair on the forearm. I did notice one thing that seemed odd. It was missing its fingernail on its pinkie finger.
2. Come on, guys, it’s almost 2020. I’ve already tried to take a picture of the arm, I mean, how could I not, it’s a random arm reaching out from under a shelving unit. Well, I’ve got some bad news for anyone wanting to see the arm, it doesn’t photograph well, as in not as all. Whenever I tried to use my camera on my phone nothing ever shows up. I tried to film it once snatching something like it did the spray can. Son of a bitch just ignored it, that was until I stopped filming then it grabbed it. That really had me worried when it did that, because that means that whatever the arm is attached to can think. I told Mike about not being about to film the arm and he wasn’t surprised. He told me it doesn’t show up on our security cameras either. He said he tried to let day shift know about it once, and of course, they don’t believe him because there was nothing on the cameras.
3. I kept pushing Mike on the arm and he finally did tell me that, yes, it did grab someone once. When I tried to get him to spill the beans on what happened, he just told me to make sure that it doesn’t grab me. After that, he wouldn’t say any more about it, and told me to stop asking. I could tell that talking about it was really upsetting him, so I’m just going to leave to alone for a while.
Okay, I hope that helped some with their questions. I’ll try to answer when I can, with me working ten hour shifts I tend to do only two things; work and sleep. Because of my hours I was curious about how much I’m walking now at work so I downloaded a step counter on my phone, I can say I was a bit shocked to see I’m walking about twelve hundred steps a day, no wonder my feet always hurt. Anyway, no one is here to listen about me getting my steps in for the day. You guys want more stories and I already hinted at two in my last post, so I’ll start with the thing that lives in the Garden Center.
Alright, as anyone that has ever seen a Lowe’s knows that they all have a Garden Center. Where they keep their mulch, stones and pretty much anything you might need plant or garden wise, right now it’s filled with Christmas trees big and small as well as other Christmas related plants. During the day it’s a pretty nice place and feels very…Christmasy? Anyway, at night with the lights off, it can feel a bit spooky. No one in receiving likes to stock the Garden Center so we take turns. Now, the question arises, why don’t we like to stock the Garden Center, you can look back to the aforementioned thing that lives in the Garden Center. Someone from my last post suggested that it might be a garden gnome, and in all honesty, it might be. None of us has ever seen in, and from what Mike has told me, no one ever has.
So how do we know it’s there? Easy, we hear it and feel it.
We hear it because the damn thing is always moving about, we can hear it scampering on the roof, on top the racks, and in the ceiling scaffoldings. We can hear its feet slap the concrete as it runs through the aisles always just out of view or you see its movement just out of the corner of your eye. That’s not even the worse part of it.
The damn thing is always laughing when you walk into the Garden Center. Now, I don’t mean like a full belly laugh or an evil maniacal laugh, but more like a snicker or a hushed giggle. You know the type, where you know a joke or just something funny about someone but you want to try to keep it quiet, yeah, that kinda laugh. It starts up as soon as you walk through the doors and doesn’t stop till you leave, and where ever you go its laughter is always behind you or beside you. Sometimes it sounds like whatever it is, is right behind you close enough that you should be able to feel its breath, but if you turn around there never anything there. Other times it sounds like it’s coming from the other side of the Garden Center and it’s those times you have to look out for.
Why? It’s so far away? Yes, it is, but that’s when it chucks shit at you.
Yeah, the little fucker likes to throw rocks or rubber parts and whatever it can get its hand on and lobs it at you. Luckily it’s a pretty bad aim, but if it does hit you then it really starts to giggle. Telling it to stop doesn’t help either. It like when a kid tries to tell a bully to stop picking on him. All it does is make the bully double down and that’s pretty much what happens with the thing in the Garden Center. The best we can do is just ignore it. Still, the damn thing is unsettling as hell.
The second thing I hinted at was the naked little man. Now, this mother fucker pisses me off to no end.
As I’m thinking about it, maybe this is what the person said might be a garden gnome, but I really don’t think so. First off it’s completely hairless, and by that, I mean a bowling ball has more hair then this thing. I’ve only really seen it a few times fully, most of the time I see its little fat ass running around the end of an aisle or scampering over the top of one, it can move pretty damn fast. I’ll try to explain it so you can get a better understanding of.
Thing is only about a foot, maybe a foot and a half tall, completely hairless, like I said before, fat and squat looking. Imagine a nude, hairless Danny DeVito without genitals and you would be spot on. Yeah, I said without genitals, thank God for the small favors. The only reason I call it a man is because it has absolutely zero traits of a woman. We actually started calling it Danny once I pointed to the resemblance.
Anyway, this little bastard is more of a nuisance then it is anything else. It likes to make messes, knock stuff off the top of the racks, and steal your shit, that kind of stuff. Always makes your night a living hell because of all the extra work he forces us to do. Recently, while we were all taking our lunch break, we heard a lot of banging of a lot of stuff falling. We all ran to where we heard it.
If you ever been to Lowe’s around Christmas, you know that we display those tacky ass blow-up lawn ornaments on the top of the racks close to the entrance, well that little fucker knocked one off, but wait! There’s more! See, we don’t just sit them up there; we tie those things down so they can’t fall on the customers, but this little fucker had untied them all then tied them together, so when he pushed one off, they all went. Let it be said we all were quite pissed that night.
Danny only comes out about two to three times a month, but I’ve lost about five box cutters to him. We have no idea where he came from or where he goes. He’s not like the thing in the Garden Center though; he doesn’t laugh, or giggle or even throw stuff. Danny is pretty quiet except when it runs or climbs. His bare feet slap the concrete and he always sounds out of breath but only when he’s on the move. Once he stops, he goes dead quiet.
One time the little bastard swiped my box cutter and took off, luckily I had just came out of the aisle to see him grab it. I took off after him, swearing if I catch him I’m going to punt him like a fat, bald football. As I ran around the corner and had to stop fast, that pudgy bastard had set me up. Danny had dropped my cutter but this aisle had the arm in it (see my first stories) and it was stretch disturbingly so as it was trying to grab my cutter which was literally just outside its fingertips. If I hadn’t come to a stop when I did, I would have been in, well, arms reach of it. I looked up to see Danny looking down at me from the top of the rack.
Oh, yeah, I cussed him out, but all he did was watch me with those beady little eyes of his until he just ducked away and I hear him scamper off. I don’t know if Danny was trying to hurt me or not, but I’m putting a chain on my box cutter from now on and I don’t think I’ll be chasing him anymore.
That’s all I have time for tonight. I have more stories if you’re still interested. Let me know and maybe I’ll tell you about the man that watches the store or the fact that I think the store itself doesn’t like me.
Okay, guys, holy shit, this fucking week! Boy, I got a lot to tell you, but before I get into it everyone seems to want to know about the man that watches the store, or as someone else called him, The Watcher, which is what we started calling him just because it’s very fitting.
I noticed The Watcher about a month ago. I was outside stocking the Garden Center, yes, that little bastard was running around giggling at me, I tell you I can’t wait till summer when I can try to stock the Garden Canter before sunset so I won’t have to deal with it. Right now I don’t have much of a choice with the Sun deciding that a good time to set is at four pm, hell my grandmother stays up later than the sun. I wish we would just get rid of this stupid Daylight Saving Time, I mean yes it made since when we used candles and electricity was being used by Edison to electrocute elephants, but Christ do we really need it now? Anyway, while I was outside I was over by the register area, putting away some large vases when I glanced out into the parking lot. It was there at the far edge of the lot, just outside the reach of the lights, was a very tall and very large man.
He was wearing what looked like a long, dark trench coat with a wide brim hat, kinda like Reverend Kane’s hat from Poltergeist 2, you know the guy, the only really creepy thing about that movie, except that this hat’s brim was really wide, like almost out to his shoulders wide. The collar on the trench coat also was popped so his face was completely shrouded in darkness.
To say that I was just a bit creeped out would be like saying Greta Thunberg only cares a little about the environment. I went to Mike about it back then and he just sighed with frustration, don’t worry, it wasn’t at me, he told me that this guy shows up every year around the end of September, beginning of November and just stand out there watching the store and tends to finally go away around the end of March. Mike told me that every night around ten pm he’ll show up somewhere just outside the property line, stand there all night, rain, snow, sleet, doesn’t matter, and then he tends to disappear around five am.
I asked him how many years has he been doing this and Mike told me that from the stories he’s heard, pretty much since the store first opened back in two thousand and six.
“Has anyone ever tried to see what he wants?” I asked Mike.
Mike looked at me sadly. “Yes,” he said.
Mike told me that a few years ago a young guy, one of those “I ain’t scared of shit” types decided to go and tell the creep off. He was never heard from again. The cops were called and a missing person report was made but the guy was never seen again and the Watcher disappeared for the rest of the year and next, that was until November when he once again showed up.
I was like, “Fuck, Mike! Is there anything else that might pop up that I should know about that could, I don’t know, cost me my life!?”
At that point, Mike informed me that, come Spring, I should be on the lookout of an incredibly attractive woman that starts showing up and tries to lure you out of the store to have sex with you. Yeah, you guessed it; she doesn’t want to have sex with you and I’m not supposed to believe anything she says or does and that it’s best to simply ignore her.
I told Mike that if a hot girl was trying to have sex with me, then I would already not trust her, because that shit does not happen and I mean ever. I haven’t had a woman look at me like that for over ten years, and I’m counting my wife in that.
Alright, now let me tell you how my week went. The first really fucked up thing that happened was last Wednesday. Shit got real scary and real serious that night.
Let me set it up here, I was working a unique shift on Wednesday due to Lowe’s being closed for Thanksgiving. See, unlike other greedy big box stores, Lowe’s actually cares about their employees and as such does not open late night on Thursday to sell items that have been marked up then marked down so idiots feel that they need to get into fistfights over sheets, oh yeah, I really saw that once on a black Friday. Let me ask you something, is there or was there any point in your life that you wanted to buy sheets at a falsely discounted price so fucking bad that you would punch a complete stranger in the face? If your answer is anything other than, “Of course not, what do you think I am? Stupid?” then you really need to rethink your love for sheets. As I was saying, I was working the unique shift from one PM to twelve AM. We were all supposed to be out clocked out by midnight, and I was fine with that.
The majority of the night was pretty easy, I mean besides having to deal with customers but even they seemed to be alright for the most part. It wasn’t until eleven that it went south.
In the back of the store, we have our loading dock where we keep everything that we unload off trucks that still need to be placed on racks in the store or where special request items are stored until the customers can pick them up. Well, I was back there sweeping up and listening to the latest audiobook in the series called Hard Luck Hank, this book was called Dumber then Dead, it’s really good if you ever get a chance to pick them up, anywho it was really windy that night due to the fact we had a storm coming in from the east. The dock’s roll-up doors were banging with the wind, they weren’t really that loud and I really had thought nothing of it.
I was by the last of the three doors when there was an especially loud bang, so loud and unexpected that I actually jumped and dropped my broom. I didn’t move for a moment, just trying to recover from the surprise. I went to grab my broom when the door banged again. I stood and started to back up. There was another bang but it came from the middle of the three doors. It was at this point that Mike came running into the back.
“What was that?” he asked.
I just pointed at the doors, a little too shocked to say anything.
Then came another bang, then another, louder and harder.
“I don’t think that’s the wind,” I said.
We can actually see dents starting to form from the numerous hits. It was so loud that we had to cover our ears as our other coworkers come to see what the commotion was. When they came in, Mike and I seem to snap out of our shock and rushed out, our coworkers quickly followed. We went to the front of the store, but even from there we could hear the banging. Mike decided to call 911 and then he let us leave early. Needless to say, we all bolted. Mike stayed, but not in the store. He got in his car and waited at the road entrance to the store.
On Friday night, when I went back in, I found out that when the police showed up Mike went with them to the back of the store to see if they could find what was making the banging noise. Well, whatever it was it was long gone, but both doors were fucked up badly, so badly that they’re going to need to be replaced.
The mangers talked to Mike and me about what happened and I told them everything I knew, I asked what did the security cameras catch and they said that they got knocked out just before the door was attacked. Yeah, I said attacked, because that’s what it looked like. There were large dents and deep scratches all over the two doors. The third door was untouched because there has a trailer stock in it that we were going to unload on Friday.
This now leads me to my last bit of weirdness. See, while we were unloading the truck we came across a small box with my name on it.
Mike handed it to but suggested that I shouldn’t open it. When I asked him why, he said that everyone that works in receiving gets one of these sooner or later, he was actually surprised that it took this long. I asked him if he ever got one and he said that he did.
“What was in yours?” I asked.
“A tooth,” Mike answered.
A mother fucking tooth he said. He even said that it still had some blood and gum on it. Then I asked my two coworkers, John and Steve.
“I got a box full of roaches, and not the good kind,” John said.
“I got… well, I am not sure what it was,” said Steve. “It was just a red, wet squishy thing.”
I shook my box, there was something definitely in there. When I asked where they came from, no one really knew. Mike suggested again that I just toss it, but after hearing everyone else’s little prizes I had to know, so with my cutter, I slit the tape and opened it.
It was a dead bird. A chickadee, I think.
John looked into the box. “The hell!” he said. “It moved!”
He wasn’t lying, I saw it too, well, the chickadee didn’t move, the poor thing was dead, but something inside of it did. I quickly closed the box, grabbed the closest tape, resealed it and tossed it into the trash compactor, turning it on.
So, yeah, that was my week and that’s all I have time for now. Heading to bed so I can forget this week ever happened. I’ll keep telling you guys more stories of this crazy store if ya want and always remember, have a Lowe’s Safe Day.
I don’t know how much longer I’m going to last at Lowe’s anymore. Someone said in the comments that it sounds like things might be escalating and I think they might be right, I think things are starting to get out of hand.
It started on Wednesday. It was my turn to stock the Garden Center, and I was out there stocking the mulch, because there’s no time to work on your garden then in December in the North East, prime weather. No lie, we get some crazy things in right now, just the other day we got two pallets of weed whackers. I mean… why? It wasn’t even for Black Friday, but that isn’t the point. I was out in the Garden Center like I said, stocking mulch and trying to ignore the Thing in the Garden Center laughing at me when it abruptly stops. I look up into the rafters as I hear it scamper up on over onto the roof.
Confused by the sudden change, I walked out into the open section of the center trying to see where it scampered off too, when I heard really heavy breathing. I looked over towards the sound to see the Watcher standing on the other side of the fence.
I stopped dead. I’ve never seen the Watcher this close up, and apparently the only one whoever has was never seen again. He has never approached the store before, but there he was, staring at me. I can tell he was staring at me because, while his face was still hidden in the shadows of his high collar and hat, I can see light gleaming off his cold, hateful eyes.
Now, I don’t scare easily, spooked and unnerved, yes, but scared? No. I will tell you what though, while I was frozen where I stood looking at this tall tower of evil, and evil is what this thing was, that if I hadn’t already dropped a loaf earlier then my pants would have been a bakery.
Never before had I ever felt such a presence. I could feel my heart pounding so fast that I thought it would explode out of my chest, but at the same time, I felt as though lungs refused to work, as if my breath wouldn’t leave me as to not be in the same space as the Watcher. Somehow I was able to get my foot to move as I took a slow step backwards, then he moved.
Not much mind you, he just grabbed the fence, but it was fast, so fast that I didn’t even see him do it. One moment his hand was next to him then BAM, he had his fingers wrapped around the chain. The movement and noise made me nearly jump out of my shoes. I almost bolted right then and there, but his hand caught my attention, and held it for a second more. At first, I thought he was wearing gloves, but then I noticed the long, grey fingernails. His skin, matched his nails except it was darker grey. I could also see that he was squeezing the fence. Let me just say that if anyone that has ever driven by a Lowe’s understands that there is tall fence that enclosed the Garden Center and that it’s made out of pretty sturdy chain link, I mean yes, you could cut it with a fence cutter, but that what’s they’re made for anyway. Well, the Watcher had his fingers through the chain-link holes and as he was squeezing, he was bending the metal. I could actually hear the metal protesting against his strength.
Well, as Biff Tannen said, I made like a tree and got out of there. I bolted for the entrance, closed the doors behind me and locked them. I called Mike and had him meet me in the back office. I told him what happened. He said that he’s never heard of the Watcher even doing anything like that.
“Fuck,” Mike said. “He’s never even set foot on the property that I know of.”
We left the door locked and closed until it was closer to six when Mike had to open the doors. He told me he went to check out where I saw the Watcher, he said it was gone but he could see where he had twisted the fence up.
The next thing to happen was on Friday night. It wasn’t much but somehow I think that it might be a lot more important than it seems. I was going to take my lunch break and I had stepped into the elevator, now I know that it’s a pretty quick walk up the stairs to the break room and offices but my feet usually start to hurt around that my break time and of course I’m just lazy. I do take the stairs down all the time, though, I feel that it’s a waste to take the elevator downstairs because I at least have gravity on my side at that point, plus it’s a lot faster to just run down a floor. Anyhow, I got on to the elevator and I was going to press the second-floor button when I had to stop and stare. Where there were normally two buttons, now there were three. This new button wasn’t marked, but I could tell that it was very old and worn.
Yeah, I have seen and read way too many horror movies and stories in my life, there was no way in hell I was pressing that button. I pressed up and went on my break and tried to forget about the new button. Thing is, it always show up now at least once a night. No one else has mentioned it so I don’t know if I’m the only one seeing it or if everyone else does, but they’re just used to it. I asked Mike about it and he had no idea what I was talking about, and neither did John or Steve, so, for now, that’s the Nope Button to Fuckthatfloor.
This next thing… this next thing, if I ever see it again, I’m done.
It happened while I was stocking electrical. Let me tell you, when it comes to stocking Lowe’s there are four areas that are a complete and total bitch to stock; Tool World, Hardware, Lighting, and Electrical. Each one of these areas have a shit ton, and I mean a shit-ton of little items that are, half the time, not even in their correct place, or they are but it just hasn’t been changed in the system so you spend at least a third of the time just trying to locate a type of outlet, or screw, or bulb, or some other little bagged or boxed thing just to find that they’ve been moved to an endcap or they’re just a new item. It’s a real pain in the ass.
Anyway, I’m getting off-topic again. I was in electrical trying to locate some tiny fuses. I was getting frustrated because even though I was where the fuses were supposed to be I couldn’t find the one I was holding, so I decided to walk the aisles and see if I might happen to come across them. As I walked to aisle thirty-one (that’s the main aisle that runs down the center of the floor) I saw a large, reddish-brown pool of something on the floor that wasn’t there before. I also noticed that whatever made the pool had been dragged away and into the last lumber aisle which also happens to the last aisle of the store. Annoyed about it because I thought that John or Steve might have been leaking something off a pallet and not realize it, I followed the smeared trail. I could not have been more wrong.
As I turned the corner, I stopped. What I saw was not Steve or John, what I saw was a nightmare. At first, I couldn’t make it out, it looked like a moving pile of wet clothes, there was a squishing sound that emanated from it every time it appeared to move and inch forward. At first, I couldn’t make out what it was, but as it kept slithering forward I finally grasped what I was seeing, and it was impossible.
I took a step back and bumped a stack of blue buckets, you know the ones, we have them located at the end of every aisle, the five-gallon one, anyway I bumped a stack of those and they went down causing a loud enough racket to wake the dead. I looked down at the buckets then back at the thing. It had lifted its head and was looking at me.
It was just what I was afraid it was. Someone’s skin, it was just fucking skin. No internal anything, it was flabby, and squishy and twisted with reddish-brown liquid oozing out if its holes and from between its wrinkled folds. It had stopped moving and its head was twisted around looking at me with eyeless holes, its mouth opened wide and more liquid flowed slowly out and somehow it made a deep moan. I took a step back and the thing came at me. Dear God it was fast, almost too fast as it just seemed to slither all over itself as it raced towards me. To give you an idea of what it was like, imagine the 1980’s version of the Blob coming at you except instead of it being a pink, snotty thing, it was someone’s goddamned skin.
You better believe I fucking beat feet getting the fuck out of there. I think it was the first time I ever really screamed out of real fear. I ran as fast as I could and let me tell you for someone as big as I am you’d be surprised at how the right motivation can really get you moving.
I found Mike in the dock office with Steve and John. It took me a while to catch my breath and composer before I told them what happened. Lucky for me they, of course, knew about the strange shit that’s been happening as at Lowe’s longer then I have, but this was new even for them. I lead them back to where I saw the skin. Mike was pissed about the wet mess, it was just more work we’d have to do to clean it up, but when we reached that last aisle they peeked around the corner and saw nothing. The skin thing was gone, but it left a trail. Not much on one though. They could see where it turned around and came at me, but we can see that it stopped after I bolted then the trail slid off to the side and literally ended at the base of the wall. It was like it just slipped through cove joint leaving a buildup of that weird liquid that was coming out of it.
“What’s that?” John asked when he saw something in the liquid. It looked like one of our name tags.
Mike took out a pen and flipped it over to see the name.
Mike stood up fast when he saw that name.
“No,” he whispered, “I can’t be.”
“Can’t be what?” I asked.
“Trevor,” Mike explained, “was the name of the man that the Arm had grabbed.”
Well, fuck me, right? As I said, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to stick around here. When you almost shit yourself twice in the same week, it really makes you think about your life choices. I’m going to stick around for now, but I already told Mike that if I even see self-moving skin again, I’m just going to walk out the doors and not look back. A person has to have limits and I think I might be at mine.
That’s it for now, I’ll keep you updated if anything new happens, or if I quit and remember, have a Lowe’s Safe Day.
Sorry, sorry, yeah, I know it’s been a while. Thanks for bearing with me. It’s tough to write during the holiday seasons with having two kids, but I did promise people that I would write about the going ons at my store, and after such a long time since I last wrote a lot of shit has happened.
Let me just start my saying that so far no one has died, so there’s that at least. The crazy activity though has increased and new things have been popping up. One of the creepiest newbies is the girl in the trash compactor. The first time I saw her, my heart almost stopped.
It was the end of the day, or should I say night considering it was five in the morning, I was throwing the trash away through the chute when I heard a soft sound. I couldn’t make it out at first, it was just too soft and then I heard it just a bit louder. It was a voice, a young girl’s voice and it was coming from the other side of the chute.
“H… Hello?” I had said with, let’s say, a little bit of apprehension.
There was a rustling and I can see some garbage moving around as a delicate, grey hand reached up and grabbed the other edge of the chute, then another grey hand appeared, in between them the top and a head started to rise. It had thin, dirty blonde hair; it looked wet with some kind of nasty all over it, and as the head rose higher two dead, angry pale eyes peeked up over the edge of the chute’s edge.
I quickly closed and locked the chute. I try not to empty the trash anymore.
Another new thing is the bird. Now, if you’ve been in a Lowe’s then there might have been a chance that you’ve seen a bird or two flying around. I really don’t blame them honestly. It’s warm, there many places to hide, free of predators (for the most part) and of course there’s plenty of bird food. What we have, though, isn’t really a bird, per se. I mean, we call it the bird, but it’s not really a bird. It can fly, it has wings, it has a beak and feathers, but it also has other… things as well. It has these spider-like legs that it uses to climb along walls and the ceiling when it’s not zooming around.
I one time saw to spin a web in the corner of the store, it caught another bird which it ate, and I wish to God I didn’t see that. It caught the bird, jabbed it with its two front legs and its head split open showing multiple wiggling things which it inserted into the flapping little bird.
I watch in horror as the bird seemed to deflate and then melt. I had to turn away and swallow a vurp, now you may not know what a vurp is but I damn near guaranty you that you’ve done it. Let me explain it simply; vomit + burp = vurp. So yeah, after I saw that thing eat, I had to swallow that little bit of partially digested nastiness. Not a good night.
Then there was the night that the power went off. This caused me some undue nightmares.
“But,” you might say, “it’s just a power outage.”
Anywhere else I would agree with you, but have you ever been in a big box store during a power outage, it’s creepy, like it’s almost an act against nature for those kinds of stores to be without power. Well this, unlike anywhere else, is my Lowe’s and of course when the power went out the strangeness started, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
It was just before Christmas, and all through the Lowe’s, not a customer was stirring, not even the DIY hoes. Seriously, though, I was stocking over in plumbing, and I tell you that plumbing can be just as annoying as tool world or electrical, not all the time, but when you get a shipment of joints and connectors, then you’re going to be there for a few hours, good thing I had a new audiobook. As I was saying though, I was stocking plumbing, minding my own business when – BAM! – total darkness, and I mean total. I waved my hand in front of my face, nothing. My first thought was simply, “Fuck.”
Without hesitation, I pulled out my phone and switched on the light and I was suddenly in Outlast. My other phone, it’s called a Zebra, it’s our in-store phone that can be used to look up prices, or locations and let us call each other, well, my zebra went off and I answered it. It was static-y, which was weird considering when was the last time you heard static on a phone, yeah, they cut out and break up, but static? Mine had static. I heard a voice, sounded like Mike, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. Then my phone cut out. Well, at least the light still worked, thank God.
I yelled out. Even though Lowe’s is a big store your voice can still carry pretty far, so I yelled out. No one answered, but I did hear something move in a couple of aisles over.
“Hey!” I yelled as I headed towards the noise. “Mike?! Steve?! John?!”
I turned the corner and saw someone. They were on the edge of my light looking away from me.
“John?” I asked. I thought it might be him, the person in front of me was wearing one of those blue Lowe’s hat and a camo vest, in case you didn’t know, Lowe’s workers can where two different types of vest, the classic red vest, which is for the average worker and the camo vest, which I found out on the first day, were for Veterans. I thought that was pretty cool.
I walked up and tapped his shoulder, “Hey, John, what happened to the…”
The man turned around and I jerked my hand back in terror. The man’s face wasn’t there instead there was a fleshy tube or tentacle or cord coming out from the middle of his face. The tube ran down to the ground and off into the darkness. It twitched every now and then and I could see it pulsing. The man reached up towards me as a muffled groan issued out from him. I turned to run and abruptly was knocked on my ass as I bumped right into something.
As my ass hits the ground, all the lights come on and John as sitting on his ass as well right in front of me. “The fuck, dude?” John said, confused.
I jumped up and looked around. The tube man was gone.
“Where’d he go!?” I yelled.
“Where’d who go?” John said as he stood up.
When I mentioned the blackout, he had no idea what I was talking about. He told me that the lights haven’t even blinked let alone went out and that I just seemed to come out of nowhere, running right into him.
I literally have no idea what had happened, but I really don’t want it to happen again.
Some other updates; the thing in the Garden Center has been quiet lately, which has been nice, but I believe it’s because the Watcher is now always standing right outside the fence. Whatever the Watcher is, is so bad that it scares the thing, so I’m guessing that isn’t such a good thing.
Speaking about the Watcher, this son of a bitch scared the shit out of me the other day. I was outside stocking some vases, now that Christmas is over we’re starting to get in a lot of spring items like wind chimes and planters and vases, anyway I was stocking the vases which are located right against the fence. I was a bit nervous knowing how the Watcher has been getting close, but when I checked I saw him standing it the edge of the parking lot, and you know how big a Lowe’s parking lot can be, so I knew that even if he started walking I would have at least a few minutes before he would be close, so I went to grab a box, I opened it and pulled out this blue-black ceramics vase, I looked at it for a moment admiring the color, it was really pretty, I turned around to put it on the shelf and the Watcher was right against the fence.
I haven’t screamed that high pitched since my balls dropped. I went from baritone to a soprano in .6 seconds. The vase was also a loss, along with my dignity.
Danny has been really active as well, causing no end of mischief. Steve has been actively trying to hunt and kill him.
Why? Let me tell you a little story.
About four days ago Steve set his phone down and walked away, now if you read my previous parts then you know that’s a bad idea. As you can guess Danny swiped it. Steve even saw Danny take it. He told me that when he turned back into the aisle Danny was holding the phone, actually flipped Steve off and climbed up and over the rack. Steve was cussing up a storm and, I’m sorry, I was laughing. I told him it was his own damn fault for leaving his phone lying around.
Steve did find his phone later on, but it was cracked and actually smoking. Believe it or not, though, that’s not even the worse part, turned out that Steve was cheating on his girlfriend with, I kid you not, his ex-wife and Danny had forward all of their texts to Steve’s girlfriend.
It was not pretty. Steve had no idea how Danny cracked his phone. I guessed that he didn’t, he probably knew the password. Steve’s phone wasn’t one with a touch or face lock, it was just a simple code and I figured that Danny has been watching us for a while and since he likes to hang out on the top of the racks, he probably saw all of us punch in our codes one time or another, so that’s something to really think about.
So, now Steve is actively trying to hunt and kill Danny for ruining his life. As much as Danny annoys me, I don’t’ believe that it’s his fault, well not entirely. I mean, it’s not Danny’s fault the Steve was cheating, and it’s not Danny’s fault that Steve was too stupid to not delete those texts. When I pointed this out to Steve, he just told me to shut up and stormed off.
The arm hasn’t been seen for a while and I’m not too upset about it. I hate that creepy thing and it can just stay away, but with things seemingly escalating I’m sure we’ll be seeing it again sooner than later.
The new elevator button is showing up more. It’s like it wants me to press it. Oh, I’m not even about to. With the way things are right now, who the hell knows where it would go and as far as I’m concerned I’m sure as fuck not going to find out.
I think that’s just about it for now. With the holidays over I hope to write more, but something tells me that things are going to come to a head soon. Mike told me that he’s only seen the kind of activities that we’re having now only once before when he first started. When I asked him what happened last time he took of his hat just shook his head.
“If, and I mean if, it comes to a head like last time,” Mike said, “one or more of us might not make it out, but that’s the extreme end. I’m sure it won’t come to that.”
Damn it, Mike! Could you be more ominous?
I swear if it wasn’t for the pay I make I think that I should quit or transfer but recently I found out that my wife works with a woman whose husband works at another Lowe’s in the area and found out that I get paid a lot, and I mean a lot, more than he does. This tells me that maybe someone in management, or maybe even higher up, might know what’s going on at night here and if that’s true, why is it such a secret and why does the day shift seem to not believe us about what happens when we tell them? I don’t maybe I’m overthinking it, but something just really seems off.
Anyway, I’m out and heading to bed. Have a Lowe’s Safe Day!
Well, our manager dropped in this week and I must say things got a bit… ominous, but before I go into that let me tell you guys about some more weird shit that went down this week.
It started out with the bathroom. I was in there doing…well, my business, surfing the net, when I heard something. At first, I thought I was just imagining it but then I heard it again. It was a soft giggle. I, of course, finished up and pulled up my pants. I walked around the small bathroom trying to locate the giggle and after a brief moment, I was able to locate that the sound was coming out of the drain.
I got down and put my ear to the drain. I could hear the giggle better now. It sounded like a kid’s giggle, specifically a little girl’s giggle. I looked down the drain but all I could see was blackness. I pulled out my phone, turned on its light and I shined it down the drain. I saw something but I couldn’t quite make it out until it moved.
An eye opened up and looked up at me.
“Hi,” it whispered.
I booked it out of that bathroom, and I don’t care how friendly that drain eyeball seemed to be. I was not using that bathroom again. I just hope it can’t travel through the drains. That’s all I fucking need.
Now, remember back in my first post, when I mentioned the devices we call turtles that we use for theft prevention, and how a couple of them went off for no reason? Well, about four days ago, around 3 am in the morning, every single one of them started chiming at exactly the same moment and as they chimed the music over the intercoms, top forty’s shit, stopped playing and was replaced by a deep, croaking voice speaking a language that none of us could even come close to understanding or even guessing what it was. I mean it literally sounded completely inhuman. The turtles chimed and the voice spoke, for a lack of a better term, for about a minute and as quickly as they started they all just stopped. Not much else happened for the rest night but it definitely threw us off our groove.
This next thing actually made me smile a bit when I saw it.
I was in working in plumbing, and you guys know how I feel about plumbing. The only thing worse is nails, nuts and bolts. Well, I was putting away some PVC piping elbow joints when a box fell behind me, nearly making me jump out of my shoes. I looked at it, confused, and then looked upwards. What I saw was something I didn’t think I would ever see.
Now, you know that bird I talked about last time. Well, it was going crazy. Squawking, flapping and just making all kind of noises due to the fact that Danny was trying to attack it.
They were all over the fucking place. They were like two WWE wrestlers back in the early 2000s when that shit was actually good. The bird would swoop in to try to bite or web Danny while Danny would punch the ever-loving shit out if it whenever the bird got close.
“Hey, Danny!” I yelled. Danny stopped and looked down at me. I could see the annoyance on his rotund little face.
“Get that fucker!” I said as I gave him a thumb’s up.
Danny promptly flipped me off and bolted after that rapidly escaping bird.
Well, he might not like me but I still hate the stupid bird more than Danny. At least Danny never sucked dry another bird. I think that I’ve come to like the little asshole, in fact. Yes, he’s a shit load of trouble and causes no end of mischief but there was just something about the bald little bastard that I can’t help but like. I don’t know, I guess he grows on you, much like a fungus. He reminds me of a pug. You know what a pug is, right? Those little inbred abominations that are probably one of the ugliest, most useless dogs on the face of the Earth, but it’s those reasons that people love them. It’s where the term ‘so ugly it’s cute’ comes from.
Now that I think about it, animals are the only ones that term equates too. You’ll never hear that term used for a person or, hell, even a baby. And yes, there are ugly babies out there, we all know it, and we’ve all seen them. There’s always that couple that you know that if they breed they would produce the human version of a pug, and then they actually do breed and now you’re forced to tell them that their little Sid the Sloth is just so adorable because you want to be a nice person and not hurt their feelings, but in your head all you can think about it that you hope this kid develops one hell of a personality.
Could you actually imagine someone looking at an ugly baby and saying, “Aww, he’s so ugly that he’s cute”? I’ll tell you one thing, I want to be there when that bomb drops just so I can see the aftermath.
Okay, enough rambling. The arm is back, or should I say arms and I mean those fuckers came back with a vengeance. It’s gotten crazy in the aisles because just this week alone at least eighteen of them have been spotted and multiples at one time. John almost got grabbed by one, well he actually did get grabbed by one but luckily it just grabbed his shoe which slipped off when the arm retracted back under the shelf. Almost gave John a heart attack, and I don’t blame him at all.
Mike’s said he’s never seen anything like this, there’s only been one and only ever showed up a few times a month. I can tell that Mike is getting nervous, and that man never gets nervous. He’s been here longer than any of us and has pretty much seen it all, but the last few weeks, I’ve heard him say he’s never seen anything like what’s been happening more than I really care to count and that makes me very nervous.
Alright, let me tell you about the district manager dropping by.
It was the other day and I was over in Doors, trying to put…well doors away and I trying to locate the correct place for them to go, which was proving incredibly difficult because sometime during the day shift decided that it would be a great idea to switch around all the doors but not the price stickers, so I couldn’t find fuck all and it was really starting to piss me off when there was a call came over the intercom. It was from Steve.
“Hey, guys,” he said. “Can everyone come out to the Garden Center?”
Steve never gave an all-call over the intercom like that, so I have to say I was a bit curious.
I walked out to aisle 31, or the middle aisle, I should say, and headed to the Garden Center. I bumped into John as he came out from Lighting.
“What’s going on?” he asked me.
“What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino?” I asked him.
He looked at me slightly confused “What?” he asked.
“Elephino,” I told him. “Let’s just see what he wants.”
As we approached the sliding doors we could see Steve standing out on the open section of the Garden Center.
“Hey,” said John, “It’s snowing.”
That it was. Heavily, too. We could see it accumulating as we watched. Mike walked up next to us.
“Is that lightning, and what the hell is he looking at?” Mike commented.
That’s when I noticed a few more things. Steve was looking straight up at the snowy night sky as what looked like green lightning lit up the Garden Center. How did I not notice that before?
We slide the doors open and walked out. As we approached Steve all of our eyes looked up and we all came to a stop.
“Dear God,” whispered John in horrified awe.
Above us, there was a blizzard roaring, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The clouds lit up with dark, green lighting, but that really wasn’t anything compared to what else there was. Silhouetted within the clouds of the storm, showed only when the lightning flashed, there was something large… no, not large, that’s not the right word for it. It was something enormous, so big that it filled every inch of the cloud and lightning-filled sky. It looked like long, slow-moving cords or tentacles covering from horizon to horizon. Oh, and when I said “roaring” before, I meant it. The sky was literally roaring.
“John,” I said, “call your wife. See if she can see this.”
John pulled out his phone and called his wife. I knew that she was a night owl and we had a good chance that she might still be up. I took out my own phone and pointed up towards the sky to see if I could get a video of the madness that we were witnessing, and, of course, all I could see on my camera was falling snow.
John hangs up his phone.
“Well?” asked Steve.
“She can’t see anything,” John said as he tucked his phone back into his pocket.
“Well, that can’t be good,” someone else said.
We all jumped a foot at the new voice behind us. We spun around to see Todd, our manager looking up with his hands behind his back.
“Todd!” Mike said, “When did you get here?”
Todd looked away from the sky and to Mike, “Just now. Can I speak to you, Mike?”
“Of course,” Mike said.
Todd turned to us. “Alright, everyone,” he said. “I know it’s weird, but I need everyone to get back to your jobs for now.”
“But,” I said pointing up, “the sky monster?”
“Yes, yes,” Todd said waving me away. “I’m well aware. Just please go back to what you were doing. I’ll talk to you all in a moment.”
We all looked up once, and then headed back in.
“Wait,” Todd said, “stay away from Tool World. There was something… squishy over there.”
Well, I can give a guess what – or who – that was, so we all headed in and I went back to try to finish Doors. It wasn’t very long, though, before Todd showed up.
“Can I speak to you?” Todd asked.
I pulled my gloves off. “Sure,” I said.
“You’ve seen it, haven’t you?”
“You got to narrow that down a bit, Boss Man.”
“Oh,” I said. “Yeah, I’ve seen it.”
“And you haven’t pressed it?”
“Why would I?”
Todd shrugged. “Curiosity?”
“I’m not that curious.”
Todd sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose, “Listen, the store has chosen you…”
“Yes, and you need to press the button.”
“Because if you don’t then things are going to keep escalating until….”
“Until they don’t stop, and then it’ll be too late.”
“Too late for what?”
Todd just looks at me with a sad face, “That’s up to you, but I would advise you to press the button and do the right thing.”
Todd turns and walks away.
Well, what the actual fuck, Todd! Do the right thing?! Last time I checked this wasn’t a Spike Lee Joint. What am I supposed to do with that? The store has chosen me? For what? Why? Why me?!
Okay, this job has just gotten a lot worse and a whole lot more intense. I have absolutely no idea what I should do. If anyone has any suggestions, I am more than open and willing to hear them, and so I guess until I can figure stuff out, everyone try to have a Lowe’s Safe Day.
Okay, first just let me say that I’m writing this from the hospital, I’m okay for the most part, though I can’t say the same for everyone, but before I get to the end, let me start from the beginning.
The day it really went sidewise started out like any other day really. I showed up at nine, put my lunch away, grabbed a Mountain Dew, sugar-free Mountain Dew that is, God am I grateful for that, I need to cut back on my sugar intake but I hate, and I mean hate Diet Mountain Dew, shit tastes like total ass, but this new sugar-free Dew tastes only just a bit off, kinda like Mountain Lighting from Wal-Mart. Anyway, I grabbed my Dew and headed for the dock to see what’s going on.
The night was running normally. I was told to take care of the electrical today and had only three pallets. Not really that bad to be honest, it looked like most of it was fans and lamps, but there was one pallet that had a shit load of little things on it, you know, things like switches and plugs and whatnot. Anyway, I had just got done separating the pallets into aisle location when I noticed it was getting close to midnight and that means I was getting close to my first break, so I left my items where they were, in neat little piles all over the floor and headed to the dock to grab my charger, well, not really my charger, more like the communal charger. I started listening to a whole bunch of new podcasts and I like to keep my phone as charged as I could but since I use wired headphones I really couldn’t charge it while I listen to it. I used to have Bluetooth headphones but I ran over them with my car, really pissed me off when I found it the next day it a shit load of little pieces all over the road. I know we sell these pocket chargers that use batteries, they’re pretty damn cool, to be honest, and I’ve been meaning to buy one for a while, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, so I charge my phone for the half-hour that I take my lunch and the half-hour for my second break which gives my phone just enough charge to last till 6 am, when I get done.
Well, I had just gotten to the dock, Mike was on the narrow aisle reach truck that everyone called the Star Wars, when I asked why they called it that, he told me that it’s because it looks like something in Star Wars that someone rode. Now, with me being that dork that I am was totally confused, I have watched those movies a hundred times and I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, maybe someone made a joke once about “May the Forks be with you’? Hell, I don’t know. Anyway, I said hey to him and went to the office and grabbed the charger that I use when all hell broke loose.
The entire build felt like it bucked like a wild pony trying to kick off a rider. Power went out, the emergency lights blared to life, things went flying off the top racks, shit fell over everywhere, I was knocked to the ground, and I heard a loud crash and Mike screamed.
I got up and checked myself quickly, I was fortuitously fine. I ran out of the office and yelled out.
“Over here,” Mike replied.
I went over to him to find that the Star Wars and tipped over, Mike was buried under it and it looked like a couple of refrigerators that we had stored on the higher shelves as well. Luckily for him, though, the tipped-over forklift protected him from the heavy appliances.
“Are you okay?” I asked him.
He tugged at his foot. “I think I’m fine, but my foot is stuck.”
“Was that an Earthquake?” I asked.
Mike looked at me and slowly shook his head. “I’m afraid not,” he said sadly. “It’s time.”
“For you to decide,” he said.
“Decide?” I said, confused. “Decide what?”
There was a loud bang, that made us both duck in alarm, as something smashed into the dock roll door.
We both look over at the large claw-like nail that had pierced through the roll door as something on the other side of it continued to bang on it trying to pry it open. It was the thing from the wind storm!
Mike turned to me quickly and yelled over the noise, “You have to decide what’s important to you! You have to press the button and make the choice!”
“But…” I said, frozen.
“EVERYTHING, EVERYONE IS AT STAKE!” he yelled. “YOU HAVE TO RUN!”
The sound of metal scraping and peeling hits us as other claws started to pierce the roll door.
“RUN!” Mike yelled one last time, and just like that, I was off. “PRESS THE BUTTON!” I heard mike yell after me as I sprinted out of the dock.
I turned and ran down the right wall, as I passed the aisles I can see in the dim lights what looked like hundreds of arms reaching out from everywhere, they came out no longer from just the bottom shelf of the rack but from every shelf and every rack. Within some of those aisles I can see that they had a hold of something, I at first thought that they had John or Steve, but then I noticed that those bodies had those cord things coming out of their faces. It was just like that thing I saw during the power outage close to Christmas, and the arms were ripping them apart.
I tried not to look at the gory messes as I ran pass but I could hear it. The wet ripping, the squishy plops, and the hard snapping. Dear God, as if I already didn’t have enough nightmare fuel in the tank.
I ran up to aisle 31, our middle aisle, and it was clear of arms. I had just taken my first steps to run when the Garden Center’s doors exploded. I ducked almost falling in shock. I looked behind me as the Watcher stepped into the store. His eyes focused down on me as he reached out towards me.
I was frozen to the spot, I had to move, I had to run, but my fucking feet weren’t listening.
Both the Watcher and I turned our heads to see John run up and smash a ten-pound sledgehammer into the head of the Watcher.
The Watcher spun and fell to one knee, dazed.
John looked at me. “GO!” he said, “I got Big Bad here.”
“You sure?” I said with more trepidation in my voice then I care to admit.
The Watcher started to stand, but John roared and overhead-slammed the sledgehammer into the Watcher’s back, sending him to the floor.
John winked. “This old Marine’s got your back, son.”
I nodded and took off down the aisle.
I reached aisle one and had to skid to a stop when the unthinkable happens. The roof over by cabinets groaned and buckled as a large, fat, segmented tentacle bathed in dark green light broke through and smashed into the ground shattering all of the displays sending rubble and wood chunks everywhere. This wasn’t ever the whole damn tentacle; this was just part of it, like some weird bendy elbow.
I looked up aisle one to see Steve waving at me.
“GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE!” he screamed.
Well, I listened and bolted towards him.
“We… have to get out… of here,” I wheezed at him, trying to catch my breath. “Get… some help!”
“Can’t,” he said as he threw his thumb over his shoulder towards the doors. “Doors won’t open. Besides, I don’t’ think there’s anything out there.”
I looked behind him and out the doors. He was right. The doors were seamless so though it was just a solid piece, but it didn’t matter because through the doors all I saw was the dark green light and enormous shadows.
“Fuck!” I hissed, annoyed.
“What?” Steve asked.
I stood and ran to the elevator. Steve followed me.
“What are you doing?” Steve asked.
I pressed the elevator’s call button. “What I fucking have to, it seems.”
The doors slid open and I stepped inside. Steve followed me.
“You don’t have to,” I said to him as I put my finger on the old, worn-out button.
There came another loud crash as another part of the roof, I think over my lumber, collapsed. “I’m not fucking staying out there!” he said.
I shrugged and pressed the button. The elevator doors closed. There was a moment of nothing happening then a jolt as we started to descend.
“What do you think is down here?” Steve asked nervously.
“What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino?” I asked him.
He looked at me as a thin smile came to his lips, “Fuck you,” he laughed.
That brought a smile to my own, but then the doors opened.
A hallway stood before us. A hallway made of old cinder blocks and rusty industrial lights that seemed to work only part of the time or whenever the fuck they feel like.
“Come on,” I said to Steve. “I don’t think we have a lot of time.”
We took off down the hallway at a jog. Luckily, we didn’t have to go far when the hallway opened up to a gigantic space. It was so large that we couldn’t see the top nor the sides and the only reason we could see anything was because, about thirty yards ahead of us, there was a large open pit that dark green light and smoke issued out of. On the other side of the pit was a statue that stood easily fifty feet tall, give or take a foot. I really couldn’t make out what the statue was supposed to look like because I actually couldn’t look at it. Every time I tried to my head hurt like it was on fire and eyes burned and teared up. It was almost as if the thing was so alien to your world that my brain couldn’t comprehend what it was, the only thing that I could tell was that it was big and that it looked like it was moving.
“What is wrong with that thing?” Steve asked.
“I don’t know,” I said back, “but I think we have to get closer.”
“WHY?!” Steve asked, horrified.
I didn’t answer him this time. Instead, I kept my eyes away from the statue and jogged up to the pit.
I stopped at the edge and looked over. It was like looking into…well, I honestly can’t explain it. It was beyond anything of our world or imagination and what I saw down that God-forsaken hole was so twisted and vile and foreign that made me spin away and vomited. I can only pray that my mind will one day erase that trauma, because if it doesn’t then my nightmare, just became night terrors.
Steve looked at me, both horrified and curious, he went to go look but I grabbed his arm and just shook my head.
“Don’t,” I told him as I stood up and wiped my face, “Just… don’t.”
“What are we supposed to do now?” Steve asked looking around the room, avoiding the statue and pit.
A voice suddenly boomed from all around us, “THE CHOSEN ONE MUST CHOOSE!”
“Jesus Christ!” Steve yelled in surprised.
“Choose what?!” I yelled back into the darkness. “I have no idea what I’m supposed to choose!”
“LOOK AT ME!” boomed the voice.
Oh, God no! I didn’t want to look, but I could feel my head being forced towards the statue, I tried to close my eyes but it wasn’t working. I fought it. I fought it with everything I could muster, but I knew that I was in a losing battle of wills with a thing older and maybe more powerful than God.
My eyes were forced upon the grotesque statue and fire erupted in my head. It was as though someone took a hot soldering iron and slowly pushed it into my eye. I screamed as knowledge that no mortal was ever supposed to possess was forced into my weak, mushy human brain.
It was only a second, but it seemed like forever, until the accursed thing let me go. I collapsed to the ground curled up into a fetal position, I’m not sure if I did or not, but I think I might have cried out for my Mommy.
Steve came over to me and shook me gently, “Trent?” he aked. “You okay?”
I slowly looked up at him. He looked red.
“Jesus, you’re bleeding from everywhere!” he said.
Turned out that being force-fed otherworldly information caused all the orifices in your head to spontaneously bleed. Who knew, right?
“I know…” I whispered. “I know what I have to do. I know why the store chose me.”
I did, too. I finally understood why the store had picked me and what was going on, it was so strangely clear.
I slowly started to stand up with Steve helping me.
“I know what I have to do,” I told him as I stepped up towards the hole.
I heard Steve sigh, but for some reason, it was tinged with sadness. “I had hoped that you wouldn’t figure it out,” he said.
I turned around to him, confused. “What do you…”
I stopped talking because my attention was solely on the gun Steve was pointing at me.
Steve shrugged. “Sorry,” he said, “I really did like you.”
And then he shot me.
Okay, I’m sorry to leave you at such a cliffhanger, but my pain meds are starting to kick in and I can barely keep my head up. I promise to finish writing what happened next time, but I have to stop for now. Just… if you’re married, kiss your significant other and if you have kids, hug them, hold them tight, and tell them how much you love them and as always try to have a Lowe’s Safe Day.
Okay, so I’m doing better. My wounds only hurt a little bit today. I’m out of the hospital and relaxing at home now. I’m spending most of my days playing video games or watching Netflix. Real excited about Locke & Key. I loved the comic, so I’ve been binge-watching it. I also powered through Is it Okay to Pick Up Girls in Dungeons. Loved that anime, by the way.
I want to address something before I tell the last of my story, it seems that a lot of people don’t believe me about what happened, and to be honest, I don’t blame them or you, if you’re one of them. I fully understand just how insane this all sounds, and if I was on the other end, I know for a fact that I sure as hell wouldn’t believe it either. I wish to God that none of this happened. I hope every day that I will wake up and it was all one big, crazy fever dream, but I really don’t think that will be happening anytime soon.
Well, as you can tell where I left off, Steve had shot me, but obviously he didn’t kill me, this isn’t Sunset Boulevard (quick note for all the younguns and millennials out there: if you don’t know, Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 film noir and probably one of the top ten greatest movies ever made. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this right now and go watch it. You will not be disappointed). He got me in my shoulder. It spun me around, like a record, baby, and I dropped. The pain was intense. It wasn’t like in the movies of TV where you could just walk it off. Oh, no. It burned like a white-hot motherfucking poker being pushed right through me. My whole arm went numb and useless. I honestly wished I could have passed out from the pain instead of having to feel it.
I looked up at Steve with a, let’s say more than a little confused look. Steve shrugged.
“Why?” I had to ask.
“Because I can’t let you do what you were planning on doing,” he answered.
“I have to!” I said. “If I don’t…”
“…Everything will be destroyed. Yes, I know,” he finished. “We’re counting on it.”
Okay, time for a little catch up. When I was forced into looking at the statue it showed me everything, a little more then I needed to know if I’m honest. For example, are you ever alone in a room and get a weird feeling like someone’s watching you, or you put something down only for it to disappear then reappear later on, well just be grateful you don’t know why that is, and no, I’m not telling you. It’s bad enough that I’m forced to know, wish I could just use the Head Key from Locke and Key and remove that horrid piece of information. Anyway, that statue told me what’s going on and this is where the real crazy starts. If you think my story was unbelievable before, then I’m really going to lose you now.
Okay, here we go, and I’m letting you guys know that I seem to be losing most of what I was giving as if I was trying to hold water so a lot of what I’m saying is pretty much paraphrasing. Now, a couple of millennia ago an ancient, evil vehement force was captured by powerful (yes, I know how this sounds) shamans and trapped in a pocket realm to spend the rest of eternity. They placed Great Seals around the Earth at strategic locations that used the Earth’s own energy, I think that some call them ley lines or something, as a generator to forever power the seals and keep the unnamed monstrosity trapped, or that was the plan at least, see during World War 2 a lot of the seals were cracked, now I got no proof, but I would bet dollars to donuts that the Nazis were involved with it. Near-apocalyptic disasters just kind of has their name written all over them. Anyway, one of those now cracked seals just happened to be under the first Lowe’s.
When the seal cracked, one of the statues called out to Carl Buchan, a part-owner of Lowe’s at the time, and explained the situation, it turned out that the creators of the seal anticipated the possible cracking and created the statues as a backup, just in case. Well, it let Buchan know where the other seals were and which ones were cracked and could possible break and it was now up to him to secure and fix those that broke. Kind of a lot of pressure to put on one man’s shoulders to be sure.
With the statue’s help and guidance, Buchan, grew Lowe’s through the 50’s placing all the new Lowe’s over other broken seals. After his heart attack in ‘61, his five-man executive team, all of them handpicked and knowing of the situation of the broken seals, continued Buchan’s plans.
The plan was working for the most part, but the problem was Lowe’s wasn’t getting everywhere it needed to go, so after much debate, the five-man team decided to approach other growing companies and their CEOs to see if they could get them to help and after showing them what was at stake, they actually got Sam Walton of Walmart and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s on board with the plan. As capitalists, they had a strong interest in seeing that the world wasn’t destroyed, be bad for business and all that.
Since 1941, fourteen cracked seals have broken and been resealed. The one under my store is number fifteen, that was why all the strange shit was always happening, with the seal cracked under the store, otherworldly madness was slipping through and now with the seal completely broken all hell was pouring out it was up to me to reseal it, but I had a limited amount of time to do that.
How do I reseal it, you ask? Well, that’s the choice part that everyone kept talking about. To reseal a broken seal it takes one of the most powerful forces on Earth, a human soul that is giving up freely. See, that was why I was chosen. I was the only one that had something real to lose. I could walk away and save myself, but in doing so I would be dooming all of mankind, including my wife and two young children.
That was the choice, but for me, it wasn’t a choice at all. That was until Steve shot my ass.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Steve said, “and I can’t let you seal the gate when we’re this close.”
I looked at him confused. “We?”
A slight smile spread across Steve’s face. “Home Depot, of course.”
“Home… what?” I said with even more confusion in my voice.
The room rumbled.
“Time’s getting short,” Steve said. “Long story short, Home Depot was founded by a coven with the sole purpose of finding an open gate and keeping it open so our true God can come forth and cleanse the world of the human infection. With you gone, the Chosen can’t chose and the gate will stay open.” He leveled the gun at me. “So… goodbye.”
I closed my eyes waiting for the bang. They say you never hear the one that gets you, and God, do I hope that’s true. Out of the blue, there was a bewildering inhuman screech off towards the elevator. We both kind of stopped and looked over, confused.
“The hell?” Steve asked.
Like a naked, hairless little blur, Danny came running out of the hallway.
Steve’s face went from confused to seriously pissed off.
“You little fucker!” Steve said through his gritted teeth. He turned the gun from me towards Danny and opened fire.
Danny zigged and zagged like a fat, squat fly avoiding a swatter. He ran right up to Steve and just as Steve’s gun clicked empty he jumped up and, Lord have mercy, bit down hard on Steve’s crotch.
Steve cried out in anguished pain. He dropped the gun and started punching his crotch trying to pry Danny off his twig and berries.
I stood up and watched the crazy scene playing out in front of me, then an idea came to me and I prayed to God that it would work.
Despite the pain from the hole in my shoulder, I took off towards the screaming Steve and ran straight into him, knocking him off balance. He stumbled back, spun his arms trying to maintain his balance but I could tell he was on the losing end of that battle.
Danny lets go of Steve’s snozzberries as Steve totters on the side of the abyss.
“I give this soul freely,” I whispered as I ran up and pushed Steve one last time as he toppled and screamed as he fells over the edge and into the dark green Hell.
The whole cavern shook and rumbled as rocks from an unseen ceiling high above started to fall.
I looked down at Danny. “Elevator,” I said as we both started running. Too bad I didn’t make it there. I think a rock hit my head or something because there was a sharp pain from my head and I completely blacked out and when I awoke, I was lying in a hospital bed with my wife sitting in a chair watching the news.
“Hon?” I asked weakly.
My wife startled and jumped to my side. I asked her what happened and how I got here. She explained to me that while I was stocking somehow a toilet fell from its stored location and on my head which caused me to deadfall on a pickaxe. I’m not sure where she got that story from, but I think that it would be best if she kept believing that story.
The rest of the day went by normally. I saw my kids and the rest of my family as they all swung by to say hi, the doctors come by to check on me and see how I’m doing, My wife brought me a foot-long meatball sandwich from Subway, my favorite overall. It was pretty nice.
When visiting time was over I went ahead and sent my wife home with the kids so she could get a decent night’s sleep. That’s when I got two more visitors.
I had just sat back and was getting comfortable when there was a knock on my door and two people came in. The first one was Todd, and the second one I recognized, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
“Todd?” I asked with surprise.
“Hey,” Todd said. “Can we come in?”
“Uh, sure,” I said.
Todd came in and motioned towards the man behind him. “This is Mr. Marvin Ellison, the CEO of Lowe’s.”
I snapped my fingers. “I knew I recognized you from somewhere,” I said.
He came over and shook my hand. “Nice to meet you. We promise to make this quick.”
“Is this about what happened?” I asked.
“Yes,” Todd said, “and everything that entitles.”
“You are a hero, there’s no doubt about that,” Ellison said.
“But…?” I prompted.
“But,” continued Ellison, “what we have here is something unprecedented.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Well,” Todd said. “You’re still here. Up until now the seal has always been sealed by a self-sacrifice. You sealed it with just a sacrifice.”
“To be honest,” I said, “I didn’t know if it would work or not.”
“Well,” said Ellison, “so far it seems it has. That’s why I’m here. I wanted to thank you in person, and…” He reached into his suit and pulled out an envelope and handed it to me. “We would love to have you back working for us, but we also fully understand if you want to seek other life choices… as long as things are kept under wraps, that is.”
“Mr. Ellison,” I said, “who in the hell would believe me about anything that happened? Shit, I lived through it and I don’t really believe it.”
Mr. Ellison smiled and nodded.
Todd shook my hand. “I hope to see you again.”
“We’ll see,” I said in return. “By the way, are Mike and John okay?”
Todd smiled. “Everyone is fine,” he said. “Even Danny.”
I smiled at that.
Todd walked over and opened the door for Ellison.
“Mr. Ellison!” I said just before he went through the door.
He turned back to me. “Yes?”
“Steve,” I explained. “He worked for Home Depot. I think they’re out to get… well… everyone.”
“I’m well aware,” Ellison said to me. “That’s why I left them. Thank you for the info, though.”
He and Todd left and closed the door behind them. I opened the envelope and pulled out a very large check and a letter. The letter thanked me and told me to enjoy my life. And with the check, I think that the family and I will do just that.
So, that’s my crazy ass story. I’m sorry it took so long to write. Life has been keeping me busy. I know how hard it is to believe, and I don’t blame you if you don’t, but thank you, everyone, that followed this insane ride and worried about me and the others.
And always remember to have a Lowe’s Safe Day.
🔔 More stories from author: George T. Robertson
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