Please don't read this. It is terrible. It was a request I did for a friend's birthday. Also, please inform me of any errors.
Mike opened his eyes and looked around. He didn't know where he was, yet his surroundings felt familiar. The brick walls appeared to be covered in dirt and grime, the door to the room was chained shut, and the ground was covered in a liquid – unidentifiable, yet intangible and insignificant. In front of him, there was a small television sitting on a metal rack, mounted somewhere within the brick wall. Below the television was a toilet, partly broken and looking ready to shatter at the slightest provocation.
Mike attempted to speak, but he couldn't. He attempted to stand, but it felt as though his body would not work. He could only look at the room, absorbing his surroundings, waiting for something to occur. He tried to regain his sense of self, but his mind was muddled and out of his control. There was a sense of fear deep in his heart, a powerful anxiety; it made his skin crawl.
Suddenly, the television before him turned on, and on the screen he saw a shrewd mask – it was black, elaborate, symmetrical, and disgustingly terrifying. Mike felt his heart pound as his blood ran cold. There was something about the black eyes and deformed expression on the mask; it was far worse than any terror he had ever imagined.
"Michael." The person over the television spoke, before growing silent for a seemingly endless amount of time. "Wanna play a game?" Mike felt his heart pulsate and ram his chest with intensity.
"Mike! Would you get up already?" Paulo barked, shaking Mike from his nap.
"Uh, wha' is, what is it…? Where are we?" Mike asked, his heart still beating and his body covered in cold sweat.
"Just look around. We're still in the gym." Mike did as Paulo commanded, and, sure enough, he was right. The walls were decorated with banisters and corny Halloween decoration, and looking back at him he saw David, McCain, and Abbey.
"We all passed out in here." Paulo answered. "It looks like we were drugged."
"Whoa! Wait a minute! We can't be sure of that!" Abbey argued.
"You want to tell me how else we could have all passed out at the same time, then?"
"I don't know, but we can't jump to conclusions. There might be a logical explanation for this."
"Yeah, there is one, and it's drugs."
"… When?" Mike cut in.
"When what?" Paulo asked.
"When were we… or when could we have been drugged?"
"I'm guessing it was after we drank that milk. After that, we all started getting tired and passed out. Next thing I know I was getting woken up by Mister Explosive-Rage over here."
"Har har," Abbey interjected.
"Oh yeah…" Mike began, "so, where did the milk come from, anyway?"
"Who knows? I thought it was the lunch lady or somethin' before, but now I don't have any goddamn idea. Dunno why a lunch lady would drug us for."
"We still don't know if it was drugs." Abbey said.
"And once again!" Paulo began with rage, "what the hell else could it have been?"
"COMMUNISTS!" David interrupted.
"What?" Paulo asked.
"They're mad, Paulo! About the bombs!"
"What bombs? What are you talking about?" Abbey asked.
"I'm disappointed in you." David responded, his tone somber. "… And they said to Never Forget."
"OKAY, let me just stop you there." Paulo interrupted McCain. "Personally, I don't really care how it happened."
"I don't care about why, either! All I care about is getting the hell out of here. I don't know about you guys, but after sleeping on this crappy floor and being woke up by Hitler Jr. over here, I'm about ready to go home and go the fuck to bed." Paulo stood up, not waiting for anyone's response and walked towards the exit. He stopped at the door and waited. "You coming?"
They all left the gymnasium and headed through the hallways towards the front of the school. None of them had ever been in the school after dark, and there was an ominous air about it. The long, desolate hallways, the weather-proofed brick walls – thick enough so no one could hear a scream from the outside –, and worst of all, the mystery of how and why they had fallen asleep so suddenly. They all walked quickly, although none of them voiced their fear.
"This is exciting." David broke the silence.
"What is?" Paulo asked annoyed."
"Being in the school like this – alone!"
"Uh huh, yeah, it's a fricken barrel of monkeys."
"But this isn't a zoo…"
"David," Paulo sighed, "just shut up."
"Awww," David began cutely, "is someone in a bad mood…?"
"I'm sawy if I made you mad!"
When they arrived at the attendance office, they all entered. Before them were the front doors to the school. Paulo breathed a sigh of relief, and walking forward, pushed into the door. Little did he know, the door pushed back. He walked directly into it, his nose hitting the clear glass.
"Ow! Damn it! It's locked!" Paulo yelled, hitting the door with one hand and rubbing his nose with the other.
"Huh," Abbey mumbled to himself. Mike joined Paulo in attempting to force the door open. "You guys know that these doors don't lock from the inside, right?"
"What?" Paulo responded.
"These doors… They don't lock from this end."
"Then why the fuck won't they open?"
"… I don't know."
"Ha, of course you don't…. You know, for someone who is supposed to be smart, you sure don't know alotta shit!"
"Hey, don't blame this on me! You were the one who insisted we drink the milk in the first place!"
"Yeah? Well, you didn't seem to have anything to say against it."
"Actually, I stopped and asked where it came from, but you went ahead and ignored me! You drank it anyway!"
"And no one forced you to do the same!"
"All I'm saying-"
"Wait a minute," Mike stopped Abbey. "Where is McCain?"
They all stood for a few moments in silence, looking around and at each other.
"Idiot must have stayed in the cafeteria." Paulo muttered.
"Should we go get him?" Mike asked.
"Why bother? If he wants to stay here, let him. I just want to get the fuck out." Paulo responded, leading the way out of the attendance office."
"Where are we going?" David asked, as they all followed Paulo down the hallway.
"We're going to the other end of the school. We can get out from the student parking lot."
"Why didn't we just leave the normal way?"
"Because obviously the doors were locked."
"But didn't Abbey say they couldn't be locked?"
"Yes…" Paulo said through gritted teeth.
"Then why couldn't you open them…?"
"…They must have been blocked or something." Abbey quickly jumped in, saving David from Paulo's rage.
"I didn't see anything blocking them." David pressed on. Abbey sighed in response.
Suddenly, from somewhere deep in the hallways, far in front of them, they heard a loud bang and the fluorescent lights above them flickered and shut off. The hallway was black. The only thing Mike could see was the image in his head: the image of Paulo's face the moment he heard the bang, right before the lights had cut off. It was complete mystery, complete vulnerability, and complete terror.
"What the fuck was that?" Paulo asked, his voice raspy and strained.
"We've got to get out of here." Abbey said, in a brief moment of panic.
"It's gonna be hard with the lights off…" Mike responded.
"I know, but we've got to try. We can't stay in here all night."
"Guys, I'm scared." David added.
"Look, it was probably just a power outage," Abbey assured him. "There is nothing to be afraid of."
"I wasn't aware power outrages caused fucking explosions." Paulo responded.
"Then maybe a transformer blew or something…"
"In the fucking hallway?"
"Look, I don't know, alright? We could sit here all night and discuss it, but I don't think that will really help anything."
They all grabbed each other's hands and walked side by side as they moved through the hallway. Abbey led the way, using the lockers to his side to keep aligned. They had slowed down exponentially and had grown silent.
"Okay, guys, I think I know where we are. Coach D.'s room should be right here."
"And?" Paulo asked.
"If anyone in this damn school has a flashlight, it is either him or the custodians, and honestly, I don't think we're going to get into the custodians office. You guys can wait out here; I'm gonna go check it out. I can kind of see from the moonlight coming in from his window."
"Can't we just get out through the window?" Mike asked.
"No, it's locked."
"How do you know?"
"Because I've seen him try to open it before."
"… Can you at least check?"
"Yeah," Abbey said with a sigh, "I guess."
They all stood outside the room in silence, waiting for Abbey to return. A couple times David spoke up, asking if everyone was still there, but other than that, nothing was said. After about 5 minutes, Mike started to get anxious.
"Ugh, where is he?" Mike moved towards the door of the room and opened it up. He looked around and saw a dimly lit, empty class room. "Uh, Abbey?" There was no response.
"What's wrong?" Paulo asked.
"I don't see Abbey." There was a faint tone of terror in his voice.
"H-he is probably just being an idiot or something. I mean, he couldn't have left us or anything." Paulo entered the room, passing Mike in the process. Once standing in front, the empty room before him, he understood why Mike had sounded afraid, but doing his best to be courageous in front of his friends, he led the search. After the entire room was checked and Abbey was nowhere to be found, Paulo checked the window. It was locked.
"I guess there is only one place left to check." Paulo said aloud before swallowing. He walked over to the closet door and stood there - David and Mike watching on in fear and curiosity. He placed his hand on the door knob gently, not wanting to alert any evil creature that could be lurking on the other end. He bit down on his lower lip and turned the knob, but it didn't budge more than an inch. He sighed loudly. "It's locked, too."
"So wait, if it's locked, where the hell did Abbey go?" Mike asked with a hint of anger in his voice.
"I don't know."
"So what do we do?" David inquired.
"I don't know."
They all made their ways out of the classroom. They held hands while Paulo led them, using the lockers as guidance just as Abbey had done. Elaborate fantasies of death and suffering raced through each of their minds, although none of them spoke their horror. They all privately denied the possibility of anything more than some sick joke, yet they held on to that belief in pure desperation and fear. The only thing that granted them even the faintest bit of confidence was the deafening silence. The only sounds were that of their own bodies and footsteps. If anyone – or anything – attempted to approach them, they would be ready.
"Guys," David whispered, breaking the silence. "… I have to go to the bathroom."
"What?" Paulo whispered back harshly.
"I always have to go to the bathroom when I'm scared."
"Goddamn it, David."
"Hey! I can't help it!"
"Can't you wait?" Mike asked.
"I don't think so."
"Well, you're gonna have too, because we're not stopping." Paulo responded.
"But I can't!"
"I don't care!"
"Okay, wait a minute," Mike said, once again joining the conversation. "We should be coming up to a bathroom pretty soon here, alright? David can just go there."
"… Alright," Paulo said with a sigh.
"Yes! Please hurry!"
When they rounded the next corner, they could see a piercing light through the thick darkness. It appeared to be coming from the bottom of a door. They all moved quickly towards it, and, much to their surprise, they discovered the lightened room was the boy's bathroom.
"Alright, David, make it quick." Paulo said irritable.
"But… I don't want to go in."
"What? Why?" Mike asked.
"Somebody… or… something might be in there."
"… Okay, okay," Mike said with a sigh, "I'll go in with you." They both entered the bathroom and, with David standing by the door - ready to jump out at the slightest sign of danger -, Mike checked the entire room, as well as each stall. "Well, this looks pretty safe to me."
"…Are you sure?"
"Don't worry; there is no one else in here."
"… Alright…" David surrendered, dancing on the spot.
"I'm going to go back out and wait with Paulo, alright?" Mike asked. David nodded quickly and ran past him.
Mike left the bathroom and joined Paulo in the dark hallway. They waited for about five minutes, Mike attempting to speculate with Paulo on a great deal of things, such as their situation and the light in the bathroom, but Paulo remained quick and uninterested.
"Damn it! He said he would make it quick." Paulo blurted out, suddenly furious. He walked towards the door, but before he got his hands on the door's handles, the lights in the hallway all turned on – flickering and dim. Both Mike and Paulo looked at each other, surprise and excitement in their eyes; maybe things were finally beginning to look up for them.
"Oh, thank God." Mike said aloud in relief.
"Yeah, I know." Paulo said with a sigh. He turned to face the bathroom door. He placed his hands on the handles, and he pulled it. It didn't open. He pulled it again, but still no progress. He stopped for a moment and stood there, staring at the door, feeling Mike's eyes on the back of his head.
"Paulo, what's wrong?" Mike asked in fear. Paulo once again tried to open the door, but it wouldn't budge. "Paulo…?" Mike watched Paulo as he rested his forehead on the door and stood in silence.
"It won't open." Paulo's voice was grave and deeper than normal. "It just… it just won't open." He sounded almost disappointed, even dejected.
"Paulo…" Mike said in absolute terror. His eyes were watering and he could feel the fur on the back of his neck rising. Hearing the odd tone of Mike's voice, Paulo raised his head and turned around.
"L-look under the door." Mike said to him, beginning to feel bile rising up in his stomach. Paulo looked down.
"What? What is…?" Paulo's voice faded off as he finally understood the cause of Mike's terror. The bathroom light was off.
They both quickly made their way down the dimly lit hallway. Mike was terrified, but it appeared to him that Paulo was much worse off. He was wheezing heavily as they moved, and every few moments he needed to stop and just close his eyes. Mike reassured him multiple times, putting his hand on his back and telling they were gonna be fine, and once they got out they could call the police and everything would be okay. Eventually, Paulo stopped and looked at Mike with bloodshot eyes.
"I'm really sorry, Mike." Paulo sounded exhausted, and Mike was a little worried he would pass out right there.
"I'm sorry I was such an idiot. I mean, that I was always… so mean to you."
"Whatta do you mean?"
"I…" Paulo stood in silence for a minute with a peculiar expression on his face.
"Paulo, are you alright?" Mike asked in concern. Paulo looked down at the floor and gagged. Mike stood next to him and rubbed his back as he gagged several more times, nothing coming out.
The lights once again cut off, but this time there was no bang or explosion; there was merely the noise of the fluorescents clicking off. Both Mike and Paulo stood in silence, not sure of what to do or where to go. Paulo was no longer gagging; for he was too afraid to make the noise.
Suddenly, the bell started to ring, filling the hallway with an ear piercing ringing noise. It continued to ring for what seemed to Mike almost a minute. When it finally came to an end, there was once again absolute silence. The change had been so sudden and dramatic it seemed almost unnatural.
"Paulo?" Mike whispered timidly. There was no response. "Paulo?" He asked again, tears beginning to form in his eyes. Mike felt paralyzed. He couldn't speak, nor could he move. He could only stand there, in the solid black hallways of the schools, his mind fabricating the most absurd and black fantasies possible.
Nearly five minutes had gone by before Mike could finally move once again, and they had seemed to him to be the longest and most terrifying five minutes of his life. He moved down the hallway, one step at a time, trying his hardest not to vomit on the floor, fearing the noise would alert the creature that stalked him.
Mike's perception of time had grown blurred, almost as if he were in a dream, yet everything around him - every feeling, emotion, sound, and sight -; it had all grown almost hyper-realistic. He couldn't help but wonder if he would have been better off in his dream. If being tortured by some demented man from a movie would ultimately serve him better. If his stomach had been feeling better, he would have laughed at the thought. To think he had gotten to such a point! It was insane! Then again, so was the situation.
Mike found himself suddenly filled with an almost unnatural adrenaline and excitement. He had an urge to run, to go as fast as he could towards the exit of the school. He could stay close to the lockers, and as long as he ran his hand along them, he didn't have to worry about hitting any walls. But before he had a chance to bring his plan to action, the lights came on once again. This time they were not dim or flickering, but all the way on. Mike didn't understand what it meant, but he didn't intend to stick around to find out. He quickly moved down the hallway, and soon the quick movement became a job. He could have gone faster, but his heart hurt, his lungs ached, and his stomach churned. He soon had to slow down as the nausea in him rose.
Towards the end of the hallway, he spotted something black on the ground. As he got closer, the object become clearer and clearer, and when he finally realized what it was, he came to a slow, horrified stop. It was a pair of black sunglasses – McCain's. He pushed himself forward, staying as far from the sunglasses as possible, as if they were some venomous snake, gearing up to strike. Before rounding the corner, he did notice one more thing: next to the glasses was a small tuft of orange fur.
Mike didn't stop moving; he couldn't. He knew if he did, that would be the end. He ignored the pain in his body, the fear in his heart, and the sickness in his stomach. He knew he was close; he knew where he was. Only a few more moments and he would be there. He could see the exit before him. Mike thought to himself as he ran: it was amazing how short a distance he had traveled, yet how long a journey it had been.
When Mike arrived at the door, he could see outside through the glass. There was, however, a section of it blocked by a large sign that read "EXIT" in handwritten yellow letters with a large arrow pointing to his left. He ignored the sign and pushed at the door, feeling freedom at his grasp; yet, he was denied. The door did not open, and somehow, much like the door of the attendance office, it was locked.
Tears formed in his eyes as he pushed at the door fervently, not concerned with the loud banging noise it gave off. In his excitement, Mike felt small sobs escaping him. Then, he was interrupted. A loud banging noise, far off through the hallways caught his attention. He turned around, wide eyed and terrified. He heard it again, and then again. It was getting louder, or rather, it was getting closer. Someone was hitting the lockers as they neared him.
Mike didn't know what to do, so he cried. He turned around and tried the door again, praying to God to set him free, but it seemed that no matter how much force he applied, it was never enough. Mike looked at the poorly crafted sign, and looked in the direction it pointed. He saw a door he had never entered before. The sign next to it read: "CUSTODIAN." With great trepidation, Mike walked towards the door and placed his hand on it. The person – or thing – was getting closer to him, and he knew there was no time to waste. He opened the door and saw an empty room. It was oddly small, and he was not sure of its purpose. He imagined it was some kind of break room, but it didn't matter. It was then, in the back of the dark little room, he saw another door. Beneath it he could see a dim light.
Mike closed the door behind him, the loud banging from outside now muffled. He moved towards the next door. He once again placed his hand on the knob and it opened it. Before him were his friends: McCain on the floor, passed out; Abbey awake, but clearly tired and breathing heavy; David in the corner of the room, terrified and vivid with energy and terror. All of their hands were bound.
Paulo was standing, his hands tied to a large, empty, metal encasement. He was leaned up against it, some mysterious figured licking his neck. His eyes were shut tight and his head was off to the side in repulsion.
The figure quickly became aware of Mike's presence, and when it turned around, Mike quickly became aware of its identity.
"What…?" Mike was mumbled. "What is…?"
"Ha," Rachael laughed. "I see you finally found me!"
"I… I don't understand." Mike mumbled, staring at her confused.
"It was me, Mike. I'm the one who was picking you all off… one by one - but don't worry!" She started to move towards him. "I made sure all your friends had plenty of fun!"
"I don't know…" She stopped. "Maybe it is Paulo's body, or David's personality, or maybe even how cool McCain looks in his sunglasses… All I know is I had to do it! I was given an opportunity, Mike. School was out, you'd all be here alone… How could I not do it?" She looked at him coyly. "Now, I believe I have just enough love to give… for one more round." She started moving towards him once again.
Mike backed away from her, suddenly realizing the banging had stopped.
"Who helped you?" Mike blurted out, swallowing hard.
"Hmm?" Rachael asked? "No one! I did this all by myself. Impressive, huh?"
"Stop lying. You couldn't have possibly have been out there banging on the lockers if you were in here torturing Paulo. Plus, even if there was another way in there, you could have never beaten me back. Someone else had to be helping you."
"Banging on lockers? Mike, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm the only-"
The lights cut off.