Standing there, across the room, facing the wall, was… me. At that instant of recognition I could not feel my body, it seemed as though my eyes had gone wider than normal, I heard no sound and I stopped breathing. Then a strong THUMP in my chest, a wave of electric mixed with terror and disbelief cascaded from my chest to every extremity. I stood there gaping as the person slowly turned around to face me, a sickeningly wide smile on his… on my face, looking at me through the vacuum of empty sockets. He only smiled but I felt the rumble of a deep sound. My eyes tore themselves away from the frightening sight and I sucked in a breath of air as I tried to yell, all while ripping myself away from that spot and hurtling down the corridor. My legs moved on their own accord and I slammed into the elevator door before pounding on the button. I was shaking and shouting and looked down the corridor, expecting and dreading to see the terrifying being coming after me. The hallway was SO QUIET AND EMPTY it drove me insane, the anticipation, the fear, the disbelief, and then ding!
The elevator had arrived and even as the doors opened I stumbled in, pounded the buttons, hoping to hit the G for Ground, then slammed on the Close button while my eyes darted around, still wide, checking if it had followed me. The doors closed and I pressed myself into a corner, suddenly aware of my shouting and how it hurt my ears in that small space. I was shaking, shaking like mad and on the verge of tears. After what seemed like forever the doors finally opened and I ran out, yelling for help, into the arms of the security guard on duty that night.
My legs gave way and I sobbed, tried and failed to speak, clutching at his pants for dear life. His partner ran over and together, by some miracle, they managed to sit me, and calmed me down enough for me to sputter words along the lines of ‘thing’ ‘upstairs’ ‘looks like me’ ‘pantry’ ‘there is’.
Honestly my memory of that entire hour is fuzzy, marked by bright flashes, a blur of activity and the panic that had consumed me.
I don’t know what happened next but the rest of the night swirled past and I eventually woke up at home next to my wife, still clutching her nightgown.
It goes without saying that my experience that night rocked my being and shook and collapsed what used to be my firm understanding and belief of this life. It seemed so unreal, what I had seen, yet I knew without a doubt that it was no figment of my imagination. And like the previous incident, nobody that didn’t belong was found on the compound. All that was left was a cup of coffee on the counter, made by an unknown entity, in what turned out to be a mug that never was from our pantry to begin with. In fact I personally doubt if it was indeed coffee in the mug… But I shudder to think of the possibilities. The mere recollection of that night still sends chills down my back.
Monday came, and Frederickson walked with me to the pantry, all the while keeping a firm grip on my arm. We didn’t have to get so close to see they had boarded up the place, with no way to get in… or out. As alarming as the story was, all of us decided against moving to another floor, and we continued working in our same labs, on that same floor.
Till this day management refuses to tell us why they decided to board up the room, or if they had any idea what was going on, but I get the feeling they’re as much in the dark as we are. In fact, with time we got to know a bit more of whatever it was that now resided in the old pantry.
At first we were alarmed, it got us on our toes, but today we are no longer bothered by the sounds that come from that sealed off room. No one has been harmed, and I know it sounds strange, but… I get the feeling that whatever is in that room was not malevolent, but… childlike, with an odd sense of humour. In fact I would go so far as to say that that one time a chance short circuit had started a fire, it was that thing in the room that had a hand in putting it out, even before the smoke detectors were activated.
And on some nights when I’m busy at work, I get the feeling that someone is watching me… either from behind the curtains or somewhere on top of the cupboards… But you get used to these sort of things.