I awoke in a shopping mall. The only thing though is that, it's closed and dark, even the security gaurds left. I look up to see the moonlight is peering through the glass only shining on the hallways making a wall between light and darkness. I began calling out hoping that someone would respond. Nothing. I start walking towards the doors to get out. And of course, they're locked. Walked back to a bench hearing only my footsteps clicking the tiles beneath my feet with no other sound in the air. Sat down and looked around. Pretty sketchy stuff. Hallways making sharp turns, caged roll doors blocking store entrances, plants taking shape of people with a quick glance. Pretty scary when you're all alone. A light was reflecting off the tile and gleaming towards me off in the distance. A store light was on. Strange that it is on when the mall is closed. I walked with caution looking through the caged doors to see if something was off. Making my way, I hear footsteps running behind me. Turn around...no one behind me. With fear running through my veins and eyes widening with every step, I didn't take a chance to wait around and see who or what it was. I swiftly glided my steps to make it to the store with the light on to avoid the chance of being followed easily.
Entering into the store, I see that it is lively. Not that there are people moving and talking, but it has something to it that doesn't scare me. Lights are on, pretty nice temperature. It seems perfect. I look around the store. See beds, appliances, books, clothes, turn the corner and a human-size stuffed toy bunny that scared the hell out of me when I accidnetly went right into it. It’s big black button eyes staring at me. Creeps me out. I get closer to the eyes. Feels as if someone is watching me inside of it. With all the relief I have inside me thinking that I am safe in here, it goes awry. I saw another store light in the corner of my eye. Looked outside the store to see mannequins across the hall. Shivers run up my spine and it crawls through my skin. With the breath that I once had, now disappears as an uneasy feeling molds in my mind. There have to be 5 mannequins in that place, all staring at me. I run over to the entrance of the store I’m in, close the door and lock it. No way, am I leaving this place now.
I stand staring at the mannequins for minutes on end. Pace back and forth trying to entertain myself with quick made up songs and thinking of jokes to tell. I was so lost in my head that I didn’t notice the lights in the other store were flickering. Standing still, I stared at them watching the brightness of the lights go in and out, growing dimmer and dimmer with every second. Electricity sounds come in and out of the store zipping and zapping with last life effort being put into it. Lights completely shut off. Not knowing what to do now, I wait. I wait hoping that this could all be over soon and the mall will open with people moving around and lights just shining down as if it were to be the Heavens calling.
The phone rings with a high pitched sound piercing my ears bringing me back to this mall. I go over and slowly pick it up. I answer, “Hello?”
No response. Just soft breathing coming through. End of the call. I put down the phone and immediately, it rings again. I jump in fright. Not wanting to answer, I barely pick up the reciever with my hand as my fingers did all the work. I slowly put the phone against my ear and talk as I’m scared. “Who is this?” I ask, “What do you want?”
The person slowly, on the other end whispers,
“Shhhhh. Go to sleep.”
The long continuous sound of the ringing goes on when the person hangs up. I put down the phone and walk steadily towards the front window. The lights are on at the other store. But, one mannequin is missing. Gone! Don’t know where it could have gone. I look from side to side of the hallway through the glass to see if it was anywhere near. Can’t tell, it is too dark. I thought to myself, “Well, if I’m in here and locked the doors, they can’t get me. The glass is shatterproof,.... I hope.”
I jumped in shock and turned to the side where the sound came. A mannequin is right outside the window in front of me. I immediately walk back staring at it. Not letting my eye off of it. It is holding something. Looks like a piece of paper. Old and crinkly. Definitely has age to it. I carefully walk up to the glass staring at the faceless mannequin. The paper has writing on it. It reads, “You’re not the only one in there.” Scared and realizing that this could be it.
Searching calmly and collectively, there was no one else in here, not even a mannequin. It must be just messing with me. Not knowing what to do, I remembered when I got in here, there was a janitor room with a light and open doors. Looking through the glass ceiling, I saw that there were hatches around the roof. If common sense serves me well, there would have to be a ladder in that room that goes to the roof and I can get the hell out of here. I get ready. I make sure I’m mentally well enough to run for the janitor's room and just push on the door when I enter and shut it and lock it. Look at the mannequin outside the store and say “Okay, I got this. I’m already. I know what to do. When it leaves, I go.” 5 minutes go by...10 minutes go by. 20 minutes go by and nothing happens. The faceless mannequin didn’t move an inch. Oh my god, what is going to happen? When is it going to happen? I decided to not waste anymore time. I went to the doors to unlock them, and then the other store lights went out. Mine went out. Now’s the time.I unlocked and bolted for the janitor's room. I glanced over quickly, the lights where the mannequins are are turned on. But all the mannequins are gone now. My mind has one thought, “RUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUN!”
My heart pounding, breathing hard and heavy, my legs are shattering inside with every force that is exhibited to the ground. My mind is just out there. Nothing to think of. No emotion inside me. Just run. I hear footsteps coming towards me, running, as I reach the janitor's room. I ran right into the wood and made a “BANG!” Smacked the door right into a brick wall. I heard something fall that sounded like metal, I didn’t care though as time is against my side. With a quick turn, the mannequins are moving mechanically, horrifically fast at me. Pressing my body against the door shut so the mannequins can’t come in. They are crashing and smashing into the door. The door is cracking. I reach for the knob to lock it. There is no knob. Breathing heavily and feeling a rush come onto my brain, I can’t breathe properly.
“Oh where is it? It must have fallen next to the wall when it broke.”
I look and feel for it. Nothing.
“I don’t know what to use.”
With nothing at hand to help barricade the door, I try to outlast the rampage that is going on. Screaming and smashing against the door. I don’t know how it lasted this long. Slowly, but surely, all the rage that was happening outside the door stopped and footsteps were fading in the distance. Still with full effort, I didn’t want to risk it. I yet still used all my strength to keep the door shut. I look around the room within reaching distance to find something to jam the door.
“A wedge.” With a sigh of relief out of breath, “That should help.”
I place the wedge under the door and slowly let my weight off the door. Less and less is put on. I was free at last and took a couple of moments to process everything that just happened. With all the fear that was exhilarated throughout, the knob was right next to my feet.
“This would’ve been so handy earlier.”I took the half dented knob and placed it in the wooden hole. Click. I turn the knob and lock it.
I look around the room. Pretty big. There is a map of the mall and a list of numbers to call for certain situations. If only they had one for someone trapped in the mall with mannequins. This place is kinda scary. Pipes going every which direction, tools scattered about, old containers of cleaners littering the floor. Nothing important though. The A.C turns on and hums throughout the entire room. A cool breeze blows on my face. I feel much more relaxed. Searching for the ladder, I eventually found it. Went up with great joy and determination. I knew nothing could stop me. I reach the rusty circular handle and crank it. Well, I tried to crank it. It must be rusted shut. There’s a key hole though and I suspect it opens the hatch as a whole. I go down the rings that creak and bend with every movement. I reach the cold stone floor. There is a faded, paint-chipped red door lined against the outside of the room. The door isn’t even shut. I pushed the door slightly to see that there are...sewing machines? In a janitor’s room? There are all kinds of materials. Fabrics, linen pieces, cotton stuffing and strings and buttons. There are a bunch of papers though mountaining to the ceiling. All faded, dirty, old, yellow with the logo of the mall on the top center with the year, 1954. One piece falls out and it has faded pencil writing. it’s scribbled, as if a child wrote. It read, “Help I’m trapped inside a fluffy animal.”
Author Notes: Please rank this story and leave comments telling me what I did right, wrong, liked or hated. Thanks. Much Love. Keep on Rockin'!