“Para(not)normal Investigators”

“JESUS CHRIST,” Evaline screamed as the brick that nearly fell on her head broke on the floor. It was the  fifth brick in nearly an hour. “I’m starting to regret taking this job,” the brunette muttered as she shook the dust out of her hair. Sticking her head out through a rotting doorway, she surveyed the hallway. Like the rest of the building, the floor was  glossed with brownish green moss,  was covered in irregular shaped holes, and the stench of decay and rust stood in the dank air. She could feel a mild breeze from the woodworm infested windows ahead of her; it was the only sense of warmth she had  felt since entering the building. She stuck her head back inside and looked at her crew.

They weren’t a big group: a group of four, four twenty something year olds with too much time on their hands and too little judgement on their lives.  Evaline, the involuntary leader, was not as fierce as she tried to play off. With a tiny figure and hair that made her look like Tinkerbell, she was as feisty as you can be at five foot zero, which is to say not much. She was the narrator while the camera was rolling.

The cameraman, Lawrence , was the lovable idiot of the group. Standing at six foot three, he was as slender and lanky as an unbaked french baguette, had a messy nest of dark inky hair, and had a face of an angsty cherub. He recorded all of their adventures, however a better term for him would be a paranormal investigative roadie. Maxwell, the other boy of the group, was an adamant atheist. Every encounter was merely an anomaly in the laws of nature, according to his deep cobalt eyes and thick wavy golden hair. This handsomely skeptical boy stood at five foot five, being the group’s realist.

Finally, the trump card of the group was Alice, who seemed to be always teeming with crazy thoughts, most of them borderline homicidal.  Her short, blood red hair was cut neatly and it had almost as many physical layers as Alice had emotionally. They kept her in case anything went wrong and they needed to run away.

This odd conglomeration of people were a team of paranormal investigators, or at least that’s what they called themselves. Going around the country, they seeked out strange occurrences and tried to film and analyze whatever was happening. They did this in order to get the “truth” out to the public. And money. People paid surprisingly large amounts of money to see other people in dangerous situations.  This particular case took them to a supposedly haunted middle school outside of Colzmar, New Jersey.

“Let’s just get whatever more footage we need and hightail it out of here. If we stay here any longer, we’ll probably-” Lawrence  was cut off.

“Die?” Alice said, turning her head to the side. Her hands were clasped together behind her back confidently; she showed no fear, as opposed to Lawrence  whose shoulders were hunched over and was slightly rocking from side to side.

Maxwell intercepted their conversation.

“If anything we’ll die from hypothermia, or perhaps maybe a concussion from all the falling debris. No! Better yet! We’ll all die from an infectious bacteria since little miss straight jacket over here won’t stop touching everything.”

“It’s not my fault if weirdly colored things catch my attention okay. I’ll have you know-”

Evaline continued to look at her group of meddlesome idiots for a few seconds until looking down at the floor and sighing. “I really do hate all of you, and my life, and every single worthless apparently non-existent ghost in this god forsaken-”

Another brick fell behind her; her scream echoed throughout the room.

And that was the routine they followed for the next few hours: film, complain, stop, complain, continue filming. However, as the night progressed, it slowly became clear that they weren’t the only ones in the building. It started with small scratching sounds on the shattered wooden doors, but soon morphed into thunderous knocks surrounding the group. Dread slowly began to creep into Evaline’s chest as she willed her stiff legs to walk towards the door. Maxwell, visibly frightened, staggered to the middle of the room all the while whipping his head around to face each mighty blow to the walls.

“Geez, what sort of animal do you think it is? Bats? Rabies-infected possums?”

“I can only hope it’s both,” Alice giggled.

The knocks stopped as Lawrence lifted the bulky camera to the cracked ceiling, letting it capture the faint outline of a shadowy figure before the lens was crushed by a falling brick. Glass shattered everywhere, causing everyone to jump. The force of the brick’s impact made Lawrence  fall in the opposite direction. Sticking out his hands to balance himself,  his palms landed directly on the the shards of glass.

“OUCH!” Lawrence howled as the sticky, scarlet liquid stained his sliced hand. Pieces of glass were lodged into his skin and the sight of blood made everyone panic frantically, everyone except Alice who couldn’t help but laugh hysterically.

In all the confusion, the hecticness, the distraction, no one had realized that the shadow had disappeared from the ceiling.  It resurfaced right where Lawrence  had fallen. It resurfaced directly from the pool of blood on the floor.  In a matter of seconds the shadow grew almost as tall as the room itself,  absorbing all the light around them. Humanoid looking, but horribly disfigured, the shadow’s eyes glowed a vibrant yellow color and rows of prickly red teeth were visible between the deep gaps in its face.

Slowly, every drop of the dim light was taken until there was nothing but darkness, one ever lasting shadow that engulfed the kids like a whirlpool. The only sounds were confused and scared gasps of air, but soon everything went silent.

The silence was broken by a low snarl, the darkness by a pair of bright yellow eyes which seemed to pierce the blackness with only a blink. Their screams were swallowed by the void.


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