“Bye!” called Harry as Jimmy left the elevator.
“Thanks!” shouted Jimmy. “See you tomorrow!”
The elevator doors closed again, and the sounds of humming can be heard as the metal room gradually made its way up the massive glass skyscraper. While he waited, Harry checked his phone.
It was 8:15 PM. Just enough time to stop in the break room for some lunch before heading to the next meeting. The elevator dinged and Harry picked up his briefcase and stepped out into the dark hallway. He frowned and looked around as he tried to work out what he was seeing. Nobody was there as far as he could tell. He was alone on the highest floor of the office. He cautiously looked around and spotted a faint light purple glow in the distance. Not knowing what else to do, he followed the light, assuming the staff were on break or testing a new product.
“Hello?” he asked.
As if in response, the purple light vanished. Leaving Harry alone in the dark. Harry looked around wildly, desperately trying to see through the darkness before him. “Hello…?”
A light sprung up out of the corner of his eye and he slowly turned to see the faint purple light at returned. This time on the opposite end of the room. He cautiously took a step forward, trying his hardest to stay as quiet as possible to the curious light. A floorboard creaked and Harry stopped. The light flickered for a few seconds, but it did not go out. Harry was relieved and he continued to approach the strange light. Was this a joke? Where was everyone?
A couple seconds later, he was right in front of the stray purple light, which turned out to be a small flickering orb. Harry carefully reached out a hand to the orb, while trying to be as quiet as possible. The orb seemed to have a mind of its own, backing away slightly as if it were hesitant about Harry’s bold approach.
“It’s okay, little guy,” whispered Harry. “I’m not going to hurt you…”
As if in response, a gnarly hand reached out of the darkness above the orb and grabbed Harry’s shoulder.
“AHH!” shouted Harry and to his dismay, the orb snuffed out.
“Harrrryyyyyyyy…” hissed a voice.
“Who… who… who’s there…?” stuttered Harry as he tried his hardest to see through the darkness (Though he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to).
Just then, light purple flames sprung up and within the flames was the head of Jimmy. His face was wrinkled and twisted. His teeth had rotted out and his fingernails had grown unusually long.
“Jimmy…?” gasped Harry.
“DIE NOW,” roared Jimmy’s head and it barred its teeth and began to float towards Harry. Another mysterious disembodied hand reached out of the darkness and grabbed Harry. Then another and another.
The evil head began to chuckle as it got closer and closer to Harry. It’s laughing resonated throughout the office building like that of a cathedral hall. Jimmy’s head was now only a couple feet away. Now a foot. More hands reached out and grabbed Harry’s arms and the young employee couple believe he was going to die like this. At the hand of his own colleague. He-
“SURPIRSE!” shouted many voices.
The lights clicked on almost immediately and Jimmy’s head, the hands, and the purple light vanished immediately. Harry looked around wildly trying to figure out what was happening. His boss, his coworkers, and his friends were all around him wearing birthday hats and holding plates with cake on them. Harry, whose heart was still racing like mad, sighed a sigh of relief. It had been a hoax. A prank that clearly had been designed to scare him.
“So, what do you think?” asked Mr. Gluen, Harry’s supervisor.
“It was quiet a surprise, that’s for sure,” replied Harry, who shivered.
“What do you mean?” asked Mr. Gluen with a curious expression.
“That whole situation involving Jerry? That was genius…” laughed Harry.
“Jerry?” asked Mr. Gluen with a frown. “You mean this guy?” He held up a newspaper headline and upon reading it, Harry’s heart stopped. For the headline in question read this sickening statement: “Employee Found Dead This Morning. Rouge Driver In Custody.”
Prompt: "Bye!" you called as the person you were with got into an elevator. As the doors shut, they waved. They were never seen again.
Written by Andrew Zellgert © 2022