Ok here we go….
After Caleb’s appearance in my room, we saw and heard nothing. It was starting to feel like I had dreamt it all up. The only reminder that all this was real was Frankie.
“I hate it when its slow,” one of the employees said.
“Are you kidding there is always something to do?” I said cheerfully. “You guys can mop the warehouse, file the stacks and stacks of invoices, clear out the supply bins, clean up the offices…”
“Ok we get it we get it!”
I laughed and headed to my office. As I was about to sit down, I heard a lot of commotion. I sighed and walked back into the main office.
“You guys seriously. I don’t feel I need to stop and point out ..” Everyone was just staring at me and at one of employees who just walked into the office from lunch.
“Whats wrong,” I asked.
“There is a weird van parked out front.”
I shrugged, “So?”
“It’s been out there for three days now. It doesn’t move. Even at night.”
These guys were trying to avoid work. “Someone’s van must have broken down. We will give them another day to claim it and if we don’t see anything we will get in towed. Now come on you guys get back to work!”
“Wait you don’t understand. The van is always on, it’s always running.”
“Is someone in it?”
Another employee spoke up, “That’s the weird part. The van is on. No one would leave a car running just like that. I went to knock on the doors but the windows are tinted so dark you can’t see anything. Yet the van just sits there. The other night, I got in real late. The van was there running and just sitting there. No movement or anything.”
“Creepy,” someone said.
“Ok well I’ll go ask the guy to move. And if he refuses, ” I said, “then I’ll be forced to call the police. He is on private property.”
I opened the door and walked out. These guys are always looking for excuses to slack off.
I knocked on the door of the white van. Like the guys had said, it was running. The windows were so dark I could not make anything out. I wondered if even the driver could see.
I pounded this time.
Was it possible someone just abandoned this white van? I lifted the handle to the door and I waited for the click. Slowly I opened the door.
No one was sitting in the driver seat nor the passenger’s.
I heard my name called. I turned back around. Frankie and a few of the employees were outside calling out to me.
I lifted my hand up telling them to wait. I got into the van. There was no trace of anyone driving it. It was almost brand new. I noticed their was no separation to the cargo area. I stepped in, the door closing behind me. Crouching, I entered the cargo area. Everything was empty except a dark small figure to the very corner. I creeped over to it.
I touched it and felt instant coldness. I turned it over and there was the most gruesome face I had ever seen. An old woman was dead in the van, her face was twisted in an expression that I will never forget. I suddenly felt the water under my feet. I screamed as I fell back. The van was full of water.
I was scratching to get out… but I was suffocating. The water was getting higher. I was yelling out. And then it all went black.
I woke up yelling and found myself in my apartment. One of my employees ran to me, “It’s ok. It’s ok. You’re safe! You’re safe!”
I stopped struggling, “Wh-what happened?”
“It’s ok, we are in your apartment,” she said.
I looked around. I didn’t recognize anything. What was going on? What happened? I was getting out of the bed when it hit me… the woman! The woman in the van! She was dead!
“Where is the woman?” I demanded. “Where is the van?”
“It’s ok the police are here. We called them.”
“You went into the van to see if there was a driver. Don’t you remember?”
I shook my head, “Not completely.”
“We heard you screaming so we rushed over it. You were screaming and we found the woman. You thought you were drowning or somethng. We tried to get you out but you were fighting us. You blacked out from shock.”
“Where was the water coming from?”
“There was no water.”
I got off the bed and approached her, “There was water in the van. It just started filling up when I discovered the woman. There was water!”
“No there wasn’t. You went into shock. You imagined water.”
“I know what I saw. I was drenched in it.”
We were quiet. Shortly after Frankie came into the room.
“Are you ok?”
I told him all that had happened.
“The police don’t have any leads on who killed the woman. She lived in this neighborhood. They are running the van but so far nothing has come up.”
That night I could not sleep. I walked to the warehouse and into my office. How could I feel safe even in my own home? Things were happening that I could not explain. Several minutes later I heard the door open and close. I got up and cautiously walked to entry way of my office.
“Whose there?” I yelled.
“Just me,” the voice said. I let out a sigh of relief. Frankie.
I grabbed a flashlight and said, “Come on. I have been meaning to fix the furnace. Now is a good as time as any. Besides no one ever wants to come into the warehouse because it’s so cold.”
Together we walked to the warehouse and approached a small stair way that led to the floor down. I looked up. Frankie was looking down and not moving.
“Come on Frankie. I need your help.”
He didn’t move.
” It’ll be you and me. And there are more flashlights down there. Its ok.”
He made his way slowly down the stairs. Truth is, I was scared too. I was glad Frankie was with me. Anything was better than thinking and being alone.
The lower level was dark except a small light that beamed from the furnace. The furnace was huge and out of date. It went out on me every fall. I approached the side panel and pulled it out looking at the wiring. Frankie stood behind me.
“Grab a light will you,” I asked pointing over to a supply closet.
Frankie did as he was told. He walked back when he saw something out of the corner of his. Nothing. Stop freaking out, he told himself.
He held the light so I could see but anxiously looked around. Again, something flashed in the side corner of his eye, making him drop the flashlight.
“What?” I yelled startled.
“I saw something.”
“Don’t be alarmed,” I said trying to break into confidence, ” there are mice down here. Who knows what else.”
As I turned back to the furnace, I saw a flash of something too. I stopped dead in my tracks. Frankie backed into me. Again another flash. It wasn’t light. It was like a rush of air. We were seeing something materializing in the flash of air. And just as quickly as we saw it, it would disappear. Behind me I heard a small voice. It was extremely distant and muffled. I turned around.
There was Caleb. His face was in fear. He raised his arm and pointed in the direction we had been looking. His face twisted in a scream.
“I think she is here,” my voice trembling.
The flashes continued and a deafening sound that we could not make out pierced into our heads. I covered my ears and did Frankie. The sound was starting to make out . It was laughing. A woman’s laugh.
I looked down. There floor was starting to get fill in with. We panicked. The stairs seemed like there were miles away. The water started coming in faster.
I dragged my feet and pulled Frankie through the water.
I pointed to the stairs and he nodded. We were almost there, when we heard her say, “Frankie”. It was deep low whisper.
It stopped us in our tracks. I looked at Frankie. He was more scared than I have ever seen him before. So was I.
“That’s it Frankie. This is never going away until we do something,” I yelled over the water gushing.
“No,” he pleaded.
“Frankie, we gotta try to stop her. Aren’t you tired?”my voice was raising. I was scared but getting angry every minute.
I moved as quick through the water as I could. It was past our ankles now and still rising. I grabbed the only thing I could find on a nearby bench. A 2×4.
“Show yourself!” I yelled. “Show yourself! You want us, you got us!”
There no answer. I looked at Frankie.
“I know you want Frankie. Here he is!”
Frankie stared at me in horror.
Before I could move, she appeared before me. She was the dead woman in the van.