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Allen Clarke Allen Clarke
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She had a friend.

Once again, I'm back to disturb you. I hope you don't mind me too much. I get a certain relish at the thought of imagining you squirm. The imagination can be be a wondrous thing. And then again, it could be your possibly, worst friend.

It's late at night.You're alone in a sprawling building. Four floors, to be exact. All you have at your disposal for is a reasonably...sane...mind, and a heavy-duty flashlight. Yeah, the big, chunky kind that would give somebody...or something, the mother of all lumps on the bejjogen.

This is what you do for a living. While the city sleeps, you do your endless rounds. The hours drip by like molasses off an old maple. Every echoing sound has...character of its' own. Oh, sure, they try to convince you that "it's only the building (ahem) settling.But, do you really believe it? Now, don't get me wrong! I'm not trying to psyche you out or anything of that nature.They tell me, now and again, that they think that I may be a little"touched" myself.

I've been at this for going on five years now. You see, they have me on a rotating shift. Two nights on with a break in the middle followed by two afternoon shifts.Yeah, sometimes a guy gets to feeling like a damn bastardly flipping pancake. If you can handle the flip-flop, a guy can kind of get used to it. Oh, sure once in awhile, you get that sense that your body is trying tell you,'Hey, Charlie, what the hell are you doing??'

   You're situated somewhat on the outskirts of town.There's a bit of traffic around you. It's funny but it's gotten so that every time a car passes by you get to wishing that they would stop in for a little visit. And it gets to be kind of a let-down when they don't. Go figure, eh?

   You are required to do an inside check and an outside check every hour. There's surveillance cameras all over the building. However, there are a lot of blind spots. I mean, it would be a horrendous expense to cover every nook and cranny. Right? That's why I am the eyes where there are no cameras.The building is well lit. So, what could possibly happen? Out of the ordinary, that is. Right?Hey, you, yeah you with your nose stuck on that I-phone!What am I...chopped liver???

Wait! What was that noise? Sounded like a woman crying. I ain't dissing you neither!Jesus,some nights around here is just some sort of meeting place for...well, let's just say, noises without seeming origin.I know a guy gets sorta disoriented doing this grave-yard shit shift, but I can't always blame the old age thingy.

Oh, well, at least I'm not resorting to that ever popular "found tape" craze which still seems to be going on these days.By the way, buddy...what have you written lately which might otherwise pass as something barely mediocre?Oh yeah, where was I? Oh yeah, those that can't write...criticise. C'mon, buddy, check your pulse.

Oh, yeah, where was I? Must be that onset of Alzheimer I've been sensing lately.Note to self: Must see Sigmund again. Must make an appointment, tout de suite! On the slightly creepier side...I have been disturbed of late, by certain unexplained events. Will o' the wisp being one of them.At times, as I'm peering onto the monitors of our surveillance system, I catch something out of the corner of my eye. My good eye, that is.It appears like a flash of white as it flickers across my peripheral. I know I saw it! Whatever"it" might constitute. For you see these things nocturnal happen with such frequency that I've actually come to expect such things. And these things occur usually around 3 in the am.

    One of the other guards tells me that whatever it is that I've seen is not that unusual. Don, is quite a buff, as it pertains to supernatural phenomena. At times, Don speaks in a dry monotone of certain residual inexplicable occurrences that he's personally witnessed on the midnight shift. He speaks with a certain relish of demonology. He knows them by name, as though, they were long-lost cousins. Oh, yes, they ( the fallen angels) have names. Of course, this knowledge is not his own. No doubt, he has gleaned his enlightenment from reams and reams of long-forgotten lore. Even though, Don wonts to sound like an authority on such dark matters.I suspect Don might have a few personal"pet demons" of his own.But, then again, don't we all?

Speaking of Darkness...well, let's just say...I'm well acquainted with the dark, velvet of night. You see, it's my...element, so to speak. Where others might cherish the fullness of the blazing daylight hours. Me, well just go ahead and call me odd-ball.You have my kind permission. You see, I've been called everything else, so go ahead. Take your best shot. Go on, just get beast, if it helps you vent your spleen. Call it therapy, at the best rate in town.

The Chapter of Two

    As you walk the halls, you feel their eyes on you. This feeling is not easily explained.Nor is it easily defined,and, by no means, is it processed easily, in the cerebral cortex. Or for that matter, in any hemisphere of the brain. It's not unlike attempting to chart an unknown country ...blind-folded.

    You hear sounds, as you traverse your nightly pathway. Some may be easily discounted as, " the building settling". Yeah, right! Where did I hear that explanation before? And what about that sudden chill you feel as you're sitting there watching the monitors? Oh, yeah, it's as though I can read your mind. "It must be the AC kicking in, you say". Well, the problem with that theory is that they don't leave it on at night.

    And what about those moments when you feel your skin crawl, at no seeming provocation? The hair on the back of your neck moves. And then the night sweats start. Wait, maybe it's just that "monkey suit" you're forced to wear. It feels like a sweat suit. Especially in the summer.

Hi, It's me again. Yeah, the new,"Stephen King." I'm alone again, at this writing. I'm writing, in real time, so to speak.My material is fresh tonight.My work mate just left at 4. Bev is a good old gal. She's one of those rare individuals who doesn't scare very easily. Weird, huh? It's strange how it gets real quiet when you're alone in a building. I'm sure you know of the thing which I speak.Or do you? There's people in this world who would not be caught dead or alive ,alone,anywhere.
    It's nearing winter now. That means there's less daylight as we approach a new season.So,I do not have the comfort of anticipating the end of night. At least not so soon these days.I have music to drown out my melancholy. Allan Poe never had such a soothing companion. Far into the dark, I venture to make the almighty dollar. I don't mind. Really, I don't. Well, at least that's what I keep trying to tell myself.
    I comfort myself with the thought that I'm doing this for my family.I stay up all night while they sleep. Still, it's good to know that they are warm, tucked away in their beds. And this old man now needs to walk another round.

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