Thursday Thriller – Rumors

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“Come on!  Let’s go in!”  Andrew tugged on her arm painfully, but her feet were planted on the ground.  She looked at the brown weeds sprouting up through the cracks in the sidewalk, the vast parking lot, sprawling and expanding around them like a gray, concrete ocean.  The empty mall had been sitting there, an abandoned eyesore, for years, since Mona was a little girl.  The town had no idea what to do with the space and no investor would touch it.  So it sat, and the stories began to swirl.  The murders that had supposedly taken place there, the girls who’d slowly started going missing in the years since the mall had been abandoned, the body found buried in a shallow grave, the madman that supposedly lived there in one of the desolate anchor stores.  It made for great scary stories at sleepovers when she and her friends were little, but Mona had never taken the rumors seriously.  It was just a hiding place for homeless people and a spot for losers to  get high.

Andrew tugged on her arm again, flashing that lopsided smile, and she remembered why her mother had warned her about him.  He took her hand and she squeezed it as tightly as she could as she followed him inside, crawling through a gaping hole in a wall that faced a deserted side alley.

The lights were still on.  She could hear the hum of the electricity all around her, despite the fact that the floor was littered with shattered glass, dirty sleeping bags, and trash.  Every fixture had been ripped from the walls and ceiling, signs hung crookedly around them.  “Welcome Back!” A banner screamed, brushing her arm as she walked past trepidatiously.

“This place is super creepy, Drew.  Let’s just go,” Mona pleaded, trying to pull him back.  He didn’t stop, just kept dragging her forward.

“I have something I want to show you.  It’s just around the corner.”

They ducked into one of the abandoned stores.  It was dark and Mona found herself longing for the well-lit corridor, spooky as it was.  There was a shadowy figure curled up in the corner, laying against the wall.  He stood as they approached.  As they grew closer, she could see the strange look in his eyes, the knife gleaming slightly in the sparse light that escaped from the hallway.  Andrew’s grip on her arm tightened; it was no longer safe, reassuring.  He was restraining her.

The stories were true.

 

I have a strange obsession with creepy abandoned malls, which sadly there are many of in certain parts of the U.S.   Enjoy the video if you’re interested!

Gem

house

Every other hotel room, apartment, and house within a hundred-mile radius of the convention was booked.  But somehow, the quaint little cottage with the bright blue door, tucked away in a quiet suburb a few miles from downtown, sat vacant amidst all the hubbub.

“So, what do you think?”  Their realtor, Sara, asked after they’d completed the brief, unnecessary, tour. They would have rented it sight unseen.  It was this or sleeping in a car outside the convention hall.

“I think it’s too good to be true,” Chris piped up before Meg could answer.  “How come this place is vacant?”   Sara lowered her face, shifting her eyes to the door.

“Is something wrong?  You have to tell us.” Meg urged.

Sara sighed.  “This home is where  John Darden, that cannibal murderer, had his first kill.”

Sara turned away, shoulders slumped, resigned to the fact she would never unload this tainted property.

“Sara, wait!”  Meg called after her.  She looked at Chris, her mouth twisting into a hybrid of a grimace and a smile.  “We’ll take it.”

 

Inspired by this news item and written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.