Boo! – A Short Story

“Come on, Ben, don’t let me down!”

“….O.K, I’ll do it.”
 
Idiot, idiot, idiot! Why do I always have to let myself get roped into it?
 
That conversation had been replaying in my head all night, and I’d been constantly berating myself. Now I was crouching behind an empty drum outside the un-used warehouse, waiting for Jimmy’s signal.
 
Last time we were here, Jimmy, Andy and me, we laughed and scoffed, trying to scare each other. After all, the tales of the haunted warehouse were just tales, right…? But that night….
 
**
“You know…I heard it’s haunted by an old forklift driver. They say, he’d been drinking before his night shift, and everyone else had called in sick.
 
He was moving a stack of pallets, when suddenly; one of them falls off to the side, with a loud ‘BANG’!” Me and Jimmy jumped and startled, and he laughed and went on, “So he got out to put it back on…but just as he reached down to pick it up….”
 
BANG!
 
We all sprinted for the fence, scrambling under the gap and kept running. Jimmy was the first to stop. “Hey guys!” he called out, “There’s nothing chasing us!”
 
We stopped at that, and caught our breath, our faces red from more than just running. Jimmy was grinning at us, rubbing it in that he’d been first to stop and least scared, so I said something stupid to save face.
 
“Let’s go back then!” It wiped the grin off his face, but it was right back on a second later.
 
“Alright, lets go check it out. Was probably just something falling over, right?”
 
“Yeah, I guess so…” Andy was more easily scared than us, as always.
 
At that, we headed back under the fence and towards one of the windows. But as we got closer, we could hear mumbling, as though someone was talking from behind…or beneath,..something. Next came a loud scraping, like something dragging against concrete…
 
When a shadow passed the window, I was the first to run, the others a second behind me.
**
 
So now, we were back to check it out again. Andy was behind a dumpster off to my left, and I had no idea where Jimmy was.
 
“Hoo-t, hoo-t!” came his ‘owl call’; if we made it through this, I’d give him a good hit for mimicking a bird he’d never heard. Andy’s laugh came out from behind the dumpster, and I couldn’t help joining in as I headed towards where Jimmy had called from.
 
“Shhhhhh! Can’t you guys stay serious?” Jimmy said, with an angry look, followed by a nervous look at the window.
 
Andy, coming towards us now, replied, “Hoo-t? How many birds can make a hard ‘t’ sound?”
 
“Oh…whoops, shoulda gone with something I knew. Anyway, let’s get back to it.”
 
We crept up to the window and tried peering in, but it was covered in something black and we couldn’t see a thing.
 
“SCREEEEE!” came the sound of scraping on the floor, making us all jump. We stood our ground this time, not letting it get to us. Andy was looking ready to run at the slightest thing.
 
We crept around towards the doors, me in front this time. I turned to the others, breathed deep and asked, “Ready…?” They both just nodded a bit, too scared to talk.
 
I opened the door slowly until I could fit my head through and see. A yellowish light was coming out from the gap. After one last look back at Andy and Jimmy, I peered inside…and saw the last thing I’d expected.
 
I quickly pulled my head back and whispered to the others, “Run!” and led the way, the other two probably confused and scared right behind me.
 
“BANG! SCREEE! BANG!” came from behind us, and we picked up our pace, running until we couldn’t go any further.
 
Between breaths, Andy asked, “What….was it?”
 
“Worse than a ghost…” and I told them what I saw; a lone chair in the middle of the warehouse, a girl tied to it, with a pleading look in her eyes as she noticed me. Two older men with guns, watching her with bored expressions on their faces.
 
“We gotta tell someone,” suggested Jimmy, “My house is closest.”
 
—————–
 
A few hours later, we were back at the warehouse, police in tow. It was over in minutes, the men in the back of cars, and one of the policemen came to talk to us.
 
“So what made you boys come out here this late at night?”
 
I looked over to the girl being looked over next to the ambulance. She smiled at me shyly, and I smiled back.
 
“Ghost stories.”
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