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General

A cherry popsicle, still fresh, was still melting to the sidewalk as Agent Lucan stepped out of his vehicle. A terrifyingly familiar scene, on he’d hoped he wouldn’t need to get used to. The clothes remained, same as the rest, lying flat upon the ground. These, along with the melting popsicle, belonged to a child who couldn’t have been more than 5 years old judging by the shoes. This wasn’t the only victim. As Agent Lucan looked around the typically crowded downtown block, not a single person could be seen, only pile after pile of abandoned clothes.

Agent Lucan lit a cigarette and took an anxious drag. He had never seen anything like this before. He wasn’t sure what could be causing these atrocities, but he was quite sure he was close to finding out.

The horror continued as he sauntered up the street. More and more remnants of former folk appeared to his left and right. There was no blood, no sign of struggle, it was as if they’d never existed; vanished out of thin air. The situation was as peculiar as it was horrifying.

A few buildings ahead, a van had driven into a storefront. The Agent dropped and stepped on his cigarette before cautiously approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and peering inside. Two sets of clothes adorned the front seats and a third was lying just out of the sliding side door. The windshield had been ripped out cleanly, which was unusual as the van had driven straight into the building with no signs of reversing. Whatever had done this had pulled the windshield from the vehicle, a fact that did not sit well with the Agent. He crept back out of the building, trying his best not to disturb any of the broken glass that riddled the storefront.

Stepping back onto the sidewalk, the Agent paused and scanned his surroundings. Nothing looked out of place, if not for the scattered bits of wardrobe everywhere, you would think everything was perfectly fine. You might also think nobody had ever been here in the first place because of how eerily quiet it was. But the silence was deafening to Agent Lucan, he could almost hear the screams that had once held the place of the nothing he was experiencing now. He began walking further down the street. As he passed an alleyway he heard a rustling sound coming from behind a large green dumpster. Gently, but with conviction, the Agent drew his gun and sidled up against the wall of the closest building and began his approach. The rustling continued as he moved closer and closer. The Agent stopped about 15 yards from the dumpster and fixed his gaze intently upon it waiting for the monster to make its move. That’s when it did. An elderly dog stepped out from the shadows and gave Agent Lucan a confused head tilt. Easing his shoulders, he placed his fun back in its holster and stood tall. The dog turned his head and sauntered down the alley. The animal had looked hungry, thought Agent Lucan, but not hungry enough to have eaten an entire city block’s population. The Agent returned to the main street and continued his search. Whatever it was that was happening here was only affecting humans, a fact which the Agent couldn’t tell was strange or not.

The midday sun began to disappear behind the buildings as they grew taller and taller the closer the Agent got to the downtown core. Every block the same scene; silence, pile after pile of forgotten apparel, crashed vehicles, and quiet. There was a huge pileup of vehicles at the intersection Agent Lucan was approaching which seemed impassable without making too much noise so he looked around for another route. He noticed a stray taxi had driven through the lobby of a large office building to his right and elected to check it out. The glass doors had been shattered by the impact of the collision so the Agent moved slowly as to not make too much noise. Once he had cleared the debris, he walked up to the driver’s side of the taxi. There were no clothes inside on either the driver or passenger’s side, and no sign of anything in the back as well. The Agent looked around the lobby for any signs of life but came up short. There was a desk in the centre up against a wall with a hallway leading to some elevators beyond it. The Agent checked behind the desk and saw the remains of what was once a security guard strewn across a chair. He walked behind the desk and slid the chair to the side. There was a monitor with 16 security cameras which the guard must have been keeping tabs on before his fate had been sealed. Agent Lucan watched the monitor for any signs of life, scanning from one box to the others. He watched and watched as moments passed but no movement on any of the screens including the one currently watching him. He looked up at the camera above the lobby desk and it hit him. The camera must have picked up whatever had happened here earlier and he could finally get to the bottom of this. He looked around the desk for a way to find the recordings but came up short. This is just a display monitor, there has to be a computer somewhere that the feed is coming from, he thought to himself. He checked around the desk and came across a binder labelled “directory”. He flipped it open and scanned the entries.

“Server Room” 210. Second floor.

Agent Lucan proceeded down the hall towards the elevators and pressed the call button. The elevator door to his right opened immediately. He looked above the left elevator and saw that the display read “31”. He made a mental note to check out the 31st floor, if the elevator was still there perhaps someone had gone up to hide. As the Agent entered the right elevator, he noticed another garment pile on the floor. None of this had bothered him up until this point but for some reason the idea of being trapped in this elevator with those remains gave him the creeps. He started wondering if he should go find the stairs instead. The Agent composed himself and pressed “2” on the panel.

Nothing happened.

 He pressed it again but noticed the number was not staying lit. Just to the left of the floor options was a large sensor that the Agent realized must work with a fob. Agent Lucan thought for a moment and looked down at the pile of clothes on the floor. Taking a deep breath, he began fumbling through the pile. It didn’t take long to find what he was looking for; he found a set of keys with the fob attached in the front pocket of the former owner’s pants. He waved it across the sensor and tried the floor again. The doors closed shortly after and the agent backed himself up against the wall of the elevator and drew his gun. The doors opened again shortly after and he stepped into the hallway. With no sign of anything or anyone he began moving down the hall watching the numbers ascend.

203 John Collins Psychiatric

204 Filipovic and Partners

He turned a corner and continued down a longer hallway until he reached the door at the end of the hall.

210 Server Room

He tried the door handle and thankfully it was unlocked, which was incredibly lucky as he had never even considered how he would get in if it was locked. Flipping a nearby light switch, the Agent shut the door behind him and took a seat. He wasn’t a big tech guy but after a short browse through the menus on an open security program he was able to find a search option. He set the search to 6 hours ago and checked the cameras. The security guard was seated, alive and well, at his post in the lobby. People were talking in and out of the building, and life went on as normal. He scrolled forward in time until the security guard, along with everyone else, suddenly disappeared about an hour before he had arrived. He scrolled back until the guard reappeared and let the video playback at half speed.

This doesn’t make sense, the Agent thought as once again the video showed no incident. One second he was there, the next gone. He pulled the video back again and replayed at quarter speed. Same result. Realizing this was getting him nowhere, Agent Lucan thought about the 31st floor again, maybe he would find answers there. Besides, he could always return to the server room if he found nothing. The Agent stepped back into the hallway, turning the light off and shutting the door behind him. To say he was beginning to worry about the situation was an understatement but he pressed on. As he approached the call button he looked at the displays above the doors. The left was still on “31” but the right had returned to “M”. Could be programmed to do that but should still be ready, thought the Agent as he pressed the button and backed up, drawing his weapon.

Nothing happened.

He watched for a moment as the numbers refused to change, regardless of the call button being lit up. He approached and pressed the button once again. The displays began to glitch and cycle through numbers randomly. The Agent backed up towards the wall and kept his eyes fixated on the elevator doors. Almost simultaneously, the doors began opening and shutting while the lights in the hallway began flickering. Amidst the chaos Agent Lucan found himself in, he could feel a bead of sweat trickle down the back of his neck as his hairs began to stand on end. All at once the lights went dark, the displays turned black, and the elevator doors slammed shut.

The displays returned, each showing “2” above the doors as they opened up once again, the lights in the hallway returned to life, and a pile of clothes remained where Agent Lucan had been standing.

August 06, 2020 00:28

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3 comments

Elle Clark
16:31 Aug 09, 2020

I. Loved. This. I kept expecting you to make it clear what had happened - i half expected some Christian Rapture link - but I’m so happy you left this as a mystery. Intriguing and engaging all the way through - great writing!

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Shawn O'Connor
20:12 Aug 11, 2020

Wow that's so nice of you, I was definitely worried it would become annoying that nothing reaaaally happened haha, thank you so much for reading! I'm glad you liked it :)

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Elle Clark
21:36 Aug 11, 2020

I think the correct amount of things happened! It was beautifully mysterious from start to finish. If you’re interested and have time, feel free to check out my one - The Order of the Blood Moon.

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