Thriller Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

I grabbed a quick drink before started to deal with what was in store. The amount of people that came to these things always seemed to amaze me, even after all of these years. Some of the crowd was already leaving, trying their best to be at the front of the line in their cars to get home first. 

The music was still blaring inside, with the crowd of minions still singing along. I stepped towards one of the doors and watched a bit as the cell phones lit up the darkened arena. They swayed to the music and looked like thousands of twinkling stars in the night sky. I was always captivated by how devoted so many people were to bowing down to a set of players on a stage.

I envied the fact that for a few hours, these people could escape their monotonous lives and feel as if they were part of something bigger. 

This, for me though, was my monotonous life. I have seen numerous bands come and go over the years, but never got to escape with them. It was my job to keep an eye on things like the people that drank too much booze, the young ones who wanted to sneak a doobie in the bathrooms or around hidden corners, and the people who wanted to fight over the last generic but very expensive t-shirt that would become extinct once this tour was over. 

The most overwhelming, but the least monotonous of all was the cleaning up at the end of the night. Unless you have done it, you could never imagine what kind of shit show it really can be. I’m all business about it though. Some, on the other hand, find it the highlight of their day.

You never really know what you will find some nights during clean up. Tonight, would be anything but an uneventful night, and none of us had any idea what we would stumble across once the arena was lit up again and the cleaning commenced.  

The band finished up and exited the stage, and the haunting Celtic-like music from a popular video game filled the background. I tossed my cup in the nearest trash bin and headed inside. The many lights turned on overhead, and per usual it was like a mass exodus of people streaming out of all sections of the arena like water rushing through a hose too fast.

I bullied my way through to get to my section to start cleaning up the trash these inconsiderate assholes left laying everywhere. Standing there looking over the arena, I pulled up my long brown hair in a bun and took in the amount of disaster that lay ahead of all of us.

I found a good playlist on my phone and put in my wireless headphones. Section 200 was were I was assigned to start tonight. 

We had a crew of close to 50 on the inside, and another 50 to 100 people in the lobby areas and outside the stadium. We also had to make sure the fans were moving along quickly, as many wanted to nose around to see if they could find a treasure or two that someone may have dropped or left behind. 

Most of the time, it was just people scrambling for handfuls of confetti to show off on social media to prove they had actually been at the show. People were standing up and stretching and grabbing up all their belongings strewn around them in the tiny seats. It all happens more quickly than you would imagine.

Thousands of people gone and scattered in less than thirty to forty-five minutes, and then it would be up to the lobby crew and the outside crew to corral the masses. 

Let me tell you, I have seen some crazy stuff during clean up and it has made me question humanity almost every time I do it. You would not believe what we have come across at these shows, and we are always gloved up. Whatever was found, was always turned in to lost and found, or at least it was supposed to be. I minded my business though.

Of course, we occasionally found money, numerous different kinds of drugs, keys, purses, wallets, random clothing, a full rotisserie chicken, and phones. 

But we also came across some more, let’s say unsavory treasures - Dirty diapers, underwear, tampons, a “used” sock (if you get my drift), and at an outside venue someone actually found a random cooler in the middle of the lawn filled with well…..I’ll let you take a guess. Like I said, we glove up. The highest grade of chemical gloves is something we all had with us at all times. Several pairs.

I started from one end of the row and headed to the end, hitting one row at a time. I had a bag for trash and a bag for treasures. The bag for trash was filled up pretty quickly, and I got it tied up and set it at the end of the row.

Opening a new bag, I got back to work. One thing I forgot to mention about doing this is the different smells you come across. The area that I was cleaning now reeked of urine. So, I had to run back to my cart and grab some strong disinfectant and some cleaning rags. People are pigs. 

I was just zoned out doing what I had to do to get out of here at a halfway decent hour. I had gotten about three rows up when I noticed what looked like bare foot sticking out from underneath one of the stadium seats. I took my glasses off and rubbed my eyes before putting them back on and looking again. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

My first thought was that it was one of those fake appendages that people hung out of their car trunk for a laugh. That thought quickly left my mind when I took a few steps closer. 

There it was, complete with green nail polish and a cheap little gold-plated toe ring. I lifted up the bottom of the seat to really see if what I was seeing was real. It was.

The foot had been severed at the ankle, like it had been ripped off. Not a clean cut, a hurried and frantic cut. Bright yellow pieces of confetti were stuck to the wet tissue surrounding the wound turning it into an ugly orange. I hate the color yellow now. 

My stomach dropped, and the dinner I had a few hours ago was making its way up my throat. I dropped the seat back down and yelled out for security, forgetting that I had a walkie on my hip. I turned quickly, and everything I had in me was now on the floor. Another mess to clean up. Everyone around me heard and turned to look in my direction.

Three or four others close to me came running to my side to see what was going on. 

One guy got on his walkie and let security know what we had found. We all looked down in horror and in silence as two security guards came running up to Level 100 Section 200 Row G. I just stood there in awe of the scene that was unfolding around me.

The security guards told all of us to get back and to go out to the lobby, and one of them got on the phone and immediately called the police. Everyone was mumbling and gasping as we were rushed off. 

I was questioned, since I was the one that found it. They took my statement and then told management the arena was now a crime scene and we were all sent home. I got in my car, still shaken up, and started to head home. I had about a twenty-minute drive. I turned on the local radio station to try to drown out the events of the night.

There was a breaking news report that interrupted the song I had blaring through the speakers. 

--Police in the Metro area are asking citizens for their help in a very disturbing case involving a young lady that has been recovered from the East Side river. The young lady was found late this evening. They are not releasing certain information regarding the case, and the woman’s name has not been released pending the notification of the family.

Police are saying that they received a tip from an unknown person directing them to the location of the body and assuming a role in helping to discard the body to the river. The caller went in to detail about doing it for someone else who was obsessed with the woman.

Noting that this person had been following the young lady for approximately three or more months, and that this wasn't the first time he has done this or the last time he will do this. The caller refused to give a name to the person they were describing and quickly hung up when questioned more.

The police are working on tracing the call. It is unknown at this time if the person that called is actually the one responsible for the horrific incident. Police also mentioned that the woman’s body had been mutilated to some extent, saying there were parts of her body removed. 

Police are warning people to stay cautious of their surroundings and to report any suspicious activity they may encounter. --

I quickly turned the radio off and teared up a little. I felt so bad for the girl that they found and couldn't help but think there was a connection to what had been found at the arena that night.

I turned down my driveway and pulled up to the house thankful that I had turned my porch light on before leaving that night. I grabbed my bag and headed inside.

Paranoid, my head seemed to be on a swivel, and I was so relieved to get inside and lock the door behind me. I knew I would never get any sleep tonight and decided to run a bath to try and soak away the night and watch it wash down the drain when I was done. 

I flipped on my bedroom light to grab some clothes first, and there on the bed was a severed finger lying on my pillow. The same green nail polish from before. I was froze and terrified. When I got my breath back, I ran to the kitchen and got my phone out of my bag and called the police.

I ran clumsily back out to my car and locked the door behind me. I let them know what I had found and they were there in no time. The finger was all they found inside. 

I stayed at a friend's house that night knowing there was no way in hell I could sleep in that bed tonight. 

The next morning, my phone woke me up around 7:00 am. It was the police. They had finally traced the call of the man that called them with the tip about the woman they found in the lake, and he was now in custody.

They were calling me because this same person had numerous personal things of mine in their possession, and random photographs of me at work and of me leaving work and walking to my car. They had matched the foot and the finger to the girl that was found in the lake.

The man in custody was someone I knew and someone I trusted. I had known him for a few years. We had even went on a date or two a while back.

We worked together at the arena. He was even there last night when the poor woman's foot was found, so apparently it was intentional that he left it there knowing that was the section I was assigned to.

I was completely shocked over what I was hearing. I thanked the officer and hung up the phone. My head was in a fog realizing you never really know people or what they are capable of. I knew had they not located him, it most likely would've been me or parts of me they would have found at some point.

I have never been the same after cleaning up in Section 200 Row G, and I suppose I never will be again.

June 10, 2023 00:21

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