The old gymnasium

Submitted into Contest #169 in response to: Start your story with a character encountering a black cat.... view prompt


Fantasy Fiction High School

A black cat crossed the road as the two boys crossed the second block. It was the last Saturday of the full moon and the boys were ready to execute the plan. They had collected enough evidence over the past couple of days and Trey had come up with a genius plan. He was always the brain of the operation and Jonathan was supposed to be the muscle.

“This Saturday” he said. “We will finally solve the mystery of the old gymnasium.”

When Saturday came the day was gloom and the sun was shy to appear. They rode their bikes with Trey in the lead. Jonathan was could not stop thinking about the rumors. He rode silently and slowly all the way to Graham Street. At the end of the stringing houses that appeared deserted, there was a small ditch were they dumped their bicycles.  

The paranormal reporters of J.W High were on the scene this today. They loved reporting the gruesome and scariest thing around the neighborhood school and old gymnasium would be a great scoop.

Above the ditch was a small crawl space cut in a semi-circle hole on the chain-link fence that separated the ditch and the school. It was just big enough to crawl through and Trey bent down and tossed his bag inside and crept in the yard. He immediately noticed that Jonathan was far behind still standing by the ditch.

“Hurry up Jay” Trey shouted.

Jonathan was slow to the pace and he dragged his feet still unsure about this plan. He had protested continuously the past week but Trey was unmoved. In fact he felt like all his protests had actually motivated Trey to go on his crazy whims. They had been friends since second grade and Jonathan was still surprised with most of his best friend’s ideas.

“Slow down Trey” Jonathan replied. “You are walking too fast”

He dragged his fit purposefully trying to delay the inevitable. He was already here and there was no way that Trey would change his mind now. The thought of the gymnasium made his neck hair stand. The buzzing and rumbling in his stomach was also getting worse.

“Stop being a such a wimp and hurry up” Trey said.

“I have a bad feeling about this Trey, what if Mr Simmons is here today? Let’s just go back” he insisted.

“No one is here on the weekends remember. Stop being a coward.” Trey retorted. “We just need to go in and get a couple of pictures and get out. That simple!”

“Nothing is going to happen, don’t worry about it. We are finally going to show everyone that it’s all bull crap.” Trey continued.

When they arrived at the end of the yard a small fence of stone and brick divided the building from the school yard. The surroundings were unkempt with overgrown weeds and grass around the walls. The trees were tall and burnt by the sun, the leaves looked like a crisp brown that never bloomed all year round and the branches looked dark and dry. 

It was strange being that close to the frazzled building. The red brick color had faded to almost gray on the walls and some edges were turning into dust. 

The air around was musky and heavy and a peculiar quietness fell around the whole area. Something felt off because no birds or animals or even grasshoppers chirped. Trey stopped short of the entrance waiting for Jonathan to get close. He noticed a dead crow at the yard but paid no attention to it. 

“You better start walking faster or I’ll leave you out here where its more creepy” Trey said.

“Okay okay slow down, I’m here” Jonathan said as he pulled close behind Trey. 

He turned his face up, the muscles of his cheeks contracted and his forehead twisted when he noticed the dead crow. 

“Eww! Another bad omen” he muttered.

“Shut up!” Trey responded.

The entrance was a narrow path with overgrown weeds on each side. Trey and Jonathan walked one in front and the other behind slowly approaching the yellow “DO NOT ENTER” sign. There was a small dirty red lever that hanged loose by the door, around it was a weathered rusty heavy chain with a padlock.

A soft rattling sound could be heard as the lever swung and hit the chain, the sound became more evident as they got closer. The lever was moving slowly with the breeze that came from a small crack on the door. The excruciating slow approach did not do any favors to Jonathan’s stomach and it rumbled even louder. 

Trey pushed the door slowly trying to get enough space to pass through. This released a sharp metal cranking sound that rattled like a falling hammer on a metal plate. The sound vibrated throughout the building and a small cloud of dust came forward. They stood at the door patiently until the dust settled down. 

Trey squeezed his long slender body below the chain that held the two doors together. He managed to get into the building and gestured for Jonathan to do the same. On the inside he lifted his eyes up and stared at the half open roof that seemed to have collapsed years ago. The parts of the roof were still on the center of the floor.

“Trey, help me I’m stuck” Jonathan cried.

He turned back and grabbed Jonathan’s hand pulling him inside the building. He was heavier than him and the action caused him to pull back a little.

“That’s what you get for eating bread sticks everyday” Trey responded.

Jonathan ignoring the comment put his bag down and ruffled through it to get the camera out. He wanted to get this done as quickly as possible and get out of the building. He had also packed a cross, some salt and a string of garlic heads he got from his mom’s pantry for additional safety. 

Trey had drifted to the other side of the room walking around the pile of dirt and old wooden planks. He was examining the walls while considering the best angle to take the photo. He kept walking towards the dark eerie corner wall that had a never ending feeling. His legs halted when he saw something move in the shadow of his eye. The floor creaked behind him and he turned franticly noticing Jonathan a few steps behind. 

“Maybe it’s my imagination” he thought.

He turned again and a shadow on the wall moved again. Before he could utter a word it came towards him and diffused mid-air. He gasped loudly and lunged back. Jonathan hearing the noise ran towards Trey with a confused look on his face.

“Did you see that?” Trey shouted, his voice trembling.

“What?” Jonathan asked.

“The thing, the thing right ther…..” He stopped loosing the words in his mouth unable to finish his thought. “The thing that that….that was right there”

In the few minutes he had launched back the shadow had disappeared. The was no longer anything but darkness on the empty wall in front of them.

Trey looked confused and rattled as he stood up. He was finally getting his composure but was unable to shake the thought that something was definitely wrong with this place.

“I could have sworn I saw a dark shadow thingy here a few minuted ago.” He muttered.

“Are you pulling a fast one on me, Trey?” Jonathan said. “You know I get scared of these things so please don’t do that” he continued.

Before Trey could respond, another creaking was heard and this time both their heads turned back. A loud raspy call “caw caw” came from above the building. They jumped back from the startling sound turning their gazed to the crow that had landed above them.

“I’m done.” Jonathan said “I’m leaving this creepy place”

He started to make way towards the exit when a sudden gust of wind blew over him. A bizarre sound with a hissing whisper came out of the wind. There was a large swirl around the center pile as dust came up and the ground rose above.

Giant flutters and a bug like head came from the peak. Trey’s eyes widened and his mouth gaped open. Jonathan cried and shouted in disbelief as the pile continued to rise, with dirt and rubbles tumbling down.

The head and body of a giant moth like creature came from the rubbles. It stood at the top of the piles as if rising from the dead. In one side of the creature, the wings where still trapped under the rubble. It fluttered once and the pile of woods fell into the path they had used to get to the corner wall.

Sharp red eyes glowed from it’s head as it stared towards them. The wings fluttered again and the creature took flight. Jonathan stared in shock his cried aimlessly.

Trey noticing this he grabbed Jonathan’s hand and pulled him back. He covered his mouth with one hand and ducked down to the corner.

“We have to run for the exit” Trey whispered.

He walked back slowly with Jonathan on his side. They circled around the creature watching it closely as it sat frozen at the top of the pile. They went through the other side where the rubble had fallen but did not block the path. When they reached the door and Trey hastily slipped out. He put his hand out to help Jonathan who was still in distraught and struggling to contain his fear. Trey pulled him out of the space between the doors just like he did earlier. 

When they were both outside, their eyes were met with a flock of crows that had suddenly occupied the whole outside of the building. The dead crow was no longer on the ground and every tree branch had the dark two legged bird. The crows were on the little stone fence and also scattered on the yard area.  

“Ruuun!” Trey shouted his nerves rushing wild to his feet. 

He made way across the yard on a straight line to the hole in the fence. He pushed his legs to the limit trying not to turn back. Jonathan was not far behind him screaming and running like a wild animal. He closely followed Trey until they got to the fence. 

The flock of birds chased them, crowding and attacking continuously until they got to the fence. Once they had crawled out of the hole madly and confused, they rolled down the ditch where they had left their bicycles. Suddenly all the crows had stopped chasing them and the sounds had disappeared. 

Trey looked back and they had all vanished without a trace. He made his way back up to the fence with mild hesitation that they may come back, but nothing was around anymore except the air. He went back down to the ditch where Jonathan was struggling to get on his bicycle.

“This was a bad idea.” Trey said looking at Jonathan. 

“Did you get the photos?” he continued.

October 29, 2022 03:51

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