Was it day? Was it night? Was everybody still alive? Was anybody still alive? The girl didn’t know. How long had she been sitting here, hidden in this tiny room, waiting for something, anything to happen.
Anything, except for the monster breaking down the door and coming in.
She could hear it still. It’s breathing, ragged and heavy from beyond the large metal door that separated them. It stopped pounding on the door possibly three hours ago. She couldn’t be sure. She could feel her phone in her pocket, pressing against her side. But since she heard the monster she didn’t dare move. She hardly dared breathe.
Suddenly, it rapidly clawed at the metal door that separated them. It’s nails scrapping against the metal sent waves of fear and high levels of discomfort that travelled down her spine and into her fingernails. She shivered as she held her breath, stifled a whimper and prayed.
Leave let it leave, please leave, please leave, leave.
Then it stopped. She heard it pace heavily around the room, upturning furniture and ripping apart something. Books from the shelves? The paintings on the wall? Whatever it was, her father’s office would need more than simple redecorating after this was over.
If it would ever be over.
The girl was in her father’s filing closet at the back of his office. She was crouched down and jammed between two filing cabinets. Her back ached and her feet were in between stages of falling asleep, but she knew her life depended on her not moving.
She remembered the screaming before all this happened. She would remember it for as long as she lived.
The girl and her father were talking in his office when it started.
This was not the first time she was there. After football practice if she finished before he did, which was often, she would walk there from school. The people at the front desk knew who she was. She always waltzed right in, with barely a glance and a wave from the receptionist. Then she would go up the large glass elevators to the eleventh floor, walk down the winding drab grey corridors, dragging her feet along the fading purple carpet, till she reached the large metal doors that lead to her father’s section. Her father would then greet her when she was in front of his hallway, smile on his face and his key card in hand.
“I should get you one of these,” he often joked.
“I could just have yours you hardly leave the office anyway,” she always retorted.
They were in his office for less than fifteen minutes when the first scream came. They were talking about how it was nearly eight, and how they were very late for dinner.
“What was that?” She chuckled nervously. At first it sounded like the cry of a bird from a distance. It took her a while to register it as a scream. A human scream.
Then a second scream came, louder than the first. She jumped and laughing uneasily, looking at her father. He was not smiling. There was a short moment of silence, and then then many other screams rang through the hallway.
Hurriedly he stood up from his chair and led her over to a room filling room and tried to usher her in.
“I don’t know what’s going on honey, but I’m going to take a look. Get in alright? Please? And whatever you do, don’t come out. Not until I come back.”
“Daddy what? This is practically a closet,” she said looking around the tiny room. “Also, it smells like you’ve been hiding pots of coffee in here while reading old newspapers. Look, I’ll be fine in your office I’m sure. It’s probably just… I don’t know a big spider or something. Don’t worry about it.”
“No, please just get into the closet. Trust me honey, please, please don’t come out until I come back to get you… or… just… use your good judgement okay. You know, the one you were born with, the one your mother gave you,” he tried to joke, flashing her a worried smile on his paling face. “Just don’t leave okay. Not until I come back and you know it’s safe. Until I know it’s safe.”
Then the screams got worse. Then the screams got closer.
He kissed the top of her forehead and pushed her into the room and shut the door.
“Sorry. Don’t let anyone in. Lock the door behind me. There’s a lock there and a keypad next to the door. One. Five. Three. One. I love you baby girl.”
“I… okay. I love you too daddy.”
She heard the office door fling open and her father run out of the room.
She looked at the plain wooden door in front of her. There was a little knob you could turn to lock it, so she did. Then she looked to her right and sure enough, there was a shiny metal keypad.
Why was there a keypad on the inside of the filing cabinet?
After a few moments the screaming stopped. However her father was not back. Then more screaming peppered the building. She glanced at the keypad. Should she touch it? After a short moment of hesitation she typed in the numbers. One, five, three, one.
The door shook. A metal door crashed down in front of her, making her jump backward.
She touched her palm the cold metal door and then knocked on it. It made very loud metallic clanging noises.
She stood stared at the metal door, wondering why her father had this installed in her office. Until the monster came in, brought into the room by the noise of her knocking on the metal door.