While Jonathan Gates was finishing his day, one of the company’s disgruntled employees stormed over to him and glared at Jonathan with furious eyes. When the man was close enough, he grabbed Jonathan and pulled him right into his face, and gruffly spoke, “Why did you rat me out?”
Jonathan tried to get Curtis off him as he replied, “Curtis, what happened to you was your own fault.”
“No, you ratted me out, Jonathan!”
“You were stealing from the company!” Jonathan said as he managed to dislodge his co-worker. “You brought this upon yourself.”
“No, you got me fired, and you will pay for it!” Curtis said as he peered through slitted eyes.
Because of the commotion, a guard approached the two men, positioning themselves behind Curtis and one said, “Is there a problem Mr. Reyes?”
Curtis turned around shaking his head, “There’s no problem here. I was on my way out.” As he stomped away, Curtis turned his head and muttered loud enough for Jonathan to hear, “You will pay for what you’ve done to me.”
Jonathan ignored Curtis’s remarks and immediately returned his thoughts to his work. He had received permission to work into the night, though it was a less glamorous, he just needed the money. Once the line stopped for the day, Jonathan grabbed his portable white noise machine, before grabbing his mop and bucket. By the time he started, he was listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean. With dim lights, he diligently worked at cleaning the floor around the assembly line. Just as he was finishing, the little dim light went out.
Before Jonathan could react to the sudden darkness something grabbed his wrist. Instinctively he tried to pull his arm away from whatever had seized him, yet the grip only tightened as malevolent laughter filled the air. A shiver ran down his spine, as he fumbled for his phone with his free hand. The moment the screen offered some illumination he heard a yelp of pain, as the restraining grasp let go.
Using his phone to flood the area next to him with bright white light, he found nothing. But the laughter continued to ring out, so using his light he tried to follow it, but every time he washed light where he heard the laughter originating nothing was there. Having felt like he had searched everywhere, Jonathan rushed to the light switches. He quickly turned them off waited for a few seconds and then turned them back on, yet the light never spilled out into the room.
Looking towards the ceiling, he saw spreading darkness with cracks of light breaking through in patches. He turned and flew to the door only to find that it was unyielding, someone had locked him in. Tentatively he stepped back into the room, and within moments he could feel warm air enveloping the back of his neck. While the warm air bathed his exposed skin, the menacing laughter boomed from behind him. Fear tore through Jonathan causing his legs to feel as if they were wrapped in cement.
Before he could spur himself to action, he felt pain lance across his back as something raked him. As his cry tore through the near silence Jonathan’s flailing hands managed to bath the area behind him with light. The ensuing howl of pain ripped through Jonathan and began echoing off the walls. When the cacophony started to die away, Jonathan heard Curtis’ voice, “You may have harmed my friend, but your little light won’t last forever.”
Jonathan immediately knew that he needed to find something that would offer more protection than his phone. So his free hand immediately began groping for anything while he tried to light the large room with what he had. When his hands fell upon some cloth, relief started flooding into him as Jonathan yanked the cloth towards him creating a chorus of clattering and shattering objects. But he didn’t care, he had a spark of hope.
Another howl rang out, though this time instead of declaring pain it was crying out for vengeance. Jonathan quickly pulled out his lucky lighter and began to light the cloth. As the fabric started to burn, he realized that there were hundreds of bolts of material, so he started pulling more down and feeding his meager fire. After the third bolt was added Jonathan heard more cries of pain from whatever had attacked him. As the sounds began to die away, he was able to make out Curtis’ faint curses.
Jonathan took in several deep breaths and listened to the symphonic crackle of the fire. Then he heard the deafening click as a handgun was cocked. He ducked behind some machinery moments before a bullet tore into where he had been. “Fine, Jonathan, we’ll do it this way!”
Jonathan’s eyes began looking for anything that he could use to defend himself with, but all he found was a pipe propped up against the machinery. “I told you that you would regret what you did.”
Jonathan could tell that his crazy former co-worker was drawing closer, so with his pipe held firmly, he began trying to locate his assailant. As he searched, he heard another explosion and the crack of an impact as the latest bullet embedded itself into something. Jonathan swallowed his fear and looked around a corner and saw Curtis’ back a couple feet away.
Biting his lower lip Jonathan instantly decided to act forcing his body to obey. He pounced towards Curtis, as he was turning around the pipe impacted with his back driving him to the ground. After a tense moment the sprinklers finally went off, and Jonathan’s eyes went wide as his fear grew. Yet as the fire died, the lights began to flicker on, and another unearthly howl of pain ripped through the room. Soaked and thoroughly bathed in light, Jonathan relaxed as the silence intensified.