This is a short story by Thom Frost.
This is a story of something that happened to me when I was in college.
I started working for a brand new convenience store in a new area of town.
It was my first shift there.
It was about an hour before closed. We started our closing clean up and stocking. At 9:55 pm we were thinking of closing early seeing as we hadn’t had a customer for over an hour. My friend Chad was finishing up and I was in the back changing the security tapes and putting the money in the safe and setting up the draws for tomorrows shift. I looked up at the clock to see how much longer I had.
It was 9:59 pm
Chad came into the back room.
“Let’s go,” I said and we started to punch out. Just before I could punch my time clock, I heard the door chime. I looked up at the monitor to see who it was.
It was a woman in a white dress. She looked to be in her 20’s.
I told my friend to go out and take care of her and to make sure to lock the door after her and he walked out to take care of her. I looked up at the monitors and could see her just standing at the counter as my friend walked right past her. He didn’t even say hi to her, just walked on by.
After a few moments he came back and said, “There was no one there.”
I looked up at the monitor and she was still standing there. I pointed to it and said, “Well then who’s that?”
“Weird. Maybe I missed her.” Chad walked back out and I could see him on the monitor looking around. The girl looked up at the camera and back at my friend.
He came back and said, “I didn’t see anyone.”
So, at this point, I was kind of pissed at him for playing around and ignoring a customer like that.
I walked out. There was no one there. I looked around the store and didn’t see her at all. I figured she left after being ignored, and I locked the door.
“Well?” he asked, not looking up from counting the register till.
“She must’ve left.”
We finished up our work and I happened to look up at the monitor and saw her standing there again.
“What the hell? I searched the store and she wasn’t anywhere.”
We could see her on the monitor walking closer to the door to the backroom. She just stood there no more than 10-feet from the door. We got up and looked out the door and saw nothing. We looked back at the monitor and she was getting closer to the camera. She just stood there glaring into the camera.
We just stood there staring at the screen as she reached up to grab the camera and her face contorted and change.
“Turn it off! Turn it off!” Chad screamed.
I hit the power strip to turn off the monitors.
We both let out a sigh of relief.
The monitors turned back on.
There on the screen was the distorted face of this once beautiful girl. She looked like something out of a horror movie. She smiled like she could see us through the camera and we booked it out of there and I swear I locked the door behind us. We got to the car and as we pulled out of the parking lot we looked back and saw her standing there next to the door.
The next day we called our boss and told him what happened, and he asked, “Are you fucking nuts? What the fuck have you two been smoking?
Come back into the store and work your shift, or you’re fired.”
My friend refused but I wanted to prove to him that we weren’t high or lying. I got there and walked into the back room. My boss setting there in front of the monitor. He grabbed the remote and hit play. On the screen, I could see my friend walking around like he did last night but the girl was nowhere to be seen.
At the end, I could see myself and my friend running out of the store and nothing else. I didn’t lock the door.
“So you two chicken shits just ran out? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you on drugs? I don’t hire druggies. This place isn’t haunted. I’ve worked here for years. If you do that again and you don’t get your work done, you’re fired.”
I was pissed. I know what I saw, I know what WE saw last night.
“I don’t do drugs. You can take this job and shove it. I don’t need this shit.”
“What about my paycheck?”
“Come back at close and I will give you your last check.”
I didn’t want to, but I was worried that he would try to screw me out of a check. So, at 9:50 pm I walked into the store. There were a few people standing around. There was some new guy working the counter and I could hear the boss calling for me from the back. I walked into the back room and the boss went into the safe and got my check.
While he was doing that I happen to glance at the monitor and there she was again, the woman. Just standing there looking up at the monitor.
Without saying a word, I grabbed my check and left the store.
I looked around sort of expecting to see her.
When I got to the door I looked back. The girl in the white dress was walking into the back room. That was it. I was done. I ran to my car and jumped inside and locked the door. I sat there waiting for my heart to slow down. I looked down at my phone and I saw there was a text message. Just before I opened it up, I saw people running out of the store.
The new worker was limping out of the door.
He was covered in blood. His leg looked like something took a bite out of it.
I rushed over to him. “What happened? What’s going on?”
He was crying and I couldn’t really make out much of anything he was saying. All I could make out was that the boss was dead.
I grabbed my phone from my pocket and dialed 911. While I was trying to explain to 911 what happened I walked him back to my car. We sat there and waited for the cops. He just sat there crying and just babbling.
The cops got to the store kind of fast. There must have been 5 cop cars. I watched as they pulled out their guns and walked into the door. Just then the EMT’s came and I helped him out of the car so they could help him with his leg.
I have never seen anything like it.
There was a chunk of his calf missing from his leg the size of my fist.
More cop cars came as well as the local news stations.
I started shaking, thinking how if I had stayed just a few seconds longer I could have been killed or hurt too.
I looked around and saw that there were several customers being taken care of by other EMT’s. I was freaking out.
What seemed like forever one of the cops walked up to me and the other guy and he started asking him things, but he was still babbling.
He then looked at me and asked me “Were you inside the store?”
“No, I was outside setting in my car getting ready to drive out of the lot.”
“Did you see anything?”
“No. I was looking down at my phone and when I looked up, I just saw these people running out of the store.”
He got my name and contact info and told me, “You’re free to go.”
I walked back to my car, trying to figure out why I was shaking. It’s not like it happen to me. I got into my car, and when I looked at the store, there she was.
She was smiling at me from the window with blood dripping from her mouth.
I started my car and drove as fast as I could.
I got home, took a shower, and made something to eat. I sat in front of the TV trying to relax and forcing myself to eat something.
I looked up at the clock. It was midnight. I then remembered the text message I got just before everything happened. So, I got my phone and opened up the text app, and there she was. My heart started racing and I started shaking.
How? How did she manage to text a picture of herself to my phone?
I couldn’t help myself. Even though I didn’t want to, I swiped through the pictures.
I saw her walk into the stores back room. I saw the boss bent over at the safe looked like he was putting something in it. Then he looked around like he heard something. Then the horror I saw on his face…I have never seen anything like that.
I swiped to see the next picture and oh my fucking god the blood was everywhere. It was like someone came into the backroom and painted it red. I didn’t think that one person had that much blood in them.
With a shaking hand, I swiped to see the next picture.
It was the new guy walking into the backroom. The look on his face haunts me to this day.
I swiped again, and it was her. Staring at me. I just keep looking at her. Her mouth covered in blood and that evil unearthly smile she had. Then there was text and it said, “Your lucky you left when you did, I was so wanting to taste you.”
“Fuck!” I dropped my phone and started crying. I don’t know how much time passed but I looked back down at my phone and the screen had turned off.
I tapped the screen to turn it back on. I looked and the text was gone. Everything, the pictures, everything, was gone.
“Fuck this. I am not staying here by myself alone no fucking way,” I said and packed some clothes and drove two hours to my parent’s house.
I let myself in, thinking they would be sleeping already. But when I walked into the front room and they were sitting on the couch. They must have heard me because they turned to look at me.
My mom said, “We heard what happen at your job on TV. We called you but it went to voicemail.”
“Sorry I didn’t notice that I had gotten any calls. I didn’t mean to make you worry.”
I so wanted to tell her about the girl and the text and everything, but I knew it would freak her out and I knew both of them would believe me, but I just couldn’t.
“Is it ok if I stay here a few days? I just don’t want to be alone right now.”
“Sure,” they said.
“You can stay as long as you wish,” my mom said.
So, I took my bags into my old room and after that, I don’t remember anything until the next morning. I woke up in the same clothes from last night. I took a shower and got dressed then walked downstairs. Mom and dad were sitting at the table eating breakfast.
“It smells good I hope you saved me some.”
My mom smiled and said, “I saved some for my baby.”
I sat down to eat with them. They started asking me questions about what happened and if I saw anything. I didn’t want to tell them the truth and just told them how I had quit my job and had gone back to get my check from my boss. After breakfast, we all walked into the living room and mom turned on the TV. On it was the news they were talking about the murder that happened and how the police were stumped.
One of my mom’s old friends, Linda, came over because she heard about what happened. She walked into the front room and was so happy to see that I was ok. She’s like a second mom to me. I and her kids would play together when we were younger. She looked at the TV and saw the news and said, “such a tragedy.”
We all nodded in agreement.
After that mom turned the TV off. “Ok, that’s enough of that for now.”
Mom’s friend walked over and sat down, and we were talking, and she asked me, “Did you see anything?”
“No. I didn’t see anything. I was just there to pick up my check and left before it happened. That’s all.”
“Are you sure?”
“It just reminds me of something that happened a while ago,” Linda said and pulled out a faded, yellowing with age picture and passed it to mom and both she and dad smiled.
“Let me see,” I said, curious. My mom handed it to me and Linda started to tell me about it. I was only half listening at first because I was starting at the girl in the photograph.
It was the girl. She looked the same as she did when I saw her last night.
My heart was racing. I tried to hide it.
I cleared my throat and asked as calmly as I could, “Who is she?”
Linda said, “She was a friend of my grandmothers. There were rumors she was into witchcraft and satanic worship but nothing was proven. Not long after that picture was taken, she and several other girls had gone missing. The cops and families searched the area for months looking for them, but nothing was ever found.”
“So…no bodies or anything?”
“No the only thing they found was a makeshift altar covered in blood.”
I don’t know why I asked this next question, but I couldn’t help myself. “The alter didn’t happen to be on or near the store did it?”
After thinking for a few moments, she said, “I’m not sure…but I think so. That whole area was at one time a graveyard.”
“You mean there are people buried under the store?”
She laughed. “No they moved the bodies sometime in the ’40s. I was a young girl at the time but from what I can remember there was some guy that wanted to build some track homes on the area and got the government to move the graves.”
“That is just freaky.”
“Yeah. I brought the picture because every once in a while I’ve been told by people that they’ve seen her ghost there. It’s pretty bizarre if you ask me.”
“Oh,” I said and could feel all the color drain from my face.
“Sweety what’s the matter?” my mom asked.
I broke down and I came clean and told them everything. Everything I saw and felt, everything.
The looks on their faces weren’t of “Oh your crazy” but of “We believe you.”
My dad asked, “Why didn’t you just tell us?”
“I didn’t think that you would believe me. I hardly believe it myself.”
Just then my phone buzzed letting me know there was a text message. Without thinking I pulled out my phone and opened the message.
There looking back at me was a video of the girl from the store, looking up at the camera and smiling. I showed everyone and said, “You all see this too? It’s not just me I am not just imagining this?”
They all looked at it and their jaws dropped. Linda took the photo and put it next to my phone and compared the girl in the video.
“It’s her. It has to be,” my mom said. We all agreed.
“What the hell is going on?” my dad said. “There’s no way she’s alive now. Even if she was she’d be like 80 years old. Not that young.”
The screen on my phone turned off. When I turned it on again, the video was gone. Just like last time.
I explained to them that it happened before and they got even more curious. We all wanted to know more. I asked Linda more about what happened but she looked real nervous.
“I’m sorry, I have to go,” she said and left.
I sat with my parents for a while longer and then went to the computer and became Sherlock Holmes. It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for. I found old news clippings and other things about the cult and what went on.
I posted a thread on a ghost/horror group explaining everything.
After a few days, I started feeling better. I honestly started feeling stupid about how scared I was. It had to be someone just messing with me, They had to have found a girl that looked like the one in Linda’s picture and played a prank on me. Right?
Feeling better about it all, I packed up and drove home.
The road that took me back to my house went right past the store.
I started getting nervous the closer I got to it. I was terrified that I would look in the windows and see her, standing there, her mouth full of pooling blood. I didn’t want to look at the store, but I did.
Fucking stupid of me.
I slowly looked over I saw the police tape still across the storefront. Then I looked at the door and fuck me there she was. She was just standing there, looking at me like she fucking knew it was me. She smiled, and her beautiful face morphed and changed into the evil hag I had seen before. I slammed on my breaks.
I just sat there in my car, staring at her until a car pulled up behind me and honked their horn.
Startled, I drove off. I pulled into my driveway and started cursing at myself for driving by the store. I should’ve taken the long way home instead.
I did a few things around the house to try and forget everything and to calm myself down.
Eventually, I made some food and sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. As I was eating and watching TV I remembered about the thread I had posted on the paranormal forum and was curious if anyone had posted anything.
I grabbed my laptop and opened up the thread.
There were several people telling me how freaky it was. I scrolled down and saw a picture of her.
I started reading. Some dude said that one of his great aunts was kidnapped and killed by a satanic group. He gave me so much information, there’s no way I could find all that on the internet. I spend the rest of the night reading what he wrote and going through the scanned clippings of newspapers.
What I read sent chills down my spine.
This group was believed to had been involved in almost 50 deaths.
Although it was really hard, I forced myself to stop reading and go and get some sleep. I had a hard time not thinking about the girl in the store, and the blood, and the new employee with a chunk bitten out of his leg. I’m surprised I got any sleep at all.
I woke up the next morning and got a cup of coffee and turned on the local news on the TV. A group of five kids had broken into the store last night. Several of them were killed, one managed to get away, and the only girl in the group was currently missing. According to the survivor’s testimony, they had broken in to get some beer.
He said that they broke in to steal some beer and there was a woman already in the store. She scared them but she smiled and waved to them to come in. She even reached down and grabbed a 12-pack and held it out to them.
He continued to say how she looked nice enough and was going to help them out. As he was walking out with more beer, he heard some screaming and he turned around and saw her ripping his friends apart. He ran out and got into his car and locked it. He sat there and watched as the blood splattered all over the store windows.
I turned the TV off because I couldn’t listen to it anymore.
I sat there numbly and finished my coffee.
It was almost a year later, and I had all but forgotten about the store and what happened.
I had moved on and felt it was all behind me so when my phone buzzed alerting me to a text, I didn’t think anything of it. I pulled out my phone as I had always done.
I looked down laughing because one of my friends said something, I thought was funny…and then, there she was. She was just standing there with a blank look on her face. I felt the color fall from my face and looked at my phone screen again. She was gone. I looked up at the TV, which was off, and I could see a reflection on the screen. She was standing right behind me.
I turned around. There wasn’t anyone there. Then the TV turned on, by itself, and in the screen she was standing there, staring at me.
I got up and ran over to the TV and unplugged it, but she was still there. Her eyes glancing to the side like she was watching me. I walked back over to my couch and sat down, the two of us just staring at each other. She was the beautiful girl I remember from the monitor at the store.
Then out of nowhere, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
I lost conciseness.
I woke up in the hospital. My face was all cut up, as was my chest. Both were covered with bandages.
I asked the nurse, “What happened? Where am I?”
“You’re in the hospital. You were attacked at home. One of your friends was worried about you and went to see if you were ok, and she heard you screaming in your apartment. She managed to flag down a cop and they broke in to find you on the floor all cut up and unconscious.”
“Oh…” My mind flashed back to seeing the woman and feeling the hand on my shoulder. She must’ve done it. They would never find who hurt me because it was a ghost.
I talked to my friend later, and she told me that she thought she saw a girl in a white dress standing over me, but the cop saw nothing, and when she stepped inside, she was gone. I don’t know what happened with the ghost, but after that day, she never bothered me again.
They demolished the store. Underneath the floorboards, they had found a skeleton of a young woman, in a tattered white dress.
The lot is vacant now.