The headlights of Jordan’s car bounced wildly as we made our way up the dirt road. I was getting annoyed at the fact that this road kept making me do my best bobble head impression, as we crept along slowly over the uneven surface. Eventually, we swung around a turn and the headlights illuminated what we both knew had to be our final destination. The car eased to the stop, announcing our arrival with a squeal of the brakes and a crack of sound from the muffler. I keep forgetting how stealthy this thing is. Jordan killed the engine and we both took a second to take in the view before us.
The big number “2” was adorned on the left flank of the building, matching up with the address I was given. Glancing at my phone’s clock, I saw that we had a few minutes before the 1 AM deadline, or whatever it was. While I still couldn’t believe “Sesame Street Way Blvd” was an actual street name, I took the time to take in where I was.
The building was huge, the faded red of the brick walls appeared as though the color itself was peeling away. I was reminded of either an old school or some sort of monastery, which certainly wasn’t going to help ease my nerves any. The dark trimmed roof blended in with the increasingly dark sky, to where you couldn’t tell the two apart without focusing. The surrounding growth seemed to be trying to swallow the building whole, the trees not five feet away from the corners of the building, their branches extending out over the roof. The trunks themselves leaned towards the dark exterior of our next stop.
“You ready for this? Let’s roll.” I punched Jordan in the arm for motivation, popped open the door, stepped outside, and started gagging immediately.
“Oh fuck dude, what is with that smell?” Jordan asked between dry heaves, as he too struggled to adjust to this backwoods air. It was if someone had shoved a moldy sponge right in my face, one that happened to be residing in some fat guys ass crack during a heat wave. The combined smell of sweat, mold, sauerkraut, and despair forced itself upon us. “Let’s hurry up and get inside. This is worse than our locker room in high school” I said, reaching back in the car to grab my weapons of choice. Well, the cricket bat was my choice. The butter knife was just what happened to be available when we made our hasty exit before coming here. Shoving the knife into my back pocket, I threw the bat over my shoulder, and headed towards what I gathered to be the buildings entrance. Moss had grown over the majority of the door, and the handle I tried proved to be locked, surprising no one.
“Alright Jordan, step back and let the champ handle this.” I set my bat down, got down into that stance that sprinters take before a race (you know the one, the same stance a cat will take if you pet its ass), and set off at a full gallop before throwing my shoulder into the door and hearing it give with a loud cracking sound. It was a second or two of listening to myself scream before I realized the cracking sound was my own shoulder. Looking up from where I was rolling around on the ground, I could see the door didn’t even budge. Jordan stepped over me, went over to the door and asked, “Did you even try the other handle?” He twisted the knob, and the door sprang to life, jumping to the side and allowing us to peer into the darkness it contained.
“Sometimes I hate Hollywood.” I groaned, climbing to my feet and rubbing my shoulder. “I don’t know why that didn’t work.” Grabbing my cricket bat, I elbowed Jordan out of the way and stepped inside. The smell inside the building wasn’t any better than the outside, although the air seemed to be less damp. “Did you bring the flashlight?” I asked Jordan, with a beam of light popping into my eyes as an answer. Blinking the fuzzies away, I took a second to survey the room where’s Jordan’s light shined.
We were in a huge room. Like a gathering area for a church, or an assembly area for a school. The floor was smooth concrete, cold and uninviting to the touch. Tables sat overturned, chairs piled up in a corner, and slivers of light peered through the cracks in the wall on the far end of the building. Sweeping the flashlight across the way, we saw a few doors, and made our way towards them.
Jordan lead the way with the light, complete with his portable weed whacker, strung across his back. I told the guy it wasn’t exactly the most effecient weapon, but he adamantly refused to come up with an alternative. “So, this is just about the last thing I expected to be doing this weekend.” Jordan whispered, “This whole thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder.”
“What do you mean, I thought you loved poking around in creepy ass buildings in the middle of nowhere when no one knows where we are?” I suggested, attempting to calm Jordan, and quite honestly, myself down. Truth is, we were both on edge. I had no idea what we were supposed to find here. Or what we had to expect. All I knew is that the guy on the subway guided me to this specific place when he was busy dumping his words on me.
We made our way to the doors, and were now left to decide which one to go through. “Why don’t we split up? Dibs on the flashlight!” Jordan glared at me, obviously unhappy with this suggestion.
“C’mon dude, let’s just start with the one of the left and work from there.” He nudged open the door, letting the flashlight take the lead, and shuffled inside. After watching him get consumed by the darkness, I followed.