It was week five — midterm week — and I was running on a whole lot of coffee and very little sleep. I’ve found a quiet place to finish my world history assignment in the Humanities building. Even though I’ve had to visit professors in this building a couple of times before, I’ve always gotten lost. It wound around and around like a maze; sometimes, I would enter on one side of the building only to end up on a completely different floor than I had expected.
But it was a good place to study. Quiet, solitary, with tables and chairs in some sections. The assignment was already late, but my TA had assured me that he would take it as long as I turned it in the next morning. I just had to find his office on the third floor and slip it under the door.
I don’t know how it happened, but I fell asleep. One moment, I was reading about Mesopotamia and the sun was shining through the window in front of me. The next, I was startled awake by a slamming door. Oh, no. The blinding blue sky was replaced with pitch black. The only light I could see was in the distance, flickering weakly in front of the elevator. I could barely see the light shining off the silver of the doors, as the darkness encroached on both sides.
This is just a building, I reminded myself, just school. The scariest thing about it is the tuition. I grabbed my phone and my headphones. Music will calm me down. It was dead. No doubt because of the music that kept playing as I slept. I gave up on the last remaining questions and shoved the rest of my things in my backpack before walking quickly to the elevator. The only sound I could hear were the echoes of my steps. Until I heard the slamming door again.
“Hello?” I called out nervously. Maybe it was a maintenance worker. The company would be nice. All I heard was a dry chuckle in return.
Finally, the elevator opened. By now, the creepiness of the building was getting to me and I practically threw myself inside. I slammed the button for the third floor and sighed audibly when the doors closed. I didn’t notice there was already someone in there, but when I did, everything in me told me not to look at … it directly. Blood was dripping from its brown, ratty fur and the bottom of the kilt it was wearing was shredded and muddy, like it had fallen at the construction site outside. I heard its shallow breaths. I felt more and more on edge, my heart basically beating out of my chest until the elevator dinged.
The third floor looked … off. This building was always dark, even in the daylight, but now the darkness seemed ominous. The hallway I knew was replaced by a dim waiting area. It didn’t make any sense — it was surely night, but a receptionist and a couple of students were in the waiting area. The lights cast an unsteady glow around the room, casting shadows across the face of the receptionist, who screeched at me to sit before turning to the television. There was nothing on, just static.
By this point, I was shaking. I didn’t know what else to do. I sat.
I sat next to a girl, hoping to find some answers as to why this building didn’t seem to house the history, anthropology and English departments anymore. She was scribbling in a notebook with a red crayon. As I peeked over, it seemed like she shifted to give me a better look. I wish she didn’t. The page was covered in grotesque drawings of people being brutally murdered. I could see the weirdly realistic figures with stab wounds and lost limbs underneath all the red crayon. Horrified, I looked up at the girl, who met my eyes with what remained of her face. Her eyes looked like they had been scratched out. I was transfixed by the gory, bloody marks and empty black holes on her face for a second before she started emitting a guttural laugh.
That’s all it took for me to jump out of my seat and run back to the elevator.
I can’t find the exit. I’ve looked and looked, encountering worse monsters at every turn. It feels like I’ve been here for hours, shouldn’t it be morning already? I’ve gotten on the elevator twice more in desperation, but the door won’t open on the first floor, it only takes me back up to that goddamn third floor. I can feel the creatures getting closer every time I step in and I’m afraid of what they’ll do to me.
I’m begging you — don’t stay in the Humanities building after dark. There’s an evil force in here; I don’t think I’ll ever escape.