The Thing in the Corner (Part One)
Sam Hayes shuffled along Clay Street near Union Square in San Francisco. It was an unusually warm Indian Summer day and he was sweating as he trudged up the steep hills. Sam stopped at the top of the intersection, puffing, hands on his knees. He stood up, cleaned his wire-rimmed glasses and looked out over the impossibly blue waters of the bay, Alcatraz Island in the distance, sailboats painted on the scene in white slashes. He checked his cell phone and noticed the time. Sam turned quickly and jogged down the hill, stopping when he got in front of a very old Victorian-style house.
Sam looked up at the faded paint and shuttered windows. From street level he could see that the narrow building was at least four stories tall, with a sharp peaked gable roof. He climbed the twelve rickety wooden steps, careful to avoid some jagged holes. He looked at the number across the door: 487. He checked it against the printout in his hands. 487 Post. Right building, he thought. Right time, he checked his cell again.
Not seeing a buzzer, Sam knocked loudly on the gray door.
He waited a few minutes then knocked again, louder this time. Sam decided there was no one home when he glanced down and noticed that the door was slightly ajar. Hmmm, he was pretty sure that the door had been totally shut, but what the hell. He pushed it timidly, scanning around in case someone was watching.
"Hello? Ye-ello? Anybody here? Dr. Fraccin? It's me, uh, Sam Hayes? We were supposed to meet today? Craigslist? Personal Assistant? Yoo-hoo." Sam winced, thinking, "Yoo-hoo? Who the hell says yoo-hoo anymore?" He laughed out-loud nervously as he entered the darkened foyer. The light from the open door showed a dusty, old-fashioned claw foot table made of some luxurious dark wood. On top was a phone directory and some note paper.
Sam peered down at the note paper. His own name stared back at him, written in a childish script. Below that his cell phone number. Below that the word "bait".
"What the hell?"
The door slammed shut violently behind him with a crash. He spun around rapidly and almost fell as he tripped on the raised corner of the worn rug beneath his soles.
"Jesus Christ!" he yelled, clutching his briefcase to his chest. A hand gripped his shoulder, and Sam let out a stifled yelp of fear. A loud click and the cold feel of metal on his ear.
"Turn around slowly, slowly....that's right."
Sam turned around slowly as instructed. A little voice in his head told him that he should raise his hands, but that did not seem practical since he was still holding his briefcase. Sweat streamed down his forehead, misting his lenses.
"Please, don't shoot. I...I...I'm here for the interview." he explained, silently deriding himself for how weak he sounded.
"Ah yes, of course. You must be Mr. Hayes!" Dr. Fraccin stood with his gun extended. He wore the traditional white lab coat. The mandatory bow tie and thick-lensed glasses. He lowered the gun.
Sam extended his shaking arm for the traditional handshake and that's when he noticed the black Tazer coming up at him along with Dr. Fraccin's left hand.
"But, uh--" was all he could say before the two wired darts entered his chest and he stiffened as thousands of volts of electricity surged through his body. Sam crashed to the floor, unconscious.
Dr. Fraccin carefully removed the wires from Sam's chest. He looked down at Sam, evaluating the prone form. "Yes. You'll do quite nicely. Time for some exercise, I'm afraid."
Dr. Fraccin pulled on some rubber gloves and grabbed hold of Sam's ankles, dragging him down the narrow hall. Light filtered in from a dirty window at the end, highlighting the dust motes floating in the air. He grunted as he reached an open door ,mid way down. Dr. Fraccin flicked on the light revealing a staircase going down several flights into darkness.
This time he went behind the body and pushed it
unceremoniously down the flight of stairs. Sam's unconscious body
thudded several times, bouncing around on its way down.
Dr. Fraccin closed the door behind himself and clambered down the stairs after Sam.
Sam awoke at the bottom. He had landed in some kind of putrid puddle. He gasped in pain as he drew a breath and tried to struggle up, but the stabbing pain in his chest was so intense that he almost passed out again. Sam turned his head slowly to see Dr. Fraccin standing beside him, looking down and smiling.
"You son-of-a-bitch. What the..." choked Sam, fighting back tears.
"Shhhh. Be quiet. Be very still please. I think you cracked a few ribs. Let me take a look at that." suggested the good doctor.
"Stay away from me you lunatic. Stay away!" barked Sam.
"Shhhhhh. I'm warning you. Be quiet please. For your own good."
"What the..." Sam turned his head to the other side, clutching his
painful chest. As the light shifted from some higher window, Sam could
see that there was something there. Some Thing in the Corner. Dark, large, huddled and snoring softly. Rusty shackles connected to thick chains that disappeared into the dark shadows.
"Shhhhh. You'll wake him." warned the doctor, "and, believe me. You don't want to wake him."
to be continued
Read Part Two of "The Thing in the Corner" by bludstream
- The Thing in the Corner (Part Two)
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