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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2285270-A-Haunting-Mystery
by Louisa
Rated: E · Short Story · Thriller/Suspense · #2285270
It's been years since the owner of a seemingly normal store vanished out of the blue...
The summer air was warm, but his hands quivered at the approaching sight of the depressing building down the stuffy, equally depressing street. The walls of the abandoned convenience store was a canvas of stringy cobwebs and thick layers of dust. Wooden panels boarded up the windows, concealing the secrets that lay behind the glass. Volkov had seen this place in better days. The days where no rumours of a haunted curse enchanting the store spread through town like wildfire after the amiable owner mysteriously ceased to exist following one fine shift. The days where high school kids weren’t dared to drop a visit here and return the next day alive, photo proof and everything. And Volkov had yet to back down to a challenge.

Pale fingers made contact with the doorknob, turned from silver to a rusty brown over time. To his dread, he found that it still turned quite well. Leaving him no valid excuse to call it quits. As if in pain from not being opened for so long, the door screeched and screamed and made him sure the hinges were going to fall off right there and then. What a miracle they didn’t after all that fuss. Ignoring the warning sirens blasting through his head, Volkov took one tentative step after the other, feeling his way in the void of darkness. That would be the cash register that probably still held a good bit of cash. Those were the shelves that were once stocked to the brim with his post-school snacks. It felt haunting enough seeing this nostalgic place so organised, so empty.

An eerie flicker of light from the back caught his attention. Overcome by curiosity, he inched further into the store as nimbly as he could manage. The source, he discovered, was a refrigerator squashed in a forgotten corner, surrounded by stacks of crates piled dangerously high. Unbelievable that it was still plugged in after all this time. Though Volkov reached out for the handle, he never touched it, for a piercing cry cemented him to the ground. Instantly regaining fear, he spun left and right, contemplating which would be the worser to face. Police officer or ghost. The cry drew on, momentarily pausing every so often like the person in question was catching their breath.

When Volkov locked his gaze on the victim, his lips curved into a relieved smirk, cheeks colouring in humiliation. It appeared the front door could sound scarily human-like while being pushed by a burst of wind. Now he really hoped there was no one around to witness him shuffling away from the box he’d been preparing to parkour behind. Forget the dare, he’d experienced enough for one night. Now that his eyes had adjusted to the darkness, he was able to make a beeline for the exit. He didn't, however, leave immediately. It didn't seem right to leave this place without giving it a final longing look.

"We'll miss you too." A voice as soft as a warm hug whispered next to his ear. Volkov smiled, reminded of the sweet owner. Until he remembered he was alone. Supposed to be alone. Seconds later, he was sprinting down the street, making haste to return to the main road. Never again. He was never ever doing this again.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2285270-A-Haunting-Mystery