Overnight

Overnight

A Story by PWyates
"

A young man's account of his first and last night working in a haunted police station.

"

 I grew up a good Christian boy, who always took second helpings of his vegetables.  Knelt beside my bed each and every night in prayer; begging God to make me stronger so I could grow up to be a police officer.  Ever since I could remember that was all I’d wanted.  I idolized those men in blue who fought everything that went bump in the night.  And at the ripe young age of twenty-five I had finally achieved that dream.

 This story concerns my first and only overnight shift as an officer of the Perkins County barracks.  The experience left me utterly jaded toward any sense of honor, or justice existing in this age we live in. 

My shift began just as everyone was heading home, and ended at the crack of dawn when Sheriff Lintlaker arrived.  I’d never been left in charge; let alone left by myself with the prisoners and other countless possible catastrophes.  Suffice it to say I was more than a little nervous at the prospect.

Luckily my dim, but experienced fellow officer Leland Targoff sensed my apprehension and tried to placate me before the dreaded hour arrived.  Explaining that everyone felt twitchy before their first overnight, but after about an hour or so it was actually quite peaceful.  I solemnly thanked him for the insight and moved on toward my superiors Deputy Mahone, and Sheriff Lintlaker; who were deep in conversation.  Standing on the edge of their peripherals, I waited until the Sheriff noticed me and coldly asked what I needed. 

The annoyed air in his voice shuffled my thoughts like a game of fifty-two pick up, it wasn’t until Deputy Mahone loudly cleared his throat that I found my tongue.  Panicked I asked several standard questions I knew on my first day; Lintlaker gave me short answers and turned to leave for the night.  But before exiting he turned heel very sharply, and sternly warned me to stay out of his office.  I nodded and after a moment of scowling to cement the point, Lintlaker made his way out the door and off to his lonely trailer.

After the initial anxiety subsided I realized that Targoff had been right for once, it was serene without the daily hustle and bustle.  The prisoners were fast asleep, having been fed at around nine.  I spent the next several hours with my feet kicked up; nose deep in a smut novel one of the female deputies kept stashed in her broken locker.  It wasn’t until about one o’clock that I began to hear a slight rattling noise from the backroom.  Pretending it was nothing I returned to the paperback, which had just started to heat up.  About twenty minutes passed and the sound reechoed through the empty jailhouse, far more distinct this time.

I could no longer write the noise off as the ancient plumbing system acting up.  It had to be one of the prisoners; and my duty was to make sure nothing happened.  Reluctantly I rose and felt my way over towards the light switch, which yielded no flickering fluorescent glow.  I reached down for the flashlight I had been using, the beam aimed towards the door which led to the cells in the back area.  As I entered the beam shone on all four inmates and to my confusion they were sleeping like kittens, each of them.  I chalked it up as a mystery, and began to turn back until the light shined on an empty cell that had a toilet seat tied to the bars with a sheet.  After I saw this there was a soft whimper, which took me a moment to realize had come from my own diaphragm. 

After several deep breaths I moved toward the vacant cell, tugging on the knot that held the makeshift noose, and once again heard another louder whine from the shadows.  This time I was positive the noise had not come from me, something or someone I had not seen was most definitely inside the room.

Stricken, I moved toward the phantom noise flashlight glowing up and down the hall, and I still there was nothing.  I projected all the way to the brick wall and was relieved to be certain it was nothing; until I heard a moan from right behind me in the shadows.  My bowels froze as I mustered up all of my mental fortitude and turned.  What I saw still haunts me to this day.  I was face to face with the translucent, tortured face of an African-American man.  His skin pale grey, eyes bulged like a bullfrog slowly reaching out toward me.  Before any common sense had a chance to sink in I blindly ran out of the room, frantically crashing around until stumbling into the first room I happened across.  Frantically bolted into the office and barricaded myself inside by pushing the desk in front of the door. 

A small drawer fell out of the desk to the floor, cracking upon impact it was open at my feet.  Shining my light down, I noticed through the shards of wood a cassette: I don’t know what came over me but I needed to hear it.  Looking at the desk I saw a picture of a man and a woman who must have been his daughter.   Realized it was Sheriff Lintlaker’s office; his warning a distant memory at this point.

 To this day there is still no reason for why I was so desperate to hear what it had to say, but I was.  After a moment’s search I found his stereo and loaded up the cassette, after a second I realized that it was the voice of the Sheriff himself on the tape.  “If you are listening, I am either detained for a murder I did not commit; or dead.  This is my failsafe to ensure that b*****d will never be able to fully pin this on me.  My daughter’s fiancé didn’t walk out on her…he’s dead.  One night Mahone and I were drinking, pushing each other’s buttons per-usual, and he gets on my case about my prospective half-spade grandchildren.  He knew it would get me steamed enough to do something dumb, so Mahone found him arrested him and we brought him back to the barracks.  Threw him in a cell and started putting the boots to him, I figured we were just sending a message.  Then Mahone storms out and I figured that was it.  But he comes back with one of our toilet seats from our filthy bathroom, tied the bedsheets around it.  Before I knew it he was stringing the boy up…with…with the damn toilet seat and bedsheets tied to the bars.”

The tape went silent; clearly I didn’t have even half the story.  But it was enough to know I had to get away from Lintlaker, Mahone, and more importantly the force.  Once the sun began to rise I moved the desk out of the way and exited the forbidden room, waited at the front door until the Sheriff showed up to inform him I would not be coming back.


© 2017 PWyates



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Featured Review

I love a good ghost story.

This is a GOOD ghost story.

The ONLY reason I took off 1 measly point is because the paragraph structuring made it difficult to read in spots. This is purely a nitpick.

Another small gripe would be pacing.

Both of these are easy enough fixes; they're structural, not story-related, which is your foundation and that's firm.

I'd like to see you revisit this and expand on what you have.

Your writing style reminds a little Lovecraft as you give some abstract imagery to what's being seen; just enough to let the imagination work.

In short, again, good short story, just needs some work on the construction and the pacing.

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Really nice , kept me hanging till the end.

Posted 7 Months Ago


I love a good ghost story.

This is a GOOD ghost story.

The ONLY reason I took off 1 measly point is because the paragraph structuring made it difficult to read in spots. This is purely a nitpick.

Another small gripe would be pacing.

Both of these are easy enough fixes; they're structural, not story-related, which is your foundation and that's firm.

I'd like to see you revisit this and expand on what you have.

Your writing style reminds a little Lovecraft as you give some abstract imagery to what's being seen; just enough to let the imagination work.

In short, again, good short story, just needs some work on the construction and the pacing.

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Like stories like this. You know in the dead of night something not good is going to happen, and it did.


Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

That would be enough to scare anyone. Neat idea for a write. Valentine

Posted 1 Year Ago



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Added on September 15, 2016
Last Updated on April 25, 2017
Tags: Horror, Supernatural

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PWyates
PWyates

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