View Full Version : Called In

05-20-2009, 01:41 AM
The day is October 31st, 2008. It's a hot, yet cloudy day. I sleep in, but it makes it uncomfortable once the sun starts to heat up my bed. I receive a text message, and struggle to find my phone next to my head. A couple seconds later, I read the message. It had been mysterious - almost ominous - containing little more than a dozen letters to make up a phrase that didn't appear to make any sense. Forgetting it, I set the phone back and roll over, back to sleep.

Minutes later, the phone rings. It's a friend of mine, asking me to pick him up on his lunch break in a couple hours to drive him to a comic store and pick up an item for his costume. I said yes, rolled over and dozed off once again.

A couple hours later, I finally get up, grab my phone, and see an unread message. I already read this, I thought. Then I think back and realize I must have only dreamed of reading the message. My brother just sent me a text to say happy holidays. Shrugging it off, I got some breakfast. As I finished, my friend called me again.

"They let me off early today," he casually reported. "Can you pick me up at my house in a couple minutes?"

"Sure, no problem."

I put on my Jack Skellington style Santa hat/beard and drove to his house. As I headed up the street, I heard sirens behind me. A Firetruck and an Ambulance zoomed by. I continued on to Comics and Stuff so he can get a Naruto headband. He also found a fake dagger, so he just had to get it. I dropped him off back at his house, and drove on.

As I headed home, I got another call. They asked me to go to Game Crazy from five until closing. Needing the hours, I accepted.

I got ready and hopped back into my truck. I parked just outside the video store and stepped up to the door to find it locked, and a note on it saying Closed, due to blackout. I knocked on the door, and a gentleman of average height and African American descent greeted me. The only source of light the store received had been the setting sun. He locked the door behind me as I entered, to find a couple others from the video store in uniform chillin' on the counter playing guitar, the Game Crazy folk busy shuffling through game cases on the shelves, one dressed in a karate uniform.

Joining my colleagues, I proceeded to organize the displays and such, but darkness started to set in little by little, alongside impatience. Some started to feel a bit tired, others simply stared on into nothingness. I commented that the store is going to get pitch black soon, and it may be a good idea to start considering cannibalism.

Soon, a tall pale guy and another, short gentleman of African American descent came in for the night shift. The video store manager left, then the gentleman that greeted me after him, never to be heard from again for the rest of the evening.

As the tension and imagination rose, it became apparent that the second African American gentleman had disappeared. Fearing that this could be the start of a cheesy horror story, people started calling out his name.

"Please tell me you didn't get caught!"

He reappeared, puzzled at the assumptions that he had been in danger.

"Okay guys, let's protect him. The black guy usually dies first, so if he's okay, there's less chance of us being snatched up and eaten."

The Game Crazy manager, after talking to the district manager over the phone, relayed the message that the property manager needed to be contacted to get some information about the situation and find out if electricity could soon be restored. Having not seen the daily security guard passing by for the day, someone had to go to another store on the block that had still been open and retrieve a phone number.

Being the guy in the silly hat, I had naturally been selected for this task. I strolled up to a beauty shop, red sun peaking over my shoulders. The store had been facing north, but they had a generator hooked up to a single light bulb. I asked the cashier if he could help us out. He ran outside to call out to his manager, an Asian gentleman in a suit. They proceeded to converse in a foreign language. The manager picked up his cell phone and called his "people." After a short conversation he hung up and stood behind the counter for about a minute, before the phone rang again. He scribbled a 1-800 number on a business card and handed it to me.

"Heah you go."

I thanked him and left.

As I turned the corner, and headed a couple more yards before looking over my shoulder. I started running for the door to GameCrazy! I knocked, and peered inside to find the security gate had been locked up! Just then, out of the corner of my eye, the video store door opened, and my manager beckoned me in. I hurried inside and handed him the card. "I got it."

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I just felt like running up for dramatic effect."

"...oh, okay...."

He glared at me in annoyance, but that didn't matter anymore. Mission accomplished. He informed me that it's pointless to remain open tonight, so time to go home. I straightened my hat and got into my truck. As I drove home in the dim light, I sighed in relief. Nobody died tonight. It's time to rest...for I shall return to Game Crazy another night.