(Based off of a dream.)
“I’m going to go check out, sweetie,” I heard a mom tell her four year old daughter at the local craft store as I passed by to look at another aisle of scrapbook stickers.
“Stay right here, and don’t wander off.” The little girl was cute with her brunette pigtails as she held a stuffed doll, staring up at her mother with the biggest child eyes I had ever seen. I smiled, then turned back to my cart to count my items. I wanted to see if I had enough money to get away with buying another set of stickers.
“And don’t go in that room. You’re not allowed in there.”
Glancing up again, I saw the little girl look up at a grey door to her left. The room had three of its outer walls showing, like a large white box in the craft store. Two aisles butted up against it, with only one side of merchandise for each aisle. The other sides, where the dirty white walls of the room in the craft store stood, were left bare.
At the end of each aisle, it was dark and it made the room feel like it was detached from the back wall of the store.
I was pretty sure it was not, though.
The little girl looked back at her mother as she walked off toward the checkout line. I turned away to grab some detailed puppy stickers, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw the little girl reach for the handle. Spinning around, I brought my buggy with me as I traveled across the aisle to the little girl, and stopped next to the room, which gave me a creepy vibe.
The grey door was just beyond my little blue craft store shopping cart, and so was the little girl. “Don’t open that door.” I told her. She looked up at me, and slowly pulled her hand away as she stared into my eyes. I was about to tell her that her mother told her not to, when I heard the room whisper back.
“Open the door,” It said, quietly, “open the door.”
My body became cold, hearing that voice, and the color drained from my phone. “D-don’t.” I warned the little girl, my heart terrified as it tried to beat its way frantically out of my chest.
She continued to stare, her hand at her side now.
“Do.” The voice whispered again.
I should have taken her right then and there, and brought her to her mother. But, in today’s time, there was a mile long list of names I could be labeled just for telling the child not to do something. Who knew what would happen if I took her anywhere. Even if it was to her mother.
But, I was secretly scared as well. The ghostly female behind the grey door terrified me.
“Don’t go in there,” I repeated, before hurrying off to get in line, leaving the little girl alone, and defenseless.
I did not sit in line very long, neither did her mother who was right in front of me, before stepping away to go back to that room. The room with the grey door at the local craft store.
I could not leave that little girl alone. Leaving my cart, I circled around a few aisles, and heard the door slam just as the dirty white room came into view. The dirty white room at the local craft store.
And then I heard a scream. Rushing over to the room, a few employees got there before I did and one threw open the grey door. The light was on, but it did not make the room any less spooky.
There was a plain, metal framed bed against the wall with the door. A counter extended the entire length of the far wall, with a mirror above it, just as long. Strange symbols and figurines made from sticks and twine adorned the right wall. And a large refrigerator was pushed up against the left wall.
Inside the fridge, because I had to check, were a few jars with strange, unidentifiable things in them, and underneath the fridge, because there was this strange, rotten odor to the room and I had an employee help me roll it forward, was old, dried out spagetti mixed with macaroni, stuck to the floor in the shape of the fridge.
The woman outside would not stop crying. “My baby! My baby! Where’s my baby! Where’s my baby!” And that was when I had had just about enough of this nonsense, with this woman, and her child, and this putrid smelling room at the local craft store.
I still thought it was just nonsense.
I marched out of the room and right up to her, and snapped at her, because I was angry, and terrified, and guilty, and I wanted someone else to take the blame for this. “How dare you! You just left your child in a store and walked away from her. No, I was there! You told her to stand next to that door! That grey door at the local craft store! She’s gone and its all your fault! Do you hear me? All your fault!”
As I was yelling, I watched the woman’s features slowly soften, and then she blinked up at me as she stared.
Finally, when I was through with my rant, she spoke up.
“What child?” She asked.
And then, the woman walked away. I watched her walk away, and collect her bags, and push the little blue craft store shopping cart in the designated little blue craft store return shopping cart area. I watched her leave the store and place her bags in her trunk. And I watched her slam the trunk and get into the driver’s seat.
And then, I watched her drive away.
And all the time, I stood there, next to the room. The room with the grey door and the dirty white walls, with that putrid, rotten smell to it, that was shaped like a box with one side attached to the back wall, so it was not really a box.
It was a room at the room at the local craft store.