jonathan rodriguez

Soulless Holes

jonathan rodriguez

Let me recount a tale that has stayed with me since my childhood. A tale that has never left my memory and still leaves me in a state of disbelief to this very day. It all begins back when I was about the age of fifteen. My cousin and I would spend our youthful days outside exploring the old railroad tracks and the many abandon buildings that surround them. We we're your typical rambunctious teens, breaking rules placed by society to keep us safe. It’s funny really, looking back on things I now see why those rules were in place.

It was the summer of 2007 there happened to be this one building we had kept putting off exploring, mainly because of how hard it was to get to. The things you had to do to get to it out weighed the overall feeling of adventure you got from exploring the buildings. It’s crazy to be honest, you had to cross an old wooden bridge, boards dangled holding on to rusty nails for the slowly fading lives and bent rust tracks felt the rushing water slowly burn their metallic skin. To make matters worse the water below the bridge wasn't a simple slow moving creek, oh no it was a river raging with anger and power. Being dumb teens we had no idea what things lived that water, but our imaginations filled in the blanks for us with ease. So it took us sometime to build up the courage to actually cross the bridge.

Suffice to say once across we had to take a rest our knees were going to give out, or rather at least mine were. My cousin was one of the hot head macho types, he'd do anything with a little pep talk to himself. However I wasn’t like that at all, I would have had to be practically pushed into doing something either through bribery or bullying (mostly bullying). I was no were near as brave as my cousin and for good measure too, I didn't know how to swim at the time and falling into the water would have more than likely meant a tragic end to my youthful years.

Well after our short break we began walking towards the building. Taking in the massive size of it and the intense feeling of intimidation it gave off. It definitely wasn't like the other buildings we had explored before, it was a lot older. As if from a time completely different to the ones nearer to the track. We took a few guess at what it could've possibly been back in its time, a museum, a hospital, hell my cousin even thought it was a mansion with left over untold riches. I could only help but laugh at his excitement, but his spirit and his excitement caused him to run towards the building with me running far behind him. However to our misfortune upon reaching the entrance to the building two rather large metal doors that had to have weighed quite an impressive amount were chained and welded shut. We tried the windows but to our dismay they were boarded up in a semi similar fashion to the doors. It isn't hard to imagine our disappointment, but like I said before my cousin was the hot head type and not one to be easily deterred when he wants to get in somewhere.

After what felt like hours of searching for something to try to pry open the windows with, we managed to come across an old pipe. It wasn't exactly what we had in mind but it did the job. After a few well-placed swings and several minutes later we managed to break into one of the windows. The inside of the building was far worse looking and smelling then the outside. The place smelt horrible, it was as if someone had died in a pool of rotten stagnant water with a lovely touch of skunk spray. To make matters worse we had taken most of the day to not just get to the building but to also get inside, so what little light we did have was fading quickly. The only artificial light source we had was an old Zippo we had come across our first time on the tracks. The lighter took a few strikes to catch but once it did it lit up a small area around us. Big enough for both of us to see, which really struck us as odd. Considering not many lighters would light up such a large area. We had broken into the buildings main entrance area and it had to have been large enough to fit at least a few dozen people in it. Dust and cobwebs littered the area with parts of the walls and ceiling fallen on to the floor, time had really had its way with the building almost as if saying this is what I have allowed you to create and this is what I can do when you forget about what you create.

The way the shadows casted from the lighter danced off the floor and walls, sent shivers up my spine. However we couldn't see anything down the hall that the lobby lead into which wasn't unusual considering that most of the buildings we had explored did the same exact thing, but this place... it was different something felt off about it. I wasn't going to turn back yet, especially considering how long it took for us to get into the building in the first place. Yet something in the back of my head kept eating at me. Telling me to run away, to not go any further into that building. I ignored it though and dusted it off simply playing it to my nerves.

We had spent hours exploring that old building finding a few things of particular interests; old files, newspaper clippings, even a morgue which to be honest was probably the second most terrifying we had ever seen. None of the buildings by the track… hell none of the buildings we'd ever explored had something like that in it. Yet it somehow pushed us forwards more, we wanted to find something even bigger and better Knowing that people had died in there why else would there be a morgue in there?

Well sad to say our search of the building after that didn't turn up much more, it seemed like the building was already ransacked by other visitors. Hell to be honest the place was destroyed completely almost like the people inside left in a hurry, the previous owners probably lost the building in a foreclosure or something and just couldn’t afford to move anything out. Yet as naive kids we made jokes about it and told scary stories to scare each other and pass the time.

It wasn't until we passed by a set of very large and very old barred windows did we realize how late it was. We both agreed at this point that the best thing to do would have been to stay the night in the building and leave first thing in the morning… that was in more ways than one the worst idea we had that day.

It wasn't even an hour past midnight when things started to get strange. At first it was just whispering off in the distance. We would have played it off as the old building groaning as the earth shifted under it, but there was no way we could deny the fact that what we heard were voices. They were just too clear and they didn't seem exactly happy with us being there. If I can recall right, at one point one of the voices became louder as if it was right behind us, shouting at us with a disheartened and worried tone to leave before we got hurt.

The panic that we experienced at that one particular moment in time caused every hair on our bodies to stand at attention. Slowly we both turned to each other before jumping up and running out of the room we had decided to sleep in that night, only stopping when we could no longer see the room or hear the voices. At this point I couldn't stop shaking, my heart was pounding and my mind was minutes from shattering. The only thing that brought me back to reality was my cousin's hard fist hitting the side of my face. I turned and looked at him tears in my eyes both from the pain of being punched and from the fear that was still setting in.

Our attention was quickly drawn away by the sounds of footsteps heading towards us. At that time we weren't thinking straight our minds were elsewhere and we stood there unable to fully comprehend what would happen next. However it didn’t take long for whatever was making the footsteps to catch up to us. It was a girl, not an adult no a child and the way she looked she had to have been at least ten or eleven. What really made her stick out though was her clothing. It wasn't like our clothing or any clothing I'd had ever seen at that point in my life, it was older like from Victorian era or something close to that.

She was facing away from us so we really couldn't see her face, but the way the room seemed darker around her was unnatural and my body was being to go into panic mode again. All I could think at this point was, “why was a little girl in a building like this?” I had tried not to scare her away so I kneeled beside her and began asking her a few questions. "Hi...my name is Jon, this is my cousin. Are you lost in this building like us?" She didn't speak, she only nodded her head up and down to signify that yes she was lost like us. I asked her another question. “Why are you in here?" She didn't answer me that time. So thinking she didn't hear me I asked her again. "Why are you in a place like this?" Again she didn't answer me. She only began to slowly looking towards me, her face concealed entirely by the darkness that filled the room. This was the only time she spoke.

This innocent looking girl spoke two simple words that filled both of us with an intense feeling of dread and dismay. ”So dark.” Somehow thinking she meant the darkness in the room my cousin, shaking with fear. Struck the lighter filling the small area with artificial light, revealing a living nightmare before our eyes. The girl wasn’t talking about the room, there was no way she could have known about the darkness in the room. Where her eyes should have been were to dark soulless holes, gaping open like a window into void filled world. We backed away slowly at first but when she heard us stepping away her mouth opened wide and the most horrendous shrieking sound escaped from what was surely once a living human. Yet at that moment was no longer a human, no it was something that hid in our deepest of dreams and nightmares, something that the earth tried it’s hardest to keep buried away.

We ran for our very lives never looking back not wanting to know if that thing was following us. I’ll leave out the boring part of us running down the halls but know this. We made it out of the building just as the sun rose, gasping for air we slowly looked back at the building. The window we had used to climb out of the building had been silhouetted by that thing. We didn't stay there for too long in fact it took us less time to get back over the bridge because of our fear then it did to cross it in the first place. That night was the last night we explored anymore abandoned buildings. It just goes to show that some buildings are abandoned for a reason.