The Sun set. Darkness fell over the warehouse. A rat scurried across the thick gray ash on the floor. Professor Talbert turned on his flash light and scanned the blind darkness. The light flickered in the eyes of the wall rats and they darted from view. Professor Talbert moved forward into the expansive warehouse. He stopped at the main entrance and turned back toward his students.
“I want you all to be very careful in here. There’s a lot of broken glass and sharp objects,” he said, “especially you Donny.”
Donny was at the back of the four students selected to join Professor Talbert for his research into the paranormal.
“Jeeze Prof. Take it easy man. I got this,” said Donny.
“Just be careful. All of you, Jenny, Carol, Huk-Cho. No screwing around either,” said Professor Talbert.
“Yes sir,” said all three.
Professor Talbert considered his four volunteers for a moment; one slut, one hot nerd, one Asian kid who clearly skipped a few grades and the school jerk-off. Professor Talbert shook his head and actually hoped the stereotypical psychopath was inside the abandoned warehouse. It would only be fitting that these kids get super-murdered in the most horrific way possible, if not incredibly cliché.
He started walking into the old auto repair parts ware house and the students were right on his heels. There was an old hand painted sign over the service garage doors, warning people of the dangers of oily rags and open chemical containers. There was also a newer spray-painted picture of a giant penis next to the old sign.
“Boner alert,” said Donny.
“Oh my god Donny, don’t be gross,” said Jenny.
“You know you want it babe,” said Donny.
“As if,” said Jenny.
Jenny did want it. She wanted it so bad. She wanted to be liberated sexually and maybe get out of this University town. She could maybe even become a model in London or something and have swinging sex parties all night long with rock stars and drugs and aging hipsters that are trying desperately to still be part of the ‘scene’. She was tired of acting like a prude. She probably would do it with Donny if he wasn’t such an immature lunk head.
“Shhhh…,” said Carol, “I don’t want you guys screwing this up for me. I need Professor’s Talbert’s recommendation to get into my Master’s program. So quit it!”
Jenny and Donny sneered at Carol and caught up to Professor Talbert who was struggling with a set of metal doors that led into the warehouse’s factory floor. He had been through those double doors several times but now they seemed to be stuck on something. He hoped part of the old ceiling hadn’t collapsed since the last time he was here. It would be such a costly issue if there were debris in front of the doors on the other side. He hated the idea the equipment he left running over the last two nights might be damaged.
“Let me Prof.,” said Donny.
Professor stepped back from the doors and shook his head. Donny was totally going to be the first one murdered.
“Just takes a little youth and muscle, right Prof.,” Donny winked at Jenny and pushed against the doors. They didn’t budge.
“Youth and muscle,” scoffed Jenny, “Right. Whatevs.”
Donny spit into his hands and rubbed them together and threw all his weight against the doors. He shoved and he pushed and he put his shoulder into it but the door would not open. Donny slumped against the door, out of breath.
“Sorry Prof. These doors must be welded shut,” said Donny.
Professor Talbert looked at Carol and Huk-Cho. Huk-Cho nodded and stepped up to the doors.
“Excuse me. My apologies,” said Huk-Cho.
Donny got up from in front of the doors and stood next to Jenny, blocking Carol’s view, because Donny is an inconsiderate asshole. Huk-Cho grabbed the handle of the metal doors and gave it a hard pull and the door popped right open.
“Thanks Huk-Cho, I forgot they pulled open at this entrance,” said Professor Talbert.
“No problem,” bowed Huk-Cho.
Professor Talbert stepped through the door followed by Carol who haughtily cut in front of Donny. She was still a virgin so she was quite sure no matter what happened in this warehouse, she’d come out okay because the virgin always survived. Jenny followed her, followed by Donny who was massaging his shoulder.
“That wasn’t cool bro,” said Donny.
“Yes. Yes it was,” said Huk-Cho.
He followed them into the dark factory area and saw where Professor Talbert had set up an evidence review station with all kinds of TV monitors, motion sensors, laser grids, and thermal cameras.
“Here we are guys. This is the research station or ‘Base’ as we’ll call it. While we’re moving through the building we’ll be in teams of two at all times. No one goes wandering off by themselves. We need to do real science here people. This isn’t some TV show ghost chaser thing. This will be tedious. This will likely be boring. This will likely be… Donny are you smoking?”
“Huh, mmm, yeah. Sorry. Left my dip in the car,” said Donny.
“Put that cigarette out. There’s no smoking in here,” said the Professor.
Professor Talbert was just shocked that a kid in college would think it was okay to just smoke wherever. It wasn’t the god damn 70’s.
“Anyway, I will be here at Base reviewing the live... I mean really Donny? Smoking? C’mon. Really,” said the Professor.
“What? I said I was sorry,” said Donny.
“Just… grow up. You know, I mean, c’mon man, just… it’s time Don. Just c’mon,” said the Professor.
“Yeah Don. Smoking is so like 1997,” said Jenny.
“You’re going to get lung cancer,” said Carol.
Huk-Cho didn’t say anything. Donny put his hands in his pockets. He was only doing this stupid thing for the extra science credits he needed to get back on the football cheer squad. He loved being on the cheer squad and he really wanted to get back to it. No one knew he smoked on the cheer squad though. It was just that his parents both smoked so he just sort of always had it around. Donny coughed a little.
“Okay, Jenny and Carol. You’ll be team one. DON and Huk-Cho will be team two. Neither team will be active at the same time to avoid any contamination. Jenny and Carol, go to that back wall, switch on the light there and put on the camera harnesses and your hard hats.”
“Wait, I have to go with her,” said both Jenny and Carol as they pointed at each other in mutual dissatisfaction and disgust.
But they didn’t know that in their short time together they would forge a bond of friendship unmatched by any two other women in history.
“Yes. God, that’s creepy. I don’t want any sexual harassment issues like those kids in Florida had, so same sex teams. Got it,” said the Professor.
Jenny and Carol tsked and they went to where the professor had directed them. Professor Talbert turned to Don and Huk-Cho.
“You two will monitor the TV screens with me while they inspect the first floor. You will note in these log book anything that seems odd or out of place or if it’s very compelling, you’ll show it to me. Got it?”
“Yeah,” said Don.
“Yes Professor,” said Huk-Cho.
The three men moved to the table with the TV monitors as the young ladies strapped on the super science-y gear, most of it the Professor’s own design. He’d fantasized about these girls wearing these harnesses, without anything else, since they signed up for his class. He felt a little stirring in his nether-regions so he sat down behind the main monitoring desk. He knew he shouldn’t feel that way but it was a damn compulsion.
“Ok professor, I think we’re ready for you,” said Jenny with a giggle.
“Riiight,” said the Professor.
The harnesses were fairly simple straps and laces to hold a shoulder mounded camera and a light. There was also a thin belt for holding EMF detectors and a flash light.
“Why do these harnesses look like Victora’s Secret underwear,” asked Carol.
“Hm? What? No. That’s just the way they came,” said the professor, “Anyway, here’s the route you two will be taking. Up those stairs to the left and then into the machine shop area, from there you will begin your investigation and start moving through the whole machine shop floor. It should take about half an hour or so if you’re doing it right.”
“A half hour,” pouted Jenny as she struggled to find a comfortable space for the harness straps over her ample breasts.
“Yes…. A half hour.”
Carol just sighed and blew a few strands of hair that had gotten loose of her bun off her face. She fixed her glasses on her nose and dreamed of Laser vision corrective surgery.
“Okay girls, let’s get a move on. We’re now recording,” said the Professor.
The professor turned around at his desk now that his growing embarrassment had retreated and looked at the evidence table.
“Don, where’s Huk-Cho,” asked the Professor.
Don looked to his left and right. He shrugged and looked back at the TV screen.
“He was the last one I expected to be slacking off. Damn it! Huk-CHO! Huk-CHO! Where are you,” shouted the professor.
The girls screamed as a giant axe swung down through Professor Talbert’s neck, removing his head from his body and squirting gallons of blood up into the air. Huk-Cho quickly turned the silvery axe over in his hands and swung it again at the screaming girls, loping off their heads before the professor’s headless body hit the ground. The screaming was ended, only to be followed by the thud of their body’s hitting the hard floor.
“Wicked,” said Don.
“Yes. Yes it is,” said Huk-Cho.
The bloody axe swung through the air one last time and Don/Donny’s days of re-joining the cheer squad were ended.
Huk-Cho laughed. He loved college.