I know no one cares, but I genuinely want to finish this story.
The storm intesified as Seth's break trickled away, with the lights flickering with a soft buzz and an odd but somehow soothing patter of heavy rain on the metal roof higher above. Seth wanted nothing more than to be alone, espcially as the next half of his shift approached, but he eventually decided that he couldn't get away with staying any longer. He slowly and reluctantly pushed his chair away from the table and stood up to go back to his own personal Hell.
As he did so, the lights flickered and hummed again. This time, Seth heard a noise that he had never heard in his entire life. It started out as a moaning whisper, like a distant approaching subway car late at night. It grew into a screeching, wailing roar, growing louder and louder than anything Seth had ever experienced in or out of a rock concert. It blared in Seth's ears and shook the feeble break-room walls and the hanging lamps which finally went out completely as the roar consumed Seth all the more. It was a sound that was felt, not merely heard. Seth grasped his head and pitifully gripped the table for support, and the sound disappeared, leaving only the ringing in his ears. Seth could only react with groans, as he tried to steady himself. With no outside doors or windows in the warehouse, Seth was now enveloped in the total darkness of a cavern.
"What was...that?" he mumbled, with yet more groaning noises.
He staggered and felt his way to the door, calling out for his coworkers. "Yo, Josh! Brody! You guys remember where we put the flashlights back here!?" It seemed odd for some reason to call out asking what that noise had been, so he kept quiet about it until everyone could get their bearings. When Seth got no repsonse, he stuffed his fingers in his ears a few times, futiley trying to stave off his screeching tinnitus.
"Yo!" Maybe he really couldn't hear them?
"Hmmm..." Apparently on his own for a moment, Seth racked his brain until he remembered where those flashlights were. He fumbled around far less efficiently than a blind man in search of the closet where they hopefully
were. It's amazing how hard it is to find things you see every day when your vision is suddenly useuless
, he thought as he painfully bumped into everything in the warehouse-- boxes, shevles, the forklift. No one called out to him even as he made all this noise, and beyond his own racket he heard nothing.
He finally happened upon the closet, which was mercifully never locked. Better yet, he quickly found one of the flashlights on the second shelf down as he let out a relieved "Ahaaa!"
He clicked his light on and scanned the warehouse, seeing nothing save for some boxes of papers and folders and other items spilled all over the floor. Brody and the others had probably gone up front to deal with the situation. Seth was surprised he couldn't hear anyone up front complaining. Rather, Seth was really, really surprised he couldn't hear anything at all. Nothing. He was even approaching the warehouse door, where he would normally hear murmurs of various customers beyond, but now there was nothing. An oppressive silence and darkness cut only by his flashlight was all that remained of what was normally an irritatingly noisy area, even in the evening. He hadn't noticed at first, but even the sound of the rain had stopped. But just before he pushed the double doors open to investigate, a second shockwave of the noise from earlier came.
The screeching and whirring and roaring were all there, filling his head as before. But this time, even as Seth's head throbbed and threatened to split, he started to make out other sounds in the mix-- a murmuring of many indistinct voices. These murmuring voices were arguing with each other amidst that unbelievable roar-- or at least it seemed so to Seth. They picked up speed, volume and impact until they merged with the other sounds into a high-pitched scream. Just as Seth reached a point where he thought he could no longer stand it, the noises were suddenly replaced by a quiet series of rumbling waves. These also quickly ended as Seth dropped his flashlight and staggered to one knee.
"Grrraaaaah!" was all he could manage at first, followed by: "Okay...okay. Something... something is not right here! I don't know what's happening out there, but..."
Seth reached for his flashlight, stood up, and steadied himself as if the entire world were spinning. For all he knew, it really was. He didn't know what to think; he couldn't
think. He just pressed forward, bursting through the doors of the warehouse ready for anything at all.
Seth had only gone a few paces when the power suddenly flicked back on, accompanied by a much lighter wail which subsided almost immediately. He was stading in front of the furniture section. There was no sign of anyone at all, and Seth's own breathing and footsteps were all he heard. Apart from the fact that no one was around and weird stuff was going down, everything seemed to be in order... He pocketed the flashlight and walked timidly forward, looking this way and that.
"Uhhh, guys?" he called out. He got no answer.
He stepped up to one of the desks being displayed and noticed something upon it that couldn't possibly be there. "What in the Samuel L. Jackson...?"
Evidently abandoned and laid out casually on this ordinary, clean desk in the middle of an ordinary office supply store was a SPAS-12 combat shotgun. Seth knew his way around a firearm well enough; he'd fired a shot or two at the range in his spare time anyway, same as anyone. But he only recognized this from movies. Seth's mouth opened and closed but formed no words; why
was this here?
He picked it up to inspect it, dumbfounded, curious, and terrified all at once.
"Woah, this thing's loaded!" he exclaimed, nearly chucking it across the desk. He caught himself and set it back down more gently than a baby. Breathing heavy and at a complete loss for words, he gripped the side of the desk and put his head between his arms, only to notice an ammo pouch for the weapon on the ground. Before Seth could even contemplate what might happen next, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. It produced yet another sound he'd never heard in all his life-- not quite a croak, not quite the grinding of a meat grinder.