The Midnight Hour

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Chapter 2

6:00 A.M.

“God, I feel like crap”. I said as I opened my eyes to the sound of the alarm clock.

Shit, I don’t know why I always set my alarm for six, I guess it’s just for those last few minutes of sleep before I must go into the hell that is my job. I work at the local grocery store downtown. It’s an old worn down building, when it rains the ceiling leaks, a real piece of junk. But, it always manages to be busy considering it’s the only store in town.

I’m that guy sitting behind the cash register you see every day complaining to that we don’t honor your stupid coupons there like I really give a shit you didn’t get to save ten cents off your potato chips, I mean seriously get over it it’s ten cents for God’s sake. Yeah, I’m that guy.

We don’t even have a twenty-four-hour gas station here. Practically live in the middle of nowhere.

I always planned to run away from this place, but I never quite manage to get out. It’s as though this place is a giant traffic jam and the cars aren’t moving anywhere. So, here I am, stuck in Bedford, working at the local shithole.

“Hey, Derek”

I look out the window and my buddy Marcus is outside yelling up at me. He’s got his standard ripped blue jeans on, and an old hoodie he stole from our friend Cory. He also has his trusty camera he takes everywhere with him, always looking for a good picture or story to report on, he is a photo journalist for the Bedford Times.

“Get your ass down here, I got this awesome story I’m lookin into. You’ve gotta hear it” he said.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be down in a minute”.

He always has some story he just has to tell me, typically some crap like how old Mrs. Perkins broke her hip again, or how local law enforcement had to deal with loose cows, real dumb stuff that no one really cares to read about.

I dig through the mountain of clothes on my table and find a pair of black jeans and a black shirt that seem clean enough, I spray some body spray on em for safe measure.

I head down the hallway and grab a coke from the kitchen, gotta get that sweet caffeine in me before life happens today. I open the front door to see Marcus with this big goofy grin on his face, his thick dark blonde hair is all slicked back with greasy looking gunk on it.

“What’s up Mark” I ask.

“Dude, I got this intense story the paper wants me to investigate on”.

“Oh, yeah? What, did the school decide to go with the blue football jerseys this year instead of the white” I say.

“Ha, ha, real funny, this is a serious art you know people like to read my stories I give them”.

“Sure, sure, well let’s hear it then”.

“Alright, you know that old sanatorium out by the old abandoned hospital?”

“Yeah, so” I say. “They want you do go interrogate the crack heads who live there?”

He holds up an old missing persons’ newspaper clipping.

“See this, these people have been missing for years, I was hanging out by the police station and I overheard them saying they think there might be a lead on the missing people there. So, I told the Times and they want me to go in there and see if I can beat the police to the punch.”

“So, let me get this straight you want to go into an old abandoned mental asylum and find leads on missing people? That’s ridiculous, all you will find there are the crack heads and maybe a need for a tetanus shot”. I say.

“Always nay saying, have a little faith man, this could be my big break to get noticed by big shots and get the hell out of this place”.

“Ha, well good luck with that man”. I laugh.

“Well either way I am heading over there in a few hours, you can join me if you want”. He said.

“Nah, I think I will pass, I gotta get to work, plus I told Cory I would swing by his place after work”.

He shrugs and turns to walk away. “Suit yourself, when I make it big remember you could have been a witness in my story”. He said.

He walks off down the road snapping a few pictures of the houses next door. I walk over to my car parked out front by the curb. I hop in and start the engine. I let out a sigh of disgust, “Here we go”.

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