Brian sat on the couch in his condo of Crown Villas. He was bored out of his mind, and he did have some stuff to do. He finished the chores around the condo, did his daily exercises and finished his three book reports for school he had to do over winter break. It was “No Phone Day” so he couldn’t use his phone on Sundays. His friends Joey and Chris were at church. His other friend, Mike was still at home trying to beat his new game Dead Space. He had no contact with any humans for the last twelve hours.
Brian wanted to play with his Proto X; a tiny palm-sized quad copter he got for Christmas, but his dad took it to his workshop to install a camera as a surprise. He also finished reading The Lost World by Michael Crichton and he didn’t have anything else to read.
He was about to collapse on the floor from boredom when he heard a knock at the door. He opened it and saw Joey and Chris were back from church.
“What’s up you guys?” said Brian. He gave each of them a bro hug and they came inside.
Joey sat on the couch and asked, “How was your day so far?”
“I was bored for the last hour.” He sat next to Joey. Chris went to the kitchen and grabbed a water.
“Didn’t you read your book?” Joey asked.
“I finished it an hour ago,” Brian responded.
Chris sat at the kitchen table. “Thanks for bringing that up. I need to finish my third one.”
“Where’s your Proto X?” asked Joey as he smiled bigger than when he walked in.
Chris smiled the same way. “Yeah. I want to fly that thing.”
“My dad took it to his shop,” Brian said.
Their smiles faded quickly. It was a cool toy for teens and everyone wanted one.
“You really need to get out of this condo more,” said Chris. He drank the last of his water and threw the bottle in the recycle trash. He always made it. Brian thought that he should try out for basketball.
“I agree,” said Joey. “We all need to. We need to go have more adventures. Run around, get dirty, hop some fences, getting into trouble would be a goal that we should accomplish.”
Brian looked like he was going to agree with them. It was fun to go out and have adventures. You make more friends, learn more about the world, and are more creative, the list is endless. “I don’t know. What if we get into trouble or something?”
“It’ll be worth it.”
Brian did remember his mom once saying, “Get into trouble for crying out loud, Brian!”
“Well, what do you say?” Joey asked.
Brian nodded. “Okay.”
Joey and Chris high-fived Brian and gave him a few pats on the back. He felt happy now. He was the new adventure boy. But one question still crossed his mind: “Where should we go?”
“Do you have any places that you’ve been interested in seeing?” Chris asked him as he twisted his hat backwards.
Brian thought for a moment and said: “Follow me.” He got off the couch and walked out the back door of his condo. Chris and Joey followed.
The back of the complex was all dirt with a few tall trees and a small clearing. To the left was a cliff, to the right was a fence and straight ahead was some sort of tower. They didn’t know if it was a work tower or a water tower. Brian led Joey and Chris to the cliff. It was almost completely vertical. There were some pipes at the bottom and some tall trees that prevented anyone from seeing the ground below.
The city of Corona was so peaceful, and the mountains were so green and Brian somehow found them very mysterious. Maybe because they were so quiet all the time or that no one ever went on them.
The three boys looked down the cliff. About fifty to one-hundred feet down was a small building. It was said to have been a water purification building that helped control the pool machines for the surrounding houses. There was an overturned police car near the front gate. It had been there since Brian moved in a year ago, maybe a little longer. There was a lot of graffiti on the walls and trash all over the place. It looked like a haunted house.
“I don’t know man,” said Chris. His voice sounded deeper. He was already getting goose bumps. “I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff about that place, and it doesn’t seem like a good idea at all to seek adventure.”
“You’re the ones who wanted me to seek more adventures and get out more. Now you back out on me!”
“Come with me,” said Chris. “Let me show you what I’m talking about.”
They all ran from the cliff toward Chris’s condo. He lived three buildings away from Brian and next door to Joey. He walked in and led his two friends to his dad’s office. Chris was also curious before about that water purification building, so he went online and looked it up. He printed the articles soon after and has kept them ever since. He pulled the articles out of the closet and handed three to Brian and the other three to Joey.
Each article was about some major events that happened at the building years before.
The first was set thirty years ago when a few workers said they saw paranormal activity (doors slamming on their own, women screaming even though there were no women working there, strange shadows, and glasses dropping from shelves) and a death of one of the workers by gas fumes.
The second was the same except there was more paranormal activity and an increased amount of deaths.
The third was set a year before the boys were born when the building closed down from too many deaths and strange activity. Some reports said that some policemen entered the place to find out what was wrong with the place, but when they did, they never came back out again.
The next two stated that the security system still works for some unknown reason, even though the power was cut and no one set foot there for so many years. It was mostly on during the night. The reports were made only a month ago.
The last one stated that the disappearance of a group of teens who went into the building and never came back out. The only evidence found was some blood of three of the boys and two wallets.
“Sound’s tough, Brian,” said Joey as he swallowed loudly. Both boys handed the articles back to Chris.
“You know those newspapers make up stories like that to get people interested in reading it,” explained Brian. Chris and Joey agreed with him. Just about 80% of the stories the newspapers make are all made up. “Come on guys, I think we can do this, unless you’re chicken.” Brian made chicken noises and flapped his arms like wings. He could see they were getting annoyed with him. “You would be doing the same thing to me.”
Joey and Chris knew that he was a hundred percent right. “OK,” they said simultaneously.
Brian quit the chicken noises and the flapping. He was happy his friends agreed to go.
“We should know more about that place before we go in there,” said Chris. He put the articles back in the closet. The goose bumps on his arms and legs didn’t seem to be getting any better.
At around six that evening, Brian called Mike and asked him if he knew anything about hacking into a security camera system.
“Are you kidding, of course I do. Have I been living under a rock?”
Brian asked him if he could hack into the security system and get control of it so they could sneak in without being seen by them.
Mike said he would do it, but he needed the serial number on the power box to hack in.
“There’s a lot more you need than that.”
“I already have everything else. I just need that, and I’ll take care of it.”
Brian said that he would try his best to get it before midnight, the scheduled time to start their investigation.
His father came home at nine-thirty with his new Proto X. The tiny camera was installed and there was a screen on the remote so he could see whatever the camera saw. He wouldn’t have to look at the X itself anymore.
He went down a much less steep part of the cliff and stopped about halfway down. He called Mike and told him he was going to give him the serial number with his Proto X.
He turned on the controller. The small light at the top blinked orange. He turned on the quad copter. The LED lights (two red and two blue) blinked once and they stayed on and a small BEEP came from it. The orange light stopped blinking and changed to green. It was ready to run.
He put the copter on the palm of his hand and lifted the throttle. All the blades spun and it made a sound like a mosquito on steroids. It lifted from his hand and was in the air. He turned on the camera and looked down at the screen.
The quad copter made a 180 degree turn and the building was in view. He pushed the other lever up and the Proto X tilted down slightly and rushed forward like a tiny jet. He stopped it and it was straight up again just five feet from the wall of the building.
The wall was white with brown spots, chipped paint, blood stains, and some weird writing written in the blood such as: IF YOU ENTER, YOU DIE!, BEWARE OF DEADLY GHOSTS ALL OVER, and WHOEVER ENTERS NEVER COMES BACK OUT. He swiped the lever to the right and the quad copter tilted to the right and jerked right as well. He immediately released it and it stopped in front of the cable box for the security system. He called Mike and told him the number: LB777WED9823. Mike thanked him and he would let them know when he would be ready.
Brian hung up and looked back down at the screen on the remote. He turned the Proto 180 degrees again and saw something he would never forget.
The camera was focusing on what looked like a weird-looking transparent man. He was dark and he was wearing some kind of hood. He just stood there and stared at the quad copter like he was about to send it flying into space, never to be seen again.
Brian almost dropped the remote. He pushed the throttle up and the Proto sped forward like a jet and through the man. The camera went blurry and static ran through it for a few seconds. Brian had no idea where it went.
About five seconds later, he heard the sound of the rotors getting louder. Before he could turn to look, the quad copter struck the back of his head and landed on the ground by his foot. He turned off the remote and the Proto X. He hoped that what he caught was still on the camera and not his imagination. He put the Proto X in his jacket pocket, ran as fast as he could to his condo, and went to bed for a short nap. Before he went to sleep, he turned on a walkie and set it to the same channel that Joey and him had told each other earlier that day, and checked his watch. It was 9:36 p.m.
By exactly 12:04 a.m., Brian was already sitting on his bed wearing black clothes, with all his gear packed in a small backpack: a flashlight, extra batteries, an air horn, a camcorder and his walkie talkie. His Proto X was fully charged and was safely in his pocket.
He heard static on the walkie and finally heard Joey’s voice. “Okay, it’s time. Don’t get caught. Over.”
Brian picked it up, held down the button and responded: “I won’t. Over.” He grabbed his backpack, stuffed some other bags and a pillow under the sheets, and placed a red balloon on his pillow. Watching those movies with kids sneaking out really payed off. He slowly opened the sliding glass door, and closed it slowly. He hopped over the small gate surrounding the back patio, and ran out to the clearing. Joey and Chris emerged less than a minute later. They were also carrying their own backpacks with gear in them. They were wearing black clothing as well.
“Okay, guys,” said Chris. “Here we go to the one place that’s said to be haunted.” He started to sound like a ghost before he was even done talking.
“What’s going on with Mike?” Joey asked Brian.
“He said earlier that he was almost ready he will give us a call when he’s hacked the system.”
“If he fell asleep, I’m going to kick his butt when I wake up after this is over.”
“Same here,” said Chris.
“Alright, let’s go.” Brian got up and ran toward the less steep part of the cliff he took a few hours ago. They went down slowly. Some bushes scratched their faces, arms, and legs. They walked until they made it to the chain-linked fence.
The building was fifty yards in front of them and it seemed like it was waiting for them. The lights were on, the cameras were panning back and forth, like they were searching for them, and the front door was open a crack.
Brian’s cell phone vibrated in his pants pocket. It was Mike.
“How’s it going Mike?”
“Good. I have hacked into the system. I can now see what the cameras see. I see you guys on the other side of the fence.”
There were some clicks from his computer.
“Okay, I’m passed the firewall. Now I can control the cameras. But only for a little bit.”
“Only about a few minutes every few hours from what I’m looking at right now. I’m fighting for the system control from someone else, but no one’s in there. It’s probably a temporary glitch, nothing too bad.”
“Good to hear.”
“Okay, Brian. I need you to do something. I need you to fly the Proto X by the camera that’s facing you, and get it to turn away from you then I’ll shut it down.”
“Why can’t you shut it down now?”
“Whoever was controlling the system got control again, but I can get it back again in a few seconds.”
“Alright, I’ll do it right now.”
He put the phone on speaker, and set it on the ground. He pulled the Proto X out of his pocket, turned it on, and flew it toward the camera. The small gusts of wind made the X drift off a little, but it fought the wind and stayed in view of the camera lens. Once he was in front of the camera, the X drifted to the right and the camera kept its lens on it like it was magnetic. Then the red light next to the lens turned off and the camera stopped following the Proto.
“Alright. I shut down all the cameras. You are good for ninety seconds. GO!”
The three boys climbed the fence like they were trying to escape a wild dog. They made it to the top and dropped down. They landed on the dirt ground and clouds of dust formed around all three of them. They got to their feet and sprinted to the door. Brian forgot the Proto X on the ground. The three boys ran into the building. Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind them.
After the door slammed shut, Brian took out the camcorder, and turned on its night vision. Chris found a light switch, but only a few lights came on. There was a small flight of stairs in front of them leading down, and a concrete floor.
Brian suddenly remembered that he still had his cell phone on. He tried calling to Mike. All that came out was static and what sounded like Mike screaming. All that they could hear him saying was “Ge–…ou–…th–…” Then the phone went blank. It was the last time they ever heard from him.
Brian hung up the phone. He looked at Joey and Chris and shook his head. It was enough of an answer to them. They did try the door again, but it was still stuck like someone super-glued it shut. They were stuck in the building, with no possible way out as far as they knew.
They descended the stairs slowly, with their flashlights in hand. They reached the bottom and found what looked like some kind of lair with a giant swimming pool like at their high school. There were concrete pillars in one long row. The swimming pool was on the right side and there was a row of doors on the left. Above the pool was a giant glass roof overlooking the stars. There was just one problem. That wasn’t there when they first walked in. Something was wrong with the building the moment they entered it.
“I don’t know about this place anymore,” said Joey. He was almost panicking and he looked like he was going to drop down any moment.
“Just stay close,” said Brian as he wrapped his arm across the back of his neck.
They made their way over to the pool. It was as still and silent as a cemetery. They stared at the water and what looked like a dark figure standing on the bottom.
Brian’s jaw dropped. “Get away from there!”
But it was too late. The figure leaped out of the water, grabbed Chris by the shoulders, and dragged him under the surface.
“RUN,” shouted Brian.
Him and Joey ran from the pool and into one of the rooms on the other side and closed the door behind them.
It stayed quiet for about five minutes before they opened it again. Brian was almost in shock. He was in tears and he dropped the camcorder twice. Joey offered to take it and Brian thought it was a good idea.
They walked even slower back to the pool. It was still and silent as before, Chris was gone, and there was someone else with them in the building that was going to kill them any way possible.
“Chris.” The boys shouted that name for almost fifteen minutes before his body, soaked with water and the odor of chlorine crashed through the glass ceiling. It missed the pool and landed on the ground. They heard some CRUNCH, CRACK sounds when he hit.
“Oh my god, Chris.” They didn’t even get closer to him. They looked behind Chris’s dead body and saw the dark figure again with a skeleton-like face. He looked like he was staring down at Brian. He was more scared than ever.
“I guess some adventures aren’t worth it if it takes the life of someone you know,” said Brian as he wiped a tear from his cheek. It was the last good thing he said.
Both boys tried to run, but Brian tripped and felt like something was ripping through the back of his spine. He yelled out with all his might, and his eyes changed from a leaf green to fire red.
Joey got it all on the camcorder. He looked at Brian, and saw him change completely. He sat there like he was still in shock, his head turned 180 degrees, and faced Joey. Brian then smiled, and said: “Whoever fears me the most, gets their adventure.”
But it didn’t sound like a good adventure at all. The demon now possessed Brian and Joey was easier to kill.
Brian’s head turned back around, and he ran toward Joey.
Joey didn’t even think. He ran as fast as he could to the end of the long hallway and went into the door at the end. He held it shut as “Brian” tried to forcefully pull it from the hinges. He stopped after about ten seconds, but it felt like hours.
Joey held the camcorder at his chest. He was capturing everything. His heart felt like it was trying to leap out of his throat. Tears ran down his cheeks like rivers. “I have to get out of here,” he said to himself. He had to find another weapon to use against “Brian.” On the shelf beside him, was a jug of liquid chlorine. He held it in his hand tight, and slowly left the room.
Immediately, he looked to his right at the door beside the one he was in. There was a little girl about nine, and she was wearing a night gown. She had her back toward him.
“Oh my god,” he whispered.
The girl turned around and looked at him with bright green eyes. Her eyes rolled back and she let out a demonic roar. Joey splashed the girl with the chlorine, turned away and ran off yelling. He could hear the girl’s demonic yells right behind him and very close. He was beside the fifth concrete pillar and he turned right hoping to not see the girl again but he saw “Brian.” “Brian” jerked forward and let out a demonic roar, and Joey fell backwards and the chlorine bottle rolled away. Joey was dead.
“Brian” picked up the camera, and stared into the lens. His eyes were dark and he had sharp teeth. There were also purple-like veins on the lower part of his face. He stared at the camera for a few seconds and turned it toward Joey, who lay lifeless on the floor. “Brian” turned the camera back to his face and turned it off.
Outside the building, Brian’s Proto X turned itself on, and circled the building slowly. It made the same sound: a mosquito on steroids. It was now part of the security system. It circled forever, waiting for anyone else who wanted to find anything interesting in the building.