“Late Night Listener”

 by

 P.D. Williams

 

      It’s my first night working as a janitor at the Milton Building downtown. The place is kind of creepy this time of night, so I put in my earbuds and turn on some music as a distraction. A few hours in, I sense someone behind me, so I spin around to look, and there’s no one there. I shake it off and get back to mopping the floor.

      A short time later, I happen to glance up and catch a fleeting glimpse of someone crossing the long corridor several feet down from where I’m working. I turn off my I-pod and shout, “Is anyone there?” There’s no reply.

     My shaky nerves need some assurance that I’m truly alone, so I work up the courage to venture down to the halls’ end where I thought I saw the motion. I look both ways but observe no one. Chalking it up to the willies, I turn the music back on and continue cleaning.

     Almost immediately, I get an uneasy feeling that someone is watching me—sizing me up. I turn off my I-pod again and yell, “Where the heck are you?”

     That's when the low, scratchy voice comes through my earbuds and says, “Right behind you.” 

   THE END