Monsters in the Locker Room
"A Samuel Light Junior Story."
Most people think monsters aren't real. They're wrong. They do exist. Just read the newspapers, watch the TV, go to the movies, and you can see monsters that exist here and now. My name is Samuel, I'm not a monster hunter, and I'm mainly a healer and detective, with a few other things thrown in between. Usually my spare time. Which I can count on one finger.
Jimbo, my best friend, he's a monster hunter. He thinks its fun. Good exercise. Personally, I think he's nuts, but that's what you get when you make a Texan wildcat your best friend.
We were at my high school, getting ready for the game later on. I wasn't in it. I was offseason, but I liked to support our school, so I would lug my old Polaroid with me and snap pictures to share with my friends on the teams. Tonight was going to be no different. It was us versus the Outlaws, a local team that some more of my friends were on the team of. So I was going to document both sides of the game, which would have been too challenging, had not my good bud, Jimbo, stepped in graciously, to snap pictures with his Kodak.
I accepted his offer happily, until I realized he was going to be snapping more pictures of the cheer leaders than the baseball team Oh well, that's Jimbo. Hero and playboy.
We had arrived about a half hour before the game to prep our cameras and chat it up with our buddies, but found the locker room empty. The Coach had called everyone out early for some warm ups. I had forgotten he did that.
No big thing. Right?
Anything that could have possibly gone Murphy on us did. Murphy's Law dictates that whatever can go wrong, usually will. Who paid him to make our lives so negative?
We got into the locker room and settled into our backpacks to load our cameras, thinking nothing of the silence there. It was empty. What else could you expect?
"Man, I'm sure looking forward to taking pictures." Jimbo told me, a smirk on his face.
I knew that smirk. I had seen it many times. Usually before it got me in trouble, or him.
"Jimbo, you're just going to take pictures, right?"
He looked at his camera, avoiding my eyes. "Why would I do anything else?"
That's when we heard the sounds. In the hallway outside the locker room.
I looked up. "Think they're coming back?"
"Before the game starts. Nah. Must be the Janitor or something."
"Awfully loud for a janitor." I thought out loud.
We both got up and turned to look at the exit from the locker room into the hallway. Two twisted shadows loomed there on the hallway lockers, but didn't move.
"That's weird. They're not moving."
"They usually don't unless they're attached to a body." Jimbo joked.
I gave him a sharp look. He didn't see everything I did. Sometimes shadows did move without being attached to a body.
"I'm checking it out." I told Jimbo, who nodded and returned to loading his camera.
I walked casually to the exit and peered out.
The shadows didn't move. And there was no one there.
It was not only getting strange, but downright scary. Shadows don't exist without bodies, except when they're not shadows.
The Shadows moved then, almost as if sensing my thoughts.
I lifted my right hand and it began to glow like a beacon. It did that under certain circumstances, when I was healing someone or when there was danger. I wasn't healing anyone.
"Run, Jimbo!" I yelled.
I jammed back into the locker room and he leaped to his feet and followed me, as we wove through the aisles of lockers, until we reached the showers. Next to the showers was a metal door with exit only in case of emergencies marked on it.
I didn't wait to find out if it was an emergency, I slammed into the door and we both squeezed through and not a moment too soon. I shut the door behind us, and the door was struck by something so hard it actually bowed inwards towards us. I made sure to hold onto the door handle. It began to turn. I didn't think I was strong enough to hold it for very long.
"It's trying to break in." I uttered to Jimbo, who by now was standing beside me, his eyes wide as saucers.
"Ghosts can't do that."
"I know. Look for another way out."
He searched the small room we were in, but there were no exits. It was a storage room. Tons of old baseball and football helmets, caps, and jerseys were heaped in large cloth bins. Rows of old trophies lined metal shelves against the walls, as well as beat up footballs and baseballs.
"It's like the museum of old and useless sports relics." Jimbo muttered with distaste.
Then something slammed into the door again. Harder.
I let out a gasp as the air was knocked from me, but held on. My forehead was beading with sweat from the effort of blocking the door. "I don't think I can hold on much longer, Jimbo."
He ran up and put his shoulder to the door to add to the resistance I was already giving it.
"If we don't make it outta here, Sammie."
"This is not the Okay Corral, Jimbo."
"Never mind. Look, whatever those things were, they have to have some kind of physical focus. Even astral monsters have to have some kind of physical touchdown to manifest."
"Astral monsters?" Jimbo sputtered. "You mean we're being attacked by astral monsters?"
"They just look like that. They're people, young or old, male or female, who are so lost to themselves that they have become disfigured by their own anger, lust, greed and hatred."
The door banged again. Jimbo started to pull back, raising his fists.
"Wait!" I cried out. "Hold the door. I'm going to try something."
I shut my eyes and centered myself in the immediate darkness inside my mind. It became darker for a moment, and then a point of light began to grow. As it did I could see something quite clearly, but it was surrounded by a red glow. I knew what they were after!
I opened my eyes and ran to the back of the room. "Got it!"
"Got what?" Jimbo asked, and then grunted like a pig when the door was struck again. He almost fell away, but at the last moment was able to put his shoulder to it again with full force.
I ran up and showed him the year book. "It's stolen from the other team."
"Dear God in heaven, Sammie, you're telling me those monsters outside want an ordinary yearbook?"
"It's not ordinary. It's the last thing on earth they're attached to."
He gave me a blank look.
I took the book and nodded at the door. "When I say go, let the door go."
"Just trust me."
"I don't know, Sammie."
"All right, but if I die tonight, I'm not going to speak to you again."
"If we die tonight, we'll be speaking to each other a lot. Now open that door!"
He flung it open and dodged away as I took the yearbook and opened its pages and held it up before me. The pages flung back and forth and finally stopped on one, just as the two shadows flung themselves inside.
The page lit up like a spot light and the two shadows were clasped within the light and drawn into it. A moment later the pages of the book snapped shut and the book fell from my hands to the floor, where it laid smoking.
Jimbo came up and looked at it.
"What just happened?"
"They went back where they should be."
I looked at him and smiled. "You don't really want to know."
"Hey!" The Coach's voice hollered from the hallway and a moment later he rushed inside. "I thought you two were taking pictures of the game."
We didn't say anything about what had happened that night in the locker room, but we sure had a lot of phone snapping photos. Me of the baseball team and Jimbo of the cheerleaders.