The Abandoned mall part 2

The next morning; they were all awakened by the sound of a gruff security card; screaming ” How the hell did you kids get in here?”   “You are in big trouble, you realize this is breaking and entering, right”   All waking from their hangover; they were confused. Who was the security guard?  And why was he calling them kids, they were grown adults.   They wondered if this was the guy that padlocked all the doors. Was he some sort of psycho? Were they in danger? At this point they all looked at each other in total confusion. John said groggily ” Dude, I don’t who you are but you’re not a cop, I’m calling the real cops”  He reached for his phone; only to find it gone. What the hell? He said “Where is my phone?”   They all reached for their phones and they realized that they also didn’t have their phones. They wondered if maybe they had all lost their phones; because you, know; they were drunk. They barely had time to think before the security card threatened to call their parents and ban them from the mall.   “My parents?”  said Tom.   “We are all in our 30’s; we don’t live with our parents”  “Very funny, smart guy;  you can call your folks from the office” said the increasingly angry security guard.   None of them knew how to react and Lauren said ” Listen you creep, we don’t know how you are and you are obviously crazy, so stay away from us, we’re leaving.

As soon as they walked out; they all of a sudden saw all of these customers; like the mall had never closed. People were walking in and out of the entrance and they couldn’t believe their eyes.   They asked a few people to use their cellphone and were surprised to hear people exclaim “I don’t have a phone, use the payphone, buddy”  “Who uses a payphone anymore” said Lauren.  A man rolled his eyes and said “Stupid kids”   “Why do they keep calling us kids” said John. They were all so confused.   And the people they saw just looked different; their clothes seemed outdated and so did their hairstyles.  Tom noticed a young teenage boy wearing jnco jeans; he hadn’t seen that in over 20 years.  Another man walked past them wearing an old Starters jersey; was it 90’s  throwback day or something; it was really weird.   Tom walked by a mirror and his heart dropped; he didn’t see himself in the mirror or his friends. Instead he saw himself as he was in 1995; A young 13 year old boy with his friends the same age.  He motioned his friends to the mirror and the shock overtook them as well; why were they seeing their past selves in this mirror.  It was making sense to them why the security guard called them kids and mentioned contacting their parents.  They realized that somehow during their time in the abandoned mall they have traveled back in time. How was it possible? Surely time travel didn’t exist. This felt like something out of the twilight zone. The question came about of how they could manage to get themselves back to the present day. They had no idea since they didn’t know how they had traveled back in time in the first place.

Lauren thought about all the possibilities; maybe she could do things differently; maybe she could make better choices and make the future better. Tom and John were weary of this. John said ” I’ve seen the butterfly effect and that didn’t end well”   Lauren stated “that was a movie; this is real life” But Tom added warning “Anything we do now can have dire consequences in the future”  And Tom realized “On second thought our present day is pretty shitty and there are so many things I could do differently”  They decided that since they had traveled to the past; they would try to do things right this time. I mean, what could possible go wrong.  This was beginning to feel like quite the adventure.  “This is like a really weird 80’s science fiction movie, you know” said Lauren.

They stepped out of that mall and they were instantly floored at all the old cars and businesses that had long been gone in 2019.  They walked by and laughed to themselves; passing by a television story with news reports of President Clinton.  They walked by their old high school; a place where they were outcasts.   They heard the sound of their football team playing and all the students in the stand cheering. “I forgot how much I hated them” said John.  They all shook their heads in agreement; they were not eager to reminisce their high school days. They happened upon another friend who was walking past them.  It was Mark Henderson; he had died in Iraq in 2004; they all stood in shock and disbelief but here he was alive as if he’d never grown up and in this world he was still that goofy kid they all remembered.  He approached them and said  “I’m going to see the Chilli Peppers tonight and I have an extra ticket, do you want to go Lauren?  Lauren instantly remembered how Mark had the biggest crush on her; he was cute but wasn’t her type.  She recalled the time when he finally mustered up the courage to ask her out and she told him she had a boyfriend when she really didn’t.  She was overcome with those emotions and was also realizing the boy standing in front of no long existed in the present day. She felt like crying but she composed herself and said “Sure, Mark”  knowing full well she wasn’t going anywhere with him; hoping soon she’d back in the present day. He said “Great!!” trying to hide his excitement.  He said well I’ll see you around 5 pm Lauren? She nodded her head.  As he walked into the distance Tom “Whoa that was weird, man. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing. We just talked to a dead guy; they sat on the sidewalk just trying to figure what to do next.

They all decided to walk to Tom’s house; which was a few blocks away. It was exactly how he remembered it. Years ago his parents had died and the estate bulldozed that home; which was on the corner; to make way for a new coffee shop. Every time he saw that coffee shop he felt extreme sadness that his childhood home was gone; but here it was in all of it’s glory. It wasn’t a big home but it had so many fond memories.  A part of Tom was excited to see his parents again and saw his little sister Ariana ( 10 years old)  sitting on the stoop. He ran to give her a hug; their current relationship was strained and he hadn’t talked to her in years; since she and her husband moved to Arizona to run a small business. He realized how much he loved his sister at that moment as she extended her arms in a big hug; it was such a good feeling.  His mom and dad greeted him with a smile; he held back tears; remembering the grief of both his parents having died a few years back..  They said “Oh Tom, nice of you to come home. You stayed over at Johns and didn’t bother to tell us” “Oh hello Lauren”  They scolded him for apparently not coming home early enough but didn’t want to make a scene in front of his friends. This was all too weird they thought but went with it. They all had breakfast since they were starving.   John chuckled when he noticed Ariana watching Animaniacs; he was like “Oh I haven’t seen that show in years” and sat down to watch with her.  She looked confused “What do you mean? The show is on all the time and you always watch it with me”  “Stop being stupid”  “Ariana!!” exclaimed Tom’s mother ” Don’t be rude to your brother’s friends”  “Sorry” she said to John and they continued to watch cartoons.  After the meal Tom told his parents that they were going out again and he was about to say “I’ll text you when I’m coming home’  it slowly dawned on him that no one had a cell phone. he had totally forgotten that cell phones were non existent during his childhood; he had to remember to relay on payphones which were a pain in the ass since he had no quarters.  So he said ” Ok, mom. I’ll call you from Lauren’s to let you know I’m coming home”

As they were leaving Lauren said she wanted to visit her parents and John was like “oh hell no I’m not going back to my family”  John has grown up in an abusive household with an alcoholic father and a negligent mother; he had no intentions of going down memory lane with them.  John stopped and cried; thinking about his painful childhood.  Oh fuck this, he said. I just want to go back home; I really don’t want to be here. He broke down, completely distraught.  Lauren put his arm around him and in comforting tone stating’ “We don’t have to go back there, John: You know we love you, it’s alright”   “John, do you mind if I see my parents and brothers and sisters?”  John nodded his and through sniffles said yes.

They headed to Lauren’s house which was wasn’t far. It was a town home; near the middle school they had all attended.  Lauren had happy memories; she loved her parents and her two brothers and  sister.  Even in the present day; she was close with them.  She reached her pocket and to her surprise; she had a house key; opened the door and found her older brother watching a football game on tv and drinking a beer; he was 22 at time  and although he was  much older; they got along and he was very protective of her. He barely noticed her walked in the door and greeted her he said “Hey” in distracted tone.  She asked him where mom and dad were and he said seemed annoyed ” Don’t be funny, you know they are visiting grandma in Michigan”  Oh she said in a disappointed voice “I forgot”   She saw her younger brother and sister playing outside; her brother had a little game boy that he was fixated on and her little sister was playing on the swing with one of the neighbor girls.  The memories came flooding back and she was filled with emotion; she wasn’t prepared for the on slot of memories.   She thought of John next to her and was blessed to have had  such a loving family. She remembered how John would always want to come over for dinner but she was never welcome at his house; after all these years she finally figured out why and appreciated her friend John even more at that very moment.  They sat in the house for a few more hours; looking through her old things; the posters of Hanson on her wall and tiger beat magazine; it was a lot to take and John and Tom seemed bored; so they left a few hours later.

They figured they had seen all they needed to see within the day and now they had to go back to the mall and find a way back. They walked back towards the mall but couldn’t find it; it was gone.  Tom said I swear it was right here on orange ave; and it was since 1965; but there was no mall.  “Maybe we went in the wrong direction” said Lauren ” No way, it has always been here” said Tom in an angry and fearful voice.   They decided to walk in the other direction; in case maybe they were wrong but saw nothing.  What the hell are we going to do, man?? screamed John.   Why the hell did you text me and Lauren?, Tom”.  “Now we’re stuck here with no way of getting home”.  John said   “I don’t know what to say:; crying in anguish said Tom.  “I am scared too, ok”.  “But this isn’t anyone fault and we can’t get back if we keep arguing”.  “Lets get our heads together and figure this shit out”.   John threw his hands in the air and said “Screw this; you’re on your own. I’m going home without you two. See you in the future, kid”.   All of a sudden John felt a hand on his shoulder and it was the security guard that had woken them up.  He said “You kids are right; the mall was here but now it’s gone and it’s never coming back.  And as for home; you are home; enjoy it, kiddos”.  He lit a cigarette and walked into the distance; laughing manically

 

No photo description available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The abandoned mall ( a short story) part 1

Tom was tired of being cooped up in the house all day long; with no one talk to and the only voices he heard were his own thoughts; loud as thunder;  the loneliness seem to worsen at night. So to quell his anxiety; Tom decided to take a walk and venture out into the night to see what he could find; anything was better than another night watching late night tv and eating leftover pizza; so off he went.  Tom walked out his door; not having felt the fresh air in days; he was greeted by sound of a young kid blasting loud music from his car stereo; he’d run into problems with him before so he decided to walk on by; he didn’t want to cross this kid.  He didn’t live far from the main road so he went into that direction; no destination in mind; just enjoying the exercise and clear his head from all the stress he endured; the job he hated  and the girlfriend who left him for some guy she met on tinder; he walked with his hands in pocket; wondering what she was up to and remembering she had yet to pick up some of her things.   Tom hummed a song; just to change the conversation in his head.

Tom walked upon the old abandoned mall; it had died a year ago and nothing was done with it; it was an empty building; lifeless; missing were the crowds of people who use congregate that mall on those weekend nights. He thought about the days as a teenager where he’d spend hours with his friends; just hanging out. His dad used to ask him why he hung out at the mall so much and his reply was always “I don’t know, nothing else to do, I guess”  Now that the mall was gone; Tom wondered where the kids hung out; a feeling sadness over washed him; like something sacred was gone; like what once was; was no longer and he shook his head.  Those kids will have no place to go to with their friends; he said to himself.  The mall was an essential part of his growing up and it was gone; snatched by a bad economy and trendy online stores.  Tom wondered what caused all this and why it mattered to him.

Tom then had a crazy idea; he didn’t see any security and the he knew he had to go back to that mall just one more time for old times sake; but he wasn’t going in alone. He texted his friends John and Lauren  ( his best friends from high school; who spent all of their time at this mall)    They all texted him back and agreed that this would be a great idea. 30 minutes later the gang was all back together again; figuring the best way into the mall.  John remembered that he had heard some kids had gotten in a few months before through the parking garage and low behold; they found a way in. They were amazed. How could it be this easy?

They found themselves in the old food court and to their surprise the lights were still on and the muzak was playing. Who was paying for all of this and what was the purpose of keeping this mall running when all the stores were long gone? It was eerie as hell. Lauren exclaimed “Guys, this is creeping me out; let’s just leave”   “Don’t be scared” said Tom, “We’re the only ones here”  John all had a great idea he said ” Hey guys, I’m hungry; I’m wondering if we can find any food” “You guys wanna raid the Pizza place?”    They all agreed.  Low and behold all the food supplies were there ( as if it was still operating)  and John immediately got some dough out; flattening it on a table; threw some tomato paste and cheese and threw it in the over that was still working.  Tom said “This is really weird, I mean if this mall is closed then why does it feel like it’s still open?”  No one had an answer.  John said ” Don’t question it, man.  I just want some pizza”   Lauren was puzzled as well and said “I am really regretting coming here with you, guys but since I’m here; I’ll take some free pizza, I guess”  They all enjoyed their pizza and starting to really enjoy this excursion into the abandoned mall; that seemed to calling to them to explore.

After dinner they walked around the mall; like in the old days and they couldn’t believe their eyes. All the store were open with the lights on and merchandise still on the shelves; as if nothing had changed. And like the food court; they were blasted by music from the loud speaker; missing were the pesky sales clerks. They realized that the mall was all theirs that night.  Tom yelled out “Hey guys check it out: A bike store!!”    It couldn’t get better than that.  They all grabbed a bike and rode around the mall as if they were 13 years old again; all yelling out like children; having the time of their lives.   Tom sang from the top of the escalator at the top of his lungs.  John and Lauren pulled out their cigarettes and smoked gleefully in defiance of the shoppers that were no longer there.

It was like a dream come true; they went through every store; grabbing everything they could. They found some abandoned shopping carts and the race was on; grab as much stuff as they possibly could. I mean, who was going to know? Half of these business’s were closed for good so it was ripe for the picking. John and Tom grabbed everything possible in the video game store; all the gaming systems; hundred of games; hell even the display tv; this was a free for all, man.  Lauren joined them; prying opening the register to see if there was any cash; and it was full of money.  Her brain just exploded in delight; she’d rob this non existent mall for all it was worth; she could pay all her bills; she could take that much needed vacation; and buy her boyfriend something nice ( maybe).  She yelled out “Guys, this register has cash in it; let’s check every store!”   They agreed; tossed the games aside and just gathered the cash instead. What  first was exploration into an abandoned mall was now full on robbery.  They went into every store; smashing the registers; finding tons of cash and finding even more in the backrooms of each store.  None of them had stolen anything in their lives but yet somehow in mere hours they’d become criminals in pursuit of stealing cash.  And none of them felt guilty about it ;as far as they were concerned it was a victimless crime.

They gathered about 4 carts worth of stolen cash; they had at least 5,000$ .  “I mean imagine all the shit we can buy with that cash” said Tom.  Lauren said ” Yeah but we cannot tell anyone about this, ok?  “If we get caught’ they’ll send us away for a long long time and I know you, John; you have a big mouth”   John said ” Lauren what the hell are you talking about? I don’t have a big mouth, why would you say that?”    Remember that time I told you I liked  Pete Michaels and the next day everyone knew about it?” said Lauren.   John said ” Oh that is bullshit. First off, I never told anyone and even if I did, that was high school, get over it” They both started arguing. Tom broke it up;  making sure that everyone agreed to keep their mouth shut.

At that point; they all decided to leave. John had brought his truck and that was enough to conceal the cash under a blanket until they could make it home. They made their way through the food court to the door they had entered from; to their shock the door was locked; in fact it was padlocked.   They were all terrified; how did this door get locked if they were the only ones there? Were they alone or was there someone else here with them?  Was there really security after all?  Tom suggested they try to make their way to all the exits and press their luck; locked every damn time. What was happening?  They’d never been so scared in their lives. They’d could call the police but they had to admit to breaking into the mall; stealing thousands of dollars of cash; they couldn’t do that. They panicked; they were trapped and it was too late to call anyone else and when they looked at their phones; none of them had service.  They had no idea what to do. They decided that they had no choice but to stay there for the night and they’d see if they could call someone in the morning; what else could they do? Now they all regretted breaking into this mall;  who knows how long they’d be stuck here.

Tom remembered there was a few restaurants in the mall and they had beer and wine;  “Hey if we’re going to be here all night; we might as well party and get drunk”  That seemed to lighten the mood. They all ran as fast they could and found the bar in one of the restaurant; Lauren played bartender.  She had worked at plenty of bars and knew how to make drinks.  They drank and drank until they could barely stand up; all they could muster was babbling drunk talk; filling the empty mall with loud laughter; for a moment they’d forgotten their predicament.  They made a raucous; smashing up mannequins, breaking signs and found the muzak radio that piped in the music from the speakers; they broke it piece by piece. “There, no more crappy music to keep us up; sang Lauren in a drunken stupor”   Tearing up the mall was just so much fun; all of that pent up aggression came out; the mall looked like a bomb hit after an hour of this.  John even set a mannequin on fire and threw in that little wishing fountain where people would throw all of their pennies. It looked like a scene out of Lord of Flies except these were adults which made it seem even more disturbing.  How did a curiosity of the abandoned mall spiral out of chaos so quickly?   After effectively destroying the mall; they retreated  to the department store; to sleep off their drunkenness and to try and figure out a plan to escape the next day.   They all crashed; not knowing what lay ahead for them.

 

No photo description available.