The Parking Garage

story by: Jeff Slinker
Written on Jan 12, 2018

People never think it's their time to go when it's your their to go.  It was no different for Jimmy Crandall.  The soft blue fluorescent lights overhead were obviously on their last leg.  The flickering pale light that flowed and slithered in the long narrow tubes should have clued him in that something was wrong.  Except for the squeaking of tires turning on concrete several floors below, the only sound was the low electric hum from the light housings.  Off in the far corner from the opposite side of the parking structure the ding of an elevator reaching its floor sounded.  After a brief pause, the graffiti-covered doors slowly began to open.  The smell of ozone from a distant lightning strike wafted in and the damp breeze signaled a storm was coming.
Jimmy should have known something was up when he pressed the unlock button on the key fob to his sedan.  The usual "chirp-chirp" sounded weaker than usual and the headlights didn't flash as they normally did.  He reached for the handle on the rear driver side door, intent on tossing his briefcase in the back seat.  After a quick jolt upward, he realized the door never unlocked.  He searched his pocket for his key fob a second time and pressed the button once again.  Nothing.  He pulled his keys out of his pants pocket and immediately dropped them to the floor.  He knelt forward to retrieve them and in the reflection of the car door, through the dirt and water spots, he noticed a short, stocky figure looming behind him.  
"Figures.", the stocky man murmured.  "You've been dropping a lot lately."
"Who-", Jimmy began.
"Dropping the ball, as they say", interrupted the stocky man.  "Mr. Benson isn't too happy with the report he received from his contacts upstairs."
"Excuse me Mr.-?" Jimmy began.
"Green", said the stocky man.
"Mr. Green - ", Jimmy began again.
"Just Green", said the stocky man.
Jimmy Crandall was supposed to make a weekly delivery to a deposit box on the 32nd floor of the Harris-McCully building every Wednesday before 7:00 pm.  He didn't always know what was in the delivery pouch, just that he picked it up from the mail room, took it upstairs using his access key, and placed the pouch in the deposit box.  Simple as that.  Except, Jimmy had been out of town last week, and called in sick with a cold the week prior to that.  Two pouches in a row had gone undelivered. 
"Listen, Green.  I can go back down to the mail room right now and complete the deliveries. I've been out of the office the last few weeks and honestly, the deliveries just slipped my mind.  Mr. Benson surely understands that people miss work sometimes, right?", pleaded Jimmy.
"You miss a day, he understands.  You miss two weeks in a row - no phone call, no text message, no Western Union telegram - he gets a little pissed.", grumbled Green.
"Mr. Benson has already made arrangements with another sap who works in accounting to make the deliveries.", Green continued.  "It's amazing what people will do for you when they're shown pictures of their kids playing on the playground at school."
"Listen", pleaded Jimmy. "I'll make it up to him.  How much does he want?", Jimmy said frantically.
"Mr. Benson doesn't want anything from you.  What he wanted was for you to make the deliveries on time, every time, and we're past that now.", said Green.
Green pulled a small pistol from behind his waistband and held it in front of him, crossing his left hand over his right.  At the sight of the gun, Jimmy slowly slid down the side of his car until he was sitting on the cold concrete floor.  He couldn't calm himself and his breathing was fast and sporadic.  Green sighed and rolled his eyes, noticeably annoyed at Jimmy's loss of control.
"Look, guy", Green said, "Don't be pathetic. You must know that by me being here, your family is fine.  At least you got that.  Normally, if Mr. Benson wants to give a second chance, he'll send me in to bust up a kid.  Rough 'em up a little bit.  Sends a pretty serious message, but gives a guy a chance to make amends.  Whatever it is, Mr. Benson clearly don't like you enough to extend that "courtesy".", explained Green.
Slowly, Green began to lift the snub-nosed .38 to Jimmy's forehead.  He pressed it firmly against his skin. Jimmy's breathing increased to a pant and he began whimpering a low grunt with each breath. Green glanced around the empty garage, checking for signs of potential witnesses.  He placed his thumb on the hammer and rocked it back until it clicked into place.  Jimmy was shaking and crying, snot and saliva dripping from his face as he sank deeper and deeper onto the floor.  Green's gun followed Jimmy all the way down. 
Suddenly, Jimmy stopped panting.  He stopped shaking.  He began to look up at Green, pushing his .38 upward with his forehead.  
The humming of the overhead lights got louder and louder.  Green felt a change in pressure in the room as if someone turned on a vacuum outside and began emptying the room of air.  He noticed a hot sensation run down his back - shooting down from the base of his skull to the small of his back.  A burning pain that dropped him to his knees.  
He was now eye to eye with Jimmy, only Jimmy's face had turned from a slobbering mess of a scared-shitless man, into a smirk - a grin - that reversed the fear and confusion and placed it with Green.
Jimmy cocked his head ever so slightly to the right as if to try and clue Green in on his obvious mistake.  
Just then, Green's eyesight began to blur.  From the outside of his field of view to the center, a blur of blackness overtook his vision. His jaw dropped down suddenly and a loud pop could be heard as it came unhinged and dangled freely from his cheeks.  
Green screamed.  Not a scream of pain alone, but a scream of sheer fear and panic as the reality of his life coming to an end became crystal clear.  At that moment, Green's head tilted back violently and his body was flung upward as if he'd been caught in a snare, only there was nothing touching him.  Nothing at all. His head caved in as it crashed into the ceiling and his body dropped lifelessly to the ground.  
Jimmy sat there, staring at the key fob in his hand.  He slowly got to his feet, opened the back door and placed his briefcase in the backseat.  


Tags: Weird, Fear, Abstract, Dark,

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Fadrian Bartley commented on Jan 13, 2018 at 12:55am
lovely i like this


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