I work as a Janitor
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Posted by ZtheUnimpressive on: 11:09 AM, 06/ 4/16
I work as a janitor at the college I graduated from a few years back. It’s not the best paying job, but it’s easy enough when you get in the swing of things, and it’s within a few minutes drive from where I live. I’ve worked their four years now, cleaning the same building for two years. When you come in from either of the two main entrances you can see the through the long corridor to the entrance at the opposite end, with entrances to two garages on your left and right, two sets of bathrooms at both ends, and classes and offices lining the hallway. It was a large building by most standards, at least my own, with that one long, straight-as-an-arrow hallway and high ceilings reaching up into exposed rafters, but after spending two years cleaning it, it felt small. For two years, this building was my home away from home. I knew every dust collecting corner, nook, and cranny like the back of my hand. When you get to know a place as well as that, any deviation from the norm comes as a shock, if only for an instant. It’s one of the these deviations that, well, maybe deviation isn’t the best word for it but it’s the only thing I can think of the describe my experience.

It was mid fall, right around the time where it gets pitch black out around six or seven pm. I work what is technically second shift, 7 PM to 3 AM, and around this time of year for me it becomes a matter of falling asleep in the dark only to wake up eight hours later as the dark is just beginning to settle back down for the evening. I’m not the biggest fan of the sun, but even I begin to miss it around this time of year. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a human with human needs, and I’d add sunlight to that list; too much darkness isn’t healthy for the mind, especially when I’m already on medicine to deal with...less than pleasant thoughts.

I woke up at 5 PM, left the house by 6:15, got to work around 6:25, collected my keys and radio, signed in and began my shift at 7 PM, all the while it was a moonless, starless, cloudy night. As I’d begun to gather my supplies from the janitorial closet, I’d realized I’d forgotten my mp3 player. It was the closest thing to relief I got while working there. I don’t talk to anyone in general but my few friends, and unless I’m with them in person, we only ever talk through text. Because of this, I like to listen to podcasts, mostly comedy or self-help, hearing people just talk away makes me feel less alone at night. My phone at the time was a cheap, prepaid piece of trash, and even if I could hook my ear buds up to it, I didn’t have any music downloaded to it. Frustrated, I rushed through my work as quick as I could so I could score a little extra down time before the first of our two mandated twenty minute breaks and read the book I’d brought in my lunch box. I would have taken any kind of distraction at that point really.

The north and south ends of the building branch off to the right towards the bathrooms on their respective ends. I was at the north end, about 75% done, and turned off to the right to clean the men’s room. Most of the rooms, bathrooms included, have those automatic lights, the ones that turn on when they sense movement, which can be gift when your hands are full and curse when they don’t work. The lights of the bathroom I intended to clean would usually turn on before I even walked through the open doorway, but this time they didn’t turn on even when I had brought in my supply cart. This bathroom is odd, the entrance has no door, takes a sharp turn to the right and another to the left a few feet in that leads to a roughly 10 ft by 10 ft square of empty room before continuing on to the urinals, toilets stalls, sink and a small, rarely used shower. I think this bit of the room may have had lockers or benches at some point, but I’m not sure. Anyway, when the lights didn’t turn on, I grabbed my phone and used the meager light the screen gave off to search the walls for a light switch, thinking that someone had maybe turned the sensor off, a fairly common, logical issue. My search, however, was fruitless.

This bathroom, no matter how well it’s cleaned, always smells of piss and other waste. The walls beside the toilets are sticky with dried urine, and before they’re cleaned the toilets always have little flecks of shit caked on them. To really seal the disgusting bathroom motif, the walls are always spotted with flies and meal moths. While I thought this was disgusting on its own, the darkness invited things I hadn’t realized lived in their out to play. Big black beetles, tiny millipedes, spiders, and a few of those house centipedes. I only tolerate bugs when they leave me be, but this had me in a disgusted panic and I decided to leave. I grabbed my radio as I left to call my supervisor about the lights but at some point it seemed the battery had died so, cursing, I decided I’d call him on my phone.

Before I could dial his number, I heard a crunch under my boot and stopped, disgusted, thinking I’d stepped on a beetle by how loud it had been. When I checked under my boot, I found a small, dried leaf. Being the fall, it wasn’t unusual to see leaves brought in by the wind through open doors, but to find one this far in and not have it already be trampled was odd but not out of the realm of reason. However, turning back around the corner towards the door, the carpet of dried brown leaves that hadn’t been there before was unexplainable. It was then I noticed the lack of light from the hallway. Mildly concerned by this point, I reasoned that the lights in the hall, having a short timer on their automatic switch, must have turned off while I was searching the bathroom. When I stepped through the bathroom doorway into the hallway, I realized something was very wrong.

The walls of the hallway were lined with moss and vines. The ceiling, lower in this area, had tiles that were in disarray, many of them broken or missing entirely and the floor was lined from wall to wall with brown, damp leaves. It was a moment before I’d realized my phone’s screen had turned off, nonetheless, I was able to see using some sourceless light that seemed provided dim light throughout the area. Looking back to the bathroom, I noticed a crowd of bugs crawling and flying out, convincing me to turn around and walk briskly away from the bathroom and further down the hall.

The hallway was longer than it should have been and turned into another hall that shouldn’t have been there at all. It continued on, twisting and turning at sharp angles, with wooden branches breaking up through the floor and pressing tightly against the wall. It was dead silent throughout, the only sound was my breathing and the shuffling of leaves as I walked over them. My curiosity kept me moving forward, my fear kept me from going back. I found myself in a strange alcove with rotted wooden shelves lining the wall. On these shelves were jars of various shapes. Most jars had something in them, bugs (dead and alive,) rocks, sand, dirt, withered plants, but as I moved further down the hall the jars contained things far more unsettling.

Small, dead animals preserved in yellow fluid, parts of animals, some preserved, some rotting. Scraps of fur or flesh floating alongside bugs, broken apart from age. Rabbit feet, deer hooves, dog tails, and teeth, so many jars of just teeth. Some of the jars were marked with masking tape labels with nonsense written on them. Things like “powdered them,” “break don’t break,” “want,” and “can’t seeeeeeee,” scrawled in messy handwriting that was sometimes impossible to decipher. I got to a corner and turned to find myself at a dead end.

The dead end was a similar 10 by 10 room like the one in the men’s room with knee high piles of the same dead leaves lining the edges of the room. Thick moss lined the walls, but the vines looked to have been cut by someone. Along one wall of the room were more shelves and more jars. While most jars contained similar contents as the ones previous, the ones lining the bottom shelf held more disturbing contents. Bloated human hands, a jar with three milky white eyes, some kind of organ, and finally at the bottom right, a bloated human head. The jars were similarly marked with labels, but more coherent, describing the actual contents. “Hand. Found in doorway,” “Eyes. Found under leaves,” “Kidney? Found in pocket.” Looking at the head, it was labeled “Head of M-” torn at the end, cutting off the final word or name. As I looked into the eyes expressionless Head of M, I heard groan from behind me and jumped, turning around to see a pile of leaves begin to rise up, higher and higher but losing no leaves and groaning louder and louder. I ran.

As I rushed out of the room of jars, I nearly slammed into my supply cart. I was back in the men’s bathroom. I heard the click of the motion detector go off before the lights turned on, causing me to squint out the sudden bright light. Shaken, I cautiously looked around to find the only insects being a few meal moths perched on the walls. I left the bathroom and found the hallway as it should have been, moss and leaf free and continued on, my unease unabated. I turned the corner to the main hallway and looked up ahead to see the darkness of the exit at the end of the hall. Despite seeing that I was back, it didn’t feel right. The only thing keeping me from falling to the floor was the fear of discovering that it wasn’t real and I’d just fall into a pile of leaves. It all looked too real to be real, the darkness of the exit too perfectly black, the polished cement floor to perfectly clean, an almost uncanny valley kind of vibe, if that makes sense.

I grabbed my radio and found it on, the battery not dead at all. I called my supervisor and he answered a moment later, asking what I needed. I asked him to come by to have a look at a broken toilet. He stopped by a minute later, it was hard hiding my relief to see him there. His arrival broke my unease, bringing me fully back to reality. I told him it was a false alarm, and apologized for wasting his time before he left and we both got back to work. I rushed through the last of my work that night and told my supervisor I felt sick and asked to go home early. He reluctantly allowed me to do so after inspecting my work. Rather than go home to my sleeping parents and younger sisters, I stopped by my friend’s house and luckily found him awake. When I told him what happened, to my surprise he believed me and agreed to stay up with me until sunrise. Since both of us had the next day off, it hadn’t been a problem. When I went home, I slept all day with the lights on.

I still can’t say for sure what happened to me that night. Maybe a hallucination, maybe I blacked out. Maybe it was real. I couldn’t leave the job, it was the best thing going for me and still is and I’m in too much debt to risk leaving and looking for another job. I was however able to convince my supervisor to schedule me for day shift. It’s significantly easier, but terribly boring, but boredom is a preferable state to abject fear. I’m not looking for an explanation, I just want to get this off my chest and put this all behind me. Maybe after this, I won’t have nightmares when I sleep in the dark. I can only hope.




Posted by CandleClock on: 10:58 AM, 06/ 6/16
To be honest, I felt like there were too many unnecessary details in the beginning and not enough consequences in the end. While the central part with the room of jars is pretty unsettling, it feels more like a non-sequitur than an implication of some hidden horrors.

Yet, I might be too benumbled by the genre in general to appreciate stories like this.

Check out some old and new obscure stories - http://forbidden-creepypasta.tumblr.com/