Like Silent, Shadowy Monsters
"Why are we here?"
"It's called urban exploring. It's fun."
"How is it fun?"
"Because it's a spooky, sexy forbidden place to spend grad night. I thought you wanted to spend it with me?"
"I do. But...?"
It didn't sound fun or sexy to Samantha, either in the description or in the way Tara said it. Samantha had a crush on Tara since forever, but had never told her, so she was surprised when Tara came on to her just a week ago. Everyone had said that Tara and Emily were a 'thing' but apparently no longer.
Sam looked at the decrepit, isolated warehouse through the falling rain. A lone streetlight shown wanly on the faded 'Consolidated Turbines' sign painted on the side. This part of town had died long before the rest.
"Here let me turn on you lamp," Tara switched on Sam's headlamp attached to her miner's helmet.
"You look so cute," Tara said and kissed her. "Ready?"
"How are we going to get in?" Sam asked, pointing to the huge rusty chain and padlock and orange CONDEMNED sign on the front door.
"That's one of the most fun parts," Tara explained as she pulled out a crudely drawn map and studied it. It had a series of rectangles and boxes marked with 'X's, 'O's, arrows and jagged lines.
"Come," Tara said.
The backside of the weed-forested building was even darker. It was featureless save for a row of dusty windows lining the top floor. Some were stuck open, many had broken glass and a few were shut tight like gritted teeth.
"I hope you're not planning on scaling that wall," Sam said.
Tara, following the map, brushed aside weeds and a piece of sheet metal to reveal a hole in the wall just large enough to crawl through.
"There's no way I'm crawling through that!" Sam hissed.
"Trust me it's safe," Tara assured her.
"How do you know? Have you been inside?"
Tara hesitated. "No. But Emily has. She's the one who drew the map."
"Where is Emily?" Sam dared to ask. "Why aren't you exploring with her?"
"Because I'm with you now, Babe," Tara put her arms around her.
Sam had zero resistance to Tara and Tara knew it. They only had a whirlwind few days together but Sam had yet to come down from that high. Sam's promise of an unforgettable night together tonight had Tara's fantasies running rampant.
The crawl inside wasn't as bad as she expected. They entered into an enormous office space. Long abandoned, what was left behind was smashed and trashed. One wall of the office had been all glass (now broken and jagged) overlooking a factory floor where hulking pieces of machinery stood like silent, shadowy monsters.
"What now?" Sam asked, standing in the middle of the room afraid to touch anything. The place was eerily silent and she felt the need to whisper.
Tara righted an office chair missing one wheel. She sat in it, teetering. She tilted her headlamp to study the map.
"We have to go up," Tara announced, rising from her seat. The chair fell over with a crash, causing Sam to jump.
They passed between the dead machines to where jagged lines on the map indicated stairs.
"When does the fun start?" Sam asked.
"You're not having fun?" Tara took her hand in hers.
"I'm actually kind of scared," Sam admitted.
"It heightens the sex," Tara promised. They hadn't actually had sex yet.
Sam let her lead her up the stairs.
The second floor looked down upon the factory. It was mostly a wide catwalk that ran the perimeter of the building. It would be a long drop to the floor below.
Tara checked her map again. Sam was still scared but her overwhelming desire for Tara was making her impatient.
"What exactly are we looking for?"
Tara looked up. "It's up one more flight."
"What Emily found."
"What did she find?"
"I don't know," Tara confessed. "She never said, just that I had to see it."
"Where is Emily?"
Tara paused. "I don't know. We had a huge fight. She said she was going to explore here with or without me. I haven't heard from her since."
Sam's blood ran cold.
"Wait. So you seduced me just because you were you afraid to come here alone?"
Before Tara could answer a crash sounded from the floor above.
"What was that?" Sam screamed.
"Come on!" Tara didn't wait to see if Sam would follow.
The girls stopped on the third floor landing. It was a huge empty space. Windows lined the upper walls so high up it was a wonder how anyone could ever reach them. Rain was leaking in from the windows and roof all over.
The sudden rumbling of a huge, low hanging ceiling fan slowing churning on caused both girls to start. A spotlight behind the fan flickered on. The slow blades caused a strobing effect making the rain seem like drops frozen in mid-air.
The single light shone down upon a girl tied to a chair, lying on her side in the center of the room.
"Emily?" Tara raced forward.
"Wait!" Samantha urged.
Emily was gagged, stripped, soaked and half dead. Waves of cold air and rain washed over Tara as she attempted to untie her.
Sam gasped as a dark figure moved jaggedly from the shadows toward Tara and Emily.
Above, the ceiling fan sparked, groaned and began to slow down. The light and fan swung dangerously as the ceiling cracked and buckled.
Sam glimpsed what appeared to be a row of slumped figures in chairs along the back wall in the swinging light just as the rain-soaked ceiling finally gave way and fell down upon Tara and Emily. Tara screamed as the floor partially surrendered and crashed down to the second floor with a tremendous roar.
Sam's headlamp flickered off.
It was dark and silent.
Sam was alone.
As far as she knew.