For the past couple of years, I have worked as a night security guard at a mall. As I was still studying during the day, I needed to pay academic fees and it suited me just fine to watch while earning money during the night. I thought I would stay in this job as long as I could get my graduation on time. Equally, I am not much of extrovert and so long hours patrolling did not cause any problems to me.
Every now and then, I would ask some stray youth to leave the parking lot or investigate suspicious people lurking around its perimeter. Other than that, I would say the job was easy and uneventful.
Around three months into my job, I experienced some bizarre events. One night, I noticed that the light in one of the shops was on while driving around the parking lot. I parked the car and headed inside the mall. As I approached the shop, I could not hear anyone rummaging through the inventory.
It was empty and the security gate was down. Only the shop owners had access to the security gate, so I could not do anything about the light being on. I returned to my car. About an hour passed when I saw that another light was on.
Back in the mall, the same thing happened. The light was on in another shop and the security gate was closed. I rattled the gate for the person inside to hear me. “Who is there?” I called out.
No answer. I heard the light switch from behind me while I was investigating the second shop. I noticed that the previous light was now off, so I concluded that someone, or my own mind, was playing tricks on me. Still, I thought I saw a figure hiding behind the counter. Now, I hadn’t slept properly for the past three days, and so it was easy to explain these strange events simply by my lack of sleep. I directed my flashlight into the shop and scanned the area, nothing that I could see.
Behind me, I heard another click. Once again, the light in the shop went off. “You either come out, or I call the police!” I shouted. The mysterious person just stood there motionless. I turned my flashlight in the direction of the switch. Again, no one was standing there. I noticed that a clothing rack was placed at an unusual angle to the switch, therefore my flashlight could not illuminate the person standing behind it. That was the most logical explanation I could think of, so I left the area.
Nothing unusual happened during my patrols for a while after that strange event. I remember my next incident happened around my first anniversary as a guard. I was inside the mall checking some installations. I was still on duty, but one of the owners asked me to inspect some small things in-between my patrolling.
I was passing by one of the bathrooms when I heard a toilet flush. I went in to check. Being alone in an empty public bathroom in a big mall at night is no fun. The stillness of the air was solid and the shadows appeared darker inside. The smell of a strong disinfectant bit my nostrils. One tap was dripping close by. The toilet lights in the mall were motion-activated, and so the moment the lights went on, I immediately felt better and my normal mood returned. I checked the stalls one by one; they were empty. After I finished checking, I took a seat in one of them. I had a video playing on my mobile when I heard footsteps. I glanced down to my left and saw a pair of shoes with toes pointing in my direction. “It’s occupied!” I croaked. No reaction from the mysterious person. Why would he stand outside my stall? Slowly, I lifted my head to look, and sure enough, there was the tallest man I had ever seen staring at me. His eyes were deep-seated under the bushy eyebrows; his skin was grayish-pale, lips thin, and his nose was long and crooked. There was something very frightening in his expression as if he had the intention to nail me down and harm me. After a minute or so, which felt more like an hour, he suddenly ducked behind the stall. I found my voice again: “Where are you going?” Silly question, I know, but I could not think of anything better to say at that moment. What I wanted to ask him was: “Who are you? Are you for real?” I rose from my seat and kicked open the door to the neighboring stall. It was empty, except for the pair of old, empty shoes.