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Keep Yourself Alive

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Keep Yourself Alive”


The hand painted dirty white sign with black scrawled words read, “Keep yourself alive.”


Well now, didn't that sound ominous? Does that mean there's a possibility I'll die here if I'm not cautious? Or perhaps it's a general statement for my future like 'keep up the good work' or 'keep on truckin'? Maybe I shouldn't have come, but curiosity is a cruel task master and this is the road less traveled, so I continue on up the gravel and dirt packed trail.


The next dilapidated sign had red words on it which read, “All trespassers will be shot on sight.”


Woah now, that is not a general statement at all. It's a very specific threat. Where does this road lead? I see a building just around the bend, I need to know what is in it to have such warnings!


The third sign seems to be addressing me, using dark blue letters to ask, “Who are you, and where are you from?” The words then vanish only to be replaced by new words, “We don't like when visitors come.”


What the hell? Seriously!? What is this building I'm approaching anyway? Maybe this is not as good an idea as I originally thought it was. Yeah, I think it's best if I get out of here. I spin on my heel to turn back around the other way. Live to adventure another day right?


But behind me isn't the road I came up. Instead it's now a dead end with a familiar red octagonal sign reading “STOP” in large white letters, though underneath that are smaller white letters that read, “In the name of love.”


Why are those words there? Is this a prank? Is this someone's idea of a joke? Is the host of a hidden camera show about to pop out and tell me I am on camera? This is nuts. I want nothing more to do with this place, but I can't go back the way I came, my only choice is to move forward to the building itself and hope there's a way through there.


Turning to face the large building once more, I can't help feeling that there is now a menace to the building that hadn't been there before. Grey clouds roll over the hills, bringing darkness from above. Thunder, I feel the thunder, lightning and the thunder.


I run to the door and grasp the rusty door handle, turning it and pushing for all I'm worth. A cliché groan of the hinges precedes the door opening. Despite the growing knot in my gut, I enter the strange building and look around with wide eyes, hoping to get some answers.


When I step inside I hear a voice say, “Your eyes can be so cruel, just as I can be so cruel.”


Nope! Noooope! I'm done! I'm out! Again I spin around to flee the area, but again the way backward has become a dead end, the big creaky door nothing but a blank wall now. Sucking in a deep breath to steady my nerves I turn back around to face the foyer.


“Hello? Is there anybody in there?” My voice trembles as I call out into the darkness. The burst of light blinds me for a moment, and when my eyes clear I head toward the lit area.


Looking around it seems to be the foyer of some sort of hospital, though no one is in sight. The equipment is old and rotting away, papers are strewn about the place, giving the hospital a long abandoned feeling.


Another voice, different from the first, and coming from everywhere at once says, “No one knows what its like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes.”


Goosebumps rise on my skin at those haunting words. Is this bad man behind blue eyes going to be cruel? Terror was beginning to take over logic and I need to get out of this place now.


“HELP! I need somebody!” I scream into the room.


Suddenly a cacophony of noise deafens me to anything but its peculiar amalgamation of sounds: a rooster crowing, a fog horn, an air raid horn, an analog alarm clock clanging metal against metal, a digital alarm clock beeping in an obnoxious way, and other noises I can't identify. I clamp my eyes closed and cover my ears trying to drown it all out.


When I open my eyes again, I see a ray of sunshine illuminating my phone, which is now blaring the 'extreme alarm clock' noise I set to wake me up. I turn it off, still groggy, and through bleary eyes I look at my phone. The app showing is my music playlist which I fell asleep listening to.


The whole nightmare had been caused by my music being on, I was annoyed, but in the end it doesn't even matter.