Writing Prompt: Week 2 January 9th, 2020
A person who glows in the dark, a supermarket after hours, keys
“Good night,” Angie called as she let herself out the man door at the loading dock. “Don’t forget to lock up.” She said laughed before vanishing into the night.
Dale gave her a quick wave and went back to the paperwork. He was actually already done with it, but Angie did not know that. The store was now empty. He stacked the papers neatly on the desk, and placed a couple in a hanging mailbox on his bosses door. The orders would all go out on time tomorrow, just like usual. Dale looked out into the stockroom and lading dock. Only a third of the lights were still on. That was normal night time procedure. No need to keep it fully lit. Once he set the alarm system the motion detectors would catch anything, even in the partial light. No sense in wasting the money to keep it bright at night.
Everything was as it should be. Dale walked down a couple aisles to make sure before heading out to the sales floor. That too was mostly dark, but he could see his own ghostly reflection in the large front windows as the light from the stockroom spilled out behind him. This was his favorite time of day here. The noise of the customers, the beep and ring of the registers, the squeak of cart wheels, and the thump and chatter of stockers as they put more product on the shelves was all gone. Now it was just the hum of the giant freezers and his quiet footsteps. It was peaceful.
Dale watched as his ghost image, surrounded by it’s yellow halo got larger in the reflection. Beyond it lay the city, mostly sleeping now too. The highway overpass held only a few cars now, all moving quickly, heading home, or too work most likely. The gas station at the off ramp was brightly lit though. Its lights were so bright they almost hurt his eyes in the dimness of the grocery store.
Everything was as it should be. It was time for Dale to head home. Not that there was anyone waiting for him there. He would eat his can of low sodium soup and have a beer while he watched NetFlix until he fell asleep on the sofa. Like he did every night. Then he would get up and come back here and do it all again tomorrow.
Something caught his eyes. For a moment he thought it was the flash of a car’s headlights on the glass, but it was the wrong color. He looked through the window, but no cars were on the street. Not even at the gas station. The light was coming from inside the store. It was in the aisle to Dale’s right. He watched, a mixture of amazement and fear growing as it became stronger. It stretched and grew until it was the size of a human being. Dale blinked and refocused his eyes, looking both inside and out. Surely this was a trick of light, and weird angle of headlights hitting the window, maybe someone with a flashlight outside. There was nothing on the other side of the glass.
Dale cautiously and quietly walked back toward the stockroom and briefly considered running straight through the double doors and right out the back, but curiosity got the better of him and he peered around the corner into the next aisle. He expected to see nothing. He really did, but instead the blue light was even stronger now, and he blinked a couple times, eyes watering before he could see clearly again. A woman stood in the middle of the aisle, chips on one side and crackers on the other, making her long white dress even more out of place. Was it a night gown? He kind of thought it might be.
“Can I help you, Ma’am?” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Too many years of customer service he supposed. The figure looked up at him, looked around herself for a moment as if confused, and then slowly faded out of sight.
Dale stood there blinking into the darkness for a moment more before he turned and headed back to the little office, picked up the keys he kept on a fob on the desk and turned off the desk light. He took his jacket and opened the back door.
“Guess she was not looking for chips,” he said under his breath and he turned the keys and heard the satisfying click of the dead bolt. Maybe she would tell him what she wanted tomorrow night.