“Something’s wrong here!” I said to myself, mainly to hear something else than my subdued footsteps and the faint humming and flickering of the sparse neonlights that were turned on during the nights. Not that they actually did anything to illuminate the place. I think it was more of a concession for the insurance not to have everything completely in dark.
I was a student at our local university and had been working for a temping agency. They decided, for whatever reason, I was perfect for working security. Well, I say security, but what it really meant was walking around big, deserted buildings at night with a tiny, more than inadequate flashlight. The proper security people stayed inside and watched the CCTV while I had to go out and do the rounds, since was only a temp, anyway. Another concession to the insurance, I bet.
Still, it wasn’t half bad. I got some much needed exercise and could use the time to mentally revise my lectures. Walk the round, take the company-issued walkie-talkie and report in what is going on. Which is nothing, of course. Who would want to break into the hangars of an aviation company, making small private planes? But nonetheless, I had to walk my round around the big, empty husks of plane parts. The hangars stored only tail sections of planes. Nothing else. One tail section after another, after another, after another. Five or six different types, the company’s A-model of tails, their B-model, and so on. God knows where everything else was stored, but that was none of my business, walk the round, do your job, and clock out.
The only problem was that, in the last couple of weeks, less and less of those rounds were quite as uneventful as I was used to. I even had to start walking unscheduled rounds increasingly often. Cameras turning themselves off, the sparse night lighting doing likewise, boxes tumbling over, chocks getting loose and tails rolling around a couple of centimeters. Nothing really major, only little things, but lots of them. Nobody thought anything about it at first, but as it went on, we grew more and more pissed with the situation. It was annoying, plain and simple. We had left a copious amount of notes for the day shift and they assured us time and time again that they had checked everything and found nothing wrong with the cameras, the lights or whatever it was that gave us trouble.
I was out again, looking after a camera that did not work properly anymore. “Stupid, frickin’ nonsense” I cursed to myself under my breath. The camera pretty much only showed a single plane’s tail, why would we need that functioning anyway? Let the day shift deal with it. Even more so since it was a D-model. The only one of those we had. We had had it quite some time, the company apparently did not even make them anymore. Why we still had it? Who knows. None of my business, really.
I approached the old D-model and noticed that the neonlights in front of me turned off one after the other. Taking out my walkie-talkie I said “Very funny guys. Real prime material”. Stupid pranksters in the office probably genuinely thought it was funny. I did not know, since the radio only transmitted absolute silence. “Piece of crap!” I cursed. Stupid company, pinching every penny. Determined not to let all that stuff bother me, I went on towards the defective camera. I noticed two things almost at once: My knuckles were white against my hands they were clenched around the flashlight so tightly; and I became consciously aware of strange, humming sing-song noises I had heard for some time, I could not really tell how long.
“Something’s wrong here!” I muttered, when all of a sudden a terrible feeling of dread came over me. An uncanny sensation enveloped me and compelled me to walk towards the plane part. Dark, booming voices sounded in my ears, deafening me and beckoning me toward them, calling out like oh so many sirens. I knew deep in my heart, if I ever reach the D-Model, I will suffer eternal torment in some unspeakable hellscape. Panic seized me, whatever could I do to escape this demonic evil? In a faint glimmer of hope, I started to hyperventilate. My breathing became faster and faster, shallower and shallower. My legs gave out and the sweet darkness of unconsciousness overcame me.
I came to in the same hangar, only everything was brightly lit now. My co-workers stood around me in a circle and looked overly enjoyed. “Scared you right to the ground, huh?” they ribbed me. To them, the case was obvious: They wanted to prank me, and succeeded so well, that the frail, little student got a shock and fainted. That no recordings of all that existed because all the cameras had turned off right before was an unfortunate coincidence. That all the malfunctions centered around the old D-model was probably because of all the dust it had gathered getting into the circuits.
I, of course, knew what was really going on. I quit the job the very next day and never went back into that cursed hangar, for I knew:
The devil is in the D-tail!