Graveyard Shift … 0246 hours

Thanksgiving Eve.

Weather … clear/full moon

Location … Abandoned factory Hwy 666

Victim … Unknown/TBD

Suspect … Unknown/TBD

“Caller reports seeing light, possibly flashlights, inside the abandoned factory on Hwy 666.”

“10-4. I’ll check it out.”

Radio crackles.

“I’m close, 2012. I’ll meet you there.”

“10-4, 2027.”

Cracked asphalt drive.

Tall weeds pushing through jagged openings.

Brick consumed by vegetation.

Still air.

Owl hoots in distance.

Rats scurry through honeysuckle.

Lopsided door. One rusty hinge.

Concrete floor.

Broken glass.

Fallen wood and metal.

Office.

More glass. Shattered.

A hallway to the right.

Break room.

Spider webs.

A painted sign.

SHIPPING and RECEIVING

Double doors on left.

Machinery.

Tall, and short.

Fat, and skinny.

Steel dinosaurs.

Rust and oil stains.

Mouse on metal table.

Roaches.

The size of gumdrops.

Flashlight in distance.

Quiet.

Eerie.

Guns pointed.

Slowly.

Shards of glass.

Crunching and cracking beneath shiny shoes.

Stop.

Listening.

Light, unmoving.

Ease forward.

Water drips from above.

Plop … plop … plop.

Owl hoots.

Flashlight, closer.

Heart, pounding.

Sweat at hairline.

Open doorway.

Warehouse.

Light beam.

I to the right.

He to the left.

“Police!”

Nothing.

Owl hoots.

Closer.

Light unwavering from floor.

“Police!”

Silence.

Water dripping. Rats scurrying. Owl hooting.

Heart, beating like a drum.

Far away train whistle.

A man.

Overturned chair.

Dirt floor.

Dress shirt.

Jeans.

Tennis shoes.

Flashlight.

Paper.

“I love you, dear wife. ”

“I’m sorry I failed you and our beautiful little girls.”

“Tell them I love them too.”

“This is the only way.”

“Always remember the good days.”

0342 hours.

Cause of death … possible suicide.

Weapon … shotgun.

Victim … unknown due to extent of injuries.

Next of kin … a wife and daughters … somewhere.

Owl hoots.


*Images by Maryland photographer Sunday Kaminski.