10 paź 2015

Rick, The Janitor




Journal Entry #1

February 13th, 1998

Just want to jot down some thoughts today. This is the first entry in my brand new journal. A slick leather bound, I got for my birthday. Mercy wants to have me over for dinner to meet her parents. I don't know how I feel about it. I mean, I like her, and I don't mind being around her, but meeting her parents? Dinner? This all seems a bit serious. I can't say I am too excited. What I am excited about, Mercy got me a job down at the movie theater with her. I will be doing a bunch of different jobs, but most importantly, I will finally be getting paid. I start Monday.
Journal Entry #2

February 17th, 1998

Yesterday was my first day of work. It felt great being given a purpose, even if it so small as to be fixing a door, or changing a light bulb. I was done with sitting on the couch and mooching off my parental units, and now it was as true as ever. Mercy wants me to come over this Friday night. We both have off, and she is ecstatic that I have agreed to dinner plans. Her father will be grilling, so I should expect a relaxed evening. Mercy's parents are quite liberal in their ideals, which comforts me to know, they may have less reservations about a boy dating their daughter, than most. One last thing, I met this guy Rick last night. He is an overnight janitor at the theater. Nice guy, but a strange fellow.

Journal Entry #3

February 21st, 1998

Last night was perfect. Everything went swimmingly and her parents really seem keen on us dating. Her father prepared a delicious dish of Alaskan King Crab and grilled asparagus. Then we had root beer floats at the local ice cream parlor. We talked about anything and everything. They seemed very interested in my writing and poems. I told them "I am going to be the next Edgar Allen Poe, but I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." My joke was well received, and at that moment I knew, everything would be just fine. I worked a couple of more times at the theater this week, and didn't see Rick again. Mercy said to stay away from him. She mentioned he has worked at the theater for years, and that he was nice enough, but very strange. I would love to talk with him. I like strange.

Journal Entry #4

February 26th, 1998

I want to share this story with you journal, for it is the strangest, most unimaginable, real-life personification of horror. I was working late last night, well into 1AM. I was getting ready to leave around 12AM, with Mercy, when I decided to stay and finish a few more things. We were going to go to her house to get some food, and then I was going to return for a few more projects before calling it a night, but I knew it would just prolong my lack of sleep, and I had classes in the morning that need my full attention. As I was walking Mercy out to her car, we passed Rick in the hallway. We said hello, and kept walking. Rick stopped dead in his tracks, did not say hello in return, but instead stared straight at the wall in front of him, before turning sharply and heading into an empty theater to clean. When we reached her car, I informed her of my decision to stay and finish, and that I would see her tomorrow. She kissed me with those soft lips. The gentleness of an angel's touch. Truly, my mercy. As I walked back inside, I could hear growling. I figured maybe an audio switch had been flipped, and a horror movie soundscape was pouring over an empty audience. I headed up to the control room and heard the growling louder. No switch was out of place, and the building was vacant, save for Rick and I. Determined to find the source of the guttural sounds, I peaked through every reel-window. There in Theater 6, I saw Rick. He was standing in the corner, with his face pressed against the wall. He was growling a growl so inhuman, I thought it for a second, that he may not be one of us. Snarls and loud grunts flooded the building, and just as I was ready to bolt, he turned and walked to his vacuum like all was normal. Like he hadn't just been snarling at his shadow in the corner. Needless to say, I finished my work, and left. I don't think I will be telling Mercy of this, as I don't want to scare her out of working at the theater.

Journal Entry #5

March 3rd, 1998

Today, I talked with Jake. He works with us at the theater. Jake has been there since his early teens, as his parents own the business. In my effort to find out more about Rick, I decided to treat him to lunch, and get some back story on the creepy janitor. Jake told me about how his parents had hired Rick when they first opened the theater as the nightly janitor, so they could both be home with Jake and his baby brother, when they were still infants. Rick's mother told Jake's parents, he would be great for the night shift, as he would be by himself, which is how Rick liked to be. Rick was not mentally-handicapped or insane, he was just strange. Always talking to himself. Yelling at himself. Participating in horrid acts of self-deprecation, and mutilation. Rick has, so far, successfully killed himself three times. One night he died by overdosing on his prescribed sleeping pills. The next time he slit his wrists in a bathtub. His last success consisted of him drinking half a bottle of Drano. From all of these events, he had returned to life. Seriously degrading his body in the process. All the while, earning the value of being our local Rasputin. I also learned of a few other facts. Rick had not attempted suicide since working at the theater. He has been there for 18 years. The theater has been there for 150 years. Supposedly the space is haunted. Boasting mob deaths, and massacres all the way back to the slavery and wartime era. Being from New England, these truths are a common history. I wonder if Rick found something. Something the rest of us don't know about. I did learn of one more piece of information though. It seems Rick and I have a common interest. Mercy.

Journal Entry #6

March 5th, 1998

Tonight, I felt fear for real. I felt it truer than any other time in my short span of years. Let me preface this entry by adding, Rick is a very sick guy. I say that with a tremble in my mind's voice. I say that with fear in my throat. This dry sense of feeling like I'm stuck in a horror story. One of my creations, coming back to rob me of my naiveté. Penetrating my safe-bubble of bliss. On with the story. When the shift was over this evening, Mercy and I took our usual walk to the car. Upon arriving, we found a small teddy bear sitting above the driver side door. Sewn to its chest, a proclamation of love. The bear, smiling, as it held its one dimensional box of chocolates. I knew it was from Rick to Mercy. And so did Mercy. Mercy told me how she knew that Rick was slightly obsessed with her, but he had been nothing but harmless thus far into her almost two year tenure at the theater. This event was not all uncommon, as it had happened before. Chocolates, candies, stuffed animals, all left on her car, always from Rick. I took the bear and threw it in a parking lot trash can. We drove to her place in silence and parked in her driveway. She assured me that what had happened was nothing, and insisted, I move on from it. As we walked up her driveway, I remembered I had left my bag in the break room. She looked at me, as if I had some ulterior motive. I tried to express my sense loathing of seeing Rick, and having some confrontation, but she wasn't buying it. When I returned to the building, I heard the vacuum in one of the theaters. Not even ten steps in, I heard screaming. Rick was screaming at the top of his lungs. Shouting insults at himself over the sound of the vacuum. Screaming about how dumb he was and how he doesn't deserve the love of anyone. Then I heard his other voice. It was a little quieter. The second voice was egging him on. Affirming all the self-deprecation Rick was spewing upon himself.


"Yes your filthy. Aren't you?"


I was able to poke my head around the corner to see him. He was standing in the middle of the room. His vacuum cleaner upright, cleaning the same square on the floor.


"No you don't. You deserve nothing. You are less than nothing."


When he screamed, it was blood curdling. My skin crawled, as my veins ran ice cold with fear. I had to go. I had to leave.


I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I left after that. I didn't punch out. I just came home. Mercy has to know. I have to go tell Mercy.

Journal Entry #7

March 9th, 1998

I feel like this is all coming to a head. Rick has been watching me, and following me around the theater. Last night I was in the projection room, closing down after the last movie had finished. As I looked through the windows, making sure all the theaters were empty, there was Rick again. He was in the middle of the theater, standing with his trusty vacuum, staring me down. I knew he couldn't see me through the tinted glass, but it felt like he was piercing my soul with his psychotic gaze. I have been trying to shrug it off and move on, but it is not a simple task. Mercy has noticed more strange behavior too. Mostly Rick keeps to himself, randomly showing his affection for my girlfriend, but tonight was the last straw. Rick approached Mercy at the ticket booth, but didn't say a word. He just stared at her, and when she would make eye contact, Rick would say one word: "Soon." It was barely audible, but after five or six times, she called me over. Now here is my predicament; Rick is inept, not handicapped, but definitely not all there. How do I handle this and still feel dignified and not insensitive. Then it hit me, his mother's disapproval would be the key. If I made him believe his mother wouldn't care for his behavior, maybe he would stop. This is how that exchange went down:

"Hey Rick. Can I talk to you?"

"Hey Pete. Talk? Yeah sure."

"What are you doing bothering Mercy? What do you mean by "soon"?"

"Oh no. I can't tell you nothing. Nope. Nothing."

"Well Mercy is becoming pretty bothered by your behavior. I am going to ask you to stop, and respect the boundaries between you two."


"You know, personal space. Saying these creepy things to her, you have been making her uncomfortable."

"Boundaries. Like to be bound Mercy?"

"RICK! That's exactly what I am talking about! What would your mother think?"

"Don't ever talk about my mother! Don't ever talk about my mother! I will kill you!! I will kill you!!!!"

Rick was dragged out shortly after by the police. His mother was there to take him home, and he was fired from the theater. This man has lost all that he cares for. His Job, his "girl", his independence. I can't help but feel sympathy for the guy. I know he is sick and his life is not the best it could be, but at least he was trying. I don't feel any closure yet. I know Mercy and I are just hoping for a resolution, or at least seclusion from Rick. I really don't want to see him again.

Journal Entry #8

March 13th, 1998

Today, the story comes full circle. Mercy is dead. Rick is dead. I am still here.

Mercy was alone, at home, when a knock came to the door. I can hear the knock ringing through my head, like the empty halls of her house. Rick was there, at the door. Mercy asked him why he was there, and that's when he began to proclaim his love for her once more before pulling a gun and pointing it at her head. He let himself inside, and sat them down on a couch, the white one, in her living room. Mercy told him, she didn't love Rick like that, but that she did love him as a person. That was my Mercy, showing compassion in a situation where her own life was on the line. He started to cry, as she was already welled up. He pulled the hammer back, raised it to her temple, and said goodbye. Just like that, my Mercy, was gone, forever. Rick slumped back and put the gun to his head. That's when I stepped out of the hall closet. Rick was startled, he jumped up and pointed the gun at me. I told him to put the gun back to his head. He asked me why I didn't save her. I told him simply, I cared for her, but not like he did. Mercy was my perfect victim. Mercy was to be my kill, but Rick inadvertently allowed this tale to take a whole new course. One that I could never write. Rick had written the story for me, and now I could take his, and walk away, hands clean, with a perfect ending. He dropped the gun and fell to his knees. I picked it up and handed it to him.

"End this. It's the only way this can play out. Kill yourself again. This time, I will make sure you don't come back."

He put the gun to his head with my hand guiding him. He looked in my eyes, and then I felt the warm spray of blood on my face. I stood up, and walked to the doorway, looking back at what had transpired. It was then I knew, I would never write anything as good as this. I would never be the next Edgar Allen Poe. I would take the job that was left behind at the theater. I would become Rick and live out my life in solitude. Glorifying my achievements in my own head. As I write this, with a smile on my face, I only ask of one thing: Lord, help my poor soul.

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