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Night Terror

Two twins go urban exploring and it goes horribly wrong.

By Austin Blessing-Nelson (Blessing)Published 2 months ago 11 min read
Night Terror
Photo by ALEXANDRE LALLEMAND on Unsplash

"See, I told you the old steel mill would be fun to explore," I whispered to my identical twin Jeremy as we crept toward the large, abandoned structure.

"Well, Anthony, this doesn't get said often, but you were right," he laughingly said as we climbed over the rusty fence being careful not to cut ourselves and get tetanus. I hate needles so the thought of getting a tetanus shot was not a fun one.

"Hey, even I have to be right occasionally!" I joked as we approached the door. Even though it was pitch black, it felt like the shadow cast by the looming structure was somehow darker. I began to get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach and it must've shown on my face because Jeremy began to laugh.

"Are you scared?"

"No way Jeremy, but I saw you shivering a moment ago."

"Hey, it’s chilly tonight."

I was a little scared and so was he, but we weren't going to show it, especially me. After all, it was my idea to come here.

"Yeah right," I sarcastically quipped, "let's go in."

We began to approach the large steel door by the loading dock. It was secured by a chain that at one point had been held on by a padlock, but that had long since rusted off and was lying on the ground a few feet away. Jeremy unwrapped the chain and carefully set it on the ground to avoid making a ton of noise.

"Here we go," we both whispered as we each grabbed a handle and struggled to try and open the old, rusted door. When it did finally give way and budged, it creaked loudly.

"Be quiet," I whispered.

"You be quiet," he shot back.

We were just joking around like we always did, of course the doors were going to make noise, they were ancient! Besides, we were out in the middle of nowhere. Who would hear us? Cows!

As we opened the door all the way and shined our flashlights inside, we noticed a vast expanse of floor space that looked like it was just abandoned one day. There were industrial machines and materials everywhere. The only way you could tell that this place wasn't operational was everything was absolutely coated in dust, in some places several inches thick.

"Wow!" Jeremy exclaimed, "This place is huge!"

"I told you," I sarcastically stated, "now let’s move, this place is so big it will take us all night to explore as it is."

"Where to first?"

"How about the foreman's office over there?"


We went over to the foreman's office that was about fifty yards from the entrance. The door was one of those wood doors with a glass window in the center and a bronze door handle. As I tried the door handle I discovered it was locked. Before I even had a chance to ask Jeremy what we should do, he snatched up a wrench from a nearby workbench and violently smashed the window. He swung the thing so fast I barely avoided getting hit on the side of my head by the wrench.

"Dude!" I yelled in anger, "Be careful, you almost killed me!"

"Sorry man," Jeremy apologetically said, "but it’s done so let’s go in the office."

I was mad, but he seemed sorry and I knew he would never intentionally try to hurt me, so I carefully reached through the broken window and unlocked the door. As I opened the door we were taken aback, this office was full of personal items and things of value. There were family photos in nice frames, expensive paperweights and other various desk ornaments as well as two high-quality paintings and an expensive looking leather jacket hung in the corner. It’s one thing for the factory’s items to get left behind when the mill closed, but why would the foreman leave his own personal stuff behind?

"Wow, Anthony look at this stuff."

"I know it’s creepy. Why would he leave all his stuff behind?"

Just then something on the desk caught my eye.

"Jeremy," I gasped as I picked up an object off the desk, "look at these."

"Wow," Jeremy said stunned, "are those?"

"Yep, these are keys," I said as I went to try them on the office door, "and they open this door."

"But how is that possible? That door was locked."

"Maybe they're just spare keys, or maybe somebody else locked the door when they were closing down the mill."

"Anyway," Jeremy said, "between this and the fact that this place looks like everyone just disappeared one day and left everything behind, I'm creeped out. Let's get out of here."

"Are you kidding, we just got here," I retorted, "now let's keep moving."

He nodded in defeated agreement as we walked out of the office and dwelled deeper into the steel mill. I was scared too, but I also wanted to figure out what happened here. We continued deeper and deeper into the steel mill, it seemed to go on forever. We were walking past one of those huge smelting pot things that they use for melting steel.

"Wow," I said, "that thing is huge!"

"That's what she said," Jeremy quietly joked.

"Seriously," I laughed, "is this really the time for that? Let's keep moving."

As we kept walking I realized we were walking along a blood red rug. Not an industrial rug but a regular rug. I felt that it was out of place and was weirded out, but we were off the rug now so no harm no foul. Then suddenly I heard Jeremy scream right behind me.

"HELP ME!" Jeremy was screaming.

I spun around to see him belly down on the floor. I looked toward his ankle and noticed a hand, originating from under the rug, trying to pull him under it. I hurriedly grabbed Jeremy’s hand and began pulling him toward me. It was working; he was almost free. But then, another hand shot out from underneath the rug and grabbed his other ankle and swiftly and violently yanked my twin brother from my hands and dragged him under the rug.


"JEREMY!" I cried out, as my twin brother vanished into oblivion. Just as I was about to break down into a sobbing mess, the rug quickly shot up into the air as a tall, dark figure quickly stood up from underneath it and threw the rug off of him.

I did not hesitate to jump to my feet and run in the opposite direction. The only problem was I was running deeper and deeper into the steel mill. I looked over my shoulder to notice the man fast-walking behind me in classic scary movie fashion. I also noticed that he had picked up a sharp, jagged metal pole from one of the workbenches. Suddenly, THUMP! I found myself on the ground, I hadn't been paying attention, and I ran into a support beam. I quickly scrambled to my feet but the figure was right next to me. He swung his weapon and I managed to jump back just in time to avoid dying, but the piece of metal slashed my shirt and ripped into the top layer of my skin. Full of adrenaline, I quickly broke free of the shock and spun around and continued running, but within fifty yards I was out of room and stuck in the corner. I turned around to face the man just in time to see him lift the pole above his head, ready to swing it and end my short life. I said a quick prayer and prepared to die as he swung the pole. "Oh man," I thought, as my life flashed before my eyes, "here it comes." It was only several inches from my face and moving fast.

"Anthony! Jeremy! Get up! You'll be late for school!"

Oh man, I had never been so happy to hear my mom's voice, it was all just a horrible nightmare! I could not wait to tell Jeremy. After all, he died and I defeated the evil creature. Or at least that's how my version would go!

As I began to get out of the bottom bunk of the bed I shared with Jeremy, I began to feel a sharp pain in my chest.

"OW! What is that?" I asked myself. I took of my shirt and gasped, I couldn't move, I didn't believe what I saw. On my chest was a very faint, diagonal slash. I suddenly regained my composure and bolted out of bed. I looked up on the top bunk and tore the sheets off of my twin brother to see him in a deep sleep.

"Whoa, what a relief," I sighed, "Hey man, get up."

I punched my brother on the shoulder; he didn't stir.

"Come on, get up!"

I shook him but he still did not move. Suddenly, I was shocked, it couldn't be. I checked his pulse and almost fainted.


. . . .

“He died of a heart attack,” the doctor stated with authority. “He had an undiagnosed heart condition and last night his heart just could no longer take it. And as for you Anthony, I am going to prescribe you some medication so you sleep better, you've started scratching yourself in your sleep.”

I wanted more than anything to just shout out "My brother was murdered!" but I didn't, I knew that no one would believe me. Why should they? It sounds crazy. Hell, it is crazy, I even had my doubts, but deep, deep down, I knew the truth.

My brother's funeral was terrible. So much crying and pain. And I couldn’t even grieve properly due to all the thoughts in my head.

As our car pulled away from the gravesite on this rainy, miserable, and tragic afternoon, I stole one last glance back at my brother's grave and started to weep uncontrollably as I saw them filling in the hole with dirt, forever burying my brother. It had just sunk in, after four days I had finally realized I would never see him again. He was my best friend and now he's gone. All the feelings I never got to express to him, now I will never get the chance. He's gone from this world forever.

The car was silent. My father was focusing extremely hard on the road in order to prevent tears, my mother was sobbing uncontrollably in the passenger's seat, and I sat in the backseat, with my head in my hands, crying. Finally, I broke the silence.

"Mom, Dad," I struggled to say through my weeping, "I loved Jeremy so much, I miss him."

"I know honey, me too," my mom wept.

My father remained silent but I did notice a solitary tear streaming down his left cheek.

No one spoke the rest of the ride. When we arrived home I rushed upstairs to wash my face; all of the visitors from the funeral were coming over for lunch and I didn't want them to see a teenage boy covered in snot and tears.

After a moment, I went back downstairs and started greeting the guests. All of my friends, aunts, uncles, other extended family members, and folks I had never met offered me their condolences. I thanked everyone but kept mostly to myself and didn't really converse with anyone.

"Anthony," my father hollered, "someone's here!"

"Coming," I managed to whimper loud enough for my dad to hear.

I got up from the chair I was sitting in in the corner and walked slowly toward the door. As I glanced toward my dad, I froze, standing next to my dad and mom, was the man from my dream. This was the man who killed Jeremy; he was real, and he was here.

"What should I do?" I silently wondered to myself, "Am I just crazy? Am I imagining this? Should I say something?"

"Anthony," my dad said, "come on."

I came back to reality and continued to walk toward my dad. I decided that I wasn't going to say or do anything, after all this man couldn't have killed my bother, he died in his sleep!

"Anthony," said my dad, "this is an old friend of mine."

"Hello," the stranger said, "nice to meet you. It is a shame it has to be under such awful circumstances. I was sorry to hear about your brother."

"Thank you," I managed to choke out, "nice to meet you too." The man seemed nice enough; I guess it was all in my head.

"Jeff," the man said to my dad, "I have to get going. Again I am sorry about Jeremy"

"But you just got here!" my dad responded.

"I know, but I've got a plane to catch, I've got to go to New York on business."

"Again," the man said to me, "I'm sorry about your brother."

The man shook my hand, but then something weird happened that made me freeze in my tracks; I didn't know what to do. As the man and I were shaking hands, he leaned over and whispered in my ear two words, "Sleep tight."

I was stunned and terrified. The man then proceeded to reoffer his condolences to my mom and then to my dad. He then walked out the door but as he walked away, he turned around and waved goodbye. The creepy thing: he did not break eye contact with me the entire time. The rest of the night I did not speak at all. My parents assumed that it was grief, not fear, which made me not utter a word all day and night. If only they could know what was going through my mind, sheer terror and confusion. I was terrified and also confused. That couldn't have been the same man, and even if it was, that was just a dream. Jeremy died of a heart attack, didn't he? But what about the slash mark, there was no way I scratched myself, was there? I was confused. I didn't know what really happened but I was scared nonetheless.

As the night dragged on we watched movies in silence until around one in the morning.

"Alright honey," my mom passionately said, "you should go to bed, we have counseling in the morning."

I reluctantly nodded and marched upstairs to get ready for bed. When I was ready, I glanced at the room I had once shared with my brother and cringed in terror. Finally I snapped out of it and went into the guest room where I had been sleeping since the incident. After I was settled into the bed, my parents appeared in the doorway, told me they loved me, and said good night. As they exited my dad flipped off the light switch and said, "Sweet dreams."

If only my dad knew the truth, I would never have a "sweet dream" again. That's if I ever slept again. I didn't want to. That whole night I laid there, in bed, fighting off sleep. I was not going to let sleep overtake me, for if it did, I knew what could happen. I still wasn't sure of the truth but I wasn't taking any chances. For my brother, Jeremy, I must stay awake.

I previously published a version of this story on Wattpad and Quora.


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Austin Blessing-Nelson (Blessing)

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