Ten Rules for the Night Security Guard

Part 1

You ever see an opportunity, and think "that's too good to be true"? Read through the fine print, find out more about it, waiting with bated breath for when it turns out you're right? Here's a piece of advice I'll give ya, I'm sure you've heard it before, I did too yet here I am now: when something seems too good to be true, it is.

Here I am now. Nine more hours sitting at this desk watching security feeds, then I get to go home and wonder why the fuck I believed that this overpaid and seemingly easy security position didn't come with a catch, why I didn't notice all the red flags in between seeing the offer online and getting here. Why I genuinely believe I'll be lucky to have the chance to regret my decision after my shift.

Let's go back to earlier today. There I was, switching between browsing Reddit and flipping through local job offers, when a refresh of a local job listing site revealed something new that caught my eye. A basic security position - job description basically amounted to locking the doors at night, watching cameras, and calling the company if anything bad happened. And in the description, they said that they would pay $37 an hour. I was immediately skeptical of the high wage for a basic security job, especially considering the company had next to no info on it on the web - their small website had pictures of the founders and outside of their buildings, but didn't even say what they did. However, I had the qualifications from a class I'd taken a year ago, and the possibility of walking away with $300 for a night's work seemed enticing even if it might have been a scam. I figured it couldn't hurt to send in a resume and see what happened.

I got a call from a private number not an hour after submitting my application. The conversation was odd: the person on the other end of the line seemed like they had no experience hiring people before, and their voice seemed somewhat stressed and worried - a couple more red flags, but I was still in the "it could be legit, and if it's not I haven't lost anything" mindset. I'll try to recreate the phone conversation here:

"Hello, um, is this Christopher?" said the voice on the other end.

I replied, "Yes, speaking. Who is this?"

"This is, uh, I work for [company] Inc. I'm, um, I'm Daniel Edwards, head of sec- head of HR. Uh, former head of security. I'm calling because, uh, because you submitted an application to us." Daniel paused. I waited expectantly for him to continue, but when the silence dragged on a moment too long I realized he was done speaking.

"What about my application?"

"Oh, uh, we'd like you to come for an, um, an interview. Your credentials looked, well, looked good, yeah. Can you come to [address] in two hours?" I was surprised, it seemed to me like either a) it was a scam or b) they needed the position filled fast, maybe even by tonight. If it was the latter, I was pretty sure I could talk them up to an even higher wage, so I made my decision there - I'd check out the address on Google street view and see if there was any other info on it before I went there, and if it seemed off I just wouldn't show up for the interview.

"Sure thing. Thank you." Daniel hung up the phone before I even finished speaking.

Fast forward to two hours later, I was arriving at a fenced-off property in my city's industrial district, occupied by two buildings. They bore minimal markings and logos but appeared to be in fair condition (and supposedly still belonged to the company I was going there to see). I pulled my 2001 Honda Civic through the gate and into the parking lot. Something felt slightly off right away, though I didn't pick up on what it was until later - the parking lot was empty except for one other car.

I stepped out and walked into the larger one-story building facing directly onto the parking lot. The door was unlocked. The receptionist's desk sat empty, and I recall noticing that there was dust on the blades of the fan that sat there. There was no email address in the post on the job site, and Daniel had called me from a private number. Unsure what to do, I waited in the small lobby for a few minutes and looked around at my surroundings.

The entrance was a single glass door, and the front wall was made up of floor-to-ceiling windows. A metal shutter system rested on the outer wall above the glass, and a control panel on the wall inside. The receptionist's desk sat against the wall opposite the door. On either side of the room were eight chairs and two small coffee tables, complete with old magazines. To the left, a short hallway led past a single door on either side, terminating at a heavy unpainted metal exterior door bearing dents of various sizes and shapes. For some odd reason, the exterior door made me feel uneasy. All three doors contained a single small window, the kind with wire mesh inside it, obscured by black paint or cloth on the inside. To the right led another hall - oddly enough, I can't recall the length, and I usually have good attention to detail. Was it four doors on either side? No, two? Sixteen maybe? I'm not even sure it had a length. I didn't look at the end of the right hallway. Behind the receptionist's desk was another longer hallway terminating in a T-intersection. The first door on the left was made of brown painted metal and bore a small placard of "SECURITY OFFICE."

After waiting for a minute, a man rushed in through the front door.

"Sorry to have kept you waiting. I'm Joshua Collins, head of HR." He spoke quickly and seemed frantic and skittish - he didn't hold eye contact for more than a second at a time. As he shook my hand, I could feel that his palms were sweaty and cold.

"Christopher Newman." I paused for a second, suddenly hit by a wave of skepticism, and decided to test if he could keep his story straight. "I spoke to a man named Daniel Edwards on the phone, I thought he said he was the head of HR."

Joshua ignored me and continued, "Mr. Newman, my company needs a new security guard fast, the last two quit this morning and we can't afford to go a night without someone watching the property. We've tried to get you here as fast as possible because you'll need to be ready to work by sunset. We're in a rush so we'll skip the usual process, if you're able to start right now then you can consider yourself hired. Your salary is thirty-seven dollars an hour, non-negotiable. Sign this NDA and you can start right now."

I didn't like how aggressive he was being, but it had shown that I was right - they were looking for a fast, probably temporary hire, and I wasn't about to turn down that kind of money. I flipped through the NDA - it was a long one so I skipped most of it, but I know how these contracts are: don't disclose company secrets, yada yada. I signed it and followed Joshua to the security office.

The orientation was short and simple: "Here's your keychain, this one opens the door to the security office, this one opens most of the other offices, this one controls the shutter on the front windows. Here's your Maglite, you can use it as a baton in a pinch but you're better to lock yourself in the office and call us if you see anything suspicious. All you have to do is sit in that office and watch the camera feeds, you don't need to patrol since you don't have a partner to watch the feeds when you're gone. We don't provide a uniform, just put your badge on your shirt. Front door's the only one that's unlocked right now, ignore the other exterior doors and the offices in the long hallway. Lock the front gate. That's it."

"What's this binder for?" I asked, pointing at a white binder on the desk, bearing the company logo.

"Oh, um, uh, read that during your shift." Joshua looked uncomfortable at the mention of the binder, and avoided my gaze as he stammered out his reply. He didn't wait to see if I had further questions before he hurriedly left, getting into the only car in the parking lot (apart from mine) and speeding off.

I assumed my security guard role right away - I went outside and locked the gate, closed the metal shutter over the front glass, and locked the front door. Then I sealed myself in the security office and opened the binder up.

That binder is what prompted me to write this down. When I opened it, I expected a long, boring write-up of company policy involving various situations that may happen after hours - specific rules for dealing with burglars and vandals, you know, that sort of thing. Instead, there was only one page. What was on that page made me realize that this job was, in fact, too good to be true, and is why I'm genuinely terrified right now.

Welcome to [REDACTED] Inc. There are ten company rules security personnel must follow in order to ensure their safety and well-being:

  1. The long hallway is off-limits. If you cross the threshold from the lobby, turn around immediately and walk back. Do not run.
  2. Do not look at the long hallway for prolonged periods. If any security camera shows it, shut it down immediately.
  3. Do not open the door at the end of the short hallway.
  4. Building 2 is off-limits and is to be observed only via camera feeds.
  5. If you must go outside, use only the front door.
  6. The coffee machine will turn on automatically at 2:17 am. Ensure a cup is placed beneath it prior to this time. When the liquid is dispensed into the cup, place it outside the door of the security office. Lock the door and do not open it again until 2:37 am.
  7. Do not leave the security office between 4:01 and 4:02 am.
  8. If you hear a female voice coming from an indeterminate point within the building, unlock the door on the left of the short hallway. Do not enter the room unless the voice invites you to do so. Do not look at her face. If you hear a male voice upon unlocking the door, return to the security office immediately.
  9. If you feel you are in immediate danger, call this number using the phone in the security office: [REDACTED] Do not contact emergency services before sunrise.
  10. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ATTEMPT TO LEAVE [REDACTED] INC. BEFORE SUNRISE.

I have nine hours left in this shift. I'd rather walk out of here broke than stick around for the rest of the night, but the instructions made it clear that I'll have to stick it out 'til morning. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: It's 2:15 am. It's been fairly uneventful so far, and I hope I don't jinx it by saying that. I've just stayed in the office and split my time between watching security camera feeds and browsing Reddit to calm my nerves. It's demon coffee time in two minutes, the cup is already in place and I'm hoping everything goes well.

UPDATE 2: 3:30 am. Demon coffee disappeared after being left outside the door. I heard something knocking and scratching at the door during the time I was told to keep it closed, though I wasn't able to see it on the cameras (the only one watching the office door started showing the long hallway and I had to turn it off). There's a persistent shadow in the corner of the room, that seems darker than a normal shadow. It doesn't go away even when I shine my flashlight right at it. The instructions didn't say anything about a shadow, so I'm just going to not touch it and occasionally check to see if it changes size or moves or anything. Still haven't heard the woman's voice. I could've sworn I glimpsed a humanoid figure on the building 2 cameras a few times, though I can't find it when I inspect the feeds more closely. I no longer have even the slightest doubt that this place is haunted as shit.

UPDATE 3: 4:29 am. I was feeling pretty shaken so I didn't write this up immediately, but here's basically what happened. I'll put it in more detail in my next post. At 3:45, I heard the woman's voice. I was going to ignore it until 4:02, but it got louder and louder until it hurt, and I gave in. She invited me in, but I heard the male voice as soon as I sat down and I ran back to the office. As for what happened at 4:01... I'll write that up later, I'm still really shaken by it. I'll just say I was glad for the reinforced metal door on the office, and that I really, really regret taking this job.

Part 2

3:45 am. The female voice began to whisper in a language I didn't recognize (might have been complete gibberish for all I knew), starting from a point to my left and seemingly changing direction as it spoke. I was planning to stay in the office and wait until after 4:02 to unlock the door, but what started as a whisper got louder and louder until it began to actually hurt. The voice was all I could perceive, it came at me from every angle and seemed to scream directly into my mind. I realized that it had been only two minutes since she started speaking, and I'd go mad if I had to wait another fourteen. I ran out of the office, past the dust-covered receptionist desk, and into the short hall where I fumbled with my keys to unlock the door. The screaming stopped as soon as I opened it.

The interior of the room is hazy in my memory, but I clearly recall a desk with a chair on either side illuminated in the middle of a room so dark I couldn't see anything else. A woman sat on the far side of the desk and motioned for me to come in and sit down across from her. Walking through the darkness was odd - my footsteps didn't make any noise and my senses somehow seemed muffled. I had only just sat down when a male voice let out a distressed cry, and I sprinted back to the office without looking back. I made it back at 4:00. I could not have spent more than twenty seconds inside the room.

I said in my last post that what happened between 4:01 and 4:02 really shook me up... I promised I'd write it down here, maybe getting it on paper will help me to stop remembering that thing. When the clock struck 4:01, I heard a bloodcurdling, inhuman scream from the lobby. On the camera feed... I don't know what it was that I saw. Something inhuman, I know that, I can't recall its shape. Dark, a little bigger than a person. Seeing it then, and recalling it now, instills a horrible fear in me, so intense that I don't think I'll ever sleep again after seeing it. That thing... it sprinted out of the long hallway, into the lobby. It ran to the exterior door at the end of the short hallway, beat at it for a few seconds with limbs that I could neither see nor hear but nonetheless sure could kill me in an instant. It gave up on the door and instead began sprinting back and forth in the hall outside the security office. All I could do was watch it run left and right on the cameras, listening to that horrible scream and the oddly arrhythmic thumping of its formless feet on the cheap linoleum tiles.

As I watched it sprint, it suddenly looked at a camera. It had no eyes. I didn't see the rest of its face. All I know is that it stopped then, and I was affixed by its eyeless gaze, until even its screams seemed to fade into the background. I felt it staring into me, burning with a foreign, alien emotion mixed with curiosity, curiosity that suddenly became hatred - as I looked at it, I knew that this being hated me more intensely than I had ever known anything could hate, it wanted to kill me, it would run forever through fire and hell in pursuit of me, would never stop until I died by its hand. I would never be free of its unending hatred, it would hunt me down until the day I died. It tore its face from the camera and lunged at the office door, and I suddenly became aware that it had never stopped screaming as it began to beat upon the scratched, painted metal. I don't know how many arms it had, it could have been anywhere from two to nine. It seemed to change every time it hit the door. Its screams, as alien and inhuman as they were, seemed to grow frustrated - it desperately needed to get in, needed to rip me apart, and this fucking door was keeping it from the one thing it truly wanted - this piece of metal, this creation of the abomination that is man, was stopping it from attaining the only thing it cared about.

The monster's screams rose to a demonic crescendo as the door rattled more and more - I was sure it was about to give out under the stress. Just as I was beginning to accept that I was going to die here, the cacophony of screaming and clanging cut off abruptly. I checked the time. 4:02. I checked the cameras, deciding to test my luck with the one I'd turned off earlier since it was showing the long hallway. No sign of the monster, and the door was, oddly, undamaged.

As soon as I was sure the screaming monster was gone, I opened the binder and used the office phone to call the emergency number. It rang for a long time before someone picked up:

"D-Daniel Edwards. Let me guess, it's the screamer?"

"Y- how did you know?"

"C-Comes out at the same time every night, um, stay- stays for exactly a minute. Please, uh, please only call for stuff that's not uh, not in the binder."

"Is it gone now? I- I felt that thing staring into me. What- what happened to the last guy to look it in the eye? Am I safe?"

He hung up without another word. I glanced uneasily at the shadow in the corner, its ominous presence somehow diminished by the fact that it hadn't moved.

I resigned that my next bathroom break would be at the nearest place that sold coffee, and the next time I would leave the room would be at the end of my shift.

The rest of the night was stressful. The dark figure in building 2 kept appearing on feeds in the corner of my vision, only to vanish as soon as I tried to look closer. Several times, I noticed cameras showing parts of building 2 that weren't there before. An office door down the hall from me opened and closed on its own at irregular intervals, making me jump every time. At 5:55, every odd-numbered camera showed the long hallway and I had to frantically turn them off. I could've sworn that a few of them showed a vague, eyeless face in the distance.

As the night drew to a close, I noticed that the clock on my phone was about sixteen minutes behind the one on the wall. I decided I'd wait until the slower of the two showed it was time to go, I didn't want to risk leaving early and getting caught by whatever was responsible for the rule to stay here until dawn. I'll just write a simple timestamped log of what happened in the final hours of my shift, because it's easier to follow:

6:30. Camera four showed a man with my build and hair color in the lobby. He turned to look at it, and he had my face - but something seemed off about it. I blinked and he vanished.

6:57. Camera six, which looks down the short hallway, showed the heavy metal door rattling for about twenty seconds.

7:13. The chair at the receptionist's desk fell over.

7:15. The receptionist's chair was standing up. The layer of dust on it was untouched.

7:32. Camera 16 showed a hallway in building 2 that, based on my perception of its layout, would have been outside the building's footprint.

7:50. I noticed symbols, or perhaps characters in a foreign language, that appeared to be drawn in the dust on the receptionist's computer screen (an ancient CRT monitor with a beige plastic exterior)

8:00. Symbols are gone. The shadow in the corner of the room has disappeared. Sunlight finally begins to slip around the edges of the shutters.

My shift ended at 9. You can be damn sure that I wanted to book it out of here as soon as I could.

On my way from the office to the door, something in the long hallway caught my attention from the corner of my eye. As hard as I tried not to look at it, it forced me to turn my head.

In the hallway, a long distance away - maybe a hundred yards, maybe a few steps; distance doesn't work right there - was a face.

It had no eyes, just depressions in its skin (if it even had skin) where eyes should have been.

And it grinned at me with human teeth.

It took a huge amount of willpower, but I managed to pull my gaze away from it, open the shutter and front door, unlock the gate, and drive away so fast that if there were cops in the area I'd have had my license taken away then and there. I threw the keys onto the ground in front of the door.

I felt the thing's gaze burning into the back of my head as I sped away. It became less intense with distance, but I still feel it watching me now, at home, across the city - faint but not gone. I haven't slept. I haven't eaten. I tried to contact the company, but I can't find a damn thing about them online. Their website is gone. Google returns no results, and on google maps, there's no company listed at their address. There's no history of them on the job listing site. I even had the foresight to write down the emergency number in the binder, but calling it gives me an automated message telling me the number is no longer in service.

A check arrived in the mail earlier today. No return address, and the name on the check - Joshua Collins - wasn't enough to go off of. It came with a note:

Here's the night's pay, I have a feeling you won't be back for another shift. Any residual effects you experience should disappear over the coming days. Thank you for working at [REDACTED] Inc., a subsidiary of Extranormal Containment Solutions.

Joshua Collins, project lead

I don't know what the fuck I got myself into. I hope I don't get tied up in any of this, Extranormal Containment Solutions sure sounds a whole lot like a real-life equivalent of the SCP Foundation, and if they're anything alike I'd prefer to stay the fuck away. I know for a fact I won't ignore red flags in the hiring process like that ever again. I'll never sign up for a suspicious job offer as long as I live.

It's fully cemented in my mind now: when something seems too good to be true, it is.