Always Thinking...
Man In Uniform
Author: Evvie

I woke up in a hospital yesterday morning. As I write this I'm at work, pausing every few moments to check my surroundings for anything out of the ordinary or anything that may need my attention. Since I work the night shift and have been given express permission to write down the events of my last shift during this shift, in a formal incident report, as well as an informal personal telling which is what you're now reading. My site contacts have requested this personally. They have also requested I not leave any detail out no matter how embarrassing it might be and promised to reward me with a large amount of money because they intend to sell this story to a publisher or a magazine. I've tried to write a book before and it didn't go so well then, so I don't see their plans coming to fruition. Maybe the local paper, tops.

December 23rd 23:30 I arrived at the guard shack for the 24th's shift. I like to be a half an hour early in case anything needs to be relayed to me. Also it's just plain good manners because all the other guards do it, however reluctantly. I said hello to Gordon, whom I was relieving and he didn't hear me. His hearing aid must have been turned off. He finally noticed me after I lightly grabbed his shoulder. He awoke with a start which startled me back. He mumbled something I couldn't understand and then headed for the door. Once he was gone I sprayed some air freshener. I respect the man and everything, don't get me wrong, but he has a rather strong smell. I should have said something to him about sleeping on the job but he wouldn't have been able to hear me, and if he could he wouldn't listen, so what's the use.
After his van was clear of the parking lot I logged myself down into the logbook, highlighted the things that Gordon neglected to highlight, set up the next few days' worth of DSORs (Daily Security Officer Reports) and shipment logs, swept the floor and wiped the countertop clean of all the strange yellow gook that Gordon leaves behind on a daily basis. We suspect that it's Vaporub. Or rather, we hope it is.
After I was done tidying the mess Gordon had left for me I straightened the visitor's badges and made sure they were all accounted for. I still had time before 00:00hrs so I had some of my cheetos and started on my first coke of the night. Which I shouldn't have, being a diabetic and all. I just can't help myself. But, for 51 I would say I'm in decent enough shape for a diabetic. I then remembered that I forgot to portion the rest of my cheetos for the week into separate baggies. Usually I do it as soon as I get the bag but I was distracted by Victoria, my lady friend, who was visiting that day. She lives in Ottawa now so when she's down I'm sure to give her my full attention.

At 00:00hrs it was time to go on my first patrol tour. I put on my bump cap and hairnet, along with a beard net just for good measure. I don't need to wear a beard net but I do because my mustache is rather large. I technically don't need to wear safety goggles either because my glasses are large enough and provide enough protection but you can never be too careful so I wear a pair overtop my glasses. Not just that but I'm blind as a bat without them. It was snowing lightly at the time; none of the snow on the ground was disturbed, unsurprisingly. I know Gordon never actually does his patrols when the crew is away from work for the holidays.
I bundled up in my poor quality security coats and cleared the main entrance stairway and path of snow. The exterior was all ok. The employee parking lot was fine, all automatic gates were functioning properly. One doorway was blocked by snow, but I removed it. That fockackta shovel they have for us hurts my back. The train unloading station where they unload the pie mix was clear, backside of the building was clear and the shipping yard was clear. Interior patrol was all clear as well. Most of the plant's lights were off and all was silent. Main office was clear, as well as the cafeteria and locker rooms. The two warehouses, the blenders and the production lines were all off and in good order. There wasn't anything to report and I had completed my patrol within 43 minutes. This left me with some time to read my book before my next patrol. It was a book on submarines during World War II, which is one of my interests. Usually during my spare time at work I opt to read, but only with express permission from the site contact. Usually it's some sort of WWII book, but sometimes it will be a graphic novel. I finished the chapter I was working on in my book 5 minutes before the hour changed. I didn't want to start the next one because I didn't want to leave off in the middle of the chapter.
My thoughts turned to Victoria. I'm not sure how to write this next part. I will just say that I wasn't happy with what I was thinking about her. I dwelled mostly on the time she called me up to go have some fun and asked me to bring her all the things she had left at my house. When I met up with her she pulled up in the passenger's side of some guy's car and got me to load her things up into the back of that guy's car. Then she drove away and said she would call me in a bit. I didn't hear from her again for two months, and when she called she was then living in Ottawa. The time after that the only thing I heard from her is when her lawyer called me, demanding money for hospital bills from the car accident we were in together a year ago. Of course I paid it, but I don't know what to think of these things. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. It would be wrong of me to suspect shenanigans.

I started my next patrol at 01:00hrs, glad to escape those thoughts. During my second patrol I like to think things through and figure out what I need to do when I get home from work. I decided I would clean my room and the rest of the basement or else mother would be angry. Also to get the steak from the freezer so it's been thawed by the time she goes to cook it. Mother makes a mean steak. I sure do like a good steak. Yet even Mother's steaks won't even compare to the steaks at Bonanza, which is a gentlemen's club. Believe it or not, I only go there for the steak. I mean, you get a HUGE steak, great big potatoes and a generous helping of fries on the side. I don't know what it is, but that chef is a genius and belongs on Hell's Kitchen. I'm confident he would win hands down. Which reminds me again, I need to tape that when I get home. And to pick up the new season of Star Trek sometime, but anyway, before this becomes Alan's to-do list I'll cut this train of thought off right here.
The main office was all clear, as well as the cafeteria. When I entered the main warehouse I thought I heard the sound of the overhead pot lamps in the secondary warehouse turning off abruptly. They often have blowouts in there so I picked up my pace to check there first, and that's when all went black. I couldn't see the hand in front of my face. Of all times for a power outage. I was not looking forward to freezing all night in the guard shack. Swearing under my breath I turned around and felt my way back to the cafeteria door and eventually to the main entrance door. Through the glass doorway I could see that the outage was affecting the entire sector of the city. It was then that it puzzled me why the backup lighting and generators hadn't kicked in. I knew there was one in the office bathroom close by so I went to investigate. When I opened the bathroom door I could tell the backups weren't running for some reason. There was no light. To see what was wrong with them I would need a flashlight, and that was back at the guard shack. I needed to attempt to call communications and the site contact according to the post orders anyway, so that was where I headed next, but I was stopped abruptly by the glass doorways. The latch was missing. I felt around blindly for it but didn't find it. I figured I must have broken it off when I came in? I worried about the trouble I might be in for that when I saw, very faintly, that the doors were welded together down the middle.
After I was done scratching my head the fear kicked in. The looming darkness didn't help. I doubled back through the office and into the cafeteria, turned around again, in a fluster to check the vault, which is always left wide open. I stumbled my way through the office again and found the opening and eventually found an industrial flashlight the line supervisors use when there's a blackout during production shifts. So it was back through the cafeteria into the main warehouse I went, to reach door 18, which leads right outside to the guard shack. I made my best attempt not to try to figure out how the door got welded shut within so short a time. Moving at a fast stride, I half tripped over a battery in the tow motor recharge area. Good thing I always wear my steel toes. I didn't let the stumble get to me, I was focused completely on getting out of the pitch blackness. I like to think I'm not afraid of the dark, but in some situations, like these, I'm comfortable with admitting I get a little tense. I made it to the short flight of stairs leading down to door 18…
It wouldn't open. I tried again, not believing this. Still nothing. It felt as if it had been blocked from the outside. I turned the flashlight on and shakily surveyed my surroundings. There was nothing, no sounds, movement or otherwise, everything was still as could be. The stupid idea that I was trapped within the factory kept surfacing in my mind, no matter how hard I tried to keep it down, like a rubber ball in a swimming pool. My next destination was the shipping and receiving's entrance to the truck yard. I could get out that way and walk to the gate, reach through and unlock it and that would bring me to the guard shack. On my way there I was walking so that my boots wouldn't make noise, entertaining the paranoid thought that I was being watched. When I got to the door, sure enough it wouldn't open either. Something was definitely up. At this point I could either hide until morning or keep trying the doors. I opted to try the doors once the possibility of shenanigans from the workers came to me. The employees like to give me a hard time sometimes. They call me things like "super cop" on a regular basis. I made a mental note to make sure I bust whoever did this to me. I don't like being locked inside a dark factory surrounded by strip clubs and trailer parks. I didn't doubt the chance that the local yokels would take this opportunity to steal some free pie mix. They take whatever else they can get, even the cigarette butts from the smoking area. I'm constantly chasing them off the property for that. I guess they unravel them and compile the leftovers into a new smoke. Horrendously unsanitary.
The next few doors provided no results, as I expected. I hoped this was a prank again. There were no windows for me to escape through, and all of the shipping doors wouldn't budge either, there was one last option, and that was the roof. As soon as I was sure that I couldn't get out of the factory it was my first priority to pull the fire alarm and await help. I think those work during power outages…but then again, the generators weren't running either. I had forgotten to go and check the one in the washroom. The next closest one to where I was, was the secondary shipping office and that was out of my way so I quickly forgot about it. I headed down the corridor that leads to the production lines and the upstairs offices which has the stairwell that leads to the roof in it. An overwhelming feeling that someone was stalking me erupted; I kept imagining people sneaking up behind me with crowbars and various bludgeoning weapons. The tension grew and totally on a whim I spun around and swung the flashlight like a club. I figured that even if it was some prankster they deserved a good pop in the mouth. Of course I wasn't expecting anyone to be there, but there was. The flashlight collided with someone's face and sent them fumbling backwards. Obviously I was surprised so I dropped the flashlight and it rolled behind them, shining on something completely useless. Once the shock wore off I shuffled toward them, apologizing and asking if they were alright. Their response was an un-seeable kick to my knee, and before I knew what was what he had knocked me on my back with a sweeping kick aimed at the back of my legs. He came at me with something clenched in his fist, intending to plunge it into my neck, but I scrambled away enough to get to my feet and high tail it the hell out of there and down the stairs to the lower warehouse area. I think his knockdown kick was meant to stun me, but it didn't hurt my head because I always wear my proper protective equipment, including bump hat.
I hobbled to the nearest fire alarm with my bruised knee and yanked down the lever. It was just my luck that nothing happened. It was at this time that the pain in my knee registered and I stifled a howl. I felt like crying, not because of the pain, but because of the fear. I found a dark corner where they keep the cleaning supplies and hid there. I didn't know what else to do. I had taken the fire extinguisher that was beside the busted fire alarm. I planned to spray it at the shadowy figure if it came at me again. As I huddled in the corner next to the bleach, I planned my next course of action: hide. This was definitely not a prank, it was a planned heist. A pie mix heist of grand magnitude.

My assailant's description occurred to me while I hid there and I dwelled on him. He was wearing all black and was quite thin and agile. He was masked and was wearing a helmet. His face seemed to be glowing green, but only slightly. I think he was wearing night vision goggles. Not that he would need them to see me at the time he snuck up on me, waving the flashlight around like I was. He was a little taller than I was I'd guess, but that's not saying much because everyone is. The only people I'm taller than are little old ladies, grade schoolers and some Asian women.
An hour must have passed and I hadn't heard a sound from anywhere in the factory. I started to think he had given up looking for me or had gotten what he came for and was gone. I hoped.

I made a break for it in a tow motor since he could see me as plain as day if I tried to sneak or run away. I put the gas to the floor and sped through the lower warehouse to the ramp that leads to the blenders. There was no sign of him along the way. When I went up the ramp and came barreling around the corner through the plastic flaps I nearly crashed into some skids of product. By a hair I missed them by swerving as hard as I could to the left. If the headlights had of been any dimmer I would have rammed them head on. This particular tow motor's battery was nearly dead, but it didn't matter because I had reached my destination. When I turned the corner into the upper warehouse the Man In Black appeared in my headlights coming out from behind some skids. I charged him head on, not thinking, panicking, and crashed into the cardboard boxes they have stacked there. Since I tried to turn before I hit them I ended up knocking more of them over. A domino effect occurred and one by one that entire row of piled skids came crashing down. It was an awful mess, cardboard boxes were everywhere.
When the whiplash wore off from the crash I looked around the wreckage and saw him laying there, on top of (and under) frayed cardboard. I could have ran The Shadow down right there but I don't have the guts to kill anyone. I backed up the tow motor and heard a loud crunch. I could tell I had run over something metal. I didn't know what it was then but the next day I was told it was his night vision goggles. Which explained why he couldn't get a hold of me when I bailed out of the tow motor just around the corner from where I crashed it. He must have been right on my tail because as soon as I got onto the metal staircase I could hear his footsteps hurrying after me. The door to the upstairs offices was already broken open so that saved me precious seconds in my escape. I got into the office just before he did and closed the door, and held it closed while I frantically searched for something to barricade it with. I reached for the edge of the desk and tried to pull it with one hand in front of the door, but I wasn't strong enough. All the while The Shadow was kicking the door to break in, each kick nearly sent me flying backwards. I quickly shoved some file folders in front of the door with my leg and ran for it to the office hallway door, which was hanging wide open already too. On my way out I grabbed a couple things to defend myself with, of course those file folders weren't going to hold him at bay for long. All I could grab with such a small amount of time on my hands were three pie sculptures that were stacked on the desk. For some reason they were made of lead. I think they were paperweights. I put one in each coat pocket and carried one in my hand. Before I was even out the door I could hear the door exploding open and the file folders falling all over the place. I sprinted down the hallway as fast as my little legs would carry me. Gasping and wheezing like a lifetime smoker I desperately ran up the stairwell that leads to the roof.

I swear to God, my lungs were caving in by the time I reached the top of the stairwell. The roof door was open already, as I expected. My Trespasser must have known guards never patrol the roof or upstairs offices and chose to make it his point of entry. On the way up the stairwell I could hear him hot on my trail, and he was gaining on me. As I ran out onto the roof into the cold my run became an awkward waddle. The snow up there must have been waist deep on me in some places. I fell forwards into the snow. When I picked myself back up again he was running at me through the snow, looking like he was in an invisible swimming pool. I chucked the lead pie ornament at him with all my might, it went sailing five feet over his right shoulder. As he was slightly distracted by that I stood up the rest of the way and got out the other pie. He must not have been expecting another one because this one was a direct hit right to the face. He took a stagger backwards and almost lost his balance. Upon impact a grunt of agony escaped into the night. It sounded like the voice of a young boy. Judging by the size of him I would have guessed he was no more than fourteen to eighteen. I didn't stop to think about that then, after I landed my lucky shot I exclaimed "oh shit!" bringing my hands up in front of my face in surprise. I couldn't believe I got him! He brought his hand up to his face to check the damage, and as he did that I threw another pie. It was another direct hit! This time I got him in the chest and knocked the wind out of him. This pissed him right off and he let out one of those screams that young lads give off when they're extremely angry, where they sound just like girls. Screeching he charged at me, I tried to turn and run but the snow wasn't letting me do that and he jumped up out of the snow and landed on my back. I felt a sharp prick in my neck and immediately felt dizzy and nauseous. I figured that I was about to die, I had never been more terrified in my life. I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack at some point that night. As I lay face down in the snow I could hear him panting heavily and sucking in air through his teeth most probably because of the damage I did to his face with the death pies. I tried to form thoughts but failed. I faded to black.

I woke up and immediately knew where I was. I was in the same room they put me in the last time I was there. That or all the rooms look the same. I was in the midtown hospital. I felt completely refreshed and at ease, like a huge burden had been lifted from me. I laid there and relaxed for a while until a nurse came in and spoke to me, just idle chat mostly. The doctor came in a while after and told me I had been tranquilized and that some police officials would be speaking to me when I got home. They were waiting for me there. I was pretty comfortable where I was so I took my time getting home. I got out of the taxi and made my way up to my front door. Before I could touch it, it was opened by a man in a suit, gesturing me inside. There were 2 more men in suits in my kitchen when I sat down. We talked at great length about the night before, and they asked every question imaginable. They told me I should write down what happened, in my own words, but I didn't have to. They also told me to be vague about the part where I spoke to them, and not describe much anything about them. I wasn't going to at first, but the site contacts called my house to see if I was okay and once I told them the gist of what happened they said they wanted to read it and maybe even get it published. I think that's preposterous, but I can't tell a lady "no" so here we are. Here's what the Men In Black told me:
They told me that nothing was stolen from the factory and very little evidence of his presence was left behind. There was also nothing damaged besides the things I mentioned in my story, which were mostly my doing anyway. Here's the kicker; they told me that "he" was actually a "she" and is a serial rapist of security guards, and that seems to be her only motive for doing what she did. Apparently, she finds a night guard she has a fancy for and stalks them, then when no one is around she traps them somewhere and tranquillizes them, and has her way with them when they're asleep. She has done this a reported 36 times total, all over the world. I guess some ladies really can't resist men in uniform.

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