The haunted radio.

Last night I was awakened by a strange noise from outside the bedroom. I cautiously listened for any clues as to what the noise could be.

Then my pulse quickened. That was no noise; that was a voice. Not exactly a pleasant scenario for someone who lives alone.

Slowly I climbed out of bed in the darkness and reached for the door. As I gently pushed the door open, I heard the voice again.

“Customer needs loading assistance at the garden center.”

Then it dawned on me. I brought the two-way radio home from work again. I was supposed to return it to the closet near the service desk before leaving for the day but apparently I forgot. Chuckling to myself, I walked to the kitchen where I found the radio next to my lunch bag on the counter.

“Customer needs loading assistance at the garden center.”

Then I looked at the time on the microwave oven.

It was 2:30 in the morning.

The store closed at 10 last night.

And there’s someone waiting there now?

“Michael?”

I nearly jumped out of my skin when another voice on the radio called out my name.

“Michael, where are you?”

Curiosity soon took over where fear began and I decided to play along to see where all this was going. Surely this must be a concidence. So I picked up the radio and pressed the transmit button as I replied, “I’m at home.”

“You’re at home?!” came the shocked reply. “Get over here as soon as you can and I’ll pretend we never had this conversation. That is, if you still want your job.”

Now I really couldn’t believe what was going on. I wasn’t sure what to do next, but at the same time, I thought of getting dressed and heading back to work at 2:30 in the morning, knowing full well the store was closed with nobody there. I still thought this was a concidence coming from a 24-hour store within range, but I decided to take no chances. So I got dressed, took the radio along and drove down the empty streets back to the store where I worked.

When I arrived at my destination, the parking lot was completely empty and the lights in the store were out. There was nobody there.

And then…

“Oh good. You’re here.” came the voice on the radio.

Feeling chills up my spine, I parked my car and walked along the front of the empty store to the garden center where immediately I noticed something wasn’r right. The doors were closed and locked but the overhead lights were on and flickering. I could see shadows moving on the floor before one approached me from behind the doors.

“Can you load this mulch for me?” came a voice from out of nowhere.

Then I felt another unseen presence behind me.

“I’ll be taking that.”

The radio mysteriously floated out of my hand and drifted towards the main entrance where it drifted harmlessly through the front doors. At that instant, I saw no more shadows and all unseen presences were gone. It was only me standing outside the darkened store, not believing what I just witnessed. Then I came back to my senses and decided to leave before anyone saw me.

That’s the last time I will ever bring the two-way radio home with me.

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