Good morning all. Have you ever gone to bed with a plot dilemma that was just twisting your brain inside out and then woke up with the solution sitting in the middle of your brain clear as day? Well that happened to me this morning. Well sort of. I woke up with a mostly calm mind and started to run through my morning to do list. As I stumbled to the coffee pot the solution his me more like a freight truck than anything else. I’ve got such plans for this day. But first, we need to get it going woith our morning prompt. Ready? God, let’s go.
I think I’d need to figure out what my character is going to find around the corner before I continue this tale. What they find is really going to establish what sort of story this is. Burst pipe and environmental catastrophe and cover up, vampires, general murder mystery. From here all are possibilities. I just need to figure out what is around that corner. Later of course.
Tuesday, November 16th: In the distance, I heard the plink of water falling into a pool.
In the distance, I heard the plink of water falling into a pool. The sound seemed to echo off of the concrete walls. Somehow it sounded faintly ominous. ‘Maybe a leaky pipe.’ I thought to myself.
I continued forward. My steps were whispers on the concrete floor, but the soft sounds hissed around me as I moved, creating my own dim echoes. This access tunnel hadn’t been used in years, not since the factory above was shut down. Across town the newer, more updated version could be seen decorating the skyline. Strangely if you stood in the center of town, you could look down main street. A view to the north showed the towers and smoke stacks of the new facility. Steam puffed from them nearly constantly. If you looked to the south you could see the nearly identical outline of the older factory. It no longer steamed and stood as a silent sentinel. It was abandoned ten years ago when it was deemed more cost effective to purchase new land and start from scratch than it was to bring the old factory up to code.
Once these tunnels would have been the passage where raw goods came in to supply the machines and where finished products were shipped out to waiting trucks. Now it was empty and silent. My feet slid a little on the accumulated dust on the floor of the tunnel.
If the factory was abandoned, why was I here? Good question. Someone spotted activity on the property. While the company abandoned the site for practical uses, they still owned it. Without proper remediation to remove contaminants from the building and land around it, there were few buyers. The building was in a dormant state when standing, but so much asbestos went into its creation and so much waste, from chemicals to heavy metals seeped into the land and even into the pores of the building itself that tearing it down was an environmental can of worms the company had no desire to open.
Paying the annual property taxes and maintaining security on the site were much less expensive than remediation and reuse. And so when activity was suspected on the site, I was detailed to check it out. Technically I was part of a team. All of the supposed activity occurred at night, so we were going in the day time to see if there were any traces. It could just be kids goofing around and the worse we would find was graffiti. It could be something criminal and we would need to alert the local authorities. Until we knew, we could do nothing.
The site was huge so the team spread out to cover as much ground as possible in the short time we had. Even with the team we had spread out over the entire site it would take us the better part of the day to search everything and be confident in our findings. If we found nothing, then another team would be detailed to come view the site at night. I was hoping I was not picked for that duty. Even in daylight, I found the abandoned site creepy. I gripped my flashlight hard trying to squelch down decades of horror movie viewing. The sound of water plinking down into a pool came again. It was coming from just ahead, just past the point where the tunnel split in two. I paused and waited, listening. The sound came again.
‘Left tunnel,’ I thought.