The K.A.C

21 minutes read

02-06-2023

Three friends walked in a rush; they were trying to be quiet but hushed one another loudly till they were basically shouting at one another as they made their way down a dimly lit back street at night.

“Couldn’t we have just driven down here? I am sure it would have been quieter than us fucking about down the street.” Charlie said as he flickered his torch towards the other two.

“Come on, it is all a bit of fun.” Alex replied, beckoning Charlie to follow.

“Besides, I told you, the paranormal mess with cars. Do you really want more car problems than you already have?” Kit asked Charlie with a grin.

Charlie rolled their eyes with a smile, catching up to the other two.

“You know, for someone who knows so much about the paranormal, you would think you would be able to actually find them. How many years have we been doing this?” Charlie said, pushing to the front.

“We have been over this; the paranormal is fickle. I saw them when I was a kid; I am certain of it, I will be able to find them again.” Kit said with confidence.

“Especially now, with the rise in paranormal reports?” Alex added.

“Especially now, this is why we have to be out all the time. We have to find our little slice of paranormal. I refuse to be left in the dark when so much is happening.”

Alex and Charlie laughed.

“Come on, Kit, this is just a phase, a trend.”

“It’s not a phase mom it is who I am.” Kit interjected jokingly.

“No, for you, it isn’t. I mean, for the internet, the internet just goes through phases of what is popular, and for whatever reason, now it is ghosts and the extended paranormal.” Charlie finished.

“Don’t listen to him, Kit, he doesn’t know anything. We shall be the most famous ghost hunters.” Alex said, leaning against Kit’s back. The two of them posing like a movie poster.

“Paranormal investigators.” Kit corrected. “Not just ghosts, but all paranormal oddities that may be out there.”

Charlie smiled. “Are you going to start a ghost… paranormal hunter video series like all your favorites then? Because I don’t think we brought a camera.”

Kit groaned, and they all continued walking.

“No, Charlie, I won’t be doing that. You and Alex think that is a lot funnier than it is when you suggest that. Those are not the people who are making the discoveries; it is the random videos that surface on forums and the misreported police occurrences that have all the real stuff. Besides, I don’t want to make a shitty web series about finding paranormal things, I want to be like an actual investigator.”

“The difference being?” Charlie asked sincerely

“The difference is, one is an actor playing a cop, the other is a cop on the streets. I want to be the person who has a collection of artifacts that seem mundane, but they have cursed objects that they are keeping safe. They have a library of books that are handwritten by them, and the countless others out there that have had real experiences, they travel the world, touch dozens of cultures, find cures for things that are uncurable….”

There was a long pause; Kit stared off into the distance, lingering on the last line as the other two looked down at their shoes with pained expressions. Charlie walked up to Kit, resting a hand on their arm. They got stole Kit from their thousand-yard stare.

“Then we will keep this up; I’ll even help you set up the K.A.C so we can start running these as business expenses.”

Kit looked confused, mouthing out the letter. They were clearly trying to decipher what they meant.

“The Kit, Alex, Charlie paranormal hunters. The K.A.C Paranormal Hunters sounds pretty good, right?”

Kit smiled, wrapping an arm around Charlie. They kissed their forehead with exaggerated pressure and sound effects.

“I knew I kept you around for something, you beautiful human you.” Kit exclaimed, drawing an enormous smile on Charlie’s face.

“Come on, we are nearly there; we should really shut up, especially since it is like midnight.” Alex paused, pulling out their phone. They lit up their face as they checked the time. “Or actually a little closer to one, if I am being honest. We still got to get set up, and the paranormal hours are just over an hour away, so we should hoof it.”

The three of them all agreed and started to jog towards their mark, an old home that had been abandoned due to the fact that it was too close to a cliff face that was slowly degrading, and the council had deemed it a red zone for living. The three friends stood on the other side of the street, staring through the overgrown front yard to the otherwise new-looking house.

“I thought that ghosts and shit were supposed to be in creepy places.” Alex said skeptically.

“No, that is trashy horror movie nonsense, they just need to be forgotten places, or at least that is the theory, a place that once held much life, then was suddenly abandoned. I think there is something about the energy of the space that allows for the other dimensions to merge with ours. Because if you look at all the videos online that look credible, they are all in places that were once popular but have since become deserted, or at least used significantly less.”

“What about that one you sent to us the other week, the one where there was supposedly that apparition in a very populated hotel complex?” Alex inquired.

“Well, if I had to guess, I would say it is because the paranormal thing got lost in the complex halls of the hotel and was panicking as it was trying to escape. Or maybe it had a traumatic event that was holding it there, like a murder, or maybe the paranormal aren’t even ghosts, but something else, maybe another dimension bleeding into ours, or even another world and universe; the possibilities are just endless. We really know nothing, but we will change that.”

“Well damn, I got shivers. You are good at speeches, and you are going to make a great mysterious leader of a massive and ominous paranormal company that, let’s face it, won’t need to follow the laws due to its significant status.” Charlie said, walking across the street. “I am motivated; lets go find something that no one has seen.”

Alex and Kit followed across the street, the light by the driveway dying as soon as Charlie stepped foot on the other side. He turned back to the others with a sly grin as his head faced them, and his eyes were turned upwards.

“Oh, this is a great sign, surely.”

Kit grinned as Alex looked around nervously, the two of them running across the street faster but still in silence. Kit stopped just shy of the curb, then jumped with both feet and landed on the curb; looking around in anticipation, they shrugged.

“Worth a shot, I guess.”

Alex stopped where Kit stopped and made an announcement.

“You did it wrong; you have to put your soul into it.”

They jumped onto the curb, and the light turned back on; they froze in a slight hunch as their eyes were peeled wide, the other two looking at one another in amazement.

“You will have to teach us how to do that, Alex.” Charlie chuckled as they turned to walk onto the property. The grass rose to his waist; dropping a hand down, he touched the heads of the grass where the seed pods had started to develop, the individual seeds dropping to the ground. Alex felt as if everything was moving in slow motion; they could feel the seeds for an instant, their journey, how they felt as they descended to the ground, but as quick as it started normality returned. They looked up, and Charlie and Kit were already approaching the house, shining their torches over the structure. They seemed to be muttering something to one another. Alex cleared their head and caught up, trying their best to not sound concerned.

“What are you two talking about?” They asked.

“Well, Charlie was just pointing out that the house has only been abandoned for like a month, and we are in summer.”

“So?”

“Well, it is just a little weird that this place has already had this much growth and this much disrepair on the property.”

Alex looked up at the peeling paint and the rotten exposed wood, then around at the cracked white concrete that had tall shoots of grass growing from them.

“Maybe it was not being maintained before the red zone declaration.” Charlie said, comforting themselves.

“Are you kidding? This suburb would murder someone for letting a property look this trash; if it wasn’t for the fact that even the land around the house is deemed too unsafe to work on, I am sure there would be some kind of clause, that would mean the owners would have to keep the lawns mowed to a perfect two inches.”

“You have your journal, right Kit?” Charlie asked as they walked up to the front door.

“Yeah, a couple, with a couple pens, just in case.”

All three of them stood at the front door, their view of the main road obscured by the overgrowth.

“Well, here we stand, on the precipice of discovery, we do this for you, Kit, and we don’t leave until there is evidence, we die, or the sunrises.”

“A bit dramatic?” Alex asked as they felt secondhand embarrassment from what was said.

“I am all about the drama; now let’s see if anyone is home.”

Charlie pressed the doorbell, and a faint, discordant chime could be heard echoing through the house. There was a long pause as all three of them stood waiting for the sound to stop; it drew on long enough that there was an unnerving energy that quickly faded as the bell stopped, and nothing happened.

“Well, I guess no one should mind if we pop in then.” Charlie said as they grabbed the doorknob, turning and pushing it open. The door did not creak, it made no sound, and only Charlie seemed to be the one that noticed while the others were already marveling at the discordant interior.

Kit pulled out some floor plans that had been scribbled over with a red pen.

“This house is perfect for paranormal housing because it had so many weird little additions to it. The floor plan was already kind of weird, but after all the little additions that left awkward crawl spaces and strange room shapes, I reckon things could easily get lost here.”

Charlie and Kit wandered in with pure curiosity; Charlie closed his eyes, squeezing them tight. He turned off his flash light, holding it for a short moment. He opened them again and started to walk around again as Kit shook their head in disbelief.

“You will not impress me with the fact that you just have amazing night vision.”

“What can I say? I am better than other people. Besides, if we are hunting paranormal, you need someone with shadow eyes, eyes of the night, dark vision; there is a cool one in there somewhere.”

“I don’t doubt it, let me know when you get good, and I will write it down.”

“Not a hundred percent, but true vision is currently the coolest. Just leave a note that we need to come back to that.”

“Noted.” Kit said as they put an exaggerated dot down for a full stop.

Kit turned around to see Alex shyly looking around, flicking their torch more than usual.

“You okay, Alex?”

“Oh yo, this is a weird staircase I am descending.” Charlie said, disappearing down the hall and out of sight.

“Yeah, I just. This place feels weird.”

Kit looked at Alex, examining them as if they had just said something incriminating.

“You are usually far from nervous on these trips; this place got you spooked?”

“Ha, yeah. I don’t know what it is; it is just… wrong.” Alex looked around with unease, shining their torch around. “I can’t put my finger on it, but I just, it is because… For the first time ever, I honestly think we are somewhere we shouldn’t be.”

Kit laughed.

“We are breaking and entering; we are never where it is allowed.”

“I am not talking about breaking the law; I am talking about us being somewhere that we shouldn’t. Not like a crime, but like in over our heads.”

“Look, the cliff face is ages away; there is no worry about that.”

“You are not listening, Kit; I am not talking about the normal hurting us; for once, I am talking about the paranormal. If we are going to stay here, we need to stick together and make sure we have a clear way out.”

Kit looked at Alex, gauging them from how serious their stare was.

“You’re not joking.”

“No. I am not.”

“Sorry, you usually take the piss out of all of this, so I figured you were just trying to spook me.”

“Kit, if I wasn’t with you and Charlie, I would have left already.”

Alex turned to see that Charlie was gone.

“Charlie?” They called out.

Their voice not carrying as far as they thought it would.

“Is it just me, or has all the sound kind of gone weird? Like it does not carry.”

Alex nodded.

“But do you remember how much the doorbell echoed around the house?”

“I have to be honest with you, Alex; if it wasn’t for the fact that Charlie was gone, I think I might have left just now.”

Alex and Kit looked at one another and took a deep breath. As they looked at the corridor, Charlie disappeared down. They moved slowly, not making a noise. They were uncomfortable at the lack of noise coming from their movements; even their footsteps felt as if they were muffled by the time they reached their ears. They turned down the corridor, and Kit consulted their map, their head darting down and back up repeatedly.

“Shit.”

“What is it?”

“The floor plan says this corridor is supposed to be five meters.”

Alex turned their torch down the corridor and watched as the light faded out before the end of the corridor could be seen.

“We find Charlie; we get out.” Alex said, stopping their movement as they stepped on something; looking down, they moved their foot to reveal Charlie’s torch.

“Idiot.”

Charlie shuddered suddenly and without warning.

“Urgh, weird. One of those fucks must be talking shit about me.”

Charlie wandered without a care in the world, their dark vision allowing them to see things remarkably clearly; everything but the very corners of rooms could be seen as if they were only in a dim light, despite the fact that it was pitch black.

“The layout of this house is even weirder than Kit made it out to be; who builds a place like this?”

They muttered to themselves as they opened doors that led to small cupboards, rooms that had unnecessary steps down into them from the corridor they stood in, or even step up as if there was something wrong with the ground below the room that was built. The building did not use ninety-degree corners; very rarely did they even use forty fives too. They seemed to be flowing with the curve of the land, with no rhyme or reason to the placement of rooms. They opened the door to be met with a small step down into a room that flattened out before rising several steps to a bathtub.

“Okay, this is by far the best room. What could compel someone to do this?” Charlie laughed to themselves. “But also, this is like the fifth bathroom.” They said, looking back into the lounge they just stepped from. “And like the fourth lounge… This building did not feel this big from the outside.”

Charlie looked around, their vision not allowing them to see farther than a few meters at a time.

“I wish I brought that damn torch now; guess I head back up to the others.”

Stepping from the bathroom, the door slammed shut behind them, causing Charlie to jump and spin on the spot.

“Well fuck this.”

Charlie turned tail and started heading back the way they came at a much faster pace than the one they used to get there. Left, right, straight, left, left, right…

“Shit, no way this fucking house was this big. I swear to god, I better just be acting like a scared little kid because I don’t think that I am ready for all this paranormal bull to be real.”

“Charlie, come on. Alex and I have been looking for you.”

Charlie turned around to see Kit standing at the entrance to a door; they were barely in Charlie’s vision and were shrouded by the doorframe they stood in.

“Sorry guys, this place is weird ae; it feels so much larger than it looked.” Charlie said as they rubbed their eyes, parting their long hair from out of their face, they stopped suddenly.

Now closer, they looked at ‘Kit’ standing in the doorway. They were unnaturally still, with eyes that shined like a cat.

“Hey, Kit.” They called out, staying put. “It is a shame that you forgot your journals; we could have made some cool notes. This place is weird as hell.”

“It is.” There was a long pause as Charlie did not move, and ‘Kit’ said nothing. “Hey, come in here; Alex and I found something really cool.”

Charlie stood. Still; they could feel their brain clicking over.

“Hey Kit, you know how I used to be around gangs?”

“Of course.”

“Well, there was something about those environments that turned my brain to a survival mode, almost like my body understood how much danger we were in, but my conscious self was unaware. It was this strange numb feeling that I would get when I stared at someone I knew had the ability to kill me… I am getting that feeling again.”

‘Kit’ stared at Charlie for a short while before the door closed without being touched, the eyes of ‘Kit’ disappearing behind the wooden door just as Kit and Alex turned the corner behind Charlie.

“Charlie.” Kit called out. “We should get out of here.”

Charlie turned back around, keeping their feet planted, they turned their torso and neck to talk.

“We are not alone; I found one.”

Kit looked Charlie up and down.

“You are standing like you used to, Charlie; I think that is enough to say that we should probably leave.”

“It was pretending to be you, trying to get me to go into that door down there.”

Alex and Charlie could feel the excitement that Kit was feeling; it radiated off them like a heat that was easy to feel in this cold house.

“I know what you are thinking, and we need to leave.” Alex said, pulling gently on Kit’s shirt.

Kit did not budge as their eyes locked on the door, their mind turning to the pain in their spine as their free hand fumbled a medical bottle in his pocket.

“Come on, Charlie has gone into survival mode; I am freaked, you are freaked, and if what Charlie says is correct. We are very much in over our heads.”

“Charlie.” Kit said expectantly.

“I will do whatever you ask; I have said that I owe you my life, and I do not make hollow statements around debts.”

The whole building shuddered as Charlie finished speaking, the air vibrated, and the far door opened a crack; the shadow of ‘Kit’ stood there, their eyes glowing, their body mostly shrouded by darkness, but their voice unmistakably Kit’s.

The three friends turned to see what Charlie had already seen; Alex shone their light towards ‘Kit,’ but before the light could hit them, the door was slammed shut.

“Don’t like light ae.” Kit said as they made a little scribble in their book.

“Make the call Kit; I don’t want to be left in limbo; am I in fight or flight?”

“Come on, Kit we can’t.”

“This is the whole reason we have been doing this, Alex; now it just boils down to how much Kit wants this.”

There was a long pause as Kit looked up at the door that was starting to peel open again now that Alex’s light was off it.

“What is in there?” Kit called out to the shadowy figure.

Alex went to shine their light on the door again just to have Kit push the light down. The shadowy figure flinched slightly but returned to open their door.

“Answers and fun.” ‘Kit’ said, their words disjointed and emphasized in strange ways.

“What kind of answers, what kind of fun?” Kit replied, their eyes narrowed as they tried their best to see in the dark.

The shadowy creature turned their head behind the door and started to mumble as if they were talking to someone.

“Kit, don’t try too hard to see them.” Charlie said with a quiver in their voice.

“Why not?”

“Because I can see what they’re made of, and it is not comfortable.”

The shadowy figure looked out of the door again, their reflective eyes narrowing, hiding the previously strong shine.

“I am too early; I will be back again; I will find you.”

Kit furrowed their brow and watched as the shadowy figure started to close their door. Kit’s body reacted to the retreat that the creature was making by taking off at a full sprint, screaming as they flew down the hall. The door closed a mere second before Kit collided with the door; swinging the door open, they were face to face with the front yard as seen through the garage windows. Kit turned their light on and started flicking it around the room. Charlie and Alex were on Kit’s tail by the time their torch was out. Kit was struggling to stand as they panted like they had just run a marathon. Alex fetched the meds from Kit’s pocket and got them to take some.

“Idiot, you know you can’t exert yourself like that.” Alex said with a tinge of anger in their voice.

Kit just took deep breaths and swallowed their pills as they felt the creeping feeling of failure.

The Sound felt as if it had returned to normal, and the room felt like a room. Turning back, the three of them explored the house again, while strange it fit the design on Kit’s edited floor plan, and soon they were outside again, sitting under the street light they all contemplated in silence.

“It is real.” Kit said in disbelief. “I always had a hope and feeling. But I always felt as if it was just an escape from my situation. I don’t think I really believed it to be real, but it gave more hope than anything a doctor ever told me.”

“Sometimes hope is all we need to move on; the question is what you do now. Because a dream has just been revealed to be reality, so all the good and all the bad from that belief are now possible. Do the pros justify the cons, or are you going to walk away from this dream?” Charlie asked as their knee shook uncontrollably.

Kit looked at the quickly scribbled notes in their book that they made, the view of their home filtered through their mind, the discordance, the pharmacy they kept in the large cardboard box next to their bed, and the mess of cats that called Kit’s room home. Then the thoughts of the house they just walked through started to take room in their mind as they tried to envision what ‘Kit’ looked like.

“What was it made of, Charlie? What could possibly scare you so much?”

“That is hard to answer.”

“You seemed to understand when we were in there, so don’t lie to me, tell me what they were made of, and then I will answer your question.”

Charlie sighed, their knee slowing down until it was perfectly still.

“It made so much sense when we were in there, but now I can’t really see what I saw, but I know the words I have in my head cannot be right.”

“What was it, Charlie? I want to know what I was looking at.” Alex said anxiously.

“It was made of hope and lies.”