Billy’s, The Abandoned Grocery Store

There’s an abandoned building in my town, it used to be an old grocery store. It has been abandoned for as long as I can remember. It was abandoned even before my mom brought us here.

Back in junior high, me and a couple of friends bullied a kid into going into the building by himself one day after school. He went inside nervously as we heard him knock over a few things, and then soon asked to be let out. We didn’t say anything. Then he started banging against the window and screaming at the top of his lungs. Begging us to let him out. We pushed against the board that was leaning against the window even harder as we tried to hold in our laughter. He eventually stopped screaming and started crying.

Then, silence.

We let go of the board and peeked inside, when I saw a shadow through the aisles of the old store, moving unnaturally fast toward the east wall of the building.

We looked down, and saw the poor kid passed out on the floor. Out of the three of us, I was the most normal. I don’t know what I did hanging out with them two.

In order to get him out, one of us would have to step in and lift him up to the window. I remember being scared that the kid might’ve died, that we might’ve killed him out of fear. I hesitated as I put my left leg up on the window sill, and then again when I put the right one.

I jumped inside. Grabbed him under his arms and did my best to lift him, but I weighed around 100 pounds at the time and really struggled.

C’mon, man. Just drag him! Someone’s coming. Hurry up, I heard one of my friends say.

I’m trying, I snapped back.

Suddenly, the kid moved his legs and drowsily stared at me. Then he screamed again. I told him to shut up and help himself up. He turned toward the window as the late afternoon sunlight highlighted his sweaty neck and drool coming from his mouth.

He put his elbows up and then rolled out, where my friends yelled once more for me to hurry up, that a car had pulled up and someone was watching them.

I rolled up onto the window sill when I heard laughter coming from inside the old store. I was too scared to look back, I kept expecting the thing to grip me by the ankles and pull me back in as I was trying to get out.

I landed on a pile of wooden boxes we had used to get the kid there, I tried to get myself up but fell again on my hands; they dirtied up with the old black asphalt, little pebbles stinging the skin of my hands.

“Hey!” someone yelled. It was a man stepping out of his car, parked on the side alleyway right next to us.

I hadn’t noticed, but my two friends had already taken off, and the kid and I ended up running through the old parking lot and under the wire fencing of the side of the property.

We all got in trouble and were forced to apologize to the kid, but we never saw him again at school and never got the chance to do so. I really did feel sorry about what I did.

Rumors around the school said that he had gone crazy and had to be hospitalized. Some even said that he died. It didn’t stop kids from starting new stories about Billy’s, the abandoned grocery store.

The store is still abandoned. I always look in that direction when I walk by on my way to pick up my kids at school. There’s something about it that makes me uneasy to this day.

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