The Girls of Holden Tower

The security guard behind the screen sat paralyzed in his rickety chair. It was a good, comfortable chair, but creaked a little too much. He always forgot to oil the thing, but that completely went out of his head. An eerie silence surrounded him, as if he too, was someone in a silent CCTV video, like the ones he was watching.

He had been lucky to get that job so soon, after he had to quit his last. His previous occupation as a daytime guard in a far off boy’s dormitory hadn’t worked out, and he was glad to have this opportunity. Not only did he get to watch all those pretty girls go about their business, but he preferred being the nighttime guard.

He had never married, which was all the more reason to watch the girls.

No matter what hour, somebody was always awake in Holden Tower. Some of the residents got up to rather interesting activities.

Today’s nighttime adventures weren’t interesting at all. They were horrifying, and mindboggling. The guard could barely believe his eyes. His nerves were shot to hell, and goosebumps tingled down his arms.

A girl had been walking down the corridor, out of her room which was at the beginning of the wing. He remembered this particularly one; she often wandered out of her room at this time. Today, however, she wasn’t walking at all. She was creeping, along the floor. Her hair was all over the place, some in her face, and some in her mouth, most of it hanging down around her face, matted on her neck.

She was on all fours, and seemed to be enjoying it from, the wide, toothy smile across her face. There was something maddening about the look, like a silent horror movie come to life.

She kept crawling on all fours and was now trying to scale the wall. To the relief of the guard, she was unsuccessful in her attempts. Then, as he watched, she leaped towards the bathrooms. Leaped, like a frog. The man sat shell shocked in his chair.

She did not emerge from the bathroom that night. He remained awake all night just to see if he could spot her coming out, but didn’t see it, despite his constant vigilance. Soon enough, he had to go home. A fitful, restless sleep took over him, almost instantly, and he tossed and turned for hours.

Knowing he couldn’t possibly report something like that, or he’d lose his job, he decided to delete the specific footage, coupled with some other footage.

Nervously, he sat through the first few hours quite at ease. The residents were mostly in their rooms, except for this one group, on the second floor. They were dabbling in some sort of artwork, so he didn’t pay them much attention. All his attention was caught by the view of the same hallway.

The clock struck 2, and the resident emerged, looking quite normal. This time, however, she had someone with her. The other girl was in the same position as the first one had been yesterday. Horrified, he watched the first one take her to the balcony with a leash on her. What in God’s name was happening here? The hairy one, he resorted to calling her, was stroking the head of the crawler, like some animal! Equally baffled and scared, he reached his phone to contact one of the senior guardians, when something else caught his attention.

The group making some artwork had painted themselves with combinations of red and blue paint, and was swaying back and forth in a circle. He watched their heads tilt towards the ceiling, eyes rolled back into their eyes, mouth chanting something together. This was it, he’d had enough.

He called and woke all the senior guardians, including the head guardian, and showed them the tapes. Equally horrified, they broke into the cult activity.

When he went back to his office that night, his supervisors applauded him for doing the right thing, but that still didn’t curb his embarrassment. He may have been paying attention, but he still wasn’t right.

Both the group and the other two girls were practicing method acting for their theatre class, and he hadn’t just barged in on their practice, but woken over half of the residence, including the guardians.

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