He went missing after that email

There’s a forbidden room in our company. It sounds like a lie but it’s true, it’s really there.

Our company is in a three story building. At the end of the third floor there’s a supplies room, and in that room there’s a door.

I noticed the door when I went to grab some supplies after I first started working there. I asked one of my colleagues about it but he just said, “Don’t worry about it.”

When I looked from outside I could see there was a room beyond that door with windows.

The curtains are always closed so you can’t see inside. I thought it was a little strange, but I figured it was just a part of the storage room.

About one month ago K, a newcomer, was assigned to our department. His training finished in April and he was now an official, shiny new recruit. As he was the new guy he was often asked to do odds and ends like I once had.

One day the new recruit K came to ask me a question.

K: “OO-san (my name), um, I went to the supply room just before and…”

I understood immediately.

Me: “Ah, you mean the door?”

K: “Ye… yes, that’s right. What exactly is it? Is there another storage room behind it?”

He had the same idea as me. I smiled.

Me: “Well actually I don’t know what it is either. I asked one of my colleagues about it a while ago as well and they just told me not to worry about it.”

K: “Is that so… It seems like it’s locked, so it should open with a key, right?”

Me: “I dunno, I’ve never tried. If it’s a storeroom it should open, I guess.”

K: “Yeah… I’ll give it a try next time…”

He seemed like a curious fellow. I also wanted to know what was back there so I told him to let me know if he tried.

The next day he came back.

K: “OO-san, it didn’t work. The storage key wouldn’t open it.”

Seemed like he went and tried to open it right away.

Me: “It was no good, huh? Well there’s probably another key lying around somewhere.”

K: “No, it looks like that door can’t be opened from this side.”

Me: “Huh…?”

K: “The door is locked but there’s no hole to unlock it from this side.”

Me: “Wha…? So like, it’s locked from the inside then…?”

K: “It would seem that way, yes…”

I got chills.

A door locked from the inside. What did that even mean? Whoever locked the door was on the other side? Well, it wasn’t entirely implausible. But something seemed off.

K: “I wonder what it is. Is it someone’s private office?”

Me: “Well it’s not like anyone’s imprisoned in there because they can clearly come and go as they please.”

Then I realised something.

K: “That’s right, like there are people with autism and social shut-ins, hey~”

Me: “Hang on, something’s not right.”

K: “What is it?”

Me: “Even if someone can open that door… there’s no way to open it from inside the storage room.”

I was baffled. You could open that door from the other side, but there was no way to open it from within the storage room.

Aside from the times people went to get supplies from that room it was always locked. Which meant that whoever was in there was locked in there.

K: “Ah… that’s right. Yeah, and then… even at nighttime you never see any lights on in there from the outside.”

He was right. Even when returning home after working late there were never any lights on in that room. With the gaps in the curtains you would be able to see.

K: “It’s curious, right… Should we look into it a bit more?”

Me: “Well, maybe just a bit.”

The next day I left for a business trip. It was three days of apologising to customers and drinking bad sake at corporate dinners.

The first thing I heard upon returning was that K hadn’t shown up to work. Then the next day I heard he wasn’t even at home in the apartment where he lived by himself.

He hadn’t returned home to his parents either. K had gone missing.

Of course I was concerned about that door in the storeroom. However having just returned from a business trip I was busy with getting all my things together, and so I was too late in realising.

The day after I left for my business trip K sent me an email. I noticed it three days after I returned.

Although my mail is set up to receive messages from particular senders even on business trips K was new so my server hadn’t yet been set up to receive mail from his address. I know, excuses excuses.

The email was one sentence long, as follows.

K: “It opened.”

A few weeks have passed since then but K still hasn’t been found. I do my best not to go near that room anymore.

I don’t know if that door is the reason he went missing but I believe it has something to do with it.

The other day I met the colleague I originally asked about the door. He’s working at a branch office now so it was the first time I’d seen him in a few years.

I told him about K. When I did he told me about the door. In summary it was a little something like this.

* 10 years ago one of the employees who was curious about the door also disappeared (he started around the same time as this colleague.)

* The location of the company is in a bad spot. He heard that it’s an easy place for spirits to gather.

* When the company was established a special room was built and ‘something’ put inside. No-one was allowed to go in.

* Nobody knows what was put in there. Maybe only the president knows? (of course, no-one can ask him)

There were rumours that it was an object of worship, or a strange jar containing a sacrifice. As I listened to his story however I asked him something that had been bugging me.

Me: “But why is there a door?”

Colleague: “It’s a room. It would be strange if there wasn’t a door, right?”

Indeed. Of course a ‘room’ would need a door. I had one more question.

Me: “So why are there windows? It doesn’t need those.”

Colleague: “…”

He went quiet for a moment. Then finally he answered.

Colleague: “It needs them to lure people in. Don’t look at the windows anymore, okay? If you see something up there just pretend you didn’t see anything.”

In my mind I pictured K calling me from those windows. Every time I take the road beneath those windows I feel someone looking at me. Some day I feel like I’m going to accidentally look up.

Unable to put up with it anymore I decided to put in for a transfer. Just like my colleague did.

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2 Responses

  1. Reki says:

    Wow, this was pretty mysterious and interesting

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