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You ever go wandering somewhere and you're not terribly paying attention to going somewhere you know you shouldn't? Say, you just passed an "employees only" sign, and sure, the lights overhead seemed to change from a soft track lighting, strategically placed to maximize ambiance, into a harsher, more industrial florescent light, with its subtle buzz as you stroll through kitchens and back offices, walls painted white, but an off-white, as though they were painted many years ago?


And there's the random employee back there, milling around and getting work done, maybe one of them tells you that you shouldn't be back there, but by and large they just pay you no mind, as you keep on wandering, starting to get vaguely interested, a type of urban exploration of sorts, about what the behind the scenes of places look like. 


Exploration proceeding on, a slow dawning occurs that you haven't seen one of those "the law" posters detailing workers rights for a half hour, or any other type of poster. Or even any doors. Everywhere you look, it's just the buzz of florescent lights, the off-white walls laid out in a meandering, nonsensical pattern, an industrial carpet that might pass for something between gray and brown and yellow, and rarely even a door to be found.


Eventually you're not sure how you got back here, and it's been hours, the buzz of the lights growing stronger, occasionally flickering. Just a half second of darkness in half this room. But it's enough to make you wonder. Was it close to you? Further away? Did you hear it? Was that a licking sound?

 
The lights start to give with more frequency. A second here and there, as you're dashing to the buzzing glow of the lights, so loud it's all you can hear. Stumbling on a break room of sorts occasionally, the signs posted in it are no longer coherent but the food is edible enough, just enough to keep going, but you can't stay in a break room for very long, regardless of how safe they feel, it's back to the hallways after just a couple of minutes. 


Sometimes the lights overhead go out for five seconds or more, and you can feel it rushing up behind you, a fetid stench that suddenly disappears the moment the lights turn on, the sound of salivating abruptly cutting out the moment the lights come back on. 


Some hallways and rooms don't have working lights. You never go into those. 


You hope you can get out soon.


Good night.