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"Good Time Johnny’s." That’s what the sign read.
It was August, I was somewhere outside of Richmond, Virginia and decided to stop at a Wendy’s for a bite to eat. I was driving back up to New Jersey from college, I went to Duke. I had already been on the road for a couple of hours and everywhere I went the surroundings were somewhat the same. But this gigantic half broken neon sign halfway up a hill was a sight for sore eyes.
I desperately wanted to head up and explore, because this thing looked like it had been built around the 50’s and I absolutely love vintage items. However, I had to get back on the road. My car, a red '59 El Dorado (I told you I like vintage) sat in the middle of the parking lot.
I hopped in, turned on the ignition and the radio. Instead of music coming through, only static was heard. I changed the station and got the same thing, however I was able to hear what seemed like the word Johnny. I looked back up at the sign I was almost drawn to it. I got out of the car and sprinted up the hill.
By the time I reached the sign I was out of breath, at first glance it appears that the sign is it. There was nothing there, but I barely noticed out of the corner of my eye a door—a small one. It led directly underground into what I assumed was a bunker. Upon further inspection, I realized that the handle was broken off. I was pretty damn upset because I was killing to see what was inside.
As I turned around I heard a loud creak. The door had opened itself and lay ajar, almost inviting me in. I took a step inside and was met by a blast of cold air, kind of like when you open up a large freezer door. However the air was also extremely damp, strange enough, considering the fact that it was dry as hell outside. I walked down the stairs into the bunker half expecting the door to slam shut behind me, but it didn’t. I walked down a hallway and started to notice the mold growing on the floor. Of course, in these damp conditions it was expected. But wouldn’t somebody have noticed by now; or has this place been left, abandoned by its owners?
I kept walking through the bunker, this place seemed like something straight out of Fallout. I finally reached a door, luckily this one had a handle. I opened it up and instantly turned away. A body hung by a noose from the roof. The person’s fingernails were half off because they had carved a message into the wall. Don’t tune in if you do, it’s already too late.
I flipped out, what was I supposed to do, run back and tell the police? Yet something egged me on, to keep going, to explore what other secrets were inside these headquarters from hell. I explored the rest of the room and saw a bunch of stereo equipment, used for broadcasting something, the next room revealed a strange chair resting alone in the room surrounded by newspaper clippings. I read a couple over; they were all about, "Good Time Johnny’s," which I found out, was a radio station.
The earlier clippings praised the station, but soon others talked about controversy and the rumors of satanic messages being broadcasted over the radio through their station. This creeped me out a lot, the whole abandoned building didn’t really scare me, the dead guy not so much, but this made me scream. I ran into the next room that had an, "on-air" sign hanging above it.
Of course the light was on, when I walked into the room I fell back because sparks were flying out from the chair where the host would sit. I crawled over avoiding the sparks and looked up. There was a humanoid robot sitting in the chair, sparks flying out of it. It wore a pair of sunglasses; in fact it looked just like, "Jumping Johnny Jumbo" from, "Crash Box."
That show would come out years after the station closed down. What scared me, was the blood dripping out of the ribcage. One problem: robots don’t bleed. I got up and booked it, ran straight out of there. As I left I heard the robot boot up.
“Good morning ladies and gentleman, welcome to Good Time Johnny’s where we play the best music around the clock,” it blurted out in its classic radio announcer voice.
I didn’t stop running until I was at my car. I rode all the way home, I didn’t return to Duke the next year. In fact, I didn’t even go to any school. I can’t go in cars because every time someone turns on the radio. All I can hear is that goddamn robot, it’s all I’ll ever hear.