Here's one of those cosmic horror stories that you hear about. That after dark, there's a whole new world opening up in some of those stores. Yeah, you know what it's like. Most people hate working the late shift because of all the bizarre people or other stuff that enters the store.
Not to mention, it takes a lot to manage the night shift at these places. The shift lead in the morning and day shifts are must drastically different than late at night. We called the shift lead of the graveyard shift, "Chad". He was one of those managers who seemed to be content hanging out in the back of the store just watching TV or doing something else.
Normally, you'd expect the store to be a mess. People clocking in late, clocking out early, taking 60 minute bathroom breaks, or other such things. But no. The staff is behaved oddly well. However, I can't say the same about the customers.
Bad things happen to people who misbehave inside this store. One time I went there and I saw for myself what happened. One time, I was with a group of college classmates after we saw a performance of Jeff Dunham in Loveland. I was the only one (aside from a girl I'll just refer to as Maureen) who didn't have anything to drink or something to smoke, so I was actually in full-state of mind. Everyone else was drunk and high, and they all had the munchies.
So we entered the store and everyone bailed – I watched them all scatter in different directions. I walked up to a staff-member and told him that they were kind of high and that he would probably need to call the police if things were getting out of hand. The staff member and Maureen's eyes widened as we heard a metallic crash and laughter. Two of our friends were cart-racing.
"This isn't good," I said, "I'm sorry, I let them do that."
The staff member immediately walked away, as Maureen grabbed my hand and led me over to a section of the store with the flowers – yeah, they had flowers at this time of night.
"We have to get them out of here," she said, "I used to work here. Chad must still be the shift lead here."
"Who's Chad?" I asked her.
"The shift lead – he only stays in the back, but he pretty much runs the store with an iron fist whenever he's here. He never leaves until the morning, but he punishes people. We've heard detailed reports of troublemakers, and the graveyard shift staff had a high turnover rate. They were all afraid of what would happen. Chad would punish people, they said. I really shouldn't have told you that these guys were open twenty four seven – Chad's going to get them."
"Well, what're we going to do?" I asked her.
"We have to get them out of here. When the man in the purple shirt shows up, it's too late. Whenever drunk people or people break in, we see a man in a purple shirt show up on the cameras or in the store and then they vanish or something. Chad comes out and we hear him yelling at people. Everyone runs right on out of the store. I think the man in the purple shirt is like his friend or something."
One of the staff members walked over and started talking to Maureen. He seemed old enough to be her father and he seemed to recognize her. From what I gathered, he was her friend and still working there. He described how there was a drunk person inside the freezer and how he'd just pulled them out. Maureen asked him to check the front doors for the man in the purple shirt. It was around now he always showed up.
So he told us to get the drunken high friends out before he showed up and terrible things happen. I don't recall any of them telling me what kind of stuff would happen, but I started running around looking for the drunk and high friends. I managed to get a few of them out, one of which was wandering around, lost. That was fine, and I just took him to the car and told him to sit there while I got everyone else out. He didn't respond.
When I came back in, I saw someone else walking into the store. Great, another customer. I didn't pay mind to them but then we walked back in and then I saw who it was.
It was him. The man in the purple shirt.
I yelled and started running in – I had to find Maureen or the other staff member. Another staff member spotted the man in the purple shirt and immediately ducked under a counter. Was this Chad, or some subordinate of his?
I started rushing around trying to find my drunk friends doing weird stuff in there. Maureen was trying to get one of my friends out of the aisle where thankfully he threw up in a trash can. I told Maureen that the man in the purple shirt had walked in.
I don't know if you could see what it was like to have pure fear in your eyes, but that was there. Maureen shouted that we had to get them out of the store quick, before they all had terrible things happen to them.
We got all but two of our drunken friends back in the car before both of us saw him. When we went into the store, we saw the man in the purple shirt running too – he was chasing after one of our friends who was running in fear from him. We chased after both of them but they disappeared down an aisle towards the manager's section. We heard a loud scream and then another. Maureen and I ran over there...it was the door to the manager's office.
Right there was the man in the purple shirt, and our friend, lying on the ground. The man in the purple shirt was blocking the door, with an odd look in his eyes. He made eye contact with us, and was breathing just as hard.
"Chad's got one," he said to us, sounding no older than both of us, "Run! I'm keeping him out."
We grabbed our drunk friend and rushed to the car, locking it behind us so they couldn't get back in. All of them were afraid, and wondered where our last friend was. Maureen and I ran back in and we saw the man in the purple shirt rushing back out with a shopping cart, containing the very last friend of ours, out cold.
"Run! Don't come back!" he said, "Chad's on a warpath!"
We didn't ask any questions and simply got our friend back into the car and drove away. The last thing Maureen saw was the man in the purple shirt turning around and running towards the store. We saw someone else walking out.
Someone who didn't look natural.