"Get on the freeway here!" My little sister said, shaking the map in a panic.
"Going which way?" I asked.
"Aaaaah!" I wailed as we hurtled under the overpass. "I was in the wrong lane! You have to tell me sooner."
"It was confusing," My sister leaned back with the map over her face. "I didn't figure it out until just when I told you."
I pulled over to the right and turned us into a parking lot. Breathing hard, head on the steering wheel, I tried to get up the courage to get back on the road. Why hadn't I brought my phone? Navigating by map was impossible.
"Hey, guys, what's that building?" My little brother said from the back seat.
I hadn't bothered to notice what kind of a parking lot we had pulled into. It was mostly empty, only a few cars gathered at the base of a tall, brick building.
There was something wrong with that building.
I stared at it in disbelief. Can a building exude evil? Because that's just what this one was doing. It felt wrong, like some kind of affront to nature.
The sign at the base said, "Ashton Medical Facility." Nothing sinister about that. Except the word medical. And facility. Okay, Ashton sounded kind of creepy too. Like ashes of dead people.
"Do you feel that?" I asked my sister. "That building is evil."
She nodded, staring out the window.
That's when I noticed something else about the building. There were no windows on the ground floor. No windows on the second or third floors either. Only the top half of the building had any windows at all. I couldn't see anything inside except for long fluorescent bulbs on the ceilings of the upper floors.
"What do you think they do in there?" my little brother asked.
"I don't want to know," my little sister said quietly.
I wanted to get out of there, get back on the road, take the right freeway entrance, and go home. On the other hand, I really wanted to know what was making that building ooze out a horrible feeling of badness. I'd never felt anything like it. It didn't make sense.
Could it just be because of the lack of lower floor windows?
Seriously, why would they put windows on the top floors but not on the lower floors unless they were doing something in there they didn't want anyone to see.
None of us said anything for at least a minute. As much as I wanted to know what was going on in there, no way was I going to get out of the car. I wasn't even going to drive any closer and see what that small print was on the sign.
"Let's go home and look this place up on the internet," I said, turning the car around. I gave the building one more glance as we pulled away, and the cold, dark feeling hit me again, hard as ever.
What was wrong with that place?