I commenced the operational activities for the business day by opening the store. A few hours into the work shift, the first signs of unusual occurrences materialized. On this early morning, I found myself laboring in solitude—a norm for this particular phase of the day. This circumstance deviated from the established routine, as the regular incumbent of the early shift was absent due to vacation commitments.
Somewhere around eight o'clock that morning, my attention was drawn while stationed near the front counter, as I discerned what seemed to be a faint sound emanating from the sales floor. Temporarily halting my tasks to discern the origin of this auditory stimulus, I perceived silence upon the second listening attempt. Consequently, I continued with my administrative duties, resuming my efforts to complete pending paperwork.
Approximately ten minutes elapsed before a sudden and distinct thud resonated from an aisle just beyond my field of view. The noise resembled an object toppling onto the floor. Proceeding towards the source of this sound, I encountered a box of liquid cold medicine resting on the ground. Importantly, my isolated presence within the store was undeniable during this interval. Recollection serves that only a solitary individual had entered the store in nearly three hours, and their whereabouts were distinctly removed from the vicinity of the affected aisle. Despite my inability to visually corroborate the occurrence, my confidence in what I had heard remained unshaken—a certainty compounded by the box's sudden presence on the floor.
Returning the displaced box to its designated shelf, I returned to the front counter, now beyond eight-thirty. As my next task, I elected to undertake the cleaning of the restrooms, a chore slated to be completed before the commencement of the mid-shift at eleven.
Navigating to the hallway accommodating the restrooms, a peculiar sensation—an impression of a presence—came over me. It's crucial to underscore that despite this instinctive feeling, I was unequivocally the sole human inhabitant within the premises. Choosing to dismiss this sensation, I concentrated on hastening through the unsavory task at hand.
My endeavor commenced without the use of gloves. Employing a cleaning solution and paper towels, I executed a rapid cleaning regimen. The cleaner I employed was not unfamiliar, having never previously elicited any adverse physical effects upon me. Interestingly, the cleaning agent I employ in my personal domicile's bathroom exhibits a more potent aroma and consequential effect, notwithstanding my unaffected exposure to it.
Throughout this brief duration, which spanned less than five minutes, I refrained from touching my hands or arms. Subsequently, I conducted a rigorous handwashing at the main sink before returning to the front counter.
While stationed there, ruminations surfaced regarding the perceived presence during my restroom cleaning excursion. A mental image materialized—an apparition of a young girl, possibly aged five or six, standing at approximately four feet in height. The child exhibited short, dirty blonde hair framing a visage characterized by its small, rounded countenance devoid of expression.
At around eleven o'clock, my colleague—a young woman—assumed her mid-shift responsibilities.
Engaged in conversation at the counter, our exchange transpired before she directed her attention towards my arm. Questioning what transpired, she pointed towards my left arm, revealing three distinct red marks positioned just above my wrist. My response was characterized by genuine confusion, as I failed to recollect any occurrence that might have prompted these marks. Taking my smartphone, I promptly captured an image of these marks, with a shared observation that their configuration bore resemblance to finger impressions.
The markings were manifest as red-hued imprints on the skin, their texture slightly rough to the touch, evoking a sensation akin to mild abrasion, akin to frostbite, devoid of any discernible temperature fluctuations. Despite these effects, the markings persisted for a couple of days, prompting me to apply medicated salve upon returning home.
Upon contemplation, it has since become apparent that the presence and experiences encountered could be attributed to the manifestation of a spirit—a hypothesis supported by the consideration that the young girl perceived was perhaps a previous resident of the town. Evincing a playful demeanor characteristic of children, it is reasonable to infer that her actions were driven by mischievous intent rather than malevolence. Within this context, the notion arises that the objective behind these interactions was merely to establish a connection and presence, without harboring any intention to inflict harm.
Ultimately, the phenomenon appears aligned with the realm of the paranormal, though my interpretation remains open to interpretation.
Stories of the paranormal, the psychological and the unexplained. I've taken the original stories and, working with ChatGPT 3.5, re-imagined them. If you commented before, thank you, your feedback is appreciated.