Kenopsia; the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
It was a strange apocalyptic feeling that crept slowly over Georgina as they walked through the abandoned prison.
‘We shouldn’t be here,’ she whispered.
Bayo shot her a look over his shoulder then paused as her saw the cringing expression crossing over Georgina’s face.
Her voice had sounded louder and had echoed more then she had meant it too. Georgina felt like she had broken the second spell that hung over the building by being the first to speak. The first spell had been when they had entered the grounds, ignoring all the warning signs and sneaking under the two wired fences.
‘What is it?’ Bayo hissed.
‘This place is gross,’ Georgina said back.
Bayo give a small shrug of his broad shoulders and carried on walking. He was dressed far better for this place then Georgina was. He was wearing high work boots with his jeans tucked into them, a tight t-shirt and a padded coat. His skin was as dark as the shadows around them and his short black hair was a mass of small weaves.
Georgina watched him duck through a rusted twisted metal door then followed him, careful not to snag her blue designer coat, teal coloured mini skirt and matching tights on the sticking out wires. Her low pumps were covered by so much mud and dirt, it was hard to know what colour they were.
Judging from what was now around them, they had entered the first male block of the prison. The other three teenagers had come to stop in the main space and were shining their torches about. Bayo and Georgina joined them and began looking around too. On this floor, tables and chairs had been dotted round. There had been a TV, a snooker table and a table tennis table, giving the inmates downtime. Above rose four floors of cells, many of which had their doors wide open.
Nature had long taken over what had once been a loud and bustling scene. Patches of green and yellow moss covered the floor. Weeds grew in clumps through cracks and black mould coated the ceiling. Water was dripping heavily from somewhere close by. Rust covered everything metal and the paint was peeled.
Georgina shivered and felt like she was being watched. She touched her loose golden blonde hair nervously and making sure it was tucked safely into the hood of her coat. She double checked the coat was zipped up before putting her hands in the warm pockets. Then she turned away and took in her friends. They all looked deeply fascinated.
The only other girl in the group, Phoebe, had her head thrown back and was looking up at the ceiling as if it was covered in precious gem stones. She didn’t seem at all concerned about what was around them. Her dark brown hair was plaited back and she was wearing hiking boots, old jeans and a thick grey jacket. Her torch light reflected off the grimy walls.
The three boys, including Bayo, seemed interested in exploring the cells. There were a few on this floor, but it was a certain one that they were eager to find. They shone their torches around, trying to figure out the numbers on the doors so they could plan their route.
Georgina moved closer to her boyfriend, Alex. He was the tallest of the boys and had dark spiky hair. His face was rounded and baby like but had a handsomeness to it that Georgina enjoyed staring at. He was wearing black trainers, ripped up dark jeans, a loose t-shirt and a leather jacket. She slipped her hand against his and wormed her fingers in between his so that they were holding hands.
‘I don’t like it,’ she muttered like a tried child being forced into bed.
‘It’s cool,’ Alex answered back.
‘It’s not. It’s creepy and unhygienic. I want to leave!’ Georgina snapped.
‘Go ahead then,’ Tiger sneered.
Georgina looked at him and pulled a face. It was Tiger’s fault they were here in the first place. He was the oldest of the group and Phoebe’s boyfriend. He had short brown hair, sharp eyes and model’s face. He was old boots, tight jeans and a long sleeved top.
Georgina turned away and pressed her face into Alex’s shoulder.
Tiger snorted as if he had expected her not to reply to him.
‘Which one is it?’ Phoebe asked.
‘It’s on the second floor. I remember that much,’ Tiger answered.
He walked over to the unstable looking concrete stairs and began climbing them. Phoebe and Bayo followed, their footsteps ringing out in the quietness.
‘Alex, I really want to leave. There’s something off about this place,’ Georgina whispered.
‘It’s fine,’ Alex responded and drew her into a hug, ‘I really want to see where one of the most famous murderers of all time was locked away.’
‘Why?’ Georgina asked into his jacket, her voice muffled
‘Let’s go,’ Alex spoke, having not heard her.
He took her hand and they walked up the stairs then across to another set and up those. Georgina tried not to look further ahead then the next steps. The open cell doors didn’t seem inviting at all and they reminded her of animal mouths, just waiting for something to walk in before snapping shut.
‘This is it, I think. Number thirty-eight,’ Tiger pointed out.
Alex and Georgina joined Tiger, Phoebe and Bayo at the open cell door.
‘Yeah, they say he drew pictures of his victims with his own blood on these very walls,’ Tiger continued.
He walked into the cell and flashed his torch around. It was empty of furniture, pipes were sticking out were a toilet and sink had once been and the walls were a dark grey and peeling badly.
Phoebe squeezed her way in and touched the wall. She inspected the floor and began looking for something.
‘We’ve seen it now, can we please go?’ Georgina cut in.
She tugged the sleeve of Alex’s jacket.
‘There’s other cells to see on this tour,’ Tiger declared, ‘the hanging cell, the gun shot cell….the showers. Do you fancy a trip to the showers, Georgie?’
‘No!’ Georgina cried as Tiger leered at her.
‘That’s enough,’ Alex growled and moved between them.
Tiger shrugged, letting the whole thing slide.
‘I can’t find the blood pictures,’ Phoebe said disappointingly.
‘It’s okay, babe. There’s more to see,’ Tiger answered.
Georgina looked behind her. There was a wire fence securing the edge and below was the main room. She thought she saw a flicker of movement down there in the shadows. It was nothing though, right?
She tugged Alex’s jacket sleeve again.
‘Okay, we’ll leave,’ he huffed.
‘Whatever,’ Tiger scoffed, ‘we’ll carry on then.’
‘Some other time,’ Alex added to show there was no hard feeling between them.
Tiger shrugged, not caring either way. He took Phoebe’s hand and led her out of the cell. Bayo trailed after them like a guard dog.
‘You okay?’ Alex asked Georgina.
She nodded, her eyes still watching below. There was a figure down there for sure now. He was a massive man with tattoos and he was just wearing shorts. He didn’t appear to be doing anything, just waiting.
Georgina held her breath and watched the man blending back into the shadows. The urge to get out reached it’s peak and she fought back a scream. Biting her lip, she looked up at Alex, he was watching the others head to the next floor.
‘We need to go,’ Georgina forced out.
‘Sure,’ Alex sighed.
Holding hands, they began to head out towards the sunny afternoon whilst behind them their friends walked further into the darkness of the jail.