As Harry entered the abandoned church, he readied his camera to take some more photos. He did a quick walk through before he started clicking away. The church, like the rest of the buildings in the deserted town, was still in okay condition. Though, if it hadn’t have been for the sign above the door he never would have guessed that this empty oblong shape was a church.
Harry examined the photos and noticed a door far to his left. Going over and thinking nothing about it, he opened the door. He shone his torch inside and raised the camera in his other hand. Getting ready to take a photo, what he saw before him sunk in fully.
There was a sleeping bag on the floor with a scattered pile of adult magazines on top of it. All four walls were covered in graffiti scrawled words that wrapped around torn out pages and women’s underwear.
The breath caught in his throat and his finger slipped of the shutter button. In all his years of urban exploring Harry had never seen anything like this before. With a quick glance behind him, he shuffled further into the room and inspected the walls more closely.
It seemed everything had been written in the same hand and recorded the story of each piece of underwear. Some were declared to have been found or stolen, with a place and date added in. Other items though… He couldn’t help but read the story of the pink thong. Though he tried hard not to let his eyes drift to the next line, but he was too drawn in.
Not sure what else to do, he took a few different photos of the room and then some closer shots of the wall. I’ll have to phone the police, Harry thought, I don’t know what I’ll tell them though.
A soft whistling caught his attention. Harry hurried from the room as quietly as he could and shut the door behind him. Moving away, he walked into the middle of the room and took a photo of the doorway. He could hear footsteps too now and he was strongly aware that he was no longer alone.
Keeping his eyes on the door, he watched a very tall and skinny man step into the church. The man stopped, spotting Harry instantly.
‘I’m sorry,’ Harry said politely, ‘I’m just taking a few photos. Abandon buildings fascinate me. I didn’t mean to intrude. I didn’t know anyone was here.’
‘Have you been here long?’ the man asked with a slight edge to his words.
‘No, no. Just a few minutes. Do you…are you staying here?’ Harry enquired as he eyed up the man’s hiking rucksack.
The man nodded.
‘Ah, okay. I’ll leave then. So sorry,’ Harry gushed out and made to leave.
‘You didn’t…?’ the man began.
Harry stopped his eyes from shooting over to the door and fixed a frown on his face.
‘Touch anything?’ came the conclusion.
‘No. I try to avoid doing so. I like things just as they were left or has nature made it,’ Harry explained, ‘I’ll go then.’
Harry moved forward, clicking off his torch and letting his camera settle around his neck. He came a few steps away from the man and stopped as he was blocking the doorway. Harry felt small sweat drops on his head and the tension rising. He wet his lips and thought of something to say.
‘You got any smokes?’ the man asked.
Harry shook his head fast, ‘No. I don’t smoke. Sorry. I’ve not got much money on me either. I just came down for the afternoon,’ Harry added as he began to rummage in his pockets.
The man eyed him up and Harry tried to put his face and clothes into his memory bank. The man was a lot younger then he seemed, late twenties. He had feather black hair and a long sad looking face. He was wearing dirty leather boots, jeans and a grey t-shirt.
Harry pulled out his wallet and offered the man five dollars.
‘Where are you from?’ the man asked.
‘England,’ Harry responded, ‘but I have American cousins. I’m over here visiting them and doing some…sightseeing and this.’
The man took the note and tucked it away.
‘It was nice to meet you. Sorry to intrude, again.’
This time the man stepped to the side and Harry was able to walk through the door. Out in the fresh air again, he hurried back to his car. Getting in and locking the doors, he was about to look though his photos once again, when he felt eyes upon him. Glancing up he saw the man watching him from the church’s doorway.
Placing the camera down, Harry smiled and waved before starting the engine up. Driving away from Cuervo, Harry pondered what to do. He was still wondering as he entered Santa Rosa and found a restaurant to stop in. I’ll have to report it, he officially decided. He got out, used the rest room and ordered some food.
He sipped some black coffee as he waited and looked out of the window. He had brought his camera in with him and he decided that he would look through the photos again. Ignoring the noise of the bar ‘n’ grill, he looked though the last few photos he had taken and the need to do something grew stronger.
When the waitress came back around with his food, he asked her if there was a phone he could use. Luckily, there was a public one oddly located next to an old jukebox. After he had finished, he phoned and tried not to make a big deal out of it. He met the police in the carpark and showed them the photos.
Interested, they got him to drive them back to Cuervo. He parked up and stayed in the car as they went in. Minutes later, they came to get him and he went into the building with them. The room at the back was empty, but for a few loose photos of pinup girls.