The Mall Musician: A Short Story

The Mall Musician: A Short Story

What happens on a Security Guard's first night alone at the mall?


Jack was a musician by day but a security guard by night. He was 33 years old and it seemed that his music career was going nowhere fast so he had to make a living somehow. Jack had just been transferred to a new mall and it was his first night alone. He had brought his guitar with him and was plucking out a tune in the security office as he kept an eye on the cameras. Suddenly the screens started going fuzzy. Jack gave a start and nearly fell out of his chair. However, by the time he had stood up to fiddle around with the monitors the video was back up. Jack sat back down and began examining the different screens to make sure there wasn’t anything odd going on.

Funnily enough, Jack noticed that there were a few human figures walking around through the dimly lit halls. There were even some that had broken into the stores. He couldn’t tell what precisely these people were doing but it seemed as though they were looking for something and they were definitely beginning to make a mess in the process. They rooted through clothes, some smashed perfume bottles, others tried on high heels, and then proceeded to break the heels off as they stomped clumsily around the aisles. Before long most of the different stores were completely trashed. Jack wasn’t entirely sure what to do as he saw this unfold. He sat there dumbstruck for a couple of minutes. He was sure he had double-checked all of the locks on the outer doors and on the storefronts. It wasn’t as though he couldn’t call the head of security but he didn’t want it to come to that since he wanted to impress his new boss.

Just as Jack began thinking through his options the phone rang. He picked up and on the other end he heard a muffled “Hello?”

“Hello?” Jack said.

“Are you the new guard?” the muffled man asked.

“Yes,” Jack responded politely.

“You have until the end of the night to stop this invasion or else you’re fired.”

“What the hell? Who is this?” Jack demanded, thinking that maybe it was his boss or another one of the guards and this was some sort of weird test.

“Four hours,” said the voice on the other end of the line.

Jack heard a click as the speaker hung up and he looked back up at the screens. An oddly dressed man was walking away from one of the store phones. He wore a thick winter coat, a hat, a scarf, and even gloves inside the building. He was at a counter in the sporting goods store. The man on the screen turned around to face the camera and it was then that Jack realized he had seen this outfit before on one of the mannequins in that store. He realized this because when the man turned around Jack saw he had no distinct facial features.

Jack locked the door to the office and when morning came he called his boss and quit. He went on to sue the mall for the traumatization he experienced and ended up winning enough money to record an album. Now Jack is the lead guitarist and songwriter of a fairly popular band called The Jump Ropes. Their hit song is called Mannequin Mall. Whenever fans ask him what inspired the song all he can say is that one night a really weird mall break-in happened while he was a security guard before he started the band.

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