We reacted in a flash. Youjin and Seungjun hit the door with full force twice and it opened. We burst into the dark room, switching on flashlights in our cell phones.
“Hyung?” I whispered, although I wanted to say it louder. “Where are you?”
I pointed the flashlight to the mirror with fear. As I suspected, the handprint was on this side too. I shivered and continued looking.
Suddenly something grabbed my ankle and I jumped almost to the ceiling.
“Ah! You stepped on me!” I heard and sighed with relief. Inseong stood up, rubbing his hand.
“You scared me,” I defended myself. “What happened? We heard you screaming.”
“Screaming?” Inseong was shocked himself. “I didn’t scream.”
“You didn’t?” Youjin asked with raised eyebrows. “We definitely heard you. Right?”
We nodded. Inseong frowned.
“I just tripped over some cables,” he explained. “I only gasped. I didn’t scream.”
“Then you did scream,” Heejun said. “You always exaggerate and maybe you thought that you only gasped.”
Inseong did offended face, but we stopped digging this topic. As we found ourselves in that mysterious room, we decided to investigate it a little. With lights it wasn’t that scary anymore, so I felt courageous and began to watch the speakers.
“Why so many speakers?” I said.
No one answered me. I looked around and got goosebumps.
I was alone.
T... They left me!? I opened my mouth to call them, but my phone slipped out of my hand because of sweat and fell behind the nearest speaker. I cursed and got on my knees, trying to reach it. Finally I grabbed it satisfied, but something caught my attention.
The flashlight was pointing to the wall. Or so I thought at first. Actually someone was sitting in the corner. It was a girl with black, long hair and... white tracksuit.
I closed my eyes tightly.
It’s not happening. It’s just my imagination. It’s –
But I felt sudden cold and unwillingly opened my eyes.
Her pale face was just in front of me. It was so horrible and covered in blood, that I forgot about the phone and ran away with high-pitched scream. I was about to open the door, when someone grabbed my arm. I swung my hand shocked but Youjin caught it, before I hit him in the face.
“What’s wrong with you!?” he outraged.
I was breathing heavily, staring at members confused.
“Y-You didn’t leave me... ?” I panted. “You were here all the time?”
I looked around slowly. The girl was gone. So was the light from my phone. Did she eat it, or something... ? I wanted to come back and take the phone, but suddenly a speaker fell on the floor for no reason, so we panicked and left the recording room.
Next day I didn’t want to go back to this building. Although I told my members everything I saw, I wasn’t sure if they believed me. Well, they saw the handprint, the speaker falling, and the door closing itself, but they didn’t see that ghost.
Yeah, now I was sure it was a ghost. My imagination was vivid indeed, but please. I’ve never seen a ghost before, no matter how freaked out I was after a scary story or watching horror.
Eventually we had to go to the practice. When we were passing the recording room, I saw that the door was locked and we didn’t see anything suspicious behind the mirror.
I turned around. Manager showed me a phone. I stiffened. It was my phone.
“Where... did you find it?” I muttered, taking it.
“Where? It was lying on the floor next to the recording room, which is OFF-LIMITS. Didn’t I tell you that?”
“You did, but there –”
“I don’t want to hear excuses. You wouldn’t get inside anyway. It hasn’t been opened for years and the key is still lost. Stop playing around and go only there, where you need.”
When manager left, we exchanged looks.
“It hasn’t been opened for years?” Seungjun repeated quietly. “Then yesterday how –”
“Let’s go,” I said and shivered, seeing a shadow behind the mirror, next to the speakers.
“Do you believe me now? I told you this place is haunted!” I said, as we were having a break in the practice room.
“Maybe this is –” Youjin began.
“ –coincidence? Seriously, hyung, do you really need a material evidence of everything?”
“Hey, calm down,” Heejun said, before we got into fight. “We have to find out who Jihun-hyung could see and what she wants from us.”
“Our death?” I growled irritated. “It’s a ghost! In addition, the creepiest one I’ve ever seen.” Everyone raised their eyebrows. “I meant, in horrors,” I added.
“Are you talking about the girl in a white tracksuit?” we heard suddenly and turned toward the door.
PD Shin was standing at the door with our food, looking at us frightened.
“Do you know her!?” we shouted at the same time.
“Not personally,” he said and came in, giving us chicken, pizza and coke. “But I’ve heard a strange rumor from people living above us.” He sat beside us, joining us in eating. “They say that ten years ago was an entertainment company called Youngster Unity, under CEO Park Junho. It was a small and not very known company, but it had beautiful models and actresses. Thanks to them the company shined for some time abroad. They didn’t do music. They used recording room only for interviews, dubbings in animations, and voice training in order to speak confidently. However, some were saying that from the beginning there was problem with the staff, especially with their CEO. He was very strict and sometimes brutal, so it was a horrible rumor, taking into account that there were only young women. The rumored girl in white tracksuit was the best known model and actress of the company. Her name was Ahn Hyeonju. Every girl was jealous of her natural beauty, but she was lazy and soon after the debut the fame was more important for her than anything else. Only success, only money, only recognition. CEO liked her attitude and she was his pupil. But one day Hyeonju had a serious quarrel with the CEO. Witnesses said that she left CEO’s room with cry and no one saw her ever again.”
“Where was she?” Heejun whispered, completely drawn into the story.
“No one knows. There was only blood and her DNA inside one of the rooms,” PD Shin sighed. “Actually she went missing, but after a few years police considered her dead.”
I flinched, imagining that scene.
“Soon after that the company closed, CEO dropped the entertainment industry, and the police considered it as a suicide because of depression,” PD finished the story.
“Which room was it?” I asked, but deep down I knew the answer.
“The recording room, which is closed since that day. But I’ll tell you the worst part of it. Some say that her soul didn’t go with peace and the one, who opens the door of this room, will be cursed till his death.” PD Shin emphasized the word ‘death’ and we jumped surprised, dropping the food.
“W-Was someone cursed i-indeed?” Seungjun stammered.
“No one knows. Everyone that tried it would go missing after all.”
“And what if the door opened itself?” I whispered.
“Itself? Then isn’t it some kind of invitation?”
Suddenly I remembered the story about the math classroom. I felt sick. I didn’t finish it, but I knew what happened next. And it wasn’t happy ending.
“You want to know how to recognize the cursed one?” PD said. Members nodded, but I didn’t want to know at all. “If you ever see a handprint, or hear a humming, you’re done. That means she chose you as her next target.”