One Spooky Halloween Night

One spooky Halloween night, a man named Howard was all alone, working late in his signage and apparel shop. He needed to finish a big order for a very important client, and because of the Holiday, he sent his team home early and volunteered to stay behind. Little did he know, a night full of terror and torment had just begun.

Howard was a straightforward, no-frills guy. He preferred to do things old-school. Motivated to get the job done, he gathered his handwritten notes and searched his desk for the client’s work order. But, the work order was nowhere to be found. It’s like it vanished into thin air. Howard was exasperated and searched through his email to find the most recent thread containing the order details. 

Howard sipped his coffee as he clicked through endless email responses. Suddenly, the wind began howling outside and rattled the door as if something monstrous was trying to get it. Howard jumped at the noise and spilled his coffee all over himself and his notes. “Dag nabbit!” he yelled as he fumbled to clean the mess and save the dripping post-its.

In a coffee-stained shirt, Howard walked down the dark production corridor to the back stock room and located a box of extra Gildans that he kept on hand. Now dry and eager to finish the job, he continued his search for the missing work order. Tirelessly, he looked everywhere for what seemed like hours, precious time just ticking away as his deadline loomed closer and closer.

At the corner of his eye, Howard thought he saw something. His breath caught in his throat as his eyes squinted and adjusted to the low light. There… behind the flatbed printer, a light glowed from a computer screen like a lighthouse beacon shining through a thick fog. Howard cautiously approached the lighted screen and couldn’t see what was on it until he crept closer and closer and leaned in until his face was just inches away from the buzzing monitor. 

What he saw horrified him. On the computer screen, he saw the client’s order, completed in the rip software, but it was the wrong version of the artwork. There on the printing desk, he found the missing work order. Frantically, his mind raced through the possibilities of how the unapproved art was produced… Did he forget to make a note of the revision change? Did his designer print out the wrong proof for the work order? Did the print operator open the wrong file? He was sure he called and left a voice mail with his operations manager.

His eyes darted back and forth as he calculated how much time he’d need to resolve this mistake when his ears suddenly caught a distant sound. A creaking door slowly opened and closed. He turned in the direction of the sound and listened. He stepped forward into the dark and stumbled over an open can of paint that splashed all over his shoes, soaking his feet. “Oh, for Pete’s sake!” Howard cried.

He reached for the blow torch on the wheeled stool next to the unfinished Sprinter wrap that his team had worked on earlier that day. With his back to the van, he shuffled silently around the rear door and peered through the darkness, careful not to leave his hiding spot. Howard’s arms began to tremble as he gripped the blow torch. 

“Hello? Is anyone there?” Howard’s voice cracked as the paranoia set in that he might not be alone. 

He felt someone's hand grab his shoulder from behind, and Howard let out a screech. He turned around, expecting to come face-to-face with an intruder, but instead, he saw Alan, his operations manager, shining a flashlight in his eyes. 

“Hey, Boss,” Alan said. “You Okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

Catching his breath, Howard leaned on the Sprinter van, stabilizing his weight as he gathered enough composure to speak. “Sorry, you scared me,” Howard said, exhausted by the rush of fear and adrenaline. Once he gathered his thoughts, he asked Alan about the client’s work order and unapproved artwork. “How on earth did the wrong artwork get produced? I’ve been wasting my time looking for the work order, and now we have to throw away all this wasted material and start over! Didn’t you get my message about the art revision?” Howard could feel his anger rise and his skin heated to the point where beads of sweat trickled down his temples.

“Sorry, Boss,” Alan exclaimed, confused about the mishap. “I’m not sure what happened.”

Howard stared at his employee’s blank face. But, he was distracted by how fast his heart was beating.

“Boss, you don’t look so good,” replied Alan. “Maybe you should sit down.”

Howard stumbled forward and walked back in the direction of his office. He gripped his stomach and noticed his paint-soaked feet felt numb, and a strange tingling sensation was crawling up his legs. When he reached his office door, he crawled inside and shut the door behind him. On the floor, Howard began to transform. Within seconds, his arms and legs were covered in fur; his face morphed into one resembling a dog with sharp fangs. His clothes ripped as his canine body grew to three times the size of his human self. He cried out for Alan, to help him, but the only sound he could make was a wailing howl.

Alan, ran to Howard’s office door and peered through the window watching in horror as his boss and friend became a monstrous werewolf. The werewolf eyed Alan through the glass, saliva dripping from his gnarled teeth, and a deep growl vibrated the walls. Alan, frozen in fear, backed away slowly from the window.

Within a flash, the monstrous creature lunged for the glass.

“None of this would have happened if we had only used shopVOX” were Alan's last words.

The client never got their order.