Insanity (Part 5)

The young hooded men rushed towards Delilah and Henry. Henry ran forward and crashed headlong into the first man, and then a blinding flash of light appeared before his vision followed by a sharp pain that emanated from the back of his head.

Henry awoke to find himself in the mud next to the river. He rolled to his side and began to look around. Despite the lingering pain he groped and clawed at the ground to force his way up. There was nobody around. Henry looked at the ground and saw only his footprints. He jerked and looked towards the sound of approaching footsteps.

A man in a white lab coat stepped into view followed by two orderlies.

“Henry, are you okay?” said the man in the lab coat.

Henry sighed, “Doctor Lewis, they took her again. They took her, and I can’t find her.”

Lewis walked over and hugged Henry and stepped back. “Henry, she has been gone for a long time now. Don’t you remember? It was five Halloween’s ago that she disappeared.”

Henry tried to remember. “I don’t know. I remember us breaking into the hospital, but how did we get here?”

Lewis shook his head, took Henry’s hands and looked him in the eye. “Henry, listen to me, you do this every year. We never snuck into the hospital. You’re a patient here, and I am your doctor. Delilah was a volunteer who loved you. Can’t you remember?”

“Do you need any help?” asked one of the orderlies.

Doctor Lewis released Henry and lifted his hand, “No, we’ll be okay, this has happened every year since Delilah’s murder.”

“But she was just here,” Henry began to weep, and Doctor Lewis held him.

“Hello,” a voice seemed to echo across the river, but everyone ignored it. Again, the haunting question rolled over the waters, “Hello, Henry, are you there?”

“Did you hear that?” asked Henry, “somebody said my name.”

Everyone stood there in shock. “Maybe it’s her,” said Henry with his voice raised in excitement. “Hello,” he hollered at the top of his lungs.

“Did you hear that?” asked David as he looked at Ian wide-eyed and swung around the SB11 Spirit Box in his hand. “That was a man’s voice, and he said hello when I asked for Henry.”

“Try again,” said Ian.

“Hello, Henry, are you here with us?” hollered David into the cold, damp air next to the river.

“Do you hear that doctor?” asked Henry.

Doctor Lewis slowly nodded with a scowl upon his face.

“Hello,” hollered Henry once more.

“There it goes again,” said Ian. “I think it’s Henry. Ask him if Delilah is with him.”

David cleared his throat and spoke slowly and deliberately. “Delilah, are you here with Henry?”

Henry heard Delilah’s name waft across the breeze of the New River. He began to weep again and put his head into Doctor Lewis’ shoulder.

Doctor Lewis frown, “That’s just somebody playing a cruel joke somewhere upriver. Everyone knows you come here and mourn on Halloween. That voice is most likely kids. Don’t let them get you down, Henry. Delilah loved you, and she is waiting for you in eternity. Don’t give into the despair because of the cruelty of others.”

Henry released the doctor and wiped his face into his shirt sleeve and nodded his head.

Doctor Lewis face scowled, and his chest rose. He let out a deep, angry yell, “Get out of here, or there’ll be trouble.”

“Whoa,” said David. “Did you hear that?”

“Yeah,” said Ian, “Maybe we should go. We made something mad.”

The two young men began making their way through the muddy and grassy trail back towards the dilapidated hospital.  “What do you think that was?” asked David.

Ian shrugged, “Who knows. It sounded like a demon. Maybe he’s the thing that killed Delilah. Maybe that’s why Henry can’t find peace and leave this place. One thing’s for sure, we got our hands on some good evidence.”

David smiled, “We sure did, and I have it all on video.”

The two nodded, and fist-bumped one another. Ian opened the trunk of his car that was parked at the rear of the hospital. As they put away their equipment David looked over at Ian, “Hey man, do you think this will get us enough views to get monetized on YouTube?”

Ian shook his head and laughed. “No, they’ll probably restrict it. I’m thinking we should start doing a live stream on Twitch and talk about our footage.”

David nodded in excitement, “Yeah, and this video evidence is just the thing to kick it off with.”

“Exactly,” said Ian.

The two men got into the car and drove off into the night, satisfied with the questions, but no answers, they had found at the old hospital.

My freshly released book JOSHUA AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH is now available at multiple locations around the globe in both e-book and paperback. Pick up your copy today and start down the trail of the berserkers with me.



Story Time with Gary: Maria’s Diary

Enjoy story time today as I read from Maria’s Diary. Maria discusses the impact of Richard’s suicide from JOSHUA AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH.

Click here and enjoy the video.

Have you heard? My novel officially released today. It’s available globally, so odds are if you search for “Joshua and the Shadow of Death” you will be able to pick up either an e-book copy or paperback where you live.

Insanity (Part 4)

The clopping of horses hooves was accented by the groan and grind of wood upon the pitted dirt road. Henry noticed a young lady perched upon the rocking box of the old flatbed pulled by two black horses. Steam escaped their nostrils, and each breath sounded like a snort in the cold fall air. The woman’s skin was dark, but her pale eyes glowed in the night. She wore a cream-colored wool coat with a hood that covered her hair. The woman’s eyes seemed to cut through Henry as she stopped the wagon a short distance from where he and Lewis were standing.

“Well, are you boys going to stand there all night, or are you going to help me? Climb up in the back.”

Henry looked over at Lewis and raised his eyebrows. Lewis just shrugged and started for the old horse-drawn wagon. The pair climbed in, and the horses jerked the old flatbed forward. Lewis and Henry nearly tumbled off the back of the cart from the sudden start. Once they regained their balance, Henry looked over his shoulder and hollered, “Where are we going?”

The woman looked back, smiled, and said, “Henry, you ask the same question every Halloween. You know the spot we need to go to. It was our spot, back when you said you cared.”

“Back when I said I cared?” asked Henry. “I think you have me mistaken for somebody else. I don’t even know your name.”

The pretty woman scowled, “How can you forget your Delilah?” Delilah pointed to the dilapidated hospital. “I suppose it’s that place. They can make you forget anything they want.”

Henry smiled and tried to sound convincing. “Oh, come on now. How could anything make me forget someone as beautiful as you? Maybe I’m just having some trouble remembering, that’s all. How long has it been?”

Delilah turned and leaned on the back of the old box seat as the horses slowly trodded in a direction they seemed very familiar. “I guess it has been a year,” said Delilah. “I can forgive you for forgetting. Well, I can forgive you a little bit.” She stretched forth her arm, and Henry let his pale fingers wrap around her cold black hand. She pulled Henry, and he attempted to scoot closer to Delilah. There was something familiar about her beautiful face.

“Hey, you two,” Lewis’ voice broke into the enchanted moment between Henry and his new found love. “Three’s a crowd. I’m not sure how you have my buddy so smitten, but could we save the googly eyes until I’m not around?”

Delilah released Henry’s hand, spun to face the front, grabbed the reigns, let out a laugh that seemed to echo in the night air and slapped the leather straps across the horse’s backs. The horses jolted forward, and Lewis tumbled off the end of the cart. Henry watched in horror as Lewis rolled and bounced over dirt, gravel, and rock. His body finally came to rest. Henry held his breath. He saw his friend slowly begin to push himself off the ground. The smell of jasmine and lavender wafted in the air from next to Henry. He turned and jumped with a start. Delilah sat next to him as the driverless cart rolled up the hill, it’s speed decreasing ever so slightly.

Henry was wide-eyed with fear. “Who is driving this thing?” he asked Delilah.

Her laughter sent a chill through his body, and then warmth and calm replaced it. “Oh, the horses know where we are going, Love.”

Before Henry could ask about Lewis Delilah’s lips were on his own. His heart stuttered in excitement and the cold night air seemed to melt away. Their lips parted, and he opened his eyes. The warm sun was beating down on the two of them, and they were no longer in the back of the cart. Delilah now wore a sheer white dress, and her dark frame was easily deciphered beneath her covering. “Where are we?” asked Henry.

Delilah’s dark, smooth hand gently stroked Henry’s pale, rough face. “Don’t you remember?”

Henry pulled his knees forward and looked around. The two of them were sitting in the grassy meadow by the New River. Its waters sparkled like diamonds against the late spring sun. High bushes surrounded them save a small dirt trail that led from the outside world into their secret hiding place. Here the two could be alone, away from the world beyond. They had to hide from those who hated them for their love of one another and needed protection from the hatred that wanted to do nothing else but destroy the beautiful joy and peace they felt whenever they were together.

The memories began to flood back into Henry’s mind. He was with the love of his life. Henry reached over and kissed her until he was sure her lips would never leave his memory again. Her hands slid around his waist and pulled him close. It felt like an eternity of joy. Jasmine and lavender filled the air. Her smooth skin and soft curly black hair brushed against Henry’s face. Delilah buried her full, glossy lips into his neck and he sank his stubbled cheek and chin into her neck and gave her the softest of kisses.

The birds seemed to grow louder, the sun brighter, and the plants were greener as Henry let go and gazed into her haunting eyes once more. They held hands, and both let out a long, relaxed sigh.

“I don’t understand,” said Henry, “How could I forget?”

Delilah pointed over his shoulder, “Because of them.”

Henry’s mind seemed to lose focus, he lost balance, and his world spun around until it settled on the dirt trail and four large young men in t-shirts and hoods that hid their faces. They had come to take Delilah, but Henry would die before he let that happen.



Henry cleared his throat, “I’m sorry, who did you say you are again?”

The girl laughed, “Oh, Henry, I don’t look that bad. Come on you two.”

Henry gasped, but Lewis pushed Henry’s shoulder playfully with his hand. Henry jerked his shoulder away from Lewis and walked about the strange woman who seemed to know his name. Lewis remained five steps behind the two of them. The name Rachel popped into Henry’s head. He decided to give that a try. “So, Rachel, how many people are we scaring tonight?”

Rachel laughed and looked over her shoulder. Her hallow black eyes sent a chill through Henry, “Oh, we have a packed house tonight. At least seventy people, but we have them broken into groups of twenty. We wanted you and Lewis to lead a group, but you guy broke off to do whatever it is you do.”

“Uh, sorry, we got busy,” came Lewis’s voice from behind Henry.

“Don’t worry about it. Come, check this out and then I have a job for you two.”

“Okay,” both men said in unison.

The old hospital seemed to be in excellent shape the further they went. By the time they had climbed the next two floors and walked down two corridors the lights were even working. Henry looked back into the dark pathway from where they had just come. It seemed strange. It was almost as if a gray line divided the white walls, freshly waxed linoleum, and wooden handrails from the dingy, dirty painted walls and dusty carpet.

The group walked into a room filled with just over twenty people who looked as if they were all dressed to trick or treat. All heads turned towards Henry and Lewis and then back to the table before them. A person dressed in a straight jacket and hospital cotton pants laid strapped to a bed. Their head was held fast by a tan leather strap that kept their head firmly against a pillow. The person attempted to struggle, and Rachel reached over to him. “Don’t struggle; you know it only makes it worse.”

The mouthpiece the stranger bit down on only allowed him to answer in grunts and attempted yells. He wiggled, and two people dressed as orderlies tightened the straps even more against the body. The man screamed. Rachel looked over to Henry and Lewis and smiled, “He’s always such a drama queen. Now, everyone, step back.”

Another orderly pushed a large switch upwards that stuck out of the wall. Static electricity could be felt in the air, and the man on the padded table convulsed so quickly he seemed to vibrate. The lights flickered several times, and then the switch was pulled back down. The motionless body laid still. The orderlies took out the mouthpiece and unstrapped the patient. The white-clad hospital worker put his ear to the man’s mouth and then his chest. He shrugged.

“Okay everyone,” said Rachel, “time to go to the morgue. Henry and Lewis, please follow the stairs all the way down to the exit. Penelope has something she needs you to set up.”

“Okay,” said Henry, “Which stairs?”

“Out the door and to your left. Are you feeling okay?” asked Rachel, “You guys seem disoriented.”

Lewis finally spoke up, “Um, yea. We’re good. Just a little tired.”

“Stay focused boys. Halloween is our biggest night.”

The two men nodded their heads and followed Rachel’s directions to the stairs. They found the exit door four flights down. “I don’t recall there being an exit four stories down,” said Henry.

Lewis replied, “Who cares, let’s get out of this place.” Lewis pushed the bar lock and gave the door a shove. The obstacle swung on its hinges and gave way to the night air. Lewis stumbled forward, carried by his momentum, and Henry followed quickly behind. The door slammed shut behind the two men. Henry turned around, looked at the door, and gasped.

Both men stood in three-feet tall weeds. The door they had just burst through was peeling, rusted, and padlocked shut with a chain running through two eye-hooks that were firmly anchored in the bricks. Henry glanced over at Lewis who was staring wide-eyed back at him. “What in the heck is going on?” whispered Lewis.

Henry tried to take deep breaths and calm himself. Every cell in his body wanted to run in the opposite direction of the old hospital. “I don’t know what’s happening, let’s go get to the truck and get out of here.”

“I’m not even sure where we are,” whined Lewis.

Henry pointed towards the rising hillside. An old dirt road could be seen rising around the hospital. Lewis nodded his head. Both men started to walk towards the pathway when the sound of horses’ hooves broke the still night air.

Click on the graphic, and check out my new novel.



It has been three long months at a B-School while I am still trying to adjust to its hectic ways and demands. Joining a curriculum straight after a weak graduation does not seem to be a wise move but I am glad like few others I have been able to make it and I am breathing fine. While I still panic at times to decipher the meanings of the occurrences around me, I make several observations, few of which need to be learned and many to be discarded as irrelevant happenings. Being one of the youngest people at my college, what I really feel blessed about is when many people confide in me. However some confessions really strike hard leaving me in wonder.
Are we supposed to be going by the worldly ways that are common and seemingly right or abide by our morals that rarely make our conscience speak urging us to take the path that might not be clichéd?
Anyway my purpose is not to question morals regarding what is right or wrong for I feel it is all a personal choice and a matter of the upbringing but yes I wish to assert that what is common is not what is natural!
Being a part of one of the coolest gang in my college, many a times I am offered drinks and cigarettes, however since I am adamant on not trying these, I am more and often forced to go for it in the lieu of missing out something really great and worth trying! What has been strange was when two of the members of the same group approached me personally, individually regarding the issues they had been facing in regard to the addictions. I was really shocked by the fact that those were the same people regretting who were forcing me the most in the group to drink and smoke. Well, I didn’t know how to react while they confessed their regret for they were elder to me. But it was really despicable to know that they were indulging in something that they actually didn’t enjoy. Of course I could easily sense from their conversations that it was a way out to escape from the daily tensions but cannot there be another way to evade the stress levels?
Well, I had no advice for them because I actually didn’t know what would work but all I could explain to them was relatively in terms of how they were getting trapped and succumbing themselves to the slavery of these addictions. Hearing their individual rants, one thing became very clear that all of it starts with peer pressure and the worst part is that despite knowing the harmful impacts, they are unable to quit it.
Another trait of human being that comes forward is that the one who is trapped in this vicious cycle of vices, feels pleasure and relief to have others on the same way as well. Making the incorrect correct has become very common nowadays and so it is really a tough call for people with a gullible mind to follow their intuition. Maybe that is the reason of our dying conscience as the world is so fond of making common vices seem like a natural process and ironically it happens to an extent that the line between the right and the wrong vanishes slowly.
‘Doing what one believes in’ is still not a banal quote to say for most of us still act out of pressure which can be family, peer and societal that succumbs our mind and weakens our heart. Undoubtedly it depletes our aura and breaks our determination for we end up committing regretting actions which we later try to justify by falsely convincing ourselves ‘ it is okay , it happens! ’
Before this article turns out to be a boring moral lesson , I got to write this simple reminder that let us not be a victim of the unconscious moves but rather be thoughtful of the consequences before we again end up doing just another common thing!

Woman On That Wood Log

Priya and Rajesh used to go to this garden almost every weekend as it was the place they first met. People often used to ask them if they have seen the ghost of the woman sitting on the wood log there, as others say. But they never witnessed anything like that. Also, they never believed in ghosts and ghostly rumours.

One evening while returning back home, Priya was hit by a car and lost her life. Rajesh isolated himself and stopped going out anywhere.

But one evening Rajesh decided to go to the garden. Tears started rolling down his eyes.

The woman on the wood log got up and began consoling Rajesh. She told him, “I have also lost my husband 4 years back. I often come here for some peace. I can feel your pain.

Rajesh felt an instant connect. Maybe it was this pain that connected their souls.

He vented out all his pain and asked her, “why you keep crying but never talk to people? Why you never react to those ghostly rumours? She smiled and said, “Because I am a ghost, not everybody can see me but only a few lonely souls with the aching heart can, who have nobody to talk to. I committed suicide because I couldn’t handle the pain of losing my love. I was all alone. Take care of yourself. Try to help someone dealing with pain and loneliness, this will heal your pain too”.

And she disappeared again.


To Read More Short Stories By Me Please Click Here ⇒ SHORT STORIES BY SAURABHAVNA

Insanity(Part 2)

Lewis and Henry stared at each other for several seconds, both afraid to breathe. Henry finally whispered, “What do we do?”

Lewis slowly shook his head, “I don’t know, it’s a dead end.”

Ten feet beyond the four closed doors the hallway ended at a graffiti-strewn wall. The two men walked a few steps backward and leaned their heads around the corner. The long hallway was silent and empty. Both breathed a sigh of relief. “Wind?” asked Henry

Lewis let out a quiet chuckle. “Yea, probably the wind. It’s an old building.”

Both men turned and started down the long corridor. They passed the morgue without turning to look inside. Henry hoped Lewis was as determined to leave as he was. Both men breathed easier as they reached the end of the hall. The next hallway veered off to the left and right. Lewis pointed to his left, in the direction both assumed they would find the exit door. Henry stepped in front of Lewis when Lewis suddenly grabbed his bicep and squeezed, “What?” asked Henry as he jerked his arm free.

“The wheelchair. That broken wheelchair. It wasn’t in the hall.” said Lewis with a slight quiver in his voice.

“I bet we just missed it,” Henry said in a somewhat convincing tone.

“Do you want to go back and check?” asked Lewis.

“No,” said Henry. Henry pointed his cell phone’s flashlight directly ahead and began a slow, steady pace forward. The hallway looked gray, dirty, and stained. As the men passed by an open door something caught Henry’s eye. Before he could think about his options he instinctively looked inside. A large clown head filled the opposite wall. Its eyes seemed to be looking down at the two men. Vandals had darkened some of the teeth in the carnival’s jovial mascot. Henry shuddered, “Do you think an inmate painted that?”

Lewis cleared his throat, “It looks crazy enough, but too many people have marked this place up, so it’s hard to say.”

“I guess we’re in some sort of patient wing? I wonder if these rooms were for the regular crazies,” pondered Henry.

Lewis shook his head, “I doubt it. We’re still in the basement. You don’t normally put the good people underground.”

Henry nodded, and the two men walked a little faster down the dirty hallway. They slowed their pace as they came to the end of the hall. Instead of finding an exit sign they found the hall turned to the right. Their only other option was a door directly in front of them that led up the stairwell.

“What do you think?” asked Lewis.

“I think I want to go up.”

Lewis nodded. The door’s latch opened much more smoothly than either man thought would have been possible in such an old building. They exited on to the next floor. “The main entrance has to be around here somewhere,” said Henry.

Both men scanned the space before them. The empty nurses’ station stood well intact. Beige carpet replaced the worn white linoleum of the basement below. Their flashlights scanned the flooring. Lewis turned to Henry, “I don’t get it. This place looks like its still in use. Check out the walls, they’re all clean, no graffiti or faded paint. If there were people here I’d swear the hospital was still open.”

Henry had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when a figure seemed to float by in the dark distance behind Lewis. Henry’s eyes grew wide and he stopped talking and pointed. Lewis turned around, but the figure had vanished to the left. Both men heard voices off in the blackness.

“I’m telling you, we’re not alone. Maybe they’re just squatters,” whispered Henry.

“Maybe they know the way out,” answered Lewis.

Henry took a step forward and then stopped, “What if they aren’t bums?”

Lewis rolled his eyes, “Come on, I want to get out of here.”

Henry let Lewis take the lead and set the pace. Neither man wanted to look around. Voices seemed to float through the air and never grew closer. After walking a hundred feet Lewis stopped. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe they aren’t bums. The voices should be getting louder or something. I can’t figure out where they’re coming from”.

Henry scanned where they were. Another stairwell was barely visible forty feet in front of them. They had just passed an intersecting hallway without even realizing it. Henry pointed to his right. “Should we try going down that way? I think it will take us to the front of the building.”

“No,” said Lewis. “We’re already lost. Changing directions again won’t help us find our way around here. Look,” Henry pointed his light in the direction of Lewis’ finger. “Let’s go inside that room and look out the window, maybe we can figure out where we are.”

Both Henry and Lewis slowly entered the room. An old wire bedframe sat empty on one side of the small space. A desk and small dresser sat on the intersecting wall under the window. The two men peered out the dirty glass. They could see the hill on the side of the hospital sloping down towards the large river that laid below. “I know where we are,” said Henry.

“Me too,” responded Lewis.

“The front has to be down the hallway just like I said.”

Lewis nodded, “Yea, that would a good guess, assuming we’re on the right level. Look down, we are two flights up.”

Henry nodded, “That’s only because we’re on the low side. The front slopes back up.”

Henry leaned against the dusty wall. He took a slow look around and wondered what sort of patients did live on the main floor. Suddenly, a light pierced the darkness from the doorway and blinded Henry. Both men tried to shield their eyes as they heard a woman say, “What are you two doing here? The group is down this way.”

As Henry’s eyes tried to readjust he gasped. The voice came from a woman in a white patient gown. Her eyes had dark circles and she looked like she had not slept in years. He passed his light across her figure and saw streaks of blood lining her gown.

Lewis spoke up, “Who are you?”

The woman smiled through her stringy black hair, “Come on, the rest of the group is waiting on us. You don’t want to miss electroshock therapy.”

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Insanity (Part 1)

Enjoy part one of this year’s Halloween series.

Creepy, that was the only word for it thought Henry. The old hospital looked faded, worn, and dilapidated. Window frames showed only darkness, forgotten hospital equipment, and in some cases painted wood. Henry had no idea why he agreed to tour the old building. It had been a foolish dare, and he should have said no.

“Boo!” came Lewis’ familiar voice as he gave Henry a shove. Instinctively, Henry startled and then stumbled forward. “Relax, man. You’re way too jumpy,” Lewis got out through his laughter.

“You pushed me,” Henry responded in annoyance. “I don’t get it. I thought you dared me to come to his place alone, why did you come along?”

Lewis stuck his hands in his front pockets against the crisp fall air. “Well, let’s just say I’ve wanted to explore this place since we were kids and didn’t want to come alone.”

Henry crossed his arms, “So, we had to do this on Halloween?”

Lewis nodded, “It’s just a day, but this will make a great story to tell our friends one day.”

Henry rolled his eyes, “What’s the story? How we contracted hepatitis or tetanus?”

“Let’s just find a way inside,” responded Lewis.

Henry followed Lewis up to the front door. It was predictably locked. Henry let out a sigh that Lewis ignored and the pair headed back down the entrance steps to the side of the building. The sloping hill to the basement was rutted and pitted with time. Henry and Lewis stumbled along the old, dark, overgrown hillside until they reached the basement door. Lewis jerked, and the door rattled, but would not give way. Lewis continued yanking the door, and Henry noticed two broken window pains boarded up from the inside. Henry took his shoulder and elbow and thrust them into the plywood. The rotted boards that the nails had been hammered into immediately gave way, and the plywood hit the concrete floor inside with an echoing bang. Lewis jumped and then turned to Henry.

“Good job,” said Lewis.

“I hope nobody heard that,” responded Henry.

“Who’s around to hear? Come on, let’s get inside.”

Henry turned on his smart phone’s flashlight and looked inside. To his surprise, the flooring lay six feet below. “Careful,” said Henry, “This first step is a doozy,” Lewis observed Henry lower himself down, and Lewis followed suit. The room was bare except for the old cinderblock walls and some piping ten feet above on the ceiling. Henry and Lewis scanned with their flashlights. Henry was disappointed at how commonly dull and empty the room was. With great anticipation, the two creeped out into the hallway. The light beams from the phones trailed off into the darkness. There were two doors on each side, and all four sat open.

The two men slowly made their way down the hall. They peered inside and scanned the rooms but found mostly dust. One area had pieces of cut plywood leaning up against the wall, and another held an old, empty metallic tray on wheels. Henry was disappointed. “This is it?” he asked Lewis.

Lewis shrugged, “How do I know. We’ve both heard the rumors about this place. Besides, if an old insane asylum isn’t haunted, what is?”

“Exactly” groused Henry.

The two men slowly made their way around the corner of the hallway. An old wheelchair was barely visible down the hall. Henry thought its broken wheel was likely the victim of teenagers who had snuck into the hospital. He felt ridiculous to be skulking around an old building at thirty-years-old like some thirteen-year-old kid. Scattered dust on the floor told Henry that others had been going through the hallway only a day or two before, and he wondered if they were alone in the large building.

Two doors stood open across from one another. Henry took the room to his left, and Lewis to his right. Henry scanned the room. It had been some sort of lab. As his light panned around the room, Henry chided himself for secretly hoping to find body parts preserved in glass jars. Instead, dirty binders full of reams of printed pages, and old empty test tubes were scattered about the room. A couple of metallic bookshelves sat mostly empty save the three-ringed notebooks, and the counter on the back of the room held more dust than anything else.

Henry jumped when Lewis tapped him on the shoulder. “Come and check this out, man,” whispered Lewis.

“Why are you whispering?” asked Henry.

Lewis shrugged and continued to whisper, “Just come here.”

Henry followed Lewis across the hall. The old morgue’s cast iron cooler was flush with the wall. Some of its doors were open, and others weren’t. It was obvious somebody had taken the time to swing the doors open and close not too long ago based on the lack of dust. Henry’s embarrassment for being in the old sanitarium washed over him again. “Let’s go. It’s just an old room,” said Henry.

Lewis responded with an edge of excitement in his voice, “Come on, you don’t know it’s the morgue? Look at that old freezer, it’s creepy to think about the bodies that have passed through that thing, and what about the exam table? Look, you can still see blood stains.”

Henry sighed, “I came inside as you asked. This is silly; we aren’t kids anymore. Yea, it’s a morgue. They have thousands of these in hospitals all over the world. I’m getting cold and bored.”

A loud bang reverberated through the hallway, and the walls seem to shudder at the sound. The two men peaked out into the hallway. At the far end, both thought they saw someone pass through an opened door at the end of the hall. “Vagrants,” whispered Henry.

“Or ghosts” responded Lewis.

“Let’s see if we can find that basement door,” Henry said, his voice barely audible.

Both men scurried down the hallway the way they had come, hopeful they could find an exit. As they went around the corner, Henry almost tripped over Lewis who had suddenly stopped. Without saying a word, he pointed back and forth in front of them. All four doors that had been open were shut.