Read part one here.
The mortuary is 15 minutes away from the coffee shop where Lucas, Daphne and I were catching up on our daily lives. After indulging myself in my favorite Western meal of a grilled dory fish and some seasonal salad, I excused myself from the duo and headed back to the neurology department to retrieve my notes and my white coat before I brisked happily to the mortuary.
“Still not knocked off yet?” I asked Staff Nurse Lina when as I entered the wards.
“Night shift today. What about you? It is almost 9 in the night and I still see you here.” Staff Nurse Lina replied, raising an eyebrow.
“I am on a secret mission with Dr. Sims to unravel the causes behind the sorority death of a patient they just sent into the mortuary.” I explained to Lina as I could hardly control my enthusiasm.
“Well, you better hurry along! If you need to, you can exit the neurology department from the fireman’s exit B, move along the long corridor and you will see a metal door at the other end. Key in 2351 into the keypad and the doors will welcome you into another long corridor. Once you walked past the blue doors, turn to your right and that is the back door of the mortuary. It would only take you 10 minutes to get there from here!”
“Thank you so much Staff Nurse Lina, I appreciate it!”
With that, I hopped my way to the fireman’s exit.
After pushing the heavy rose red fireman’s exit’s door wide opened, I saw a long aisle leading into the depths of an unknown hospital cavern. Due to the inadequate lighting, I only could see the blurry edges of the corridor leading into darkness. Brushing past that eerie feeling of being alone in a dark pathway, I marched my way in.
I have never seen any walkways longer than what my emmetropic eye could discern, much less being alone in this blanket of shadow. The silence was pretty deafening, except the periodical echo radiating from the ground whenever my foot made a connection with the ground. Walls on both sides had surprisingly disturbing writings which I hoped Staff Nurse Lina would have warned me about.
On the left wall, random numbers were scribbled all over. Some were discernibly phone numbers of people, while those paragraphs with “0”s and “1”s resembled computer language, a language my Wernicke’s area has absolutely no talent in. On the other wall, I see writings. Many writings were left behind, either from the patients in the hospital who somehow managed to discover this secluded area and leave their thoughts behind, or numbers for sexual services. (I mean, how would people even get to know about this? Unless I am entering into some condemned society of the hospital which I should never discover. Knowing this information subjects me to great danger. I do hope I am not mistaken for being part of the clan desiring those services). This is why I believed when people say ignorance is a bliss.
Heart rate 120, respiratory rate, 25. I think my blood pressure is slowly raising to stage I hypertension with my O2 sat dropping to dangerously low levels. I measured my vitals to establish the basis and fear continued crawling all over me. I really need to stop overthinking about the kind of trouble I might face while walking this surprisingly long walkway.
How long was I here for?
Glancing at my watch, I noticed that not much time passed. It has only been an interminably long 2 minutes and all my vitals are increasing thanks to the overthinking that triggered large doses of cortisol and norepinephrine into my blood.
Screw that, I thought to myself. I just have to open the door at the other end of this corridor, finish up my journey with another corridor, but keep a look out for a blue door and turn right. Once I hit that path, I am safe from all these malicious thoughts.
As much as my fears were trying to be anesthetized by my positive thoughts, my eyes were heavily glued to the walls. My curiosity on the messages kept my eyes peeled to them.
356 1603 124890
Marilyn, oh Marilyn.
Why can’t you see,
The love to my baby Lyn
Is deeper than the deep blue sea
Those noises are back, and they’re here. I need help. Why can’t the doctors here do their jobs to save me? Help me.
These are sneak previews of messages that I see, illuminated by the faint light of the bulb hanging down the ceiling. Some of these make sense, others don’t.
Just then, I stood rooted in my tracks.
Towards my lateral vision of my right eye, I spotted two huge fonts, painted in red with drips of paint hanging downwards, like those you’ll see in a horror movie poster.
If I saw these two words in the day with a clearer mind free from norepinephrine and cortisol, I would give no second thoughts on turning back and kick whoever that is behind me as a form of reward – a reward for trying to scare the living daylights out of me.
However, those two words starring right into my lateral field were freshly painted. I could still see the excess red ink dripping down, racing against another droplet to see who would reach the bottom pit first. In spite of the poor lighting of the pathway, the two words were still obviously wet, glistening under the paucity of light rays bouncing off them.
But what stopped me dead on tracks was not the two words.
I heard something.
This soft scuttling sound moving posteriorly from my right to my left. I heard it, and I am sure of it.
I noticed that scuttling sound for a while and had not paid enough attention to it, thinking it was some rats until the two words proved me wrong.
Somebody was here, and somebody is looking at me.
I shut my eyes, took a few deep breaths until I felt the dizziness. I must be in a state of alkalosis, I thought to myself and opened my eyes. There, in the midst of the shrilling silence, I heard it.
This time, it sounded like the sizzling emitting out from short circuited wires that are ready to blow out anytime soon.
I jumped and tucked myself to the left wall, freezing and not moving a single muscle. The lights went off. I was extremely thankful to the eternal darkness for once, my predator would not be able to spot me while my eyes are rapidly producing Rhodopsin to help me adjust to the absence of light.
I could hear my own breathing sounds in such silence and the loud thumping of my heart working hard to send enough blood to my legs.
Slowly and steadily, I had my back against the wall and began moving towards the end of the corridor, heart still beating as fast, and more beads of sweat starting to precipitate on my forehead.
Suddenly, the lights switched on.
Sitting in the alley of darkness behind me, was a silhouette of a creature no larger than the size of a Golden Retriever. With the limited light beams shining onto the strange shadow, I could hardly make out its details.
When I blinked my eyes again, the figure disappeared.
I took in a huge sigh of relief and refocused to the front.
Standing right between the door and me, was this heinous cloud of darkness.
The silhouette I saw was now no more than 10 feet away from me, and despite its proximity, my eyes can never make out what I am staring at. However, the outline of the creature was more defined. It was not a dog, or rather, this creature was not in its normal anatomical position, but distorted. At the back of my mind, I knew this is of a human origin, but my agnosia was dominating.
The lights flickered again and the figure dissipated in front of my eyes.
With my heart rate rapidly on the rise, I decided to close my eyes, take in a deep breath of fresh oxygen and mentally go through all possible scenarios in my head should all my leg muscles decided to act. With that, I gasped for a large volume of air and started dashing.
The constant sizzling of the wired electronics and the blinking of lights played no role in calming me down, removing any of those fears that my limbic system is trying to barricade. In the midst of the internal chaos and cacophony inside my head, I continued running until I saw my first door.
My fingers flew into action and punched the numbers 2351 into the keypad.
I swore to god this was the worst day of my life and I would be surprised if the creature behind me does not torment me. I mean, what is that creature going to do? Eat me? Kill me? What happens if it decides to possess me and wreck the life I have built so tirelessly, with blood, sweat, and tears?
That thought definitely gave my legs the extra boost to sprint into the depths of the 2nd corridor. Just when I was about to run, I stopped, rooted to the ground.
“This can’t be happening.”
The metal doors slammed shut, and I jumped. Snapping me wide awake from the shocking discovery I made. Regardless, I turned back and tried to forcefully open the doors, yet my efforts were futile. The metal doors were secured tightly into place by electromagnetic forces that would only open with the correct combination of numbers from the other side. Equipped with that knowledge at hand, I lead out an exasperated sigh and made
Equipped with that knowledge at hand, I lead out an exasperated sigh and made an 180-degree turn, facing one of my biggest fears. Structurally and visually similar to the first corridor, the second alley has multiple doors opening into the seemingly monstrous labyrinth, daring any trespasser to enter its opening and kill them slowly through its complicated weave of mazes and traps.
The metal door knocked behind me and I jumped.
And I sprinted, ignoring my fears that something would jump out at me from these ominous openings.
While running, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulders that sent a chill down my spine, activating all the erector pili muscles in my body, giving me the goosebumps. Still, I fought against that fear and sprinted. Approximately 10 meters away, was a blue door opening into safety. Instead of letting that huge wave of relief inundate me, my senses sharpened and continued towards the glimpse of hope.
Before I knew it, I saw the back door of the mortuary. I grabbed the cold metal knob and wrung it outwards. The door was locked. The sound of the creature gaining velocity towards my direction was ascending and backtracking my way to where I started was not the best solution.
I banged and knocked the door as loudly as I could.
Suddenly, the fast paced running came to a decrescendo and to an eventual halt. The silence began to multiply, filling the entire chamber with its annihilating presence. The only form of luminescence was built in a circumference 2 meters away from me, the rest of the silence was matched in pitch black darkness.
I stared into the darkness for as long as my eyes could, thinking that some magic beams of light would emit out from the cornea of my eyes and shoot straight into whatever that was chasing me. I knew those were words of an imaginative origin. It will not work. But, that was where hopes were.
Those hopes were still dashed eventually.
For some odd reason, I could see a tendril entering into the field of light. A tendril. What living creature walking on the surface of the Earth has a tendril? The first tendril slithered towards me, resembling a miniature black hole that sucks in all light. Just then, a second tendril followed its path. Then a third. I twisted my white coat and started flicking outwards to the first tendril that got dangerously close to me. Other than leaving a black blot of ink that spreads like Rorschach’s inkblot, there were no visible signs of impeding the advance of the tendrils.
Maybe I should be more focused on the larger picture instead of the tendrils.
When my gaze followed upwards, I saw two glowing irises in the darkness, filled with menace and anger. I screamed as loudly as I could, piercing the silence that had accompanied the threatening presence, as the iris inches closer.
With my back leaning against the door of the mortuary, I threw my white coat into the darkness, trying to encapsulate its undefined shape with my coat, temporarily blocking its vision from those two balls of redness and death.
Out of nowhere, a large force swung the door open, pushing me towards the darkness where the sinister monster resides…
Read part III here.