I have always wanted to visit this old, abandoned hospital for a photo shoot. There was something about the place that pulled me in. I have figured it must have been the interesting textures and lighting I could get from the place.
I guess I was wrong.
It started out as a normal afternoon. Armed with my camera, I lugged my backpack as I went exploring the hospital. It was as I expected it to be – dirty, broken and empty.
As soon as I stepped on the grounds, I immediately went to work. The camera shutter clicked and whirred with every step I take. Sometimes I would crouch low, and sometimes I would raise the camera high – I find that photography should be about different angles and perspectives, a way to give your viewers a different experience away from their normal lives.
I reviewed one of my pictures from the camera’s screen and saw something strange. In the shadows were weird lights. I figured that it must be dust that caught the light. I’ll fix it in post, I said to myself.
I headed deeper in the abandoned hospital. I walked through a dark hallway littered with rusted metal, dried up leaves and crumbling concrete. Perfect, I thought, as I positioned the camera low on the ground and snapped a few pictures.
I heard a loud thud from upstairs, the sound of metal banging on concrete. I glanced up and took no mind as I continued exploring. The wind, that was definitely just the wind.
I have been to a lot of abandoned buildings and have grown desensitized to the feeling of dread they brought.
I reviewed my latest photo and almost dropped my camera. I looked at my subject, an empty room, a chair in the middle of the room. There was nothing unusual about it.
I looked at my camera again, and saw a shadowy figure standing by the chair, eyes burning bright with a menacing glow.
I raised the camera again and, despite everything in my body screaming at me to get out, I took another shot.
The shadowy figure was closer, this time. I could make out the dirty shape of its face.
I took another shot. The figure stepped closer.
I backed away, one, two, three steps, and took another photo.
The shadow’s face covered the entire screen of the camera!
I dropped the camera, and let it hang by the straps on my neck and I ran away. I turned to the left at the end of the hall, turned to the right in the next corner, I backtracked my way to the exit. One more turn, and I’ll see the road through the broken windows of the entrance, but instead, I was greeted with another long hallway.
I slowed to a jog.
Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?
I turned back in a slow jog, taking note of every small detail in the hall, be it a leaf, a stone or some graffiti.
But it was too late. I was lost. The brief walk to the inner portion of the hospital turned to a lengthy marathon in search of the exit. It was a dizzying experience as each turn seemed to lead to the same exact spot after a few steps. I could not find the exit to the hospital. As with the souls and creatures that wander these halls, I was trapped.
I rummaged through my pockets and in my backpack, if I was able to pack my gear correctly, as I almost always do, I would have brought one with me.
“Yes!” I exclaimed with a large grin on my face as I fished a black marker from my bag.
I wrote a large arrow pointing down on where I stood. Then walk to its left. As I reached the first turn, I wrote an arrow pointing right, and I proceeded to the right. I walked a few steps in the dimly lit hall. The doors of the rooms were either broken off of its hinges or missing. I approached the next corner, took out my pen, and my heart sank. There, written on the wall, was an arrow pointing right.
Did someone else write this? I examined the writing closely. It seemed like something I wrote.
I gritted my teeth and wrote a left arrow on the wall. This time, I signed my signature. I proceeded to the left. Sweat formed on my brow as worry ate at me from the inside. I started counting doors, one-two-three-four-five-six, there were six doors before I reached the end of the rooms where I had to make a turn.
I gripped my marker tightly as I saw on the wall, two arrows, one to the right, and one to the left with my signature clearly scribbled on it.
This was definitely my writing! I have been walking in circles.
Could this be the work of that malevolent shadow that I encountered earlier? I cannot tell. As far as I knew, I have no idea where to go, or what to do.
I stood there fixed on my writing on the wall.
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