Fiction: The Old Hospital

grayscale photo of chair inside the establishment
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

What the…?

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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I hope you liked this short story of mine.

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Author: jomz

Web Designer and Developer, Graphic Artist. Writer.