By: Robin Gagnon
Amelia calmly walked down the white, sanitary hallway with her cart of pills and other medicine. You had to be calm to deal with the kinds of patients she had to deal with on a daily basis.
The wheels on the small trolley squealed from the effort of rolling and, as she walked by one of the rooms, she could hear someone slam up against the door. It was fine, though, because the walls were padded and the rooms were secure to hold the people within.
A couple of doctors, one a man and the other a woman, turned the corner and headed in her direction with a brain scan in-between them, as they chatted seriously about something. Just as Amelia stopped her cart, the two doctors looked up at her her in confusion, and then kept on walking.
Amelia recognized one of the doctors as Dr. Leonhart. He was an older, balding man with a greying goatee. He has been working at this psych hospital for many, many years and Amelia admired his dedication to his patients. She didn’t recognize the other doctor, however, and wondered if they had started training someone new.
After they had gone by, she looked toward the door she had stopped in front of: room 109. Turning back to her cart, Amelia grabbed the patients medicine and headed into the room.
Inside, was Amelia’s favourite patient. Her name was Holly and she was only in her twenties with blond hair and blue eyes. She had ended up in the hospital for a severe case of schizophrenia and claimed to see dead people all the time.
“I’m here to give you your medicine,” Amelia smiled at the girl, whom was strapped into a straight jacket. “It’ll make you feel better.”
“It’s back,” Holly muttered, as she curled up in a ball. “The ghost is back.”
“It’s not real,” Amelia assured her. “Take your medicine and the ghosts will go away.”
“No,” Holly muttered, rocking forth. “Go away! Go away! Go away!”
A bloodcurdling scream rose out of Holly’s throat and it rattled Amelia to her bones, as a jolt went through her body. Getting up from the floor, Holly charged at her with crazed eyes and Amelia dodged out of the way just in time so she wasn’t run over. Instead, Holly bounced off the padded wall and to the ground.
Not too long afterwards, Dr. Leonhart came charging into the room with a syringe in hand, which he administered to the hysterical girl laying on the floor. Eventually, Holly began to calm down and Amelia quickly backed out of the room with her heart beating out of her chest.
She had never seen Holly act like that before and it scared the crap out of her. Normally, she was quiet and did what she was told, causing Amelia to hope that the beautiful girl could be treated and released from this place one day, but it seemed that Holly was getting worse.
Discouraged, she headed into the bathroom and passed the female doctor from earlier, who shivered as she went by. Amelia found that the hospital was rather cold and wished that management would do something about the heating.
Standing in front of the mirror, Amelia checked her appearance. She was slightly pale from the scare from earlier and she found that her long, black hair was rather tangled in some places. Trying to run her fingers through it, she wished she had a brush to use instead, but didn’t have one on her at the moment.
Staring into her own dark brown eyes, she wondered what she should do. She wanted to go back and see Holly to make sure everything was okay, but she was worried that she’d have another freak-out. Perhaps she’d just roam the halls for a while until she had the courage to go back.
In the end, that’s exactly what she ended up doing. She explored the dimly lit hallways of the psych hospital for a while, coming across some lights that were flickering on the sixth floor. She made a mental note to tell the maintenance crew about it later.
Heading by the main foyer, she passed the old, cork board that was filled with remembrances of patients that had died and nurses that has either retired or past away. She didn’t like looking at that board, though, because it only showed her the faces of the people that the hospital couldn’t save. Gliding right past the board, she decided that she would try to go and see Holly again.
Back in front of room 109, she carefully opened the door with a slow creak of the giant door. Holly was back in her favourite spot in the middle of the room against the wall. She was sitting up this time and Amelia stood there uncertainly.
After some time, Holly slowly raised her head to look up at her and screamed, “Get out!”
Amelia was taken aback, but didn’t want to leave this time. She stood her ground and waited to see if Holly would tire herself out.
“I said get out!” she screamed again with a sound that sounded like a sob. “You don’t belong here!”
A chill crept along Amelia’s spine, like dozens of spiders running up and down it, when she realized that she didn’t know if Holly was talking to her or the ghosts.
Quicker than last time, Dr. Leonhart came running into the room again with another needle, muttering, “Not again, Holly.”
He crouched down and gave her the drug that was in the syringe, as she looked right at Amelia and mumbled, “Tell the ghost lady with the long, black hair to go away. I don’t want to take the medicine she keeps trying to give me anymore.”
Amelia went rigid, as a knot formed in her throat. Was Holly calling her a ghost? Her stomach swirled in unease.
Dr. Leonhart stroked his beard for a moment before looking over his shoulder at where Amelia was standing.
“Oh, you mean Amelia?” he asked the young woman soothingly. “She’s your friend, remember? She’s not going to hurt you.”
Amelia breathed a sigh of relief and smoothed out her white nurse’s outfit. For a second, Holly had her frightened. Of course she wasn’t a ghost, she had known Dr. Leonhart for a long time.
After Holly had quieted down for a while, Dr. Leonhart stood up from where he crouched and walked back toward the door.
“That was weird,” Amelia commented, as she followed the doctor. “Why did she think I was a ghost? Is it because of my black hair?”
Dr. Leonhart ignored her and left the room, closing and then locking the door with a metal clink, leaving her alone with Holly.
Amelia stood there in confusion and yelled out, “Are you mad at me or something? Hey, why did you lock me in here? Dr. Leonhart, are you listening?”
She tried to bang on the padded door, when Holly’s raspy voice spoke up from somewhere behind her.
“He can’t hear you. Only I can.”