I’ve suspected that the homeless shelter was formerly a hospital for some time now. I’m not generally a superstitious person (except that I refuse to walk under ladders and I’ve never stayed on a thirteenth floor–that is just logic) but I have seen ghosts in the halls of this shelter. Real ghosts.
How else would one account for the fire alarms going off in the middle of the night without provocation not just once ,twice or even thrice– but seventeen damn times! I stayed up and counted fuzzy white sheep- even when they said that I should ‘forget about it and go back to sleep’. I despise sleeping here during such terrifying times!
There have also been several times when I have awoke to tragedy. For example, not three months ago I was woken by the beautiful shelter staff person named Natalie- she told me that I had to evacuate the dormitory immediately. “Why? Who died?” I asked. She looked at me plainly. “Your bunk mate.”
I sat up in horror. “You’re kidding!” I said.
“You slept right through everything. The paramedics were here and then the morgue people to take the body away.” she explained grimly.
I then gathered my effects and went to the bathroom to wash up.
“Douglas Heinl, please report to the lobby…Douglas Heinl to the lobby immediately.” the static filled voice on the intercom rang. I washed the lather from my face and went half shaven to the lobby.
I stopped when I saw two police officers and immediately put my hands in the air to indicate that I was unarmed. Too many innocent people had been killed by cops lately, or so said the television news. I wasn’t taking any chances.
They laughed at my gestures and told me to put my hands down. I responded slowly, just in case. They explained that they only wanted to ask me a few questions, like “when was the last time that I saw my bunk mate”.
I had to think about it. He wasn’t there when I went to bed, but I did see someone sleeping when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Ever since that night I have been accosted by ghosts in the night… or maybe just one particular ghost that keeps changing forms. I am certain that it is my former bunk mate.