Sharon’s Note: I started this note like five times. There’s a few things I could think of to talk about, but I’m not really feeling serious topics today. You know what? Let’s go with this; Do something nice for yourself today. Even if all you do is take a quick look in the mirror and tell yourself that you look great. In fact, do that no matter what else you do. Be kind to yourself. Warning: Author is going to go watch some cartoons and drink some hot chocolate. It doesn’t have to be a bad day if you don’t let it.
The morgue was all the more eerie for being unremarkable. My light bounced off of the white tile wall and ceiling. The walls were the same, but the two long walls were a grid of dull metal drawers. Opposite of where we came in were two doors, old and wooden.
“How long has it been since this place has been used? It still has a little bit of a chemical smell.” I wrinkled my nose. It was faint, but irritatingly persistent.
Kathy shrugged. “I don’t know. Earnie might. Come one, even if he won’t show himself, his room is the most comfortable place to wait.”
“Won’t he mind me hanging out in his room?” As we walked across the tile, only my footsteps echoed, and it was a jaring reminder that I was hanging out with a ghost. “So, you want me to just hole up here until morning?”
“Until just before morning. I’ll take you close enough to the main hall to find the way out on your own. We can’t appear during the day, and we’re limited in what we can do, but some of us would still have the ability to confuse you and get you lost. They’d do it, too. The assholes.” She put her hand on the doorknob and looked back at me with a sad grin. “McBride was a monster, and some of the others here . . . they were just as bad.”
I frowned. “Nothing in my research ever showed that criminals were housed here.”
“Never officially.” A male voice said behind me, and I spun. The man who stood in front of the exit wasn’t a monster. He was tall, and hunched, and he was really, really hairy, but he was just human. A nearly seven foot tall wild man in a lab coat.
“And here I thought I was going to have to beg for you to make an appearance. Maggie, this is Ernie, Ernie, this is Maggie.”
“Nice to meet you.” I waved, unsure how you’re supposed to greet a century old ghost.
He inclined his head, but addressed Kathy. “Why did you bring her here?”
“Because your father’s going to be looking for her and this was the only really safe place I know.” She put her hands on her hips. “Are you really going to say that she can’t stay here?”
Ernie growled like an angry dog. The glare he shot made me take a step back. “You can hide here.”
I blinked, surprised at the answer. “Well, thanks. Would you mind answering some questions?”
He grunted and waved his hand. The door behind me slammed open and I squeaked. He stalked past me into the room. Kathy patted my shoulder. How had I not noticed last time that there was no warmth to her hand. “Don’t worry. He’s really a pussycat. And that was probably a yes.”
She followed Ernie into the darkness, and I swallowed hard. I was in a haunted asylum, hiding in the morgue, hoping a local urban legend would keep me safe from one of the most sadistic psychos in recent history. If I wasn’t seeing it, I wouldn’t believe it. No one else was going to.
I had to know more.