It’s March sixth of the year nineteen eighty-four, early in the morning, around four o’clock. A full moon glares down from the dark, clear sky and the air, crisp and chilly is cold to the bone. Salter’s Point Regional, an intimidating fortress looms behind an iron gate on the edge of a rocky cliff just outside of Salter’s Point, a modest , sleepy town, an hour away from the city of Seattle. A thin white mist hovers low over the hospital’s dark outline, its eerie appearance resembling a haunted house. Every three seconds, a faint light flickers in and out in the hospital’s clock tower. The light’s humble illumination barely gracing the dark misty sky.
A man in black slides out of his red Porsche and slams the door shut. He shudders at the sight of the gloomy looking fortress. Its massive structure, towering high above him, seems to take up the entire sky. He cringes when he sees bats swarming high over his head. Their wings flapping loud like waves of rushing water. The night creatures circle in and out around the hospital’s clock tower and then they settle on the clock’s narrow ledge lining up like huge black crows on a picket fence. Then in one swift movement, one by one, the bats flip upside down. Their naked bodies suspended in mid air. A permanent fixture against the foggy sky.
The man cases the area for a split second and then he sprints across the parking lot to the hospital’s entrance. He stops and peers through the sliding glass door searching for human activity. The lobby, barely lit is empty with no sign of life. With great care, he slides the key in the lock and it clicks twice, opening the door. He tiptoes inside and guides the door to the latch until it clicks shut. And then without hesitation he sprints across the lobby straight to the locked unit. He is famiiar with the area. After all he walks this lobby a hundred times a day, either on his way to a meeting or visiting his patients on the unit. When he arrives at the locked unit he forces the key into the lock of the heavy steel door and jiggles it. Within a minute, the lock gives and the door clicks open, When he shoves the door wide open, it moans and cracks, causing him to hesitate. His heart races and his mind tries to grapple why he has never noticed the door creaking so loud before. He stands there for a moment and listens, hoping the noise doesn’t draw attention. When he doesn’t hear anything, after a few seconds, he lets out a deep sigh and tiptoes inside.
Categories: Short Stories