Ghost Stories

I was telling one of the blue shirts, that the first night I was here, I stared at the stucco ceiling all night, never slept (which is usually not a problem for me) and was spooked by all the new noises.

Some were explainable, like the garbage truck that pulls up 4 stories down outside my window and crushes garbage, loudly, like a SpaceX rocket blasting off.

Others were things like the little fridge turning on and off.

And some were just the plethora of ambulances running through the side street past my window, sirens blasting.

But when it was quiet, and the door was closed, and the windows were closed as well, there were rapping sounds on the door. Tap, tap, tap.

And it wasn’t a raven tapping on the window. Nevermore.

And there were popping sounds, mostly coming from the furniture the old lady before me left behind: a tall dresser with pine holes in the bottom of the drawers, that everyone says is lovely; and a long wooden dresser with a mirror that reaches from left to right or contrawise that has little feminine decals on the corner.

I told the blue shirt (I forget her name, there are about 50 blue shirts here and they switch shifts and territories ever few days) about the popping sounds and she looks at a few other blue shirts who are around (where in the elevator) and they all look at each other – spooked.

That was Miss Florence’s room.

No, she was only there a few weeks before they sent her out to the home. I heard she passed on there.

Who was there before her, one asks.

It was Miss Margret. Remember? She was there for years. That was her bed. She never got out of it towards the end.

Oh yeah. Miss Margret. She went to a nursing home.

Me: I’m glad she didn’t die in the room. I heard a lot of spooky noises the first night I was here. I still hear them sometimes.

Blue Shirt #1: She died two weeks after she got to the nursing home.

Me: Who? Miss Margret??

Blue Shirt #1: Actually, both of them, at different times. Miss Margret and the one after her, Miss Florence.

It’s not unusual, I find out. Once they’re sick enough to skip this place, most of the transfers die in nursing home.

“But,” I ask, “do you ever hear weird noises as you walk the floors?”

They look at each other with mixed up faces.

“Well, do you?” I say, “truthfully?”

Finally, mum is the word as the door opens on the med floor and they all pile out.

Blueshirt #1 (whispers) Ask the night shirts about that. You’ll hear some stories. They wear yellow.

(to be continued)

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