Melissa slammed the book shut and jumped up, running down the stairs.
“Where are you going?” her mom asked.
“Oh, uh. Terry, Ben, and Sarah are hanging out. I wanted to go see them.”
“Is your homework done?”
“Uh huh. Just be home by 10 okay?”
Melissa hurried out the door and jogged down the sidewalk to catch up to the trio.
“Changed your mind?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah, I guess.”
“I thought you were scared?” Ben questioned.
“Not scared. Just hesitant.”
They all laughed and joked as we walked the short distance to the old abandoned hospital. The air seemed to get colder once we were in front of the old building. Terry led the way through a hole in the fence that surrounded the place and opened the front doors.
“It’s not locked?” Melissa questioned.
Sarah shook her head.
Inside was not what she expected. The paint was peeling, there were wheelchairs and stretchers everywhere, and paperwork was left out like someone just stopped mid-shift and left.
We walked along the hallway, peering into rooms as we went. At the big desk in the center I picked up a folder and wiped off the dust. Smith, G. Room 101.
“It’s a patient file,” Ben muttered.
“Oh. So what do we do? Just walk around or whatever?” Melissa asked.
“Yeah. Sometimes we ask questions.”
“I see. Have you ever actually seen anything?”
“We usually hear stuff. Like someone walking or talking.”
Melissa nodded her head and walked toward the room 101 that was on the folder.
“The place looks like people could just come back and start working again,” Melissa said not to anybody in particular.
“Yeah. I guess they didn’t really give much warning about shutting down. The state just shut the place down,” Terry answered.
Melissa looked into room 101 and gasped, jumping back. “Oh my God.”
“What?” Sarah asked, pushing papers around on the desk.
“I just saw…something.”
“What?” Terry walked over to where she stood.
“I don’t know. It looked like a man but it couldn’t be. Right? There’s no way.”
“A man? Where?” Ben questioned, popping out of a room a few doors down.
Melissa pointed to room 101.
“The ghost from room 101,” Terry said.
“I’ve never seen anything in there,” he muttered incredulously.
“I don’t know what to tell you. There was someone there. I think.”
Melissa took a deep breath and a few tentative steps forward, looking inside. The person, or whatever she saw, was gone.
“What did it look like?” Terry asked.
“Um, tall and very thin. He had short brown hair and was wearing a white hospital gown.”
Sarah took the folder from Melissa’s hands and opened it. “Hey, Lissa, did he look like this?”
She turned the paper towards the girl, showing a picture of a man.
“Yeah! That’s him.”
“You were holding the folder. His name is George Smith,” Sarah said.