by Bobbi A. Chukran
Enjoy this never before published mystery short story with a Halloween feel and an October setting. You can check out another creepy Halloween feeling story in this same issue, The Spider On My Shoulder.
One October night fifteen years ago while laying in a cold, dark hospital room I saw the Angel of Death (or was it the Grim Reaper?) silently wisping down the corridor and into the room across the hall.
The inhabitant was a white haired grandmother by the name of Nellie who had gone in for a routine procedure. I, on the other hand, was there for exploratory surgery. Cancer, the team of experts all said; no doubt about it. They split me open, top to bottom, like the dried out husk of a locust.
Never mind that I was supposed to be stoned out of my mind on morphine, prescribed by the doctor, that wonderful stuff that took the edge off the pain after my surgery and never mind that it was three a.m. and there wasn’t another soul except for her and I (alive, anyway) on that whole corridor when I saw that horrible visage of death with the eyeless face in the black and drapey robe with great dark cowl. Or dare I call it a shroud?
Nurses pooh-poohed my imagination and turned up the volume on the meds and told me to stay in bed where I belonged even though the doctor told me to get up and walk. They said I didn’t have any business wandering around the hallways in the dead of night. Dead being the operative word. No telling what might happen, they warned.
The strange nurse with the permanent nose-bleed was too busy taking her smokes outside the door in the cold night air and didn’t want to be bothered with someone who wouldn’t follow her orders—someone who saw dark figures lurking about the halls at night and insisting that at 3 a.m. someone had been there.
I found out, almost by accident, after I noticed that the room across the hall was empty the next morning and I asked about Nellie, that she died at precisely three a.m. on that very night and how could I have known that?
And it occurred to me then that the Phantasm got his signals crossed, and went into her room instead of mine.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.