(Consider this a continuation of #OAGhost ‘Arrival at Beltha’)
(based on events from real life that happened during my travels for work, reader’s discretion is advised content has mild language and frightening situations)
While it’s summer and not autumn, awhile back there was an #OAGhost challenge for Halloween, and I wrote about one of my experiences encountering something strange and fairly supernatural with Mirai Kageyama (Seduced in the Sleepless City) as my newbie coworker. To be honest, that wasn’t the last of the oddities that occurred with our contract in the small town of Beltha, and this writing challenge I’ve decided to pursue allows me to explore those ghost stories a little more…
For privacy reasons, real names and locations have been changed
Challenge: You’ve moved to a small town where everything is still not up to date with the city life you’re used to. Adjusting to the new life your about to embark on in this town, you start to notice peculiar things about your neighbors and the town itself…
Which otome character is with you?
Does something odd occur while you are at home or work?
Are your neighbors truly suspicious, or is it your mind playing tricks on you?
Sunlight had gently laid a hand on my skin, finding its way through the slit between the blackout curtains I had installed the day before. I twitched from the languorous warmth that tickled my flesh and found myself stretching sore limbs from last night’s shift. Opening my eyes I was met with gray shadows and the soft glow of my night light in the corner, I turned to stare at my alarm clock.
It was 1:14PM, I should be proud that I managed to clock in about seven hours of sleep given how crappy my sleep cycle was from being the NOC shift nurse at Hope Hospital. I love my job, and I did sign up for the night shift contract in Beltha, but for some reason, I was having a hard time adjusting to the job. This was annoying, considering I was more experienced than Mirai was, and I’m supposed to help him navigate and adjust to his life as a traveler.
A groan escaped my throat, I still recalled last night vividly as a patient had gone into cardiac arrest, panic had grabbed all of the staff on shift and if I hadn’t barked orders, no one would have calmed down. It was a rare sight to have a young patient have a heart attack, but our duty as medical travelers and workers was always to save their life and get our heads in the game.
Directing a Code Blue while waiting for a doctor to come was stress-inducing, but also, second nature to me as I saw the CNAs and Mirai’s faces in my mind and how they were listening intently to my orders. I remember Doctor Sezaki marching in and asking for report as we intubated the patient and I guided the others on the steps necessary.
We had managed to resuscitate the patient and stabilize his vitals as we rushed them to the ER side but as soon as we entered the ER lobby. His vitals began to crash, and try as we all did… We lost them in a span of forty minutes…
“Time of death, 0300…”
I closed my eyes and placed a hand over my face and recalled Mirai’s face as he witnessed his first brush with a patient dying on us. While I knew he was new to traveling, his background in medical was only having worked in a physical therapy rehab center in New York. I still remember his expression of grief at the nurse’s station as we wrote our reports, and how I felt nothing.
“It’s okay to feel nothing…” I said to no one, as I moved my hands away from my face and sat up in the darkness. Death was nothing new to me, and over the years of working in the field, I had learned to detach myself from feeling too much for any patient. You can call it my safety mechanism to not get too involved with people, “it’s okay to just be…”
I pulled myself out of bed and looked at the journal I kept on my dresser drawer, remembering that I had journaled my feelings of last night into it before drowning myself in darkness. With a sigh, I got up and drew back the curtains to let the sunlight pour inside my room. A sigh escaped me as the trees from the forest greeted me with their effervescent aura, the scene would have been lovely, had my backyard not been connected to a graveyard.
I glanced into the trees to see the stone crosses and mausoleums in the distance, the shadows of the monuments casting an eerie appearance amongst the trees. I’m not new to death, working as a nurse for many years has taught me to see death through a new lens, and respect it. I’ve attended funerals of my deceased patients, and relatives and never felt the unease and trepidation walking amongst the pews of the dead.
Yet, as I narrowed my eyes to see a little girl walking in the trees with a bouquet of daisies in hand, there was a stab of trepidation being here. Nothing should phase me anymore when being tossed into a brand new area, even the city culture differences. However, something was odd about this town and how everything seemed … too quiet…
I shook my head, it’s a small town, of course, it would be quiet and practically off the grid of normalcy.
A knock at my door pulled me out of my thoughts, “I’m awake,” I called out as the door slowly opened to reveal my roommate/co-worker’s face. His disheveled tan locks fanning out at all ends to show he had also just woken up as well, walking at a snail’s pace towards me he stretched and yawned as he stood next to me and looked out the window as well.
“Morning,” he sighed, gazing out into the trees and looking at the graveyard, “I don’t know if I can get used to seeing a graveyard every time I wake up from dreamland.” Turning towards me I felt his eyes on me, a look of concern crossing his boyish features as I looked into the graves once again.
A strange buzzing noise, something that reminded me of cicadas could be heard in the distance as I somehow felt entranced to keep looking out into the graves. My eyes wandered as I heard Mirai speak, but I somehow couldn’t hear him as I felt a tug in my mind to look into the shadows of the trees.
I almost gasped in shock as the little girl I had seen from earlier was now looking back at me, her eyes like glass dolls peering up into the window with an indescribable look upon her face. She no longer held a bouquet of flowers in those tiny hands, instead a stuffed rabbit dangled from those her tiny hand as she tilted her head to the side to look at me before running off into the forest.
I jumped at the sensation of something grazing my cheek, pulling back from the window I saw Mirai’s hand had reached out to me and was in mid-air. I watched him look out the window and then return his gaze back to me again, “did you see something interesting?” He joked as he let his hand reach out to mine, his thumb caressing the top of my hand as curiosity filled his eyes.
“I thought I saw a zombie rise from the grave,” I quipped as I pulled my hand away from his touch and went towards the door, “come on, let’s eat breakfast before our day off escapes us. I wanted to go into town and explore a little more.” Turning away from him I went into the kitchen to avoid any further conversation about the cemetery, in doing so… I missed Mirai’s gaze had returned back to the window, a grim expression on face as he stared out into the forest.
Writing this takes me back to those days in the small town I lived in for a few months, it’s nostalgic, although it does bring back some chills… However the case, it is up to the reader to decide on which parts of this short tale was true and which one wasn’t. Thanks for reading!