The Following

            The apple in my bag is small, green and without bruise; I take it to snack on during my short break. I haven’t been to the upstairs of the main building of my university ever. Its four stories and its old, built in 1930 and naturally, as with any old building, I imagine it is haunted. I imagine seeing a nun dressed in a traditional habit, vanishing into thin air, like vapor. Standing on the landing in front of the stairs, I contemplate going up to the fourth floor. The railing of the stairs is low and I feel leaned over too far I could fall and die. I go up the steps slowly; curiosity giving me courage. The air is warm up here and trapped, having risen from the levels below. The floor creaks, alerting anything or anyone that I am coming, I am here.

The hallway is dimly lit by old looking light fixtures that hang from the ceiling. It appears to be empty; it seems I am the only one on the fourth floor.  I feel like saying “Is anyone there?” but I’m afraid that I’ll get a response by someone who’s not a student and has no pulse. The wind can be heard whistling as it blows past the building, and to the overall creepiness and feeling of being haunted.

I step into the hallway, the warmth is slightly uncomfortable and causing my chest to feel compressed as if I don’t have enough oxygen. A window needs to be opened pronto, but its winter and the windows are frosted shut. I realize the apple is still clutched in my hand and I bite into it, the crunching sound traveling down the hallway, the juice of it forming little rivers down my hand. I take the first few steps in; doors lined the hallway, some with wonders and some without. As I pass by the doors with windows, I can see my reflection, but I cannot see what is inside, just blackness. The hairs on my neck stand on end; my body is alert and warning me of something unseen. I feel I am being watched as I stare at my reflection into nothingness. The creaking of the floor only adds to my uneasiness and I take longer strides. I push away any ideas that I’m being followed; it’s all I can do to avoid breaking into a run. This hallway is longer than I thought. But it can’t be any longer that the third floor hallway, can it? No, of course not.

Again, I imagine seeing a nun and I’m scared, shaking my head to dislodge that image. The relief I feel to be on the other side is ridiculous. The apple is starting to brown around the edges between the flesh and the skin. I turn to look behind me. I feel as if I am in the same place I began, but with my heart beating faster than before. I run down the stairs to the third floor and briskly walk to my classroom. My apple has lost its appeal and I toss it into the garbage bin.

…to be continued…

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