“I'd better get a promotion for doing this shit, Blake,” Cassidy complained to her cameraman. Blake nodded his head and began to laugh.
“You’re telling me!” He chuckled.
“I’m serious, Blake. I can’t believe they assigned me to this crappy story. I mean, an abortion clinic’s one thing, but the fact so many people have seen crazy shit here? I don’t know, it just isn’t right,” Cassidy said nervously.
“Yeah, let’s just go. I mean, the quicker we get it done the quicker we can finish,” he said, and they turned around towards the enormous sign on front of the grey building which read “Planned Parenthood”. Cassidy shuddered and hurried up the stairs, clutching her microphone in her right hand. Blake swiftly followed.
As they walked in through the set of old doors, Cassidy noticed a smaller sign in red writing. It stated that the clinic had been operational since the 1960s. She walked past it quickly, desperate to ignore anything that might heighten the disturbing atmosphere any further.
“We’re supposed to meet this 'Doctor Schultz' guy somewhere in here, right?” she asked Blake without looking at him.
“Yeah, that’s right. He said he’d be in the waiting area at ten-thirty. I guess we’re a little early,” Blake responded, his camera resting on his shoulder.
Blake and Cassidy turned down a long corridor. One wall was white, the other a pale yellow. The yellowed wall had a patch directly in the middle where the paint had begun to peel away, revealing black underneath. It wasn't black paint or mold as far as Cassidy could see, it just seemed to be black... emptiness.
It was almost as if the wall was not actually a wall at all, but rather a judging eye; the black patch at the middle acting as the never-blinking pupil. Cassidy began to run through the corridor, wondering why anyone still came to this disturbing clinic. Her heart rate quickened the further she ran as the walls seemed to start closing in on her. She looked back and forth, wall-to-wall, her chest tightening and her breath becoming more labored.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Blake called out to her, and she turned around to look at him. Just as she was about to tell him some made-up excuse, she crashed into something and she was stopped.
A man with glasses and short white hair loomed over her. He was easily well-over six-feet tall, and his arms were folded across his chest. His eyes were wild and menacing. Cassidy let out a small shriek, and turned to run back the other way when the man grabbed her arm. She spun around in confusion and fear. Then she noticed a small name tag on his white coat which read: "Schultz".
“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry, doctor,” Cassidy said, immediately embarrassed. She felt her cheeks glow red with humiliation. The man’s eyes did not waver from hers.
“Do not apologize, young lady. This is not the first time that this corridor has invoked irrational fear into those who pass through it,” the man spoke in a thick German accent. “Welcome to the clinic.”
“Oh... I... Um,” Cassidy was lost for words. Her emotions were completely jumbled. She was happy to learn that she was not the only one to feel uncomfortable in the corridor because it meant that she was not alone. But Cassidy thought she would have much preferred to be alone in that moment than in the doctor’s company.
“We’re the television crew. I’m Blake. This is Cassidy. Nice to meet you Mister Schultz,” Blake shook the tall man’s hand as he continued to stare straight down at Cassidy.
“That’s Doctor Schultz to you. I am the head surgeon at this clinic. It is also nice to meet you both,” the doctor spoke evenly, his gaze finally lifting from Cassidy and falling on Blake. “Follow me.”
He led them through the empty waiting room as Cassidy tried to steel her nerves once again. After passing through the seemingly deserted waiting area, they were led into another yellowing corridor. The paint in this corridor was falling to the ground in long strips. After reaching the end of the corridor, they turned a corner to the right and stopped. In front of them the corridor seemed to end, and darkness seemed to begin. It was as if half of the corridor had just filled with shadows. Cassidy could not believe what she was seeing.
“Are you filming, Blake?” asked Doctor Schultz, “Because if you aren’t, you’re going to want to now.”
Blake looked nervously towards Cassidy, and she nodded and turned to look at the darkness once more. Suddenly, a barely audible singing voice floated out of the black emptiness towards the group of three.
“What the hell is that?” Cassidy turned towards the doctor, but he did not return the favor. He continued to look straight ahead.
“No one knows for sure, entirely. This is a place of death, after all. About seven months ago the lights in this corridor just stopped working, and the darkness seemed to... condense. It grew thicker and soon enough, it became this. Nothing can penetrate it. Nothing dead, at least. Living beings are another story entirely,” Doctor Schultz told Cassidy. He then demonstrated by taking a pen and throwing it against the darkness, when it seemed to solidify, and the pen bounced off. Then, the doctor stepped forwards and held out his hand.
The darkness seemed to grow and it moved out in tendrils towards his hand, and then enveloped it.
The singing voice had gotten discernibly louder as the doctor was demonstrating. Now a clear tune was audible, and the voice sounded as if it were coming from a young boy. He was singing something soft and sweet. Cassidy slowly reached for her notepad and pencil to jot down the lyrics.
“Someday I will play again,
I'll write my thoughts out with a pen.
But mother did not want me to,
She squeezed my neck till I was blue,
Killed me before I could crawl,
When I get out, I’ll kill you all.”
“Time to go,” Doctor Schultz grabbed Cassidy’s wrist and yanked her away from the darkness. Blake followed swiftly. Cassidy continued to stare at the shadow-filled hallway as she was being dragged through the corridor. Just before they turned another corner, she thought she heard the young boy chuckling.
“Okay, how’d you do that, man? That was crazy scary!” Blake ran to catch up to Doctor Schultz.
“I will answer your questions in the intake room, follow me,” the doctor didn’t let go of Cassidy’s hand until he had dragged her into a small, stuffy room with red wallpaper, which was falling off the walls.
The doctor slammed the door shut and sat down in his chair. His eyes were calm as he slowly turned towards the two reporters who were out of breath and wide-eyed.
“I didn’t do that,” the doctor finally breathed out. “I have never experienced that before in my entire service at this clinic. I’m not sure what that was.” Cassidy looked at the man, and stood in silence for a short time. Then she began to laugh.
“Okay, okay, we get it. We already knew this place was a freak show; all we wanted was an interview. We didn’t need this performance, doctor. I’m cold and tired and I want to go home. Can we please stop the theatrics and get on with the interview now?” Cassidy stared the man straight in the eyes, but he did not crack.
“I will not tell you again, Fräulein. I didn’t do that. You want to know something for this ‘interview’ of yours?” The doctor looked at Cassidy and did not blink. Cassidy spoke.
“Go ahead, camera’s rolling.”
“This place didn’t used to be like this. At least, not until about ten years ago. A woman came in here complaining about her unborn baby singing to her during the night. She claimed that It used to kick her viciously from the inside at every appointment she made with her doctor. We all believed she had gone mad after her husband left her. After all, fetuses do not sing! Her story was absurd!"
Doctor Schultz spoke slowly and with purpose. "She was desperate to get rid of it, but she was too far along. Four months. However, she offered the doctor an extra ten-thousand dollars to go through with it. She was scared out of her mind, Cassidy. And, well... Money is money, I suppose. She went through with the termination, and it was successful. Then strange things began to happen here. I know how crazy it sounds, honestly, but I cannot put it more simply. This is all I know.” When he was finished he looked Cassidy in the eyes.
“Okay, we’re done here. Let’s go, Blake. I’m going to kill the producer when we get back to the studio,” Cassidy picked up her microphone and began to leave the doctor’s office, when he spoke up.
“I assure you that nothing has been a lie so far. You are making a terrible mistake by questioning me,” Doctor Schultz spoke evenly. “Cassidy, I could sense it in you when you walked in. I now know it to be true.”
“What? What’s true? What are you talking about?” Cassidy whirled around angrily.
“It’s why you didn’t want to come in, isn’t it? They tell me everything, Cassidy. The spirits, I mean. It’s so unfortunate, too. Such a tragedy. She would’ve been a beautiful little girl,” the doctor smiled at Cassidy and she narrowed her eyes.
“How the hell do you know I miscarried? How could you know that?!” Cassidy lunged, and Blake grabbed her arm and pulled her out the door. “Don’t you dare talk about that, you creep!”
“Would you like me to show you out?” the doctor asked politely, Cassidy still thrashing under Blake’s strong grip.
“I think we’re okay, thanks,” Blake said sarcastically, and they began to walk down the hall. Blake stopped her half way down the hallway and spoke. “I really don't think you should've behaved like that in front of him, Cass.”
"Don't talk to me if you're going to defend that shit-heap, Blake," Cassidy responded, not turning to look at him. Blake sounded as though he was personally offended. He made a displeased noise and continued to walk, his grip tightening on her arm.
They walked through the long corridor and as they began to approach the corner where they had previously heard the singing coming from, Blake asked, “Hey, do you reckon the staff is all on holiday or something?”
“What do you mean?” Cassidy asked angrily, though her rage was not directed at Blake.
“Well, have you seen anyone else here? All I’ve seen are empty corridors,” Blake said as he looked around behind him. Cassidy looked up at him, eyes wide. Suddenly, she heard the doctor’s voice.
“There are faster ways around this building. You should’ve let me show you out,” Doctor Schultz stood in between their escape and began to walk towards them. He was holding a knife. They backed away, Blake still clutching Cassidy's arm. “I assure you, nothing today has been a trick or has been faked, Fräulein. No deceptions, except by your friend.” It took Cassidy a moment to process what had just been said, and then she turned towards Blake and hopelessly tried twisting her arm from his grip.
"Sorry, Cass. I really am. It's just, well... they gotta' eat too, you know. I can't let my baby brother go hungry," Blake said as he turned towards Cassidy.
"What?! What are you talking about?" Cassidy was screaming now. There were tears streaming from her eyes. Blake was pushing her towards the darkness, and she could see the black tendrils reaching out to her out of the corner of her eye.
"You're real pretty, Cass. I've always liked you. But you've always been pretty dumb, too. That story that the doctor told us? That was about my mother. The bitch almost had my baby brother killed ten years ago! But it's okay, he just needs a few more bodies. He'll be ready to come out soon..." Blake was staring at the black emptiness as he spoke. "Just a few more..."
Suddenly, she felt Blake's hand release her arm, but before she could run his foot slammed into her stomach, and she fell backwards into the darkness. She scrambled to her feet and tried to walk back out, but found that the way back to the clinic had disappeared. She began to pound on the thick, black wall of darkness that stood between her and her escape.
Suddenly, from behind her, she heard something dragging itself through the hallway. The singing voice began again. Cassidy pounded harder on the wall of shadows. She started screaming as the singing grew steadily louder, and the thing softly thumped and squelched its way towards her.
“When I get out, I’ll kill you! Do you hear me, Schultz!? When I get out, I’ll kill you all!”
The doctor stood there and listened with a smile on his face. Blake closed his eyes and turned his head away when the banging ceased and was replaced by desperate pleading. He turned towards the doctor.
"I'm not sure how much longer I can do this, Dad," said Blake. "She really meant something to me."
"Don't worry, Son. He's almost ready," the doctor placed a hand on Blake's shoulder, then turned and walked away. Blake sighed, and listened more intently. The pleading had stopped. Cassidy was gone.
Blake turned and followed his father out of the clinic. It was time again for him to begin another search.
Written by Natalo