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In that old, empty laboratory, take a candle and some matches. When the clock tower chimes one in the morning, light the candle. After that, throw a pen over your shoulder.

Did you hear it land...?

We were in med school, and I had just heard the rumor that the abandoned laboratory in the basement was haunted, since the morgue was right next to it, and there was a whole lot of crap about all the restless spirits residing in the lab. Of course, since this was med school, nobody really believed it. It was like telling campfire stories to us. Terrifying, even heart-stopping, but fake.

Because of the fact that this 'legend' has been there for quite a few years and the lore behind it had gotten quite thick (thanks, gossip girl), I decided to make up a little ritual to do in that room in the wee hours of the morning, when apparently the veil between the spirit world and the world of the living was very thin.

"Ooooh, Clarissa, I heard that if you go down to that haunted laboratory in the basement, then light a candle and wait until the clock tower chimes one in the morning, you have to throw a pen behind you. If you don't hear it land, then you gotta turn your head and look at what caught the pen..."

"Inka, you're an annoying little shit, you know that?" Clarissa chuckled, and then went down to the laboratory to study.

She was found dead the next day, and her cause of death was confirmed to be a heart attack.

She was only twenty-two years old.

Three years later...

I unknowingly started spending more and more time in that laboratory, and by this time, I had mostly forgotten about Clarissa and her death, and the lie that caused it.

"Inka, are you going down to the lab again? We barely see you these days!" My friend Kacie says to me.

"Yeah, you know that that's the only place I can study peacefully now."

"But it's kind of creepy down there! Plus, it's right next to the morgue, and everyone knows how that goes normally. Have you never watched a horror movie?"

"Come on, Kacie. This is med school. You shouldn't believe in this sort of stuff."

"Yeah, you're right. Have fun studying!" She made a face and turned away.

I went down to the lab and started my research. Since the lights had long since broken and the school didn't allow personal electronics (like flashlights), I lit a candle, and proceeded to study. It dragged on into the night, way after people started sleeping.

As I researched various topics and did paperwork, I heard the clock tower chime one in the morning. The pen in my hand suddenly seemed noticeably conspicuous in my vision, and I remembered the lie that I had made, the legends, this lab, and... Clarissa. Clarissa, who had died because I told her a lie.

Then, my arm, as if controlled by an otherworldly force, moved on its own. I lifted my pen... and threw it over my shoulder.

One, two, three heartbeats. No sound.

No! This can't be! That was a lie! Clarissa's death was a coincidence!

I threw another pen.

One, two, three.


Then, slowly, I turned my head. Silence. Darkness. Like an all-encompassing beast, ruling all.

And then there was Clarissa, holding my pens.