Elisa frowned and walked back into the kitchen. The kettle clicked and she made a coffee. Looking around, she decided not to eat in here as she normally did, but go back to the office and turn the TV on for awhile.
The microwave pinged, she got her food and went back to her desk. The radio was still on but no longer playing classical music, it was an old rock song instead. Elisa went over and looked at the dial. It had been moved from her normal station to another. Wondering why that kept happening, she turned it off and put the TV on.
Channel flicking, Elisa ended up with the news again. She ate and listened to the reporter talking absentmindedly. Years ago, she would have often gone out to lunch with the others. Now, going out and eating alone seemed pointless. Staying at her desk meant she could work through lunch or have a shorter break and thus leave earlier. Today felt like one of those days.
Just before Elisa finished the phone rang. She gulped down her coffee and answered the call, ‘hello, Greenfield Hospital Records Office.’
White noise blasted back at her. Elisa listened for a moment then repeated herself. Still static. She hung up and waited a minute. The phone stayed silent. Eliza took another drink of coffee and the phone rang again.
White noise then a super distance voice saying something.
‘Pardon me? I can’t hear you,’ Elisa spoke.
More static blared and Elisa had to hold the phone away from her ear. Placing the receiver back again, she had a voice once more but couldn’t make out anything out. She hung up and decided to let the answer machine get the next call. If it was important, they would keep trying.
Elisa finished her coffee and tided up. She went into the kitchen and saw the sink tap running. Turning it off, she told herself she had left it on and went to visit the bathroom. A tap was also running in here.
Elisa went to the middle sink and turned it off. She was sure she hadn’t left it on. She hadn’t used that sink last time she was in here. She went to the toilet and coming out of the stall, she saw that all the taps were on.
‘What the…? Is there a plumping problem?’
Elisa turned all the taps off then had to turn one back on to wash her hands. That done, she left, went back to her desk and phoned her boss. There was no maintenance team anymore and any reports like that had to be put into the boss who would then find a handyman to fix it. If they could be bothered. It was unsure what the plans were for the now abandoned hospital. So, maintenance was no longer a priority.
Leaving a message, Elisa got back to work. If she skipped her afternoon break, she could leave forty-five minutes early. She looked at the clock to double check this and saw that the hands had stopped on twelve.
Frowning Elisa got up and took it off the wall. The battery had probably died. She set it on the edge of her desk and looked at her PC clock instead. Nodding, she got back to work, typing up the paper files and refiling things.
The tick tick of a clock stopped her fingers over the keyboard. She looked at the clock and saw the hands had began to move again.
‘Odd,’ she uttered.
Elisa took the battery out and turned back to her work.
She looked at the clock. The hands were still moving.
‘That’s not possible!’ Elisa cried.
She picked up the clock and watched the hands move. They stopped on two and four. Elisa turned the clock around and spun the dial back so that both hands were on twelve again. Holding the clock before her, she watched it closely but the hands didn’t move. Elisa placed the clock on the edge of her desk and watched the hands again. They stayed still.
‘I’m not losing it,’ Elisa spoke.
She got up and went into the kitchen. She splashed cold water on her face then drink down a whole glass of water. Elisa put the kettle on and made a coffee. Waiting, she heard footsteps in the hallway.
That must be security doing their rounds, she thought.
The footsteps walked passed the kitchen. A door creaked open then slammed shut. Elisa jumped and hurried out but there was no one in the corridor. She walked to each door, knocked on them, called ‘hello?’ then tried to open the doors but they were all locked.
‘Maybe, it was another door somewhere else?’
Going back to the kitchen, Elisa made her coffee and returned to her desk. The TV was off and the radio was on. A pop song was echoing through the speaker. Elisa turned it back to the classical station.
‘Today’s messed up,’ Elisa spoke.
The phone rang. She picked it up and heard static. Hanging up, Elisa sent an email to her boss complaining about a problem with the telephone.
A clacking, like something metal falling over, made Elisa gasp and jump around. The noise had come from above somewhere. Breathing deeply, Elisa told herself to calm down. Something had just fallen over. Maybe, a security guard had moved something. It was nothing to worry about.
A crawling feeling like a spider walking up her hand, rose the hairs on her skin and Elisa felt chilly. The feeling that something wasn’t right and she was being watched, had her turning this way and that.
‘I’m done for the day. I’ll make the hours up later.’
Elisa packed up, gathered her things and left. Going up the stairs, she felt slightly better. The basement without any windows sometimes felt claustrophobic and perhaps that all it was. Elisa reached the floor above and walked down the corridor.
She passed windows, it was raining and getting dark all ready. Lights flickered above her and footsteps fell into time with her own. Elisa turned, there was no one just an empty corridor.
Elisa hurried on, wanting nothing more then to get outside. Once, she was in the fresh air things would be better. It was all in her head, she had been working and thinking too hard. Ghosts weren’t real. It was all just normal sounds.
It felt like forever before she arrived at the main doors. She went though and outside. Rain splashed her face, cold wind stirred around her and Elisa felt more at ease. The strange notion that she couldn’t be got out here floated into her mind.
Elisa tried to shake that thought away. What did it mean anyway? Opening her umbrella, she huddled underneath it and walked back to her car. Not once did she look back but if she had done, she would have seen countless outlines of people looking out of the windows watching her go.