“Doc?”

 

The doctor sat in his chair, staring down the man sitting across for him. In the past few hours, there were times when Gary thought he never blinked at all. Occasionally, his eyes would close for a half-second, but even then it felt like he was still watching.

 

Gary leaned forward in his seat. “Doc, talk to me.” The man in his white coat, with hair to match, did nothing but nod his head. His lips never parted, and not a word passed through them.

 

Gary stood up, and began pacing the room. “You want me to tell you it again, don’t you?” He turned to the doctor – he hadn’t moved – and saw him nod once again. Gary sighed. “Fine. It started a couple years ago; back when I was still in college. It was nothing, back then; just whispers. I thought I was imagining them at first.”

 

The doctor’s face didn’t change, staying a mask of emotionless interest. That look made Gary uneasy, but he shrugged it off.

 

“The whispers, they started getting louder. I started playing loud music – to drown them out – but it made no difference. It was like they were right next to me. It was so distracting. I just gave up at my work. The voices made concentrating impossible.”

 

The doctor nodded, taking notes on his clipboard whilst never looking away from Gary.

 

“For a few months the voices quietened down. They didn’t go away, but they stopped being so loud. I thought maybe it was over.” Gary felt a shudder crawl down his spine. “Then I started seeing them.”

 

He turned to the doctor again, half-hoping to see a reaction. His expression remained unchanged. Gary shook his head.

 

“They didn’t look real, at first. They were like pictures on a messed up TV. They flickered, changing colour and sometimes just vanishing. I didn’t tell anyone; they would have sent me, well, here.”

 

The doctor cleared his throat, pulling a handkerchief out of his coat pocket. Gary waited until he was done, and noticed spots of red on the handkerchief.

 

“Are you all right, Doc?”

 

The man in white waved a hand at him, nodded as he did.

 

“Good. Anyway, I saw these ones for a while, the ones that flickered. After about a year of them, they started to get more solid. They wouldn’t flicker as much, then eventually not at all. They started to look like real people.”

 

The doctor’s eyes snapped wide at that moment, then he looked down at himself, brushing something from his trousers.

 

“Everything stayed pretty much the same for a while. They would show up, not really doing anything, and then just fade away. Then, a couple days ago, things started getting really freaky.”

 

The doctor’s expression was different now; he looked genuinely interested. Gary looked around the room, his eyes passing over the white walls of his room, then settling back on the doctor.

 

“They started.. They looked like they were looking at me. I mean, they looked at me before, but now they actually saw me. There was one guy who would sit and stare at me for hours, just rocking back and forward on his chair. He wouldn’t say anything, just sit and stare.”

 

The doctor leaned back in his chair, clasping his hands together.

 

“After that, I came here. I drove like mad.”

 

The doctor stood up, clipboard in hand, and looked Gary straight in the eyes. He strayed silent.

 

“You gotta help me, Doc. I need to get rid of these things.”

 

The doctor took a deep breath, leaned in next to Gary’s ear and spoke.

 

“Sorry.”

 

He then straightened, and faded away.

 

Gary’s breath caught in his throat as he watched the man in white fade to nothingness, then saw flecks of grey appearing in the walls. He saw the paint curl, crack and flake away, the flakes turning to dust before they hit the floor. The floor tiles cracked apart, the mortar between the bricks in the walls began to crumble, and the iron bars across his window turned red with rust.

 

He felt panic rising in his chest. He ran to the door of the room, finding it locked. He dropped to the floor as the room around him aged. Eventually, there was nothing of the pristine order of the old room left. Now, weeds grew through the floor, cracks were present in every brick and tile. The tiles on the floors had lost their colour, and the door looked old and rotted.

 

He stood up, and kicked the door. A pain shot up his leg, and he fell to the floor. He touched his foot, which set off another shot of agony.

 

He heard a sound coming from behind him. He turned and saw a man sitting in his chair, a grin across his face. He laughed, and the room got darker. From the shadows, men, women and children emerged.

 

Gary fought to stop himself from crying in fear; these were they people he had seen, the ghosts that had haunted him.

 

The man stood from his chair, his eyes fixated on Gary. Those same eyes now had a sinister look about them. A subtle red glow shone through the pupils.

 

The shadows around the room lengthened, closing in on Gary.

 

The man walked over, and knelt beside him. He placed one hand on the side of Gary’s head, leaving the skin cold where he touched it. Gary fought the urge to scream. The man stood back up, shrinking into the shadows as he rose.

 

The other faces now had the same wicked grin; the same sinister grin and glow about their eyes. The man crossed his arms in front of him, his grinning lips parting to speak.

 

“Gotcha.”

 

The shadows, and their occupants, closed in. Gary closed his eyes, and screamed.

Advertisements