He wandered aimlessly through the dark halls of the hospital. Feet and eyes transfixed, he sluggishly moved in a trance, gazing forward like a blind elephant. It was not nighttime, no, not yet. The gentle, amber-coloured rays of the evening sun illuminated the hallways, reflecting on the dust, dirt, and plants that grew in the now empty medical institution.
If not for the Great Outbreak, the hospital would be the best in the country, but the disease did take its course, and all that was left was a poignant memento of the past; doorless rooms with empty beds, vacant wards with broken windows, and quiet hallways stalked by noiseless patients, invisible and forgotten.
People shunned the hospital, but he did not. He always found the tenantless rooms peaceful, for his favourite pastime was to cry, to sit in one of those dark, lifeless corners and cry. He sometimes cried while smiling. He often cried while laughing, but that day, he was determined to explore his personal sanctuary first.
He took a flight of stairs and found an area he had never ventured before; the endlessly long and winding hallways of the psychiatric department. Unlike the other parts of the hospital, the doors there were made of steel, and the rooms, or cells, were uncomfortably small, with torn mattresses and flipped beds lying all over.
If not for a few windows, the corridors would be completely dark, but in that evening, he could see, and he thought he could smell the damp stench of an abandoned prison, the scent of the sweat and blood of the doomed patients, prisoners of their own delusions, and he thought he could hear the blood curdling screams and howls of the phantom inmates piercing through the silence.
He noticed a room with its door opened and walked in, shutting it behind him. He knew what he had to do and started to crawl, like a helpless infant, to the room’s darkest corner and cried, cried without tears.
He probably stayed for too long in the dark, for he suddenly thought he heard a voice behind him; a soft, high-pitched voice of a young woman he found uncannily familiar, eerily whispering,
'My good man, why are you crying?'
The voice ceased his horrible weeping. Perhaps it was the comforting tone, or maybe the repulsively unnatural pitch, that managed to convince him to get up and leave. It was already dark, the hospital dimly lit by July’s full moon.
He knew that the voice was not real, and merely a figment of his occasionally twisted imagination, but started to change his mind when, after slowly prying the great rusty door open and stepping back into that ancient, eldritch hallway of nightmares, he looked to his left and saw, for a second...
...a glimpse of what he fancied was a long, loose bandage attached to someone, or something, that just dragged itself around the furthest corner of the corridor, making a soft, scraping noise beneath the pale, screaming moonlight.