Jeremy Brogan’s first day as a night watchman, at the most haunted hospital in the country, may just turn him from a die-hard skeptic into a believer after all.
Jeremy Brogan thought being a night watchman at a hospital would be easy, wandering long, dark, empty halls late at night. It might even get kind of boring after a while…except Jeremy is working at St. Michael’s, the most haunted hospital in the country.
It’s a good thing Jeremy doesn’t believe in ghosts. Everything he sees and hears must have some kind of an explanation, right?
That he had to patrol the fifth floor was bad enough, but never in his wildest dreams did Jeremy think he would wind up in the basement. Now all he wants is out…only the hospital and its inhabitants may have other plans.
“Is this your first night?” the old man asked, standing up from the desk. Where he had been sitting, his head just barely could see—or be seen—over a counter that the desk sat behind. He walked round the counter toward Jeremy.
“Yes, it is.” Jeremy fidgeted with the buttons on his jacket. “I suppose it’s obvious. Isn’t it?” He tried to smile, pressing his lips into a grin. “Actually, I’ve never done anything like this before. I guess I’m a little nervous.”
The old man watched Jeremy for a moment, and then patted him on the shoulder. “You’ll be just fine.” The old man walked back behind the counter to retrieve his metal lunch pail from the desk.
“By the way, my name is Jeremy Brogan.” Jeremy reached over the counter offering his hand.
“Jake.” The old man grasped hold of Jeremy’s hand and gave it a firm shake. “Jake Edwards.”
“Say, do you mind me asking how long you’ve been working here?”
“It’ll be…forty-two years next month.”
Jeremy’s brows moved up on his forehead. “Forty-two years?”
“Yep.” Jake nodded, his gaze wandering. “And not once did I miss a day of work.”
Jeremy leaned his back against the counter. “That’s incredible.”
“Yeah, I guess it is.” Jake shrugged. “Never really thought about it.” He slid his hand over the smooth worn surface of the counter, as he walked back around to the front. “I can honestly say I’m going to miss it.”
“I’m retiring next week.” He paused as though thinking on what he just said. “I’ll tell ya, I’ve been looking forward to this day my whole life. Waiting and dreaming about what I’d do when that day came. But now that it’s here…it’s going to feel strange not coming in here every night.”
- Word Count: 5,350
- Author: E. H. James
- ISBN: 978-1-61937-329-7
- Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
- Editor: Jeanne De Vita
Reviewer: Anna M.
Review: I’ve got a morbid streak if my last short story is anything to go by. When I had the chance to read “The Fifth Floor”,…
Long and Short of It
Review: Imagine patrolling an abandoned hospital wing at night The only sound you hear is the slight squeak of your shoes as you make your rounds.…