another night shift at bella bella hospital.... the care aide has gone to lay down for a break. great, i'm probably the only person awake in this town. sitting at the nurse's station with lights dimmed, i become slightly nervous, thinking, will i hear the same noises down that hallway again? an answer given immediately! what's that?! i hear something similar to a bag being crushed. down that hallway, there is a copy room, a staff bathroom, the storage room, then around the corner, the kitchen. noooo, i'm not about to go check it out. the same crumple-crumple is repeated, with a suffocating pause every few minutes.
i was told of the spirits that reside in this thirty-year-old building. the care aides, mostly natives from here, have told me about call bells ringing from an empty room, hearing shuffling feet, and seeing people on the black-and-white screen from cameras placed in four hallways in the middle of the night. it's not just tricks played on travel nurses. last night, the care aide told me that she does not get scared. taking her advice, i whimper, "leave me alone, i'm working". nope, it does not work. the noises continue. i stand flushed against the wall and peak down the hallway. nothing. my stomach starts to ache from fear. so i walk up and down the hall where patients are sleeping. i'll do this until the care aide comes back. then, similar noises pull my interest down a different hallway that is connected by a smaller junction to the problem hallway. i get closer to the noise, which now seems to come from a room. well! it's an elderly resident who is rummaging through her bedside garbage bag! and she's eating a marshmallow candy that was under her pillow! OH, big mama-bear, i give her a big hug around her soft, pudgy tummy, and smile with relief. she seems more startled than her usual confused state.
close to 5am, a couple of hours after i've joked about the incident with the care aide, i'm alone again. huh? another noise.... a different kind. is it mrs.sweet tooth (no, she's sound asleep), or the janitor, or is it the spirits that are laughing out of their minds?