RoYds Part 26 - Spooked!

Present Day


Moorlands Hospital, a former local authority care home and prior to that, an infectious diseases hospital, was set back from the main road and accessible via a smaller private road of its own. To either side of the main entrance were two long, timbered sun lounges which, judging by their corridor style appearance, were additions to the older structure of the building sometime in the 1970s. Most of the windows were boarded up.

The main building was built of grey stone. Above the third storey and just under the apex of the stone-slated roof was a date stone which read, “Moorlands Workhouse 1868”. The exterior of the building was bleak and foreboding, having long fallen into disrepair and been neglected for a number of years –- a decade, possibly two.

Elizabeth lagged quietly behind the others, reluctant to enter the building and unusually wary of the snippets of past events captured by the structure. Gemma Bolton was gaily chatting away with Tashriel and Paul, her long auburn hair bouncing along as she walked and trilled away. There was no doubt about it –- Gemma was already starting to irritate Elizabeth.

Paul pushed aside the main door which was already ajar and stood to one side, his right arm directing the others inside, “I’m going to have a scout around the grounds. I’ll catch up with you later.”

Elizabeth noticed a brief pout from the gregarious Gemma and smirked. Tashriel was the only member of the party who noticed her spite and he briefly raised an elegant eyebrow in silent rebuke. Elizabeth pulled a childish face at him and entered the buildings.

The main hallway led to a long corridor with a number of doors leading off. The first two doors were on either side of the main entrance hall. Elizabeth suspected that the door to her left led to what had once been the women’s wing of the care home, and the door to her right, to the men’s wing.

Gemma had sped off down the corridor, a blur of indigo jeans and short black woollen jacket. Her excitement seeming to grow with every step she took. Tashriel briefly passed Elizabeth and then waited half way down the corridor for her to catch up.

Elizabeth was happy to note that he could drag his attention away from Gemma, but she was feeling peevish also. She both wanted his company and wanted to be alone. “I’m OK,” she feebly assured Tashriel. “You carry on with Gemma. I’ll either stay here or follow you in a minute or two. Don’t worry, I’ll have no problems finding you both –- I'll just follow the noise!”

Tashriel nodded and continued down the corridor in pursuit of Gemma. Elizabeth was now even more annoyed because he had chosen to do as she had suggested rather than stay with her. She realised how illogical she was being.

Elizabeth tried to get a grip on her current mood. It was almost as if her mood was reflecting the building's.

Layer upon layer of images and voices rushed through her mind and calmly she attempted to filter and arrange them into a less frantic viewing order, working backwards through time. Eventually satisfied that she had some control of the information that was assaulting her senses, Elizabeth entered the women's wing of the old hospital.

She was in a large, pleasantly decorated sun room and through-lounge sometime in the late 1960s. Rays of sunlight were streaming through a wall of windows to her left and a radio was booming out the hit song Young Girl somewhere towards the back of the room.

Five or six female nursing auxiliaries were dispersed throughout the two rooms. One auxiliary was perched on the wooden arm of a blue PVC armchair chatting merrily to the elderly lady seated in it. Another was handing out cold drinks in white plastic cups. Elizabeth sighed with relief; the overwhelming feeling was one of contentment.

Walking slowly, she wended her way past at least thirty of the identical blue armchairs, each one occupied by an elderly lady. To her right, one of the residents started clapping her hands and shouting excitedly.

“There! Look! One of 'ems 'ere now. Look! Can’t you see 'er?”

“Calm down, Cora,” soothed a much younger woman who appeared to be in her late twenties. “There’s no one there!”

“Oh, is that so? I can see ’er, alrite! I’m not soft in t'head!”

Elizabeth crouched down before Cora and, looking directly into her eyes, saw her recognition. Speaking softly and interspersing a friendly smile every few words, she said, “Hello, Cora. I’m Elizabeth. I mean no harm. I’m visiting, that’s all. Just trying to find my way around the place.”

“’Er name’s Liz!” shouted Cora cheerily.

The young nursing auxiliary passed her a tiny pill from a bottle she had taken out of the front pocket on her uniform. Another of the auxiliaries rushed over and offered Cora one of the plastic cups. Elizabeth patted Cora's hand and then made her way over to the doorway at the rear of the room.

After a few steps she felt a tap on her left shoulder. Elizabeth turned her head to discover an ecstatic Gemma grinning at her.

“Spooked yer!” declared Gemma, triumph sparkling in her blue eyes.

Elizabeth swore under her breath and was just about to ask little Miss G what the hell she was playing at when they both heard piercing screams coming from somewhere above.

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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever

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