As an exercise in trying to write more often, there will be stories like this – memories that sometimes pop into my head from childhood or wherever in the memoryscape.
When I was 10, my dad was informed that my great-grandma was dying in California and so we all went, dad’s adoptive brothers and all.
My great-grandma wasn’t lucid and I hadn’t even seen her since I was 5. I remembered her as being kind but old as fuck. I was indifferent to the dying thing when you’re old but I maintained my reverence to avoid getting an ass-beating later by my dad.
At some point of hanging out in the hospital room, I went to find the cafeteria to get some hot cocoa (it was January). I had already been to the cafeteria once with some of my adult relatives and found it without an issue. I had even memorized the way back because I was terrified of getting lost (different stories but I often got lost as a toddler in the mall or K-Mart and that has stuck with me, even as an adult).
I made my way back to the elevator with whatever I had bought and I looked in (I think we were on the eighth floor) and saw some creep standing in there, sneering at me. I stepped back and walked away to find another elevator (because I was also terrified of being kidnapped).
I remember I walked back toward the cafeteria but made a left turn in the hallway, searching for another elevator. I found one and no one was around; I got in. I remember that the buttons didn’t look the same as the ones in the elevator from before.
Now that I’m older, I realize I didn’t find a passenger elevator. I had gotten into a service elevator. I remember the way they were labeled didn’t give me any option to go back to the floor where my family was so I just clicked some randomly. The elevator started going down and down. Then it stopped and the doors opened.
All I saw was a huge room that reminded me of a bunch of weird refrigerators and it was cold and really quiet. I didn’t get out, I just pressed some more buttons trying to get the fuck out of there. It was the morgue (I know now) but I remember feeling such dread and dealing with the creep from before would have been less scary to me in that moment.
I was a smart kid and somehow managed to get back to the cafeteria floor and trace my way back to the elevator I KNEW would take me where I needed to go. I made it back without panicking and no one even realized I was gone for longer than I should have been (which is the scariest part of all).
And that’s my story of how I ended up in the hospital morgue as a little girl, by myself. I never told anyone about it back then. My dad would have been pissed I got lost but it was partly his fault for making me so paranoid of strangers.
Not a really traumatizing experience but kind of creepy.