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Ghost of the Terrence Twins

It is hard to say if there are any ghosts in the ruins of Terrence Twins. After the shut down of the 20 story psychiatric building, rumors grew among residents of the local town. Some say Nurse Heidi still patrols the eighth floor. Others will attest that the screams of the patients there echo through the halls. Teenagers that break into the building swear ghosts chase anyone who enters. 

Arthur Berry climbs through the broken window on the first floor of the Twins. He puts his jacket down to protect himself from the glass. He slides his upper body through the window to grab onto the top sill. He pulls himself through and lands on the hard concrete floor. From behind his phone flashlight he wears a face mask, gray jeans, and a sherpa jean jacket. He protects his feet with thick boots that scoff against the hard floor. Art is sweating but the protection it provides him is worth it. 

Art doesn’t believe the rumors; he sees the Twins for what it is. He caresses the cold walls, traces the lines of the graffiti, and organizes the rubble. He can feel it’s history. The archaic architecture that resembles a castle was due to the facility being funded by the catholic church. It’s nickname, the Twins, describe the two towers that stare at each other. 

The deserted rooms linger with the scars of it’s patients. It’s visitors were treated with practices such as electroshock therapy, drug therapy, isolation, and seizure induction. Many people died -most were tortured. 

Art enters the dark hallway. Wires and beams from the ceiling hang like warning signs. Shadows dance in the light from the broken pieces of ceiling. Graffiti adorns the crumbling walls and various doors swing open from an undiscovered draft. 

The Twins are like a being to Arthur.  He feels the internal nerves, and scars, and pain of the building. It’s skin is dark, rough, and intimidating in order to protect the scars hidden beneath the surface. The Twins have been home to torture and torture has brought itself to the Twins. People break open any window they can to find their way inside. Angry men create wreckage for fun. Artists paint over the parts they don’t like. And despite all of the traffic, there’s an everlasting loneliness that reeks from this abandoned building. 

Art comes to a crossroads in the hallway. He decides not to take his usual route to the eastern twin and decides to take the longer route to it’s sister. He walks through the big metal doors and up the concrete staircase. Art climbs the staircase and sweat starts to drip around his lower back. He takes a glance at the floor level; seven. 

With 13 more flights to go, Art grows more impatient. He reaches floor 15 and sees a warning, transcribed in spray paint; evil lurks on this floor. Like every other warning in the building, Art laughs. He knows this floor. Here, there is an open room -the cafetera, that looks out to the eastern twin. 

There is a consistent banging throughout the hallway. Could it be a calling? Art traces the banging to the cafeteria, where a window dangles from its frame. The glass is connected by the metal wire that crosses through it. There is a clear line of windows that look toward the eastern twin. As Art looks at the dismal loneliness of the Twins, his eyes catch something. Another visitor, Art assumes. He turns his back to walk to continue his journey. He sees another light bouncing off the wall to the cafeteria. 

Art turns around to see the quiet eastern twin. It must’ve been a car, Art reassures himself. Suddenly, he sees a light that isn’t from a car, but a distinct burst from a flashlight. Another visitor, Art recognizes. The light seems to make a pattern. It darts in horizontal and vertical strikes. Could it be a code? Arthur studies it. 

Vertical, vertical. Pause. Vertical, vertical, vertical. Pause. Vertical. Pause. Verical. Pause. Horizontal, vertical, horizontal, horizontal. Pause. It’s Morse, Art presumes. He carefully encodes the rest of the flashlight message. 

I… SEE…YOU, the light says. 

I…SEE…YOU, Arthur answers back with the flashlight from his phone. He then spells his name with the flashlight code. Darkness. Just when Arthur thought he would be left without response, the light appears again. 

I…SEE…YOU, the light repeats. 

STAY, Arthur flashes. Darkness answers.

Whatever fatigue Arthur felt from climbing the stairs dissipates. The only way to get from one of the Twins to the other is through the first three floors. It is a idiotic design. But I have flaws of my own, Arthur reasons. He reaches the third floor and scurries down the hallway. Suddenly, he is met with a flood of light. 

“You running from a ghost?” a man says behind his flashlight. 

“Jay, stop talking about ghosts,” a girl says before blowing smoke.  

“No, not running from…toward,” Arthur stammers. 

“Whatever, ghosts ain’t real,” the girl says before taking another hit. 

“Were you…were you on the 15th floor just now…waving your flashlight around?” Arthur asks.

“No, we just came up to go to the party,” Jay responds. 


“Yeah, there’s a party on the third floor morgue,” the girl says before putting her lips to -then stops. “Why are you here?” 

“Just…” Arthur trails off. He couldn’t possibly tell them he comes here by himself -for fun. They would think he’s crazy. “Breaking shit,” Arthur says instead. 

“Well once you’re done breaking shit come through, just don’t bring any ghosts with you,” then the pair disappears in the hallway darkness. 

Arthur leaps up the eastern staircase until he reaches the 15th floor. He turns to the rooms directly across from the western Twin. He looks in each room. There’s debris and graffiti but no sign of anyone. Arthur peers out the window to the western Twin. Darkness taunts him until…


The light flashes from the other Twin. They must’ve tried to find me, Arthur tries to convince himself. He climbs down the staircase again and passes through the third story. He hears the music from the party as he runs past debris.

Arthur scales the western staircase again to the same room. Nothing. No one is there. He looks out the window to the eastern Twin. 

I…SEE…YOU, lights up directly across him. 

I…SEE…YOU, lights up a few stories up. 

I…SEE…YOU, then to the right, then on the first floor, and then on the story just before the roof. 

The choir of flashes appear from multiple windows of the eastern Twin. Could they have moved the party? Is this just some joke about the ghosts they were so eager to poke fun of, Art grows tired. He can barely breathe behind his mask. He snatches it from his face to get a better breath. Art wipes the sweat from his face and throws himself down the stairs.

As Art stomps onto the third floor he hears the music from the morgue. There is no way, Arthur claims. It takes everything in Arthur to ignore his intuition. He had spent summers in the Twins, he knew every broken window, every artwork, every homeless man that lived in the building; but he wasn’t sure if he was ready to admit that the thing he had looked past all along was reaching out.  

Art waits for a moment to bring him clarity; maybe another flash of light, or even a specter beside him. Nothing came. 

Shouts echo down the hallway, followed by a crash. They need to leave, Art claims. How many times can I let people shamelessly destroy this place? he asks himself. For people have broken into him as well, men have destroyed him for fun, and artists have painted over the parts they don’t like of him. Art follows the sound until he reaches the morgue. People are dancing, smoking, drinking, and breaking anything within arms reach. 

“Get out!” Arthur screams. No one notices him. “GET. OUT!” He says a little louder, but the music swallows his cries. “You’re destroying this place, you’re hurting it.” he tries to reason. Everyone continues to party while Art pleads. How do I get their attention? Arthur thinks.

Art takes a long rod from the ceiling and raises it behind him. With a swing he impales the speaker with the rubble. The music cuts out. Phone flashlights focus on him. 

“What’s your problem?” Jay growls. 

“You shouldn’t be here,” Art says. “All of you break in and destroy this place for the fun of it. You take advantage of it without considering the impact you might have on this place.” Arthur stands defiant, but the crowd is not convinced. 

“Someone commit this dude,” someone barks. 

“Someone go get Nurse Hedi,” a girl says. 

“This dude probably is Nurse Heidi,” the first man comments followed by an uproar of laughter.

“No, stop!” Art protests. “This isn’t a joke.”

Suddenly a terrible, shrieking, wail vibrates through the morgue. 

Everyone grows silent. Everyone looks around unable to explain what just happened. Then again, another animalistic, terrifying scream echoes through the morgue. The flashlights turn around, everyone drops their cups, and runs. Art hears their footsteps disappear in echoes and is left in darkness.

A disgustingly wide smile creeps across Art’s face.“Thank you,” he smiles. 

Art leaves the morgue and stands before the long hallway of windows. The Twins stand on both sides of him. He watches the group of ravers run away from the building in panic. A thud echoes from the end of the hall. Art turns to see an empty dark hallway. 

“Is anyone there?” he asks the darkness and is answered with silence.  

After that night Terrence Tower was boarded up for good. Neighbors complained of the frantic ravers that ran from the building. Arthur never returned to the Twins, not even to look at it’s grim facade. But the memories of the Twins lingered in Art’s mind whenever he needed to set a boundary. If ever anyone ever tried to take advantage of him, Art knew all he had to do was scare them away. 

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