Photo: Markovich Photo Art

The Yellow Baths  continued

By: Jackie Cubero

I swung my legs as I sat in the chair.  My nerves were just beginning to settle down.  I heard the receptionist chatting on the phone and giving directions to the building.  She hung up and gave me a smile.  “You’re parents are so happy to know you are safe. They are with the police right now and will be here very soon.”

I could feel the relief warming through me.  The haze of anxiety was evaporating.

Now that I could relax, I began taking note of the new room I was in for the first time.  The walls were a snotty-looking yellow.  A clock hung on one of the walls, as well as a several posters detailing various aspects of human anatomy.  One of muscles, one of bones, one of all sorts of lines all over the body.  It struck me as strange, but I continued to look around.  Of course there was the large receptionist desk which was the central item in the room, with some chairs nearby.  Behind the desk another door lurked curiously.  “Baths” I read on the fogged up glass.

And that’s when I realized that there were sounds coming from behind the door.  Sounds of rushing water, echoes, and what sounded like shrieking.  Sounds that were not even drowned out by the reasonably loud computer radio station that receptionist had playing.

Suddenly, the door behind the desk flew open for a brief moment.  Steam creeped out from the opening.  I heard a cry and the door was pulled shut again.

I jolted upright in my chair and stared at the door.  The fear began to return.  Something did not seem right.

“What is this place?” I thought to myself.  I glanced back up at the posters on the wall.  Skeletons and muscles glared back at me.  I looked toward the receptionist.  Her eyes were glued to the screen of the computer.

“Is everything ok in there?” I interrupted her.

She took a moment to pry her eyes from the computer.  She looked at me and said in a sweet voice “Now never you mind what’s going on in there.  Your parents will be here any moment.” And with that she gave me a nod and turned back to her work.

But I could not ignore it.  Something was going on in that room and it did not feel right.  I returned my glance to the lady as I stood up from my chair.  She was still transfixed to her tasks and had not noticed my movement at all.  I scooted along the wall until I was next to the end of the desk, with her looking toward the opposite side where her computer was.  Slowly and softly, I stepped toward the door.

I cautiously, gently pushed the door handle down, holding it in place while I pulled so as not to cause any noise. I slipped through into the fog.

To be continued…