Chapter 14 – Sundial of Reincarnation (13)
First Published on Wattpad, Reposted on Ainushi
But Guo dares not to turn around; ever since he was small he had stayed with his grandma, and so he is rather familiar with superstitious beliefs, one such being: “don’t turn around when you walk at night, otherwise the ghosts will catch you”.
Although Guo desperately holds back, he keeps thinking about what happened in the room. And he can’t help but feel that the thing must be catching up to them. That vicious monster wouldn’t care if you turn around or not, he has scythes for hands and Guo is quite sure he wouldn’t survive even half a slash.
Then, Guo’s rich imagination continues to haunt him: he thinks of photos of the victim, stomach sliced open and emptied…
Turn around… not turning around… turn around… not turning around…
This dilemma is torturing Guo, and as he rushes forward he is already soaked in sweat.
He runs even faster and manages to catch up with Shen.
At this moment, Guo realises that the safest place is between Da Qing and Professor Shen: he really doesn’t want to be the one walking behind.
Suddenly, Shen stops; Li gradually regains consciousness and starts moving, Shen adjusts her body a bit.
Oddly, Guo doesn’t keep moving forward to stand between Da Qing and the Professor, but instead stays behind the Professor.
He turns sideways to check his surroundings.
He suddenly remembers something, “I’m a policeman.”
“I’m a policeman.I’m a policeman.I’m a policeman. ..” he says to himself, as if that would make him braver.
But those words are not a magical spell afterward; he is still extremely frightened.
Shen looks at Guo in shock; Guo slowly realises that he is crying.
Professor Shen has really seen some bewildering occurrences today: a murderous sentient shadow, a talking black cat, and a crying cop!
But Guo realises that crying really helps with fear, more so than muttering “I’m a policeman”. So he takes a deep breath, cries as loudly as he can, and shouts, “run! I will stay behind to protect you guys!”
Shen is quite used to insanity by now.
Soon the cat reaches the stairs, and the group sprints upwards to the first floor. Not long after, Guo screams out of terror.
Shen takes a closer look, and sees an infant by the wall… no, it’s closer to a foetus, it’s very small, even smaller than a newborn baby. Its head is damaged and the skull is exposed, its face is distorted and it has no teeth.
Like a medical specimen, the creature feebly lies against the wall, glaring at the group.
“Stop screaming!” Da Qing reprimands, “this is a hospital, there are ghosts everywhere, stupid human.”
Shen bitterly asks, “what’s that?”
“A foetus that died of an abortion,” Da Qing scratches at the infant, which lets out a squeaking cry, and vanishes, “keep moving, the hungry ghost is tailing us!”
Speak of the devil; the gang soon smells an eerie, decaying odour.
As they run forward, heavy footsteps come thumping from behind.
“What’s that!?” Guo screams with tears, “isn’t the hungry ghost just a shadow? Why does this sound like something heavy?”
“I fucking said it! This is a hospital! There are ALL sorts of ghosts around!” Da Qing furiously howls, “and what’s wrong with being heavy? Huh? Heavy doesn’t hurt anyone does it?”
Shen cannot imagine what kind of work environment Zhao is used to alongside such peculiar colleagues.
Shen doesn’t seem tired at all although he is carrying a person on his back, and he calmly says, “stop it you two; hey kitty, where’s the exit?”
“Don’t call me that, stupid human!”
“Godly cat,” Shen changes his tone miraculously, “we have been running around for quite some time now, what’s your plan?”
Da Qing stops abruptly, and Shen nimbly steps aside. Guo looks like he only has half his life left, and leans against the wall, crying and gasping.
Da Qing raises its ears, its eyes glimmering under the dim light of Shen’s phone.
After a moment, it turns back to the group, “I think we’re in a ghost labyrinth.”
The heavy stomping comes from the front, and an unclear shadow is cast on the wall: on a closer look, several dozens of shadowy figures wriggle and thrash about in a giant cluster, scratching and screaming and stomping on each other…
Everyday, countless people die in a hospital. Their spirits wander around endlessly, and they envy the living; they prey on life energy.
The living and the dead cannot co-exist.
The grudge, and the despair…
“RUN!!!” Da Qing screeches at the top its voice.
Three people and a cat scramble over to a storage room, and Guo shuts the door behind them. Tear streams down his face; he cannot believe he is still alive.
A freezing hand reached his neck just now, and almost caught him; the chill lingers.
Shen puts Li down, and helps Guo move over furniture to block the door.
Shortly after, something crashes against the small door outside; Guo falls on the ground.
Again and again, the door is crashed and attacked. Then it stops. The banging is soon replaced by squealing noises of fingernails scratching against the iron door.
Guo says to Shen in tears, “I haven’t even gotten my first paycheck, can I at least get my salary before I die?”
Shen has trouble laughing in this situation, but he really doesn’t know what to do with Guo.
Guo sobs, and asks, “Professor Shen, do you have any unfulfilled wishes?”
Shen is incredibly calm, but he takes the time to consider the question anyway, and nods, “yes.”
“There is this person… we met by chance. I’m just a stranger to him, he doesn’t know anything about me, nor is there anything between us,” he says softly amidst the screeching fingernails, “but I want to see him again.”