AH(H)S: A Health-Service Horror Story

Anyone who has been to Brown Health Services probably agrees that an old chandelier that glamorous has no business hanging around a f&cking clinic. Neither does that gothic marble flooring, or suspiciously fancy (yet ancient) wooden staircase. In fact, if someone were to wander into Brown Health Services in the late hours of the night, they might even think they’d stumbled onto the set of a low-budget horror flick. I mean, sickly souls are virtually pouring out of each room during daylight… I can only imagine how much worse it gets come nightfall. In fact, if my life was  a horror movie, my experiences with Health Services might have gone something like this:

It was midnight. I pushed open the door to Brown Health Services surreptitiously. What was I doing at Health Services this late at night, you wonder? I curse you, reader, for breaking the fourth wall – but if you must know, I was there because the blog received an anonymous tip that something interesting would be going down in Health Services at midnight. Moving on…  The door creaked open with a little effort, and slammed shut behind me. I gulped, nervously – the room was pitch dark, but for a single sliver of light glinting off the cracks in the marble floor. I followed the light, but it led only to a computer asking me to sign in with my Brown ID. I rolled my eyes at my paranoia and trekked intrepidly onwards into the darkness.

Or at least, I would have. Before I could take a single step, Despacito began to play from the computer. Horrified beyond all reason, I turned to take a closer look at it. An error message had flashed up on the screen:

Trespassers will pay. No, seriously. Only Brown students allowed here. If you don’t sign in we can fine you.”

The message was followed by an image of skull and crossbones. I screamed and ran even farther inside Health Services- I would have run back out, but the director said we don’t really do common sense in horror movies- right up the rickety wooden staircase that potentially revealed my location to everyone inside the House. Oh, well. There was probably no one else in there. Whistling carelessly to myself, I turned a corner and headed into the laboratory. Before I could get to the light switch, though, I noticed something sticky on the floor. By the light of my phone (which I forgot I even had on my person until two seconds ago) I examined the liquid carefully. I gasped. It was blood! In the laboratory! Where they conduct blood tests and stick needles into people all the time! Oh, no. Someone had definitely been murdered here. I was examining the blood more closely when I unconsciously stepped forward. “Ouch!” I screamed. I’d stepped on a discarded needle. Dammit. Now my foot was covered in blood, too.

By this time, I was already shivering with fright — despite the fact that Providence was throwing one of its passive-aggressive fits and it was actually 100 degrees out on a winter night. I wanted desperately to leave Health Services- but the stubborn protagonist inside me (not literally, mind you!) wouldn’t let me leave. “I must explore more,” I said gravely, stroking a beard I couldn’t grow by virtue of the fact that I was female. But before I could do so, I felt the sole of my foot. It was soaked with blood, and it was bleeding. Heavily. More heavily than a simple needle could have made it… I needed to fix this. Frantically, I reached into my Brown backpack (AVAILABLE NOW! AT THE BROWN BOOKSTORE! FOR 1 MILLION DOLLARS ONLY!) and pulled out my laptop. Like every Brown student before me, I relied on my laptop- it had been my confidante and companion through the most daunting of adventures- whether midterms, or haunted houses. Quickly, I Googled ‘worrisome bleeding’, and clicked on the first link I saw. It was WebMD, and it told me I had menorrhagia. F@ck, I cursed mentally. Health Services was weakening me. It was draining my life-source. I was Superman and Health Services was my kryptonite. I was a homesick freshman and Health Services was my flu season – wait a second, that wasn’t quite right…

I was broken out of my reverie by a creaking noise. I crept out of the laboratory to locate the source of the sound. It was the elevator. It was opening slowly… my heart leapt into my throat. I was sweating like crazy and beginning to feel feverish, and I wished more than anything that it was daytime so I could get that checked out- but alas, to no avail. It was still dark outside. The elevator seemed blissfully unaware of my internal diatribe, and took its own sweet time opening. When it opened, there was nothing there. A chill ran down my spine. F%ck this shit, I’m out, I decided. I ran towards the elevator before it closed and pressed the ‘0’ button. Because, you know. It’s faster than the stairs. And the stairs put a lot of pressure on your knees. And – Dammit, I was just feeling lazy, okay?!? The elevator closed rapidly- more rapidly than it had opened. Already a sinking feeling was taking over my stomach. Maybe I hadn’t thought this through… I closed my eyes and prepared for death via some supernatural entity or menorrhagia- whatever took me first, I wasn’t picky, really.

However, before anything too terrible could happen, the elevator doors pinged open and released me none too graciously onto the ground floor. I ran through the labyrinthine corridors of the first floor and barrelled through the doors of Andrews House (13 Brown Street, FYI, GET YOUR FLU SHOTS NOW!) out into fresh air. Then I stopped for ten seconds to catch my breath because I hadn’t been to Nelson in like, weeks. After that, I called an Uber home so I could get away from Health Services ASAP. Reaching home, I tumbled into bed only to have terror wash over me as I realised something: I had forgotten to turn in my midterm paper…

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