House of Mourning: Mourning

Go to sleep you little baby…

More singing. Still a child’s voice, but not Ruby’s. Another girl’s voice that was a shade deeper.

Mourning slowly moved further down the hallway in the direction of the singing.

When you wake, you’ll have cake,” the new voice sang.

Ruby had a friend with her?

When Mourning had almost reached the end of the hall, she stopped to listen.

And all the pretty little horses…

Mourning heard the song before, probably from a movie. 

She didn’t want to get lost, but the “shhh” that broke the silence as she moved forward was louder. She was getting closer.

Carpeted steps came down to her left and another hallway curved off to the right. An old wooden platform divided them. When she used her light, she found a room beyond if she went straight. But it was quiet. She didn’t know her way around.

Watch me get my dumb ass lost in here.  

“Shhh… sleep.”

It wasn’t Ruby’s voice, but it came from straight ahead. There was no light. What were they doing in the dark?

The platform creaked under her weight as she crossed it, coming down into what must have been a nurses’ station. The corner had cabinets, one with a door hanging from an old hinge over a dirty sink. The counters on either side were dusty but the paint buckets sitting on them appeared recent.

On her right was another prop room. Fake flowers in old stands like they’d been taken from a graveyard littered the floor next to a stack of old furniture. She was in the basement with only one small window at the very top of the wall on one side of the room. A concrete shelf was built into the opposite wall.


The sharp cry in a child’s voice had her heading back to the nurses’ station, going straight through to the room on the other side.

“Ruby?” Mourning asked.

The room she was in was for the most part empty. A plastic table with its legs tucked under it was propped against a wall next to a stack of plastic chairs. A few boxes of props off to the side told her a set was planned for the area.

Flashing her light around showed her three rooms with metal doors. Each had a small, diamond-shaped window on eye level. Two of the doors were pulled closed but the third was open. She headed in that direction, listening for any sound.

Now it was quiet. Too quiet.

When she reached the room, Mourning’s heart lurched. Ruby sprawled face down on the dirty stone floor, her crutch just out of her reach.


Oh, God.