Ghost Psychiatrist · 16 April 2010
Cedarcrest High School has been around for over one-hundred years. It is suspected that there is a ghost in the school. Oddthings happen. Projector screens go up unexpectedly, doors slam shut without any semblance of wind, and computers turn off without other power outages (all usually explained by the sad state of equipment in the building). Other things happen as well but the most documented of all “ghostly” occurrences happens in the darkroom.
The darkroom has a sink (as all darkrooms do) above which is placed a liquid soap dispenser is glued to the wall. This dispenser has fallen at least weekly throughout many years. It has been reglued and even moved to different locations many times. Regardless of where the dispenser is placed after it falls, the hot water is turned on full blast. The first teacher to notice the phenomenon assumed that the dispenser falling from above the sink was the sole cause of the water turning on full blast. After he first noticed and supposedly fixed the problem by moving the dispenser, the hot water problem was fixed also. Until recently.
During graphic arts class one day, the soap dispenser falls into the sink and turns on the hot water. (This time, the dispenser was placed far to the right of the sink.) As the water pours into the sink, a wailing noise is heard as well. The teacher, a young man in his first year of teaching, sends a student into the darkroom to investigate. He had been lecturing so he knew the darkroom was empty. Or was supposed to be.
(Directly to Sammy)
SAMMY, please go turn off the water in the darkroom. Again.
SAMMY gets up to go to the darkroom. In these first months of class, the soap dispenser falling and the water turning on has been a fairly regular occurrence. Sammy has been the one in this class to turn off the water and move the soap dispenser to the counter.
(Lamenting loud enough for the whole class to hear)
This must be the third time this week. Why can’t we just get rid of that dumb soap dispenser?
(Muttering mostly to himself)
That would probably be a good idea if we didn’t need it.
(to the whole class)
So where were we? Oh yes…
A shout of shock and dismay can be heard from the darkroom. Led by Mr. K, the class follows to find out what is the matter.
Sammy. What is it?
Sammy points above the sink at what looks to be the steam from hot water. The hot water is still running but it has not gotten hot enough for steam to be rising. Everybody is mesmerized by the scene but Mr. K. He seems to think it is just steam and that Sammy is pointing to the sink for him to turn off the water which is what Mr. K goes to do. He turns again to Sammy to figure out what is wrong.
So what seems to be the problem. I figured that you would be able to turn off the water by yourself.
Sammy is ashen and continues to point.
Mr. K looks again above the sink. He sees the steam and realizes that it is not steam at all. It is the face of a young man – a high school boy. It is a ghost.
(to the class)
Okay everybody. Move back to the classroom. Nothing to worry about here.
Come on Sammy. Let’s get back to class.
Mr. K herds the class back into the classroom and back to their seats.
(muttering to himself but audible to the whole class)
I guess I better make the call. Good thing he is on speed dial.
The class gasps as Mr. K pulls out his phone. He hits a speed dial button, waits for an answer, and starts to speak.
(into the phone pausing at appropriate times for the other party on the phone)
Yes. I would like to talk to DR. SPOOK. Yes, I can hold. Hello Dr. Spook. I have a ghost that I need to get rid of. Yes, you are right. We have had a few at my house. My grandfather loved his old castle but you did a great job at home. No. This one is at the school where I work. Yes. It is the school I showed you last time you were at our house. Fine. Tomorrow at 3 o’clock would be fine. No there should not be any students around at that time. Thank you. Good-bye.
Who was that?
(pointing to his phone and asking a question with his eyes and eyebrows)
That was Dr. Spook. He will take care of our ghost. He owes me a favor because I let him shoot a commercial in the family castle. So the school will not need to pay a cent. By the way. No open lab tomorrow after school.
The whole class moans but there are looks on their faces that say, “How are you going to stop us from being here?” He recognizes the look but does not acknowledge it. He knows somebody will be here to film what is happening. Even if it is unauthorized. He is about to get underway again when the bell rings.
Okay. I guess that’s it. I will see you tomorrow. Remember. No open lab tomorrow.
Mr. K grins as they all leave for the day. He knows some budding cinematographer will be there with camera in hand.
It is about 2:30 and all of Mr. K’s sixth period is still working on their cinematography projects. He has been trying half-heartedly to get them out of the room for quite some time. The only person who is not in the class is Sammy who it is assumed left when class was dismissed.
Okay folks. It is really time to go. You cannot be here when Dr. Spook gets here.
Yeah. Is he some sort of exorcist or something.
I bet that he’s some sort of ghost buster.
The rest of the class joins in various whys and how comes. Everybody talks at once. Mr. K motions for them to be quiet and starts to explain.
Okay. Okay. Quiet down and I will tell you a little about Dr. Spook.
The students quiet down and are attentive.
First of all, an exorcist gets rid of a spirit that is invading a body so, no, Dr. Spook is not an exorcist.
A few of the students look relieved and a few disappointed.
(continuing without much pause)
Second of all, Ghost Busters is just an old, old comedy picture from the 1980s, well over 100 years old mind you. It is a piece of fiction that totally portrays the spirit world in a spoofy way.
A few of the students look quizzically at one another and a few others grin with delight as if they had actually seen the relic.
In this day and age, an age of spiritual enlightenment and correctness, even if I did know somebody who could get rid of ghosts that way, we could not do it. Spirits are to be treated with the utmost respect in this day and age and so I called in one of the foremost experts in the field. Dr. Spook is a Ghost Psychiatrist.
Many of the students laugh out loud. Some look quite serious. All quiet down again as Mr. K motions for quiet.
(barely suppressing a giggle)
You mean he is going to talk the ghost out of haunting our school?
Yes. I suppose that it does sound funny but that is what he is going to do.
Does he have a couch?
Everybody laughs at that and then the door opens. In walks a very serious-looking man with small wire frame glasses and a finely trimmed beard and mustache. He is carrying what most people would identify as a doctor’s black bag. He could be Dr. Sigmund Freud himself had he been in the right century.
No. I have no couch.
(pausing for effect)
I just have my wits and a lot of successes. I have talked hundreds of spirits into crossing out of our plane of existence into their own. Three from Mr. K’s home alone.
Mr. K looks quite embarrassed as he greets DR. SPOOK with a friendly handshake and an apologetic look.
(to the students)
I have studied human psychology extensively.
(looking over his spectacles directly at Ashley)
I assure you that I am not a quack.
(to Mr. K)
Which way to the ghost?
Mr. K shows Dr. Spook the way to the darkroom. The students all follow the two. Dr. Spook turns and looks at the students and Mr. K before he enters.
(very seriously and very dramatically)
Nobody is to enter this room no matter what. When I come out, the ghost will be gone.
The darkroom door closes. None of the students leave. They just go back to their seats and wait.
As the darkroom door closes, Dr. Spook’s eyes adjust to the semidarkness. He looks around the room and is a bit surprised to see Sammy standing very still in the corner. A video camera sits on a tripod.
(kindly to Sammy)
Come out here urchin. Do not be afraid.
Sammy comes out hesitantly, making sure that the camera is still pointed at the sink. The record light of the camera turns from pause (blinking) to on (solid).
You must be the one who found our ghost.
Sammy nods affirmatively.
It may take some time. Are you sure that you want to stay?
Yes. Of course.
You want to film it all?
Sammy nods again without speaking.
Very well. But understand that we may be here for some time. Ghosts do not just come at our beck and call. At least not usually. Then again, I have sometimes waited only a few moments before…
The soap dispenser flies from the wall into the hot water valve. Water starts to pour into the sink. What looks like steam immediately rises from the sink and begins to form the same figure that was seen before. This time, the figure is more clear. It is a teenage boy. He is a clean cut with a sharp hair cut. He is wearing slacks and a collared shirt. If he was not see through, he would probably be mistaken for somebody currently in Mr. K’s class. Sammy creeps behind the camera and adjusts the camera angle. Dr. Spook adjusts his glasses and looks directly at the ghost.
Well young man. You have made quite a stir in this classroom for quite some time. Obviously, you are not quite ready to leave this world.
Dr. Spook waits for a response from the ghost who just looks at him. The ghost adjusts his gaze back and forth between Dr. Spook and Sammy.
Tell me, Tony.
The ghost and Sammy look directly at Dr. Spook. Sammy’s mouth drops open.
Why do you haunt this hallowed institution of learning?
How do you know my name? Who are you?
I know you because I looked up all the students who might have reason to haunt a place such as this wonderful institution. You were the only one who fit the description given to me by Mr. K. As for me, my name is unimportant.
(waits for a reply then continues questioning)
Please tell me why you haunt this place.
I died here. In the room out there.
The ghost points out the door. All three look that way then back to each other.
Yes. I realize that but do you blame Mr. K or perhaps the students out there? Or maybe one of their ancestors?
I blame them all.
I would have had straight As. I was going to be valedictorian. But they all said that I needed to take Kennedy’s class. They all said that I might be book smart but to really get a feel for the real world I needed to take one of his tough classes. It was fun. I would have probably gotten an A but I died before I had the chance to raise my B. I died right out there with the only blemish on my otherwise perfect record.
So you blame Mr. K and his students because they are like your own Mr. Kennedy and the students who were your peers? Is that it?
Mr. K is Mr. Kennedy’s grandson. Sammy over there and three other students in the class are grandkids of students in my class. They are all to blame. They are all to blame.
They did not kill you. They just happened to be there when you died.
Ha! You just don’t get it. Kennedy killed me.
Your teacher killed you?
He bored me to death!
(more subdued and sad)
I was sleeping in class because I was so bored. We were watching other people’s terrible productions. I was waiting my turn when I fell asleep with my head down over my arms. And when I woke up, my body did not move. I watched in horror as classmates laughed and put stuff in my hair. Sammy’s great uncle put confetti in the hood of my sweatshirt. When it was my turn, Kennedy tried to wake me up. But I could not. I tried as hard as I could to get back to my body but it was no use. I was dead. When the paramedics got there it was hopeless. Even though Kennedy did CPR, I was a lifeless corpse. And it was all his fault. All his fault.
I am sorry.
All is quiet for what seems like hours. Ghost Tony is sobbing. Sammy is looking sad and full of the remorse of generations.
The ghost looks up.
I read the coroner’s report.
Ghost Tony looks on expectantly.
It said that you died of a genetic heart condition. You had a weak heart to begin with. Nobody knew that was why you were a bit weak your senior year. You were fit and healthy but just lacked energy.
Tony nods in agreement as if reliving the experience.
The condition made heart failure eminent without getting detected. It was just a matter of time before you died or it was detected. It was nobody’s fault. You just happened to die in a class that you apparently were good at and liked. Mr. Kennedy’s report about the incident clearly states that. He said that if you did not pursue medicine, you would have made a great cinematographer or director. He was just waiting for that piece that would have put you over the A mark. He was sure it was in the next piece.
Tony looks to be waiting for more of the story as Dr. Spook
At your teacher’s request, your parents viewed the last movie you made. Your peers had already seen it since your teammates needed a grade. It was shown at your memorial. And later at your graduation. It was your graduation speech. As the valedictorian.
Tony looks on incredulously.
Really? I did not attend either of those events. I just hung around here waiting for the right moment. I wanted to exact my revenge.
A revenge where none was needed.
I guess not.
So you see, you need not have hung around so long. You could have been enjoying your after life long ago. Your parents would have told you everything when they joined you.
I guess so.
So are you ready to go now?
Yes. I guess that I am.
Then peace be with you my young friend. Peace be with you.
The ghost looks happy. Sammy looks happy. The steam starts to dissipate and then the ghost is gone.
Dr. Spook and Sammy come out of the darkroom. All of the students are still there. They look up expectantly.
Yes. Tony has left the building.
Was all of that stuff true?
(looking over his glasses directly into Sammy’s eyes)
If it wasn’t Tony would be back in a heartbeat to haunt me. And I couldn’t have that now, could I?
Mr. K and Sammy shake Dr. Spook’s hand. Mr. K, Sammy, and the rest of the class watch as Dr. Spook leaves the building whistling the tune to The X-Files (or some other spooky show).
© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi
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