Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD
"I want you to check these tapes out"
Roy barely had time to remove his hands from the desk before a huge box came crashing down on it. The old thin desk seemed to groan from the weight of the box and Roy found himself thinking what the hell could all these tapes contain.
"These are CCTV footage's for the past couple of months facing Apartment 23. Did you know that no one stays in that unit for more than a week? The tenants have all been spooked out and would rather not get their 2 months deposit from the owner rather than stay another night there. One of them said that there was an incessant knocking for every night that they stayed there."
"Sounds like a Ghost story to me boss" Roy said while fingering all the tapes that he would go through.
"Or it could be some sort of extortion scam. Our client has asked us to look into this and as a gesture of good faith the complex owner has given us all these tapes to go through , he even included a list of the last tenants who stayed there that coincides with the tapes.If its any consolation to you this footage all comes from a lone camera that faces the door of Apartment 23. Lucky right? Well it seems you have a long night ahead of you so get to it."
"A long night sounds about right" Roy said after his boss has shut the door.
Roy had to sort out the beginning of the tapes and was instantly bored by the daily comings and goings of the first residents. The lone camera on the floor had been placed at the far end of the hall. At the other end of the hall were 2 doors. One going to the left and another which had the gold embossed number 23 nailed to it. The first tenants he could identify was a middle aged couple who by the looks of it had no children. Nothing odd about the first couple of tapes until he reached a part where all it showed was the door left ajar. It was like that for a couple of hours until some people who looked liked the care takers of the apartment complex came and moved the belongings of the middle aged couple. Odd but nothing that could show why they left.
The next couple was a bit more lively. Roy checked his notes and found that they were newly weds and both could not keep their hands off each other. The pretty female was even more aggressive , touching her husbands crotch despite the latter pointing to what Roy assumed to be the highly visible camera at the other end of the hall. The female merely replied by undressing and encouraging the man to caress her breasts. A free show!Roy thought but before anything else could happen the man opened the door and carried his very well endowed wife in. The door closed silently. Roy was disappointed because out of all the hours of footage this was the only stimulating part that have come his way. He decided to keep the tape running while he made himself a cup of coffee. This was taking longer than he thought. He first suspected that the door on the left would be trying to knock on the door to scare the tenants or someone would try and sneak near the door , knock and then run away. No one seemed to linger in this particular corridor though. At least nothing that he could see on the camera.
The tape had come to an end. The door was again left open and after a few hours the caretakers had come to take out the contents of the apartment. Roy would see the same pattern repeating for the next 3 tenants of the place. A single man , a pair of lesbian lovers and another pair of newly weds. Daily activities , coming and going and then just the open door. No one was seen running. No one was seen going near the door. Did the owner already get his hands on these tapes and edited them somehow? He was sure that these were all unaltered. His eye could easily see any loops or alterations. He decided to look at the footage of the second couple. He might get lucky and see some more of that woman.
Roy did see something.
At first he thought that the camera blurred a little bit as what seemed liked white smoke rose in front of the Apartments door. In what seemed like a small amount of time the smoke shaped into that of a woman with long black hair and gossamer white clothing.
A white lady? Classic.
The lady lifted her left hand slowly and gave the door the 3 sharp knocks. Roy could only imagine it as the hands fell in quick succession. The door was framed in light as the tenants turned it on from the inside. Only did Roy realize that he was looking at the camera in total darkness. The lights were on in the apartment but no one came out. They were probably asking who was outside. Roy deftly rewind the footage and checked the time on the first knock It was 3:33am. This time he let the scene unfold. When the lights turned on and it seemed that no one answered the question from the inside the lights turned off again in Unit 23. The lady was still there.
She lifted her left hand again and began her 3 successive raps. Like someone striking a bell Roy thought to himself. The lights went on again but no one came out. It turned off.
3 more knocks. And then the door opened showing a guy with his sando and boxers. He was looking straight at the lady who stood motionless. Not a single strand of her black hair was disturbed as the man was gesturing with his hands and shouting at the corridor. No one opened their doors. The Door on the left remained shut despite the mans shouting. Probably used to it by now. The man stepped back a bit and to talk to his wife. The lady then seemed to glide and inside. The door closed.
Roy took all of this in. A couple more minutes and the disheveled couple were running out. The woman clutching a blanket to cover herself.The man pale and hurrying her forward. Their bare feet must have been causing quite a ruckus as they ran. The other doors remained shut.
Roy focused on the door and zoomed in a bit. He saw it. The lady. Her face contorted in her death. Her involuntary smile frozen forever. Her eye , her red bright eyes turning toward him.
Roy closed the monitor and stepped away.
There were 3 raps on his door. Roy looked at the clock on his left. It was 3:33am.