by Julian Mortimer Smith
The banshee is wailing. There's going to be a death tonight.
We never know for sure who it's going to be, but my money's on Mrs. Johnson. Over the last few days something's felt different about her. She's already elsewhere, no longer present in her crumbling body.
Some of the other staff complain about the banshee, blaming her for headaches and nightmares, but I appreciate her service. A death takes a lot out of you, no matter how many you've seen before, and her warning gives me time to get ready, to prepare the paperwork and armor my heart.
I spend the night turning Mrs. Johnson every few hours, swabbing her dry mouth, rubbing Vaseline onto her desiccated skin. I can hear the fluid in her lungs when she breathes. It can't be long now.