I found it extremely annoying that one of the bathrooms on my dorm was permanently closed. Especially since the cause was an urban legend. An urban legend, I tell you! According to the story, years and years ago some bloke got himself massively drunk at a bar in downtown Helena and had passed out in the bathroom on the fourth floor. Apparently, he hit his head on the sink as he fell, and his blood had spattered the sink as he slid senseless to the floor and silently hemorrhaged to death. His death was considered a “sad accident” by faculty, staff and townspeople. But that was no reason to shut up the bathroom for decades! I completely discounted the story of the bleeding sink. That was just an urban legend the students circulated to explain the locked door.
“I’m sick of sharing a bathroom with you disgusting lot,” I grumbled to my roommate. “I’m going to break into the fourth-floor bathroom.”
My roommate’s eyes widened. “Don’t you know that bathroom is haunted?” he exclaimed. “The bloodstains on the sink are as fresh today as they were when the accident happened back in the 1960s, and sometimes you can hear the boy moaning as his life ebbs away on the bathroom floor!”
“Romantic twaddle,” I snapped. “My granny lives in a haunted castle in Scotland with ghost stories that would make your hair stand on end. She’d laugh at me if she found out I ignored a perfectly good bathroom because of a few bloodstains. Besides, the maintenance staff told me the bathroom was shut up pending renovations. No big deal!”
“You’ll be sorry,” my roommate said darkly. I ignored him. He was just sore because I’d lumped him in with the disgusting lot of fellows who mucked up the bathroom on my floor. You’d think someone would teach them to pick up their dirty clothes and clean the sink once in awhile.
When the dorm quieted down for the night – which wasn’t until late – I hurried up to the fourth floor with a bit of wire I’d purchased at a local hardware store. My little brother and I had become expert lock-pickers over the years, since our mother had a bad habit of locking her keys into the house or the car at least once a week. With all that experience, the lock on the bathroom door gave me no problems.
The bathroom was rather old-fashioned in appearance and had a disused air. There was dust in the corners, and a spider web drooped from the ceiling. But I heard no unearthly groaning, no mysterious footsteps. I carefully inspected the sink, the walls and the floor. Other than a smallish orange discoloration on the sink, there was no blood anywhere. Ha! So much for urban legends. There was probably something in the water that caused discoloration over time. I turned a tap experimentally, sure that the maintenance staff had shut off the water long ago. To my surprise, water gushed forth instantly. I smiled. Well, well. It looked like I had a bathroom to myself after all! I carefully locked the door behind me when I left.