The Creature in the Hotel

Nosferatu shadow

I want to get out; in fact I’d go as far as saying I need to get out. The only problem is the door’s blocked- barricaded by planks of wood; attached to the frames by twisted, rusty old nails. I could attempt to rip the planks off the door frame, but knowing me, I’d fail as I haven’t got the strength nor the dexterity to rip anything nailed down, no matter how rusty the said nails are, and I’d have to be quiet as I don’t know if there’s anyone else here- like my captor for example, or some murderous villain.

You see, I’m trapped in a sort of hotel- a very ancient, dilapidated, messed up hotel. There’s a timeworn, creaky cage lift with broken buttons that spark and zap at you as if it had a life of its own. The lift, therefore, only goes up to the second floor meaning the occupant has to get out and climb the crooked, woodlouse bitten wooden stairs to the third and fourth floors. This hotel has a mind of its own, I swear. I can hear hissing and creaking, moaning and whistling and drawn-out breathing as if someone were dying in their bed.

The ominous and eerie atmosphere is quite chilling and sends shivers down my spine. This place is filled with random and nonsensical objects, strewn around the main antechamber, balanced precariously in one corner, dangling off the shattered chandelier also hanging precariously by one chain instead of two, shoved into a bulging, broken cupboard without a care in the world. There are cracked chairs stacked on top of tables, some with only two or three legs, hence the precarious positioning in the left corner, behind the dusty, and cobwebbed covered reception desk. I can taste the dust- thick and dirty making it hard to breathe. It smells rusty and rotten- the rotted wood of the stairs, chairs and tables and the rusted nails and banister.

Being here reminds me of being on the set of a film or TV programme – namely Doctor Who; it is very similar to that episode about the Angels… in Manhattan, you know the one. I know this seems a rather peculiar and far-fetched portrayal of the vast expanse of space in which I am currently holed up; but that is the closest thing I’ve got to describing to you where exactly I am; so apologies for the poor reference to Doctor Who and the ever poorer attempt at defining the point of my standing.

I think now is the time to try and find a way out upstairs, perhaps the roof, and a fire escape may be of value? So here we go, walking up the crooked, holed stairs, and… oh great! The stairs are blocked by none other than; oh you’ll love this, wait for it… a piano! Of all things, a piano is blocking the stairs. Never would I have imagined that the person responsible for my imprisonment in this mental block of a building, thought the best way to block someone is to put a massive (and newish looking) grand piano on the stairs, what a plonker!

Next option will be a basement with one of those roof/ground doors built in, but I shall be avoiding any such existence, as I hate basements- too many scary and crazy things happen in basements; like rape and murders and being locked in with a poltergeist or demons or other paranormal beings. I am definitely a paranoid person; I don’t even like horror films, but that seems to be the stereotypical all-American teen film- bunch of teens go for a drive to someone’s house (usually haunted) and their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, blah, blah, blah… they end up in the house and slowly everyone starts dying or killing each other and someone ends up in the basement and- hang on, I’ve gone off on a tangent; back to the matter at hand. Basements- don’t like them, never have, never will and never will get one.

What the hell is that?! I can hear hungry, hoarse and gargling breath and claws scraping against the wall- well, I’m assuming it’s a wall; it sounds more like that teeth-jarring sound of nails being dragged slowly down a chalkboard. And that stench! I don’t know if it’s the creature’s, or monster’s (or whatever the hell it is) breath or a someone bleeding to death, but it makes me want to vomit. I’m retching now just thinking about it. Smells like- eugh, you don’t want to know (makes me shudder and feel physically sick). I shall tell you, but be warned it is awful- dead bodies, rotting flesh and blood. Here comes another film reference (in light of the fact that there is something gruesome and unknown heading towards me, I still find time to quote films, this one’s from the second Pirates of the Caribbean film- sad I know. “the reeking odor of a thousand rotting corpses”… I told you, I’m weird. I did, didn’t I? Well I am, and again, no other way to describe the smell that is overwhelming my senses and filling my nostrils. It’s making my head spin and making me want to vomit. Honestly I need to get out of here, and fast.

There’s nothing to it, I shall have to rip those planks off the door, and in doing so probably my muscles too. Either way, I don’t want to be here to find out what that thing- that beast is. I want to be gone by the time it makes its appearance. Saying that, I can’t hear it any longer; what if it’s here already? No, don’t think about that; it can’t get passed the piano, that’s all it is. Stupid bugger! Hahaha, I’m laughing in the face of the probability of death. I think being here for a full hour has made me go insane. It is a possibility, seeing as there is a sort of infectious air- an air that oozes insanity, confusion, torture and death.

I don’t believe in ghosts, but I can feel the tortured souls in the atmosphere. Maybe I should start believing in them, seeing as I can feel the raw emotion, the tender souls, the heartbreak of misfortune and the loss of loved ones. Saying that, I now don’t think I’m in a hotel. I think this is just a front- a façade- for a mental asylum. What am I doing here? I’m not clinically insane… Maybe a little odd, but not enough to but put in a straitjacket, fed drugs and get called ‘Doris’ by the schizophrenic patient next door. Perhaps I am a little crazier than I thought. I could potentially die in the next minute or so (or however long it takes, rot-breath to get past the Yamaha), and here I am spouting film references and quoting fictional characters. What next? Shall I start singing? How about ‘Sweet Escape’ or “Locked up they won’t let me go…” or maybe that Jailbird Breakout song by Elvis?

I think rot-breath has finally worked out that there’s a piano- or at least an inanimate object in his/her/its path. Pretty sure it’s smashing it to pieces. Why am I now rooted to the spot? Come on legs, not time to turn to jelly, or cement. Now they want to work, except they’re working in slow motion now. I can’t win can I? (Don’t answer that, I know I can’t) Massive, looming, warped, crazed, hungry shadow on the wall… better start running. I hope it’s not one of those cartoon moments where you can hear a massive lion roaring and it turns out to be a cute tabby kitten. Door in sight, legs moving faster now and arms outstretched, grabbing hold of the planks.

Tugging, twisting, ripping, yanking… They won’t budge… Lumbering footsteps drawing nearer… heart racing, breathing rate quickening… palms sweating… cannot grip… I can feel this stinky, thick and hot breath on the nape of my neck… it can’t be that close already!! Oh God, I’m going to die! No, I won’t die! Come on, you stupid planks, yes! There we go, one off, now the others. Come on, come on, come on… Blackness and deathly silence. Oh my God, have I died? Am I dead, or have I just passed out? I’m dead aren’t I? It’ll be one of those moments where I see myself laying there, me floating away as a transparent soul, not being able to do anything. Well I can’t if I’m dead… wait what? Light, amazingly bright, blinding light- what’s going on? Is this daylight? Or is this Heaven? Hold that thought, I’ve got out? Yes I’ve escaped… Wooooo!!!!

I can hear my dad’s voice shouting up the stairs telling me he’s going out for a walk and do I want to join him. Yes, for once I do, I’ve escaped that nightmarish place of the dream world, and I don’t ever want to return. That’s too messed up for my liking. No late night films, my dad always said, and he was right. I didn’t even think that it was scary. In fact it wasn’t, it was a normal programme. What was I watching, to get such a overpoweringly vivid dream? I can’t even remember now, all I remember is that wretched creature. Never again am I going back there. I shout down to my dad to wait and get ready. Soon, I am joining him for a stroll in the bright sunshine (that explains the brilliant white light I saw.) I hope for my sake I can leave behind the aftermath of late night TV watching. I’ll say it again- never again.

NB: This is a piece of fiction as part of my Creative Writing course. Enjoy!

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