My car broke down in the middle of nowhere and I had to wait until the next day to get it towed, so I walked back to a motel I saw a few kilometres back. It looked deserted and run down. The sign was barely hanging onto the front of the building. “VCANCY” was flashing in bright neon red giving me some relief that I could get out of the rain.
I got a room for only $49.99 which the desk lady said was a steal of a deal, she even threw in a continental breakfast of a bruised banana. How sweet. I climbed the stairs to my room trying to ignore the shredded and stained carpet on the way up.
My room was just as horrifying as I anticipated. It was stained in every imaginable nook and cranny. “How is it even legal to let people stay here?” I thought. The bed alone had at least 25 different splotches of greens, blues, yellows, and oh my god, reds, a colourful image of the events that had taken place before I arrived. The carpet is ripped of course, and it wouldn’t have been complete without a giant brown stain right in the centre of the room. The lampshade next to the bed was broken, and made the shadow the light casted look like jagged teeth from a monster looming over the room, ready to snatch me up. Looking out the window I saw the dried up pool that once was, and the dimly lit parking lot, a movie-esque location for crime.
I tried to focus my attention away from the panic attack I was about to have so I walked over to the mirror in the bathroom to poke and prod at myself, trying to wipe away what eyeliner was left streaked down my face from the rain. My hair was a mess, but I kind of liked the whole rugged look. My lipstick was running too. It looked like someone punched me in the mouth, but it was probably for the best. I hoped it would help my image in that sketchy place.
I tried making myself comfortable in the lumpy bed, changing positions many times but it was too hard to sleep. Thoughts about who was lurking around in the other rooms and what kind of crazy things happened here kept spinning in my mind like a hamster on a wheel.
I looked up into the corner of the ceiling and noticed a string of webs loosely hanging down. Even the spider doesn’t want to stay here. I began to get restless and decided to turn on the TV to see if there was something on. Nothing; just the black and white infestation of little dots.
I turned, laid on my side and closed my eyes, hoping to trick my body into being asleep when I heard heavy footsteps outside my door. My eyes shot wide open and I held my breath. I knew I wasn’t the only one in the motel but I was so afraid of the kind of people who were staying here it just made me paranoid.
I saw a black shadow covering the light at my door so I knew someone was standing there. They moved away after a few minutes but it really creeped me out. I laid on my back for a while, too disturbed to sleep.
It was 3:00am and I still couldn’t sleep. I had heard voices down the hall a while ago from what sounded like a couple. They were arguing over who got to sleep on which side of the bed. Later I heard a constant thump of the headboard from the same room indicating that they seemed to forgive each other.
I was starting to nod off when a cold draft of air woke me up. I sat up while looking to see if the window was open. It was not. I wrapped the blanket tighter around me and brought my knees to my chest. Something didn’t feel right. I started to smell something awful. Something rotten. It was strange because I hadn’t noticed it the entire time I was in here.
I got up, turned on the light and started looking around the room for any clues. I started rummaging through the drawers of the nightstand. I found a bible, a pen, and a secret compartment? Of course this place wouldn’t be complete without one. I tried opening it but it was stuck so I tried using the pen to jam into to the crevice of the opening. After digging at it for a while, it finally released and popped open, not enough to see what was inside. I slowly motioned my hand over it and lowered it down, I pulled it up and my eyes widened. I was confused at first, but then the smell hit me. Death. A cocktail of blood, bones, and fur just lying there. Bugs were crawling all around it, swerving in and out of the ribcage as if they knew that body their entire life. The little eyes of the soul that once was there stared up at me as if to say “you don’t want to be next.” Horrified, I slammed the drawer shut and backed away. That’s when a knock came from the door and I knew I should have just slept in my car.
Kayleigh Ironside is a full-time student studying English at Grande Prairie Regional College. Writing is a relatively new subject to her. She doesn’t have a lot of experience but she hopes to continue working on this craft in the future. Haunted Mind is Kayleigh’s first published written work.