Harlow

United States

A human that does stuff with words among other humans who do other stuff with words

DEEP THOUGHT WINNERS: Zalma and MarSan!!

Message to Readers

Trying my hand at horror for you all. Been working on it for months, but wasn't sure how to share it outside of my podcast. I hope you enjoy and give me any advice I so desperately need.

The Rickety Motel

March 21, 2019

FREE WRITING

1
    My thick red hoodie was drenched by the pouring rain as I trudged my way to the motel that was shown on the dripping map. I prayed that a room was open as men and women raced into it.
    The vile woman at the front desk had thrown me my rusty room key that seemed to be a bit bloody, as though she’d cut herself on it; her hands were unblemished.  She forced me down the hallway, into a stairwell and screamed at me my room number before running back to her desk. She shortly thereafter went out of the back door.
    I must the last guest, I smiled to myself, Lucky me.
    The air was still in the winding corridors of the motel; it was damp and muggy, but at the same time dry and smelled potently of this unidentifiable stench. While I came here to get away from the pressures and expectations of my overachieving parents, something about this rickety Vegas motel put me off.
    Just ignore it, I thought as I rinsed off my face in the dim, small bathroom of the motel room
    My nose wrinkled slightly as the pungent stench intensified with each splash of water on my face. I squinted down at the speckled marble counter looking for my bulky black glasses as the still unidentified stench grew stronger. I pushed my glasses on my newly clean faced as I noticed the color of the water. Disgusted by the murky, slightly yellow water, a bit of the sour apple I ate earlier crept up my throat in a warm sensation that sent my head spinning. I stumbled out of the small, grimy bathroom and onto an unusually crusty bed; with every movement, I made on the white linens, a deafening crunch broke out across the dark room.
    As I dozed off, a baby began to cry a few doors down; I forced a pillow over my ear and began to fall asleep again. Unfortunately, the baby kept crying louder and louder, as though it was in the room with me. I grumbled as I rolled out of bed and went out to the balcony to see if the noise would quiet down.
    Your just tired, Willow, I told myself as I tried to calm down.
      I wish my thoughts had become a reality that night because the following events were the worst moments of my short-lived life. As I laid still on the cold, weathered concrete of the balcony, I couldn’t help but notice the deafening silence of the warm breeze that flowed in and out of the motel room. The 10 minutes of silence I had were joyous until that awful baby began to wail yet again; I laid back down, trying to sleep, but I soon noticed a strange object a few feet above the balcony.
    I sprung up from beneath the thin grey blanket I slept under as a purple, deformed baby floated overhead. It seemed like someone had thrown him out of a window and he was suspended in the air, wailing out of pure fear.
    A woman in the room above was reaching down to the baby, trying to soothe it as though it were her own; it purple, deformed eyes opened and stared at the woman, almost like it was daring her, beckoning her to hold it. At this moment, I wished there was something I could have done as the woman hurtled off of the balcony while the baby turned into thin air. She landed in the dirty pavement below with an echo in the still night air.
    Gasping for air, I ran back inside, slamming the balcony’s screen door behind me. I forced myself under the crusty blankets in the dim motel room as I hyperventilated, still reliving the tragic events I just witnessed.
    Finally, I managed to cry myself to sleep, but my final thoughts that night were of that woman and the mourning her family has to do.
    The next morning, I begrudgingly woke up and expected the police to be searching my room or interviewing me or something regarding that woman’s death; I waited and waited, hoping that anyone would say something about the woman who I watched plummet into the busy street below.
    Hadn’t anyone seen her fall into the street, I thought as I rinsed my face yet again in the disgusting water.
    Strangely, it seemed to be murkier than last night.
    I shuffled out to the balcony expecting to see the woman’s limp, twisted, bloody corpse on the pavement below, but all that was in her place was a bloody trail leading to the side of the hotel. Warm bile crawled up my throat that strangely sent a wave of cold across my nerves as I spewed over the balcony.
    Paralyzed from fear, shock, fatigue, I stared at the bloody pavement while the image of that woman’s death played on a seemingly infinite loop in my mind.
    CLANG! Her body flew over the railing, the thin baby blue nightgown she wore acting like a failed parachute as she tried to scream.
    CRACK! Her legs and arms were put in disarray as her eyes glossed over in her final moments.
    Drip, drip, drip water dripped from the edge of the railing into the pool of blood that lied below.
    I went down the creaky wooden stairs inside the soggy, drooping motel that seemed to sway and shake and shuffle in the lightest of winds.
    Maybe breakfast would help, I thought as I gingerly lifted my foot over each step.
    The woman who’d rudely thrown me the room key was still there; her neat black bun greatly contrasted with her fair skin, giving her a stern look, but her eyes seemed so soft and loving. It startled me that she was in the same clothes, her hair the same way and her makeup smudged just the same.
    That’s just uniform, I thought positively, watching as her eyes followed me across the carpet.
    I snickered a bit as I stared at the black lines that partially traced the bold red hexagons on the plain orange floor.
    This is a sign I watch a lot of Stephen King crap, I grinned inwardly.
    I opened the heavy glass door to the hotel and crossed the street to the diner that had 1960’s feel. It was homey, reminding me of some of the dishes my mom makes, and my mouth watered as my eyes hungrily darted across the glossy menu.
    I ordered a large plate of crisp hashed browns with scrambled eggs, which I inhaled as soon as I was served. Once I downed my plate, I left forty dollars on the table and rushed out, consumed by drowsiness the instant I left. 
    “God, I feel so much better,” I laughed to myself, still tasting hashed browns on my breath.
    I walked down the discolored sidewalk, tripping over cracks and strange imprints from when the cement was poured. My delightful stroll took my mind off of the woman until the crackle of a news broadcast broke my euphoria.
    “A local inn nicknamed The Rickety Motel,” said the anchor, “has been shut down for water contamination.”
Immediately, my eyes widened as I drop to my knees. I gathered myself and ran as fast as I could to the motel. My light brown backpack was thrown on the dead grass in front of the building as my eyes frantically searched, which was strange because I didn’t know what I was looking for.
    I sat on the grass that crunched and snapped as I rocked back and forth, my bag between my legs. I watched in horror as the police dragged the dead woman from last night; Her baby blue nightgown was now a nauseating green color and her limbs were still in disarray, her mouth agape, her eyes bloodshot. I hurled as water dripped from the stretcher she laid on. I’d watched her die and had said nothing, but washed my face and bathed in the water her corpse sat it in for a day.
I spewed what food I’d had and let burning tears stream down my face as I tried to scream out my agonizing pain. Black crept across the corners of my vision until the world spun and then stopped.
           
 
 

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