It was late, very late, and Jay was still driving. His eyes constantly threatened to close, causing him to fall asleep but that couldn’t happen. If it did, Jay would swerve and most likely crash into someone; although there were no other cars to crash into. It seemed to Jay that he was the only living soul on the road.
The later it got the more Jay thought that maybe he should find a place to try and get a good night’s sleep. But this was going to be very difficult. The problem was that there probably wasn’t a town for at least twenty or so miles ahead and Jay doubted that there would be a motel or hotel any closer. Jay had started to think that maybe he should just pull over onto the side of the road, get the blanket he had from the trunk, and sleep in his car.
While Jay was thinking, two head lights appeared in the distance. As they came closer he started to feel even more tired; his eyes were blinking more often and staying closed for longer periods of time. With every blink the head lights became closer and closer until they were almost next to Jay’s car. When Jay blinked one last time, his eyes staying closed for the longest amount of time yet, and then opened his eyes, the car ahead had vanished. In its place was a sign, not too far away, that was ominously flickering on and off.
It was a hotel sign. It read, “Hotel H.” There was another word but the bulbs that spelt it out had burst. The vacancy sign was flashing as well which eased Jay’s mind. Now he finally had a place to stay for the night.
As Jay came to the sign he began to turn into the parking lot. Behind the parked cars was a tall building covered with windows, some lit, some dark. It was surprisingly hard to find a place to park as most of the places taken by another car.
Jay finally found a spot and parked. He stepped out on to the lot and went around to the back of his car to get his bag. Before shutting the trunk he looked down at the box that was mostly hidden by the blanket. He glared at it for a while and then put the blanket over the rest of it, hiding it completely. After shutting the trunk Jay headed into the hotel and went up to the front desk. The man standing at it was a young college aged guy wearing a nice suit with a name tag with the name scratched out.
“Hello sir, and how are you this fine evening?” the clerk smiled.
“Good, pretty tired, can I have a room?” Jay asked curtly, not feeling in the mood for small talk.
“Great! And yes you may you’ll just need to sign here and provide payment for the room,” Jay signed, “Good, and I’ll just get you your key.”
When the clerk turned to get the key Jay glanced around the lobby. It was a grungy place. But it was decent enough. Beggars can’t be choosers so; Jay chose to ignore it all. The clerk turned back around and gave Jay his key.
“You will be in room 202 on the second floor. Enjoy your stay.” The clerk seemed overly cheerful but it was just one more thing for Jay to try and ignore.
Jay turned to go and saw that across from him was a mirror. In it Jay saw he and the entire room was reflected, but something was very wrong. The clerk didn’t look like himself anymore. In his place was a twisted humanoid with sharp teeth and maggots where its eyes should be. To make things even weirder, the monster waved and made a mock smile at Jay, making all its teeth show. Jay whipped around to look but the clerk looked normal and human again. Jay looked back in the mirror and, this time, he looked human there too.
“It’s just a hallucination Jay.” He said to himself, “Nothing to worry about.”
Jay made his way to the elevator and pressed the button with the number two on it. The ride was short and took him straight up without any stops. There was one weird thing though. Instead of ordinary elevator music the chords to “Highway to Hell” were being played.
Once In the hall, Jay tried to figure out which direction his room was in. When he figured it out he went down the hall in that direction, even though he could swear it was getting longer. It took strangely long to walk to find the room but eventually Jay found his room and unlocked the door. The room wasn’t much better than the lobby, cheap carpets, old furnishing, and a bed with a loose spring. Jay thought that it was a good thing he would only be here for one night.
Jay wasted no time and changed for bed and climbed in, trying to ignore the spring poking at his back. For a while his sleep was uninterrupted; but then something strange began to happen. The closet across from the bed began to open slowly. It was as if something was pushing it open from the inside. The creaking of the door woke Jay up in the middle of what must have been a nightmare, causing him to shoot straight up in bed, his eyes settling on the darkness in the closet. For a whole minute nothing moved. Then a voice broke the silence.
“Hello? Who’s there?” Jay asked. There was no reply, only the sound of something moving from the closet, up to the bed side. Jay was frozen and feeling like a little kid again; scared of the dark.
“How long has it been sense we have seen each other, Jay?” the voice was right next to his ear. Jay turned his head sharply, but nothing was there. More movement, “I think since you were a child, Jay.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh you don’t do you? I think that’s a lie Jay. Are you lying to me?” the voice said.
“No.” Jay said, trying not to tremble.
“I think that’s another lie Jay, and you know I don’t like being lied too. It makes me want to rip out the liar’s black heart.” Suddenly a black hand shot down from the darkness above Jay and burst into his chest. It pulled back out with something in its palm, a beating heart.
This made Jay scream with pain and fear but when he felt where the hole was, his flesh was healed and his shirt was mended; almost as if it was never touched. Had he imagined it?
“No Jay that was not your imagination. It was just little old me.” Jay couldn’t help it anymore: he had to look up. Slowly he lifted his eyes, but regretted doing so. On the ceiling hung a boney creature covered in a cloth as pure black as its charcoal like skin. It had no eyes, just sockets. For a mouth it just had a gaping hole filled with needle teeth. Its arms were long and spindly, which moved like spider legs every time it reached down towards Jay.
“No, not you, please no.” Jay said softly.
“So you do remember me. The thing in your closest; the creature that terrorized you every night when you were young.” The creature on the ceiling cackled, “Oh yes, I’m back, and it’s time for me to have a little fun with you, Jay. Just a little.”
“No, please no.” Jay said as the creature reached for him and grabbed his shoulders, “No! Please God no!” he screamed as he was pulled up.
“I am afraid, Jay, God has nothing to do with this.” The creature smiled and began working away at Jay, making him scream into the night.
Jay opened his eyes and found himself not in his room, but in the lobby, standing at the front desk, “Hello sir, and how has your stay been so far?”
Jay looked around a bit dazed and finally settled his eyes on the bell hop, “Um, good, I think.” Jay said.
“Great! Awesome.” The clerk said his smile wide and his voice overly cheery.
“But I’ll be checking out today, so here’s my key.” Jay reached into his pocket and tried handing the key to the clerk but his hand was pushed away.
“I am afraid, sir, that you are on the permanent guest list,” he smiled, “Welcome to Hotel Hell, Jay.” The clerk cackled.
Liam Harrison writes horror, dark fantasy, and the occasional dark comedy. He enjoys art, mostly sculpting and sketching the creatures he creates for his writings, walking around his home town, listening to music, and writing in front of the TV. He is thirteen years old and lives with his family in Virginia.