Room Number 13

“Let’s fathom the realms which aren’t there anymore. Long lost in the time and space, let’s dream a little more.”

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“Sir, your room number is 13, here’s your key.”

“Go straight and take right for elevator” directed the receptionist while talking over the phone.

“Thank you, Miss Rosy”, I murmured in a broken shivering voice while reading her nameplate glued to her shirt. Meanwhile, the water dripping from my clothes created a pool around me.

Heading towards an elevator, I heard my name being called out. On turning back, she frowned and hesitantly revealed the inability of lift to carry me up to my destination and felt sorry about the same. Struggling with wet clothes which clung onto my skin, I dragged myself towards stairs.

My room was on the third floor which ignited the feeling of mountain climbing. On every floor, I witnessed the drops of blood heading towards a barred lift. This knocked the hell out of me. As I reached, I collided with the strange old man as glasses placed on his plate trembled and dropped on the floor. His face was half wrapped with a cloth. My eyes glued on opaque polythene containing something pulpy, which he swiftly hid under his pants. I doubted and enquired about the blood stains on every floor. He discarded my inquiries saying “Wounded animal entered into the hotel and created havoc, now everything is under control.” He greeted me with sorry and asked for a leave. A strange kind of calmness and creepiness surrounded the hotel despite lightening and storm outside.

I entered the room, took shower, wore bathrobes and ordered black coffee. I checked my phone and thanked god that it was working. Unfortunately, there was no network. I threw my phone over the bed in the projectile motion and started cursing the weather due to which I struck there.

I forgot about the frightening sight as my mind is occupied with Maya. In the morning, Maya and I were indulged in some heated argument. She was complaining about my careless and arrogant behaviour and threatened not to marry me the next month. I left her alone in the coffee shop and drove hot-headedly. While pondering over the fact that how many years we have spent together in the relationship, how much we love each other and how she could even think of not marrying… I was lost.

I was driving for 2-3 hours as if the world was going to end and I had to go as far as I could. When I was tired, I stopped my car near the large tree and checked my cell. There were 25 missed calls and 20 messages from Maya wondering my whereabouts. I texted her “I am fine, will call you later”

Meanwhile, black clouds were racing against each other. Winds were blowing, raging and threatening the feeble plants and vulnerable surroundings. Clothes were flying and dust mingled with the winds which blocked my vision. I was in the village, outside my town. I sat in my car, asked the directions from the nearby shop and drove. On the outskirts of the village, my car suddenly stopped due to the pouring rain. It didn’t start again. I looked around and found a small hotel named THE HOSTAGE.

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The sight of the hotel filled me with contrasting feelings. On one hand, it relieved me, while the vicinity evoked the feeling of eerie. It seemed old and most of the windows were broken. The paint and the cement of the building were coming off.

Suddenly a light went off, might be a short circuit. Then I heard knocking, I thought it would be coffee.

“The door is open, come in”, said I while trying to find my phone. “What happened, why the lights went off?” I asked irritated.

Nobody spoke. Again I heard knocking or I would say thudding. I kept on asking, still, nobody answered. After some time the thudding sound faded and the jasmine smell infused my nostrils and the room. The same scent that Maya uses. I was amazed but rubbished the thought contemplating many girls applies that.

“Who’s there?” I shouted

“No answer”

Then I enquired, “Maya is that you?”

“No answer”

I did feel the presence of someone near me. I was frightened. Maya used to scare me until I say sorry and subdued myself. Therefore I thought it could be her only. Such a creepy habit she had.

I yelled at her, “Stop scaring me and I am sorry.”

At last, she decided to speak with “ssssshhhhhhhhh” and came near me. She was so close that I heard her breathing and thumping heartbeats. She pronounced my name in cracking voice as if she was sobbing. I asked what happened while struggling with my hands to find the phone. But she started crying. I placed my hand over her shoulders. She was wet. I turned myself towards the bathroom for a towel; she held my hand, threw me on the bed and came over me.

Her hand was moving over my chest in the zigzag motion. She squeezed against me and kissed me. I infused with exhilaration and said, “My baby goes wild”. As I placed my both hands to cover her face to kiss her, I felt her face wet, but it was not water but something cohesive. I asked her, “What is it?” She didn’t reply as she engrossed in kissing. I tried to push her aside but she gripped my neck and tried to choke me. I agonized like a fish out of the water and gasped in horror. Somehow I managed to find my phone for a flash light to look at her. She was not Maya and it was blood all over her face. Her eyes were white; her unkempt hairs were like rugged winds, flowing and dancing. She opened her mouth wide; her coal black tongue rolled open and started licking my face circularly. I screamed in high pitch but nobody came.

 “Sir, are you in there?” questioned a waiter at the door, “I brought coffee”.

He woke me. I was all in sweat and my heart beats were running; I was petrified. There was no darkness. Till then, the rain also stopped. He came and inquired, “Is everything okay? Do you want anything else?” I dismissed him and called Maya as soon as possible. I told her everything. She was concerned and ordered me to come back soon. I insisted her to talk till morning. She made me laugh to lighten up the moment. We both slept while talking.

In morning, the sunlight peeping through the window woke me up. The moment I came to senses, I realized that the whole room was filled with the smell of jasmine. The terror took over me and I ran from the hotel as fast I could.

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