Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually not a scared person. I have never been called a wimp or anything like that. I am just a curious person. That is why the room interested me so much. 319. It was something about that room that caught my attention, that and the fact that no person could open the door, even if they had the master key. The peephole always remained dark and from the exterior window it looked like any of the other three hundred and fifty rooms that the hotel contained, but the fact was, this room was still different.
It was the summer of 2010, when I started working at the hotel as a housekeeper. It wasn’t a job I was proud to say I had, but I was making more money than my friends who worked at the regular fast food joints, and the job would help me save some money before my first semester of college. I got the job easily because my uncle was friends with benefits with the housekeeping manager. It wasn’t something he told me, but I knew that was one of the reasons why she treated me so well, other than the fact that she was overall a nice person. I trained with Crystal, who had her good and bad days and would swear like a sailor, yet she was a good instructor and knew all the short cuts. It was she who had first informed me of the door. I remember we were in the room diagonal to it, finishing up a stay over. As we started to move down the hallway past it, something about it caught my eye. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the whiteness of the door and the fact that it held neither a scratch nor stain, or the fact that some kind of aura oozed forth from it. I stopped pushing the cart and stopped in front of it just staring as if I were in a trance.
“All the new workers do that. In time you’ll find yourself noticing it less and less.” Crystal said.
“You mean we don’t clean it?” I asked
“Wouldn’t be able to. It can’t be opened by any key.” she said.
“How long has that been happening?”
“Since the hotel has been built. They said when the builders put that door onto the room it has been closed ever since.”
I said nothing in return and followed her down the hallway to our next checkout, keeping the door in the corner of my eye.
The month flew by as if it hadn’t even existed and I picked up the job quickly enough that only after two days of training I was ready to be on my own. Crystal and I would talk occasionally while at work, but she stayed to herself and always had an orange headphone in her left ear. I grew a lot closer to another worker, Shelby. She was only a few years older than myself and worked the front desk. She had been here for two years and knew a lot more about the room, but then again she knew a lot about everything. I knew a person like her would be better to stay away from, but I was already looking for another job at the college and had an interview lined up. Shelby was the one who told me about the construction worker that went missing while working on the room. She had informed me that there was nothing wrong with the room when they first put the door on it, the strangeness actually occurred a week after the hotel opened. That an older employee named Tabitha had worked around the time of the workers disappearance, but Tabitha had left three days after Shelby had arrived, on account of the sound of a crying baby coming from behind the door. I was not able to find any records on the construction workers disappearance or any whereabouts regarding Tabitha.
The job repeated itself day after day, always the same, yet the door still remained an intrigue. They assigned me to the third floor so I was constantly around that door and I felt that it called to me. All of the other workers along with the guests would completely ignore the presence of the room as if it never existed, unless I would mention it and even then it was just another door to them. After a while I started hearing strange sounds coming from the other side of the door. At first it sounded like low grunts from some sort of animal, then a light rustling sound like dog nails running across the floor. The most recent sound occurred daily at eleven in the morning and no matter where in the hotel I stood, I could hear the rhythmic tapping that echoed through the deserted hallways right to my ears.
Another month passed and I thought so much about the door, it preoccupied my mind during the day and night. I would have the strangest of dreams, all of which included either the door in many different scenarios or landscapes, or of myself trying to open the door, but it always remained closed until one dream. I dreamt that when I turned the handle, it opened and there was a woman with messy medium black hair and dark sapphire eyes that pierced right into my own. As if she knew all my darker thoughts. I shivered as her pale hand shot up and gripped onto my forearm. I tried to release it, but she held fast onto it, and I was unable to force the door open for she held it just wide enough for half of her body to fit. As she held me in place not letting me forward or back, she had a great smile upon her face. I watched as the darkness from behind her began to move and these black shadow tentacles danced behind her body and up the white outer walls. A violent shiver rocked me awake and I hugged myself tightly.
The next day at work all I could think about was the door and my dream that even my work started to decline. Every time I tried to think about something else, the white image of the door would resurface back into my head with those shadowy limbs slowly seeping out from the cracks of the door. At eleven, I found myself, as if in a trance, standing before the door, listening to the quiet tapping upon the other side of it. I placed my palm flat against it and felt as if the wood shuddered against my touch. The tapping continued and I placed my right ear on the door, yet all the other sounds remained muffled and only the tapping was clear. I took my left hand and copied the same rhythm. All noises ceased and silence remained. In fear I removed myself from the door but I still remained only a few feet away from it. The sound of bolts being released echoed down the vacant hallway. The door slowly opened by itself, followed by a loud hiss of compressed air escaping from the cracks, and a low groan of old wood. I placed my right palm on the heavy door to force it open then took my first step into the murkiness of the room. The crisp smell of fresh water caused my lungs to take a deeper breath, only to reveal that of damp carpet mixed with the moisture of damp dirt and rocks. It took a while for my eyes to adjust and faint lights shined from unseen floating sources. I saw the shifting of movement in the distance yet it was difficult to tell exactly what it was. My right hand held open the white door of the room, while my left hand reached through the darkness trying to find the light switch that should have been on the wall but I was unable to feel anything. I knew then that it was no longer just one of the rooms. A bright light flickered on and shined brightly in my face. I covered my eyes while I peered through my fingers to see what was going to happen. In front of the light I began to see a stir of movement along the floor of the place, which seemed to be coated in a thin fog. I took a step further into the room and the sluggish movement scurried into a darker region on the floor, causing the fog to curl upwards. I took a step back.
“Hello.” I called, my voice bounced off the walls as if they were stone.
The creature that had been on the floor now rose slowly up on its hind legs, thick globs of sweat and fog rolled off its body. My eyes popped open at the sight of that undefinable figure and my heartbeat slammed against my breast. Subconsciously I whirled around and flung myself back through the open door, into the brightly lit hallway. My right hand no longer held onto the door, and I could hear the heavy door slam close, which shook the wall against my back. Air hissed from the cracks as the bolts locked back into place. I held onto my chest, taking deep breaths. All remained silent for five minutes except for my heavy breath, then all of a sudden the tapping started again from the other side. I turned away from the door and took off down the hallway towards the emergency stairwell and out of that hotel.
It has been twenty years since I had set a single foot back in that hotel. I know that I have the chance now. It took three hours to drive back to town and I did not bother to talk to any past friends, nor did I even check into the hotel. I already knew my room number and I knew that it needed no key. Around eleven, I walk through the sliding glass doors of the hotel and pass the unoccupied front desk, making my way swiftly to the elevator doors. The hallway is empty as usual and again the faint sound of knocking carries to my ears. I know that it knows. I feel as if I skip quickly to the door and there I lay my knuckles upon it, copying the same rhythm that I have known for years. The door slowly opens, only halfway this time and from out the darkness a pale hand creeps, palm upward.
Credit To – Sarah Prado
Credit Link – firstname.lastname@example.org