I lay on the bed in the musty hotel room. The covers were dusty and I was sure I was going to get my allergies. However, I liked the lighting in the room, warm and just right. Nostalgic.
I flipped through the channels on the old TV, none of the cable networks were available…just the boring ol’ local channels. I looked through the mini fridge and struck gold, there were two weirdly small beer bottles and a packet of peanuts. I went for the beer.
I sat down at the table and propped my feet up on the chair opposite me. I looked at the bottle, it was a brand I have not seen before. I reached for my handbag to get the bottle opener – I always carry a bottle opener with me, you never know when you would need to crack open a bottle of cold beer.
I opened the beer bottle and took one swig, it wasn’t the best tasting beer I have ever had but it did the job of making me feel relaxed. I closed my eyes and sighed, as shitty as this hotel was at least they had beer.
The right side of my face began to itch – great, I’ve definitely got an allergic reaction to the dust mites. I felt two bumps along my jaw, I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror. I leaned over the sink trying to get a proper view of the bumps as they were in an awkward place. Through much struggling I finally saw them, two purple little bumps.
I hoped more wouldn’t pop up on my skin, I had to survive the night in this god awful hotel. It made me angry at the company for sending me here. They were always so cheap.
I went back into the room and rummaged through my handbag for some ointment only to realise I hadn’t packed any. Now mad at myself, I stomped over to the table where I had left the beer bottle and chugged the remainder of the drink. At least the light buzz would make me forget the bumps.
I had a cold shower as the heater was not working and no matter how many times I called the front desk no one would answer the phone. It was 12 o’ clock once I finally got into bed.
I woke up with a splitting headache and my face felt wet. I switched on one light and slowly got out of bed, it felt like I was moving through water. I dragged myself to the window and peeped through the curtains, it was still dark out. I was surprised as I thought I had over slept.
I walked into the bathroom, my hand fumbled with the tap. I splashed water on my face and looked in the mirror. Through the haze of the headache I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, the whole right side of my face was covered in purple bumps and they were oozing some kind of liquid. I screamed.
I didn’t want to feel my face…was I hallucinating?! I was beginning to panic, I felt like I was running a fever, maybe it was just delirium? I slipped and fell on to the floor, I gasped. My heart was beating like a hammer against my chest, I could not think straight.
I crawled out of the bathroom to the phone. I struggled to dial the front desk number as my vision was getting blurry. I finally managed to hit the right button but no one was picking up the phone. I threw the phone in anguish and began to cry. Maybe this is how I was going to die. I was going to die in this old musty hotel room alone!
I collected myself, I have to get out of this room and get help. I got up and staggered to the door and swung it open. The corridor was dark, why would they switch off the lights?! This hotel was so cheap!
I began banging on the door next to my room, screaming “help!!!”, but no answer. I went on to the next door, no answer. I slid to the floor in defeat. Why is this happening to me? Why me?
I just sat there…all my tears spent….I didn’t know how this happened, this definitely wasn’t the dust mites. Was is it the beer? I didn’t know…I began to feel sleepy but I kept fighting it. It should be morning by now…someone would come along…but I couldn’t fight it…sleep finally took over me.
“Oh man…this, really is unfortunate”, the police officer stared at the shriveled up body in front of him.
“The forensics team is on the way”, another said looking at his watch. He noted something on his note pad.
“How did she end up here….? She unpacked and made herself comfortable as well”, the first police officer said in confusion, “this place has been closed off for years…do you think she was a druggie as well, like the ones who found her?”
“Nah…”, said the other, “doesn’t look like one…at least on her ID”
“Man…this place must be haunted like they say…”, the first officer looked around him.
The forensics team finally arrived, the two police officers watched them get about their work. Other police officers were interviewing the druggie witnesses who looked mortified.
The forensics team had found some kind of mold in the beer bottle. They had to quarantine the area.
“That’s just too many unfortunate events in one case”, the first officer said while the other nodded in agreement.
Photo by Bernd*