Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
The sun dipped under the hills of the Nevada desert, illuminating the hot sands and my even hotter car in a distinct orange glow. Wind rushed in to the stolen car due to the laid down convertible top, my wife, well, for all intents and purposes, ex-wife, always had a great taste for material things. Too bad she can’t pick out her own coffin, huh? I’m sure she would’ve selected the perfect one. A slight chuckle escapes me as I imagine the look on that son of a bitches face when he comes over for their weekly “romp”. Oh, to have the satisfaction of getting to witness it. A bell rang out somewhere in the distance, which was enough for me to reduce my driving speed. Soon after the first bell, another chime and the faint sell of Marijuana met my nostrils. “Strange” I thought, there was only sand and road for as far I could see. Moments later another bell toll and I felt my eyes start to get heavy. “Fuck. Not the time for this kind of thing.” A few more miles down the road and it was looking like I was going to have to nap on the side of a desert. Then a light caught my eye. What I gathered to be about three miles down, there looked to be a side road. I made the turn down the road and a few minutes later was blessed with a sight for the sorest of eyes. A large hotel with a relatively empty parking lot. Only a black Mercedes Benz, an old ragged VW “hippy van” as my old man called them, and what I assumed to be the Hotel shuttle bus. “There must be an airport somewhere close.” I spoke aloud to myself. “There isn’t darling.” A soft, voice spoke from the front entrance of the hotel. Startled, I jerked my head towards the entrance. Stood there in the doorway was a slender, black haired female, holding a candle. She wasn’t what you would call a bombshell, but, there was something oddly sexy about her. “Sorry to startle you.” She smiled. “Welcome to Hotel…” I didn’t catch the actual name of the hotel because the word ‘Welcome’ seem to ring in my head. I smiled and walked toward the door “Thank you, I found this place just in time.” She smiled back. “You sure did.”
The next morning I awoke in an almost dazed like state and it took me a second to remember where exactly I was.“Oh right.” As I stretch and rub my eyes. Pulling my hands away from my eyes and looking up, I could’ve sworn for a split second there was someone standing in the room with me, you know that feeling you get? Seeing the room completely empty didn’t startle me too much but it did send a slight shiver down my spine.“Weird vibe in this place, man.” Speaking out loud to no one. “I hope they serve breakfast at least, I’m starving.” After showering and getting dressed I walked out of my room, taking a look around, I had no recollection of even walking down this hallway the night before. “Welcome…..welcome…welcome…” seemed to echo quietly down the hall. “What the fuck?” I whispered to myself, digging a finger into my ear, making sure I’d actually just heard that.
It wasn’t too long a walk in to the lobby, which had the sun beaming in to it through two gigantic bay windows. “Nice touch.” I spoke aloud, again, to no one in particular. “My favorite feature of the hotel, honestly.” Chimed a sultry voice from behind me,causing me to jump. I turned to see the dark haired woman from the night before and let out a nervous laugh. “I didn’t mean to startle you dear, I apologize.”She put on a smile, one that left me wondering whether or not she truly meant to startle me. Another nervous laugh. “It’s no problem, you’re just the person I was looking for, actually.” “Oh really?” A more appeasing smile spread across the woman’s face. In good lighting she was actually insanely beautiful. Flowing black hair, deep set, emerald green eyes, very faint laugh lines around her eyes, and a slight crook to her smile. That with the smooth, sultry tone of her voice, I could feel that daze set in on me again. I blinked my eyes a few times and smiled “Does this place serve breakfast?” “Of course, follow me to the dining room, we have a wide variety of freshly prepared foods.” She lead me down another hallway, the same “welcome….welcome…welcome.” echoing through it. “Do you hear that?” I asked, digging in to my ear again. “Hear what, dear?”She never even broke stride. “Uhm, nothing, don’t think I’m fully awake yet.”Another nervous laugh. She shared my laugh. “Here we are.” Stopping in front of a large wooden door as she pulled a key out of her pocket. She unlocked and opened the door, then stood aside to let me in. “Go on in, have a seat, Ferris will be in momentarily to make sure you’re taken care of.” One last smile as she turned to walk away. I couldn’t help but stare as she walked off, she had a certain wiggle in her walk, but it was such a fluent motion, the daze setting in my head again.
I sat at the one table in the room, which I found strange, for about five minutes when a short, stocky man entered the room. “Good morning, sir. Can I get you a beverage, coffee, maybe a glass of milk?” I smiled. “You must be Ferris. How about a scotch on the rocks,Fer?” He beamed a smile back at me, “Wise choice sir, unfortunately, we’ve been without spirits since ’69. The owner’s wife drank herself to death in June of that year.” I clicked my tongue. That was probably more information than I needed. “You don’t say, well then a glass of milk will do just fine.” “Certainly sir. I shall return shortly.” He hurried off. “Funny little guy.” As I glanced around the room. The interior of this room was very Victorian, elaborate paintings, large couches and end tables throughout. Still not fully awake I rubbed my eyes again. “What is wrong with me today?” “You just haven’t had your milk yet, sir.” Ferris said, as I nearly fell out of my chair. “Sweet Christ, man! You scared me to death.”The smile from his face never wavered, which was off putting. “My apologies,sir.” He sat a large glass in front of me, filled almost to brim with milk. “Nowsir, the kitchen offers a variety of the best foods for breakfast.” “Uhm, just an omelet, cheese, green peppers, and bacon will be just fine, man.” “Excellent choice sir. Afford me ten minutes and I’ll have that right out for you.” “Absolutely,Fer.” He scurried off again. I picked up the glass in front of me and took adrink. “Damn.” Another drink. “That’s good milk.” I set the glass down and stretched in my chair. Then the daze slipped in to my head again, followed by the echoing “Welcome….welcome….welcome…” Except this time it was no whisper. “What the fuck.” My eyes grew heavy. “Welcome….welcome….welcome….”I made an attempt to stand, but couldn’t. “Welcome…welcome….welcome.”Echoed on as my eyes slipped shut. “Welcome……welcome…..wel….”
I shot awake in to a sitting position, breathing heavy, and sweat pouring out of me. I could feel my heart pounding against my chest. The room was dark, with a small bit of sunlight pouring in through the curtains over my window. Glancing around I noticed I was in my room at the hotel. “What a fucked up dream.” I swung my feet to the floor, and immediately noticed the floor was soaking wet. “Oh man, are you serious? Is there a phone in here?” I glanced around the room. There didn’t appear to be. So I stood and made my way to the light switch to see where the water was coming from before I went down to the desk. The light flickered on, and to my utter horror, there wasn’t any water on the carpets. Instead, the whole floor was a puddle of blood. “Oh my god.” The fear in me grew as I took it all in, then, came to a head as my sight got to the far right corner of the room. “Holyshit.” With a shiver in my voice. In the corner lay my dead, cheating wife, the bastard she was screwing, and Ferris. Cut up, dismembered and all three of them, staring right at me with dead eyes. “What the FUCK?!” I slammed my eyes shut. “This can’t be real, this isn’t real. This. Can. Not. Be. Real.” I opened my eyes, and was right. No blood, no dismembered bodies. Just my room, then the echoing “Welcome…..welcome…welcome…” It was so loud this time, “Welcome…..welcome….welcome.”I turned for the door and yanked it open, stepped out to the hallway and slammed it shut. “What. The. Fuck. Is happening?” Goosebumps covered my body. “Something wrong, dear?” That smooth voice spoke. It didn’t even startle me this time, I was already so terrified. What did startle me was turning and facing the woman. She was not the beautiful, slender dark haired woman. She was terrifying. Matted hair, a toothless smile surround by a face with sagging skin. My breath shortened again and I took a few steps away from her. “What…what the fuck is going on here.” I choked out. “Oh honey.” She cackled. “Isn’t this place lovely? It’s been here for centuries you know?” Like she didn’t even hear me. “What the fuck are you playing at, lady?! What kind of fucked off tricks are you pulling on me?” She cackled again. “Tricks? My dear, if anybody is tricking you, it’s you. You put yourself here in my hotel.” The pounding in my ches seemed to be echoing now. “Ok, ok fine, I just want out of here. I want to checkout, like now.” Another smile spread across her decrepit face. “You may checkout whenever you please. Good luck leaving though.” And then she was gone.
My brain was swimming, I felt drunk as I stumbled down the hall. “What is happening?” I moaned, cradling my head in my hands. I looked back up towards the end of the hall and was struck with horror, yet again. Barreling towards me was a tidal wave of blood, like something out of The Shining. “Fuck!” I turned to run the other way, but another wave approached from that side as well. The panic in me was like nothing I’d ever felt in my life, until I noticed the door in front of me. I burst through it then slammed it shut, listening to the waves collide with each other. Eyes closed and breathing heavy as I tried to collect myself, leaning against the closed door. “Not out of the woods yet, baby.” My eyes shot open and the room in which I entered was another dining room with at least fifteen tables, all with four chairs surrounding them, each chair occupied by my dead wife. “What the….” I couldn’t even finish the sentence. She, they, all began to laugh. A maniacal cackle that turned my blood cold. “Oh baby, we are not finished yet.” I was ready to turn back out the door and run. Then, it occurred to me, this bitch is dead. I killed her with my own two hands. So either, I’m just having a really bad nightmare, or I’m dead myself,and this is just hell. “Oh honey, you aren’t sleeping, and you sure aren’t dead.” They all spoke, like they were all inside of my head. The chills were back. “I have to get the fuck out of here. Have to.” They all laughed as I swung the door back open and ran back out in to the hallway. “Good luuuuuck, honey.”They called with a cackle.
I hit the hall running. “Going somewhere, sir?” Ferris’ voice echoed through the hall. “Fuck you, fer!” I screamed back. I made it to the lobby where the orange of the setting sun poured in from the bay windows, along with flashing red and blue lights. “Oh fuck.” “Looks like some friends came to visit you.” The sultry voice spoke.Though, upon a glance around the room, the woman was nowhere to be seen. “What are you doing to me?!” I screamed. From nowhere bodies started falling to the ground, making a sickening thud as they hit they landed. “Like I said, dear.”She spoke. I realized that, like the dining room chairs, the floor was being occupied by my dead wife. “You’re here on your own plans. What is it that Henley said? Prisoner of your own device, right?” Her cackling began again,followed by the laughter of my wife. My head was going to split. “Fuck this.Fuck it.” I turned to the door and contemplated my last few minutes of freedom.I was an hour out of Cali, I should’ve just held on for another hour. The bodies continued to fall to the floor. The ringing of the bell that started this whole thing started again, as the smell of marijuana filled my nostrils. “You almost made it didn’t you, baby?” My wife spoke and laughed. “Fuck you, you cheating bitch.” I ran for the front doors and burst through with my hands up.
There was at least twenty cop cars in the parking lot. All of the occupying officers had their service pistols pointed at me. “TURN AROUND AND DOWN ON YOUR KNEES!” One screamed from a megaphone. I did as I was told, and couldn’t help but smile as I looked at the building I’d just exited, abandoned and boarded up. Probably hadn’t been occupied for decades. “Of course.” I laughed. The laugh was subdued at first, but quickly turned in to the insane cackle I’d heard from the old woman. “OFCOURSE.” Laughing louder. “Shut up.” The butt of a rifle struck my head, and I was out.
“And that’s how I ended up here.” Sitting in my padded cell, smiling. My cellmate looked me over for a minute, then spit on the ground. “Motha fucka’, you think just because I’m black, I don’t know who The Eagles are? I ought to whoop your stupid ass. That was Hotel California you just told me bro. Get the fuck out of my face with that bullshit and go back to bed. Don’t be talking to me anymore either,fuckboy.”
CREDIT : Tyler Jensen