"The Motel Guinevere," I said to myself as I studied the red, neon sign. Right next to the name of the hotel was the words "No Vacancy" with the "No" unlit. I shouldered my heavy duffel bag and dug my hands into my pockets as I crossed the street from the bus station.
The Motel Guinevere was the kind you would find in horror movies, the kind those religious people would say a prayer before setting a foot in the lobby. The only motel in a twenty mile radius. I shivered wondering what kind of diseases lurked in my room. A girl, chewing bright, pink bubble gum and watching television that was sitting on the counter, turned to me as I opened the door. A tiny ringing sounded above my head. She smiled. It was the kind of smile that meant a girl was interested. She straightened herself and leaned her elbows on the worn wooden surface of the counter, giving me a good view of her chest due to her low-cut black tank top. I dropped my duffel bag on the floor and it hit the ground with a thud. She said flirtatiously, "Hey there." I gave her half a smile.
"Hi. I'd like to check in."
"Sure thing. Would you like a room with a two beds or one?" She asked. There was this syrupy tone to her voice, like it was laden with molasses.
"Yeah...fine, whatever. I don't care. Just give me a room." I was too tired and sleepy from the long bus trip to care that a pretty girl like her was basically offering herself to me, but looking at her necklace with the picture of the Jonas Brothers imprinted on it, I knew she was much too young and much too naive.
She took out a sign-in book to write me in. "So what's your name?" She asked in that playful tone.
"Well okay, Mister Smith," she smiled and turned to the wall of keys. None of the keys were missing except for one. Room 210. She took the key from the wall labeled "212" and dropped it into my awaiting palm.
"There you go Mister Smith. Have a nice stay...oh! Wait! Just a word of warning stay out of Room 210, it's locked and all, but it's best you stay away, " I nodded my head thinking nothing of it, picked up my bag and walked out of the lobby.
As I walked up the creaky wooden stairs to the second floor, the door of Room 210 came into my view. There was no light from under the door. There was nothing extraordinary about it, in fact. It looked exactly like the rest of the doors lining the blue wallpapered wall, but curiosity got the best of me and I bent down quickly on one knee to look through the key hole.
There was woman with skin as white as a hospital room. She was only wearing a black bra and black panties with her back turned to me. She was standing in the corner of the room in the shadows. Her long stringy, pale blonde hair fell down her back. I stood up and shrugged then walked to my door. I stopped in front of it and opened the door. My room was exactly like I thought it was going to be: beige paint peeling off the walls, tacky framed water color art work with clowns, a television with bent antennas, and a comforter that had the hint of the scent of marijuana. The bathroom was worse. There was a mysterious stain in the bathtub and the toilet was unclean. In fact, the waste bin hadn't even been emptied. I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. My brown hair askew, lips chapped and eyes bloodshot. I walked back into the bedroom and lied down on the bed. A few seconds later I fell asleep.
It was cloudy the next morning as I walked into town. The whole place felt like it was right out of some syndicated 1950's television show with the homemaker mom and the suit-wearing dad, with the diner and the old-style houses. It made me miss the city. What I wouldn't give for a Starbucks right now, but I settled for the small café a block down from the Motel Guinevere. I grabbed some coffee and went back to my room. As I walked into the lobby, the girl from the night before waved at me. She was wearing the same exact outfit the last time I saw her except now she was wearing a white, low-cut tank top. I waved back lazily then climbed up the stairs. My eyes met with the door of Room 210 once again. "It wouldn't hurt take a peek," I thought as I quickly bent down again on one knee to look through the key hole. The lady was nowhere in sight, but there was a man, whose skin was as pale as the lady's, sitting on the bed with his bare back to me. I knitted my brows together as I stood up once again. I was about the knock on the door, but stopped myself. It wasn't any of my business who those people were and why they were here. After a few seconds I walked down two doors to my room.
Later in the evening, I went out to the lone diner in town. Once again I through the lobby and the girl waved to me. I waved back. My stomach growled. The sandwich in my duffel bag didn't survive the bus ride so I was forced to find food outside. I opened the glass door of the diner and sat in a booth in the corner of the room. The diner was almost exactly like my motel room. The walls were peeling brown paint. The floors were dirty with black shoe prints, the tables weren't wiped down or at least they weren't wiped down well. A few minutes later a waitress dressed in a dull pink uniform came to take my order. As I ate, I noticed that there was no one here except the waitress, the chef, and me. Weren't there people living in this town? There was light behind the curtains of the houses. But it seemed as if the whole place was deserted.
The next day I left Room 210 alone. Passing by without a second thought, but there was buried curiosity in the back of my mind. Who were those people? The room was only two doors down, surely I would hear when their door would open and close, but I heard nothing. Not a peep. I had to stop thinking about it. It was becoming almost an obsession. But their skin...their skin was as white as snow. Why had the girl warned me in the first place? Were they felons hiding from the law? Murderers maybe? I had no idea.
The following day, I packed up my things to go to my next stop somewhere two states over. It was tough having to travel from state to state, trying to find work. I shouldered my duffel bag and closed the door to my room behind me. As I passed Room 210, I thought it wouldn't hurt to take one last look through the key hole so I bent down and pressed myself against the wood of the door. I saw nothing. Actually, I did see something. Red, just red. A dark, unmoving red. I shook my head, trying to rid myself of what it might be. Maybe they placed something over the key hole so that no one would look in. I walked into the lobby and up to the counter. It was still the same girl, except now she was dressed in a low-cut, blue tank top. "Checking out?" She asked. I nodded.
"I have a question."
"What's with Room 210?" I asked. Maybe she would know something.
"Oh...well..." She waved me to come closer. She moved her head so that her lips were next to my ear. "A couple was murdered in there. And they were really strange too. They both had pale skin, but, get this, they both had red eyes."
I WISH this would be turned into a short film or animation.
Created: Feb 01, 2012joellen Document Media