29 room 13  

jasonabadboy4u 30M
48 posts
6/22/2006 1:35 am
29 room 13

29 ROOM 13
The highway motel Katie pulled her car up in front of looked no different from any other she had ever stayed in: low barracks-style units stretching the length pf the poorly tended asphalt parking lot, paint faded and peeled by the elements, a general atmosphere of dinginess. If she were traveling by herself, she might have driven on to the next town, but her mother was with her, and both of them were beginning to wilt in the late afternoon heat. A night's rest, no matter how plain the accommodations, would refresh them for the rest of their trip. The front office was open but unoccupied. Katie slapped the bell and heard the tiny ring swallowed up by the stillness. It summoned an official-looking man from the back. He had a haggard look, and the sport coat he wore had clearly seen better days. Reflexively, the man set about registering them. Katie tried to engage him in small talk, but her comments about the weather and the road got her no more than a series of grunts in reply. Once she and her mother had signed the register, the man slapped a keyring with a number on it down on the counter. Room 13. The room proved to be the last of the units, and was reached by turning at the end of the long row of rooms toward the back of the lot. It hadn't been aired for some time, and had a stuffiness that the ancient air-conditioner could not alleviate. They even found stains on the bed sheets, walls, and a large stain on the floor of their room. Katie briefly considered asking for another room; she and her mother were clearly the only guests, and no doubt would have had their choice of rooms. But she guessed that the other rooms wouldn't be any better, and this one afforded a little more privacy. Katie volunteered to pick up some snacks from a nearby stop-and-go store, while her mother unpacked. It wasn't until she reached her car that she realized she had forgotten to take the room key with her. Not that it really mattered. After she got back, and walked to the end of the row of rooms, intending to knock for entrance, she turned the corner. . . . and nearly pitched over the rim of a weed-covered foundation. Before her stretched an expanse of vacant lot. Room 13 was not there! Had she accidentally gone to the wrong end of the building? No--when she backtracked she saw the number 12 on the room she had just passed. It wasn't possible that she had driven to the wrong motel. She had seen nothing else resembling this place on her way to the store. Katie heard a crunch of gravel behind her. Whirling in panic, she stepped right into a pair of clutching hands! She screamed and flailed, groceries flying. When she regained her composure, she saw that she was being held by a young man in a polo shirt who had a very concerned look on his face. He explained that he had seen her prowling around the parking lot. Did she need a room to stay in? In the front office, Katie anxiously explained that she and her mother checked in less than an hour before. The young man expressed his surprise, since he hadn't checked in anyone for a room in nearly a week. He showed Katie the dated ledger. Her and her mother's signatures were nowhere to be seen. In a quavering voice, Katie insisted that she and her mother had been registered and given the key to room 13. There was no room 13, the man said calmly. There had been, once. But problems, a fire had led to room 13 being torn down--ten years before! He jerked his thumb over his shoulder, indicating the Peg-Board on the wall behind him. Nails held the keyrings for twelve rooms. There was a nail hole under the number 13, but no nail or keyring. Bewildered, Katie glanced around the office, looking for some clue to support her claim. It was then that she spied a framed picture of a man on the ledge behind the desk. "That was him!, That was the man who had checked her and her mother in," Katie said. "Impossible", the clerk said in solemn tone. The man in the picture was long gone. He was the former owner of the motel. The clerk's father. Ten years ago, in the middle of the night, he had gone berserk, and and bonded torched, , and killed several female guests, while they were having an orgy in room 13! He has never been seen from since.

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