Read the synopsis here
The hotel room was just as drab and decaying as the rest of the building. Dated flowering wallpaper, yellowed by decades of sunlight peeled itself from the walls. The carpet, once a faded red, was now worn down to a washed pink and fraying at the edges. Two pathetic little lamps tried desperately to shed some light into the damp and musty atmosphere. The gale from outside eased its way through the decaying window frames trying, but failing to blow through the awful curtains which had set almost like cardboard.
Irv Oswald stood at the doorway holding his laptop bag, camera bag draped over his shoulder and two tripods under his arm. He scanned the room, unimpressed. He dumped his belongings onto the ancient bed on the left. He popped his head into the en suite on the right. The scene wasn’t any prettier in there.
He walked over and pulled the cardboard curtains apart and looked out into the storm. He could hear the rain battering onto the roof, water gushed down and overspilled from the moss infested guttering onto the ground below. The trees in the nearby forest were thrown back and forth by the steadily increasing gale, bags of rubbish and patio furniture blew around like paper.
“That be all, mister?”
Irv turned around, to see the old man staring at him from the doorway.
“Yes, that’s fine, thank you”, said Irv.
There was a moment of silence. The crusty old man glowered at him. He was short and bald and wore a khaki v-neck cardigan with brown corded trousers. An ancient pair of glasses hung from his neck and a faded gold badge was carelessly pinned to his knitwear. Irv could just make out, ‘Frank – Higgins Hotel Manager’.
“Will there be anything else?” Asked Irv.
The old man said nothing.
“Something wrong?” Asked Irv.
“What exactly is it you want, Mr. Oswald?” The old manager demanded.
Irv walked away from the window and sat on the bed.
“I don’t understand”
“You sure don’t look like your settling for a weekend at the beach” the old man said, “Fancy van and jacket like that, doesn’t make much sense why you’d want to stay in a dump like this”
Irv shook his fancy jacket off.
“Like I told you when I booked in, my mother lives up town. No way I’m keeping driving in this”
There were a few moments of silence.
“All those cameras best not be for some cheap porno movie. Keep the noise down. Breakfast at 8am!”
The door slammed closed. Irv heard the old man scuttle down the narrow hallway and slam another door. Then, nothing.
The old manager was right, he wasn’t here for the beach and his mother certainly didn’t live up town. Irv Oswald was here to work, but not on a cheap porno movie.
He unpacked his laptop and set it up on the bedside table. He opened his camera bag and took out 3 cameras. He set them up on the tripods pointing in varying positions around the room. He put his iPad and iPhone on charge next to his laptop and took a long hot shower.
Irv was fast asleep, flat out on the bed in the towelling bath robe provided by the hotel. He was silent as he napped. The rain continued to batter down outside and the wind showed no signs of giving up. The fan in his laptop whirred as it cooled the hard drive. The lamp on the bedside table next to him gave a continual and quiet buzz as it worked at shining the dull bulb inside it.
Irv suddenly opened his eyes and lifted his head as the door to the en suite slowly creaked open. He sat up as the bathroom light flicked on and the lamps in the room flickered. He heard a tap squeak anti clockwise, and the sound of water filling into the bath. He slowly climbed off the bed and stood up.
“Who’s there?” He asked.
There was no answer. Instead, the bulbs in the lamps exploded and draped the room into darkness.
“Jesus bloody Christ!” He grabbed his iPhone from the bedside table and flicked on the led and then put it into video mode. He held it in front of him as he edged his way to the bathroom.
“Who’s there?” He asked again. He edged closer to the door, filming every step on his phone.
The light in the bathroom flicked off and the door swung back and slammed shut. Irv jumped back, he yelled in fright as the curtains whipped open, and then he hit the deck when the window shattered into a million pieces and the wind thundered through and the rain poured in. Irv crawled along the floor and sat against the bed. He quickly took his phone off of video mode, selected a number from his contacts and held it to his ear. The phone on the other end answered within 3 rings.
“Yes?” Said a mans voice on the other end.
“Mr. Higgins, I’m calling to renegotiate my fee” Irv said as he watched the bathroom door slowly reopen.
“Excuse me?” The man asked.
Irv didn’t answer, instead he stared at the silhouette that appeared in the door frame of the bathroom. He gulped.
“Meet me at the reception desk in 30 minutes”
Before the the man got a chance to reply, Irv hung up and flicked his phone back into video mode.
Read Part 2 of the Sunday Scare next week…
(c) Irv Oswald and related stories are copyright 2014 AGS
P1 of 4.