#MWBB 37 : The Ghost Of Stephen Foster

Shawn and April were daredevils. They loved exploring mountain trails, big, empty warehouses, office buildings, corner stores, neighborhood markets, city parks. You name it. They loved to explore it.

In October, 2013, they decided to take a new adventure, and spend each Friday night in October in a different haunted house.

For Halloween night, they found an old, abandoned hotel outside Wachapreague, in the middle of the woods, off an old road none of us had ever heard of. It was the Hotel Paradise. The locals all said, “It’s haunted,” and told countless stories of howling coming from the hotel at night. Sometimes it was an evil laugh. Sometimes it was crying, or screams. And people who stayed there never were the same.

On Halloween day, they met after work, piled into his truck, and drove across the Bay Bridge Tunnel. They ate a fast food dinner at a diner they’d never heard of somewhere near Kiptopeak, then drove to the Hotel Paradise.

Shawn grabbed the two sleeping bags, and April grabbed the bag full of munchies and beer, and they broke in. It was long abandoned, so no one cared. Inside, they picked out a room, and threw the sleeping bags on the floor.

The hotel was really just a two-story house, with extra bedrooms, and each bedroom could be locked. The bathrooms and showers were common, shared by all the rooms. It was a little hotel. The interior was dusty, and dirty. The floors were wooden, and footprints from previous adventurers were everywhere.

They took pictures with their phones, posting them on the Internet. Sharing their adventure with their friends. They found an old guest book, and had fun reading the names of hotel guests in it. Noting the last guest had visited in 1933.

Around midnight, April drug Shawn into the room they’d picked out. They’d both stripped, and had fun collecting memories of sexual adventures in an old, haunted hotel. Spent, they’d stretched out in their sleeping bags, and passed out.

Shawn woke up at 3 AM. “April!” he shook her awake. “April! Did you hear that?”

April shook her head, “Let me sleep,” she groaned, and she rolled over, and pulled her sleeping bag snug around herself.

Shawn sat up, and listened. He heard people. Talking. But he couldn’t tell what they were saying. He pulled on his pants, and followed the sounds out of the room, down the hall to the common shower.

The shower room door creaked as he pushed it open, and slipped inside. “Do you think he’s ready?” a voice whispered.

“Shut up, ya idiot. You’ll scare the rats!”

Two people stood next to him, at the room door. They were watching something. Shawn turned to see what they were looking at. It was a woman. Naked, bound, and gagged, on the room floor.

“The show starts soon.” One of the men declared, as he poked the other in the ribs.

“This’ll be good.”

There were scratching noises. Then the grate over the vent along the wall opened up. Rats started pouring through it. Dozens of them. Shawn watched, fascinated, as the rats formed a circle around the woman. Then, he screamed in terror as the rats leaped on the naked woman, and started eating her alive.

The woman thrashed, and twisted, and tried to scream. But she couldn’t. She was bound, and gagged. And helpless to defend herself, or escape. The two men watched. “Oh, she’s a tasty one, isn’t she?”

Shawn ran from the room, down the hall, to get April.

April wasn’t there. He called for her, and heard her scream for help. He raced down the hallway and stairs to the hotel’s main room where he found April, naked, tied to a chair. Rats were climbing up her legs.

Shawn grabbed her and the rats and ropes all faded away. April screamed as she raced out the front door of the hotel, and hit in the truck. They spent the rest of the night in his truck. The next week, they broke up. And neither of them was ever the same again.

682 words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for week 37 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

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