Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Al Bruno III would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Sweet Nothings

By Al Bruno III All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Horror

Sweet Nothings

The hotel desk clerk’s baggy eyes widened at the mere mention of the number. “732? You don’t want that room.”

Every year the same thing, a different clerk with the same questions. Ordinarily I endured the interminable excuses but this year’s pilgrimage had been particularly unpleasant. The car had coughed, sputtered and threatened to die at every rest stop; the clouds had been bloated and full of rain.

Rainy days were always the hardest.

So, I nipped the discussion in the bud. With an offhand gesture I tossed a wad of bills on the counter and spoke again, “Room 732 please.”

“You don’t- ”

“Give me room 732 for the night, and you can keep the change.”

The expression on the desk clerk’s face was almost comical, he swept the bills out of sight and slipped me the key. Turning away from the counter I headed down the familiar maze of hallways. The desk clerk’s unspoken questions burned at my back, Why that room? Haven’t you heard the stories? Aren’t you afraid?

I made sure I was out of sight before he decided to ask any of them.

When I had first come here-

No, not I. We.

When we had first come here, this was a four star establishment, with brightly lit hallways, working elevators, even room service. The elevator had stopped working three years ago, and when the bulbs in the hallways burnt out no one bothered to replace them. I pushed the door to the stairwell open; figures crouched in the murk, grunting half-heartedly. Bypassing them I headed up the stairs, debris crunching underfoot.

I was out of breath by the time I reached the seventh floor, no surprise there really. I’m not a young man anymore. Sometimes I wondered to myself why the hotel had fallen out of favor so quickly. It couldn’t just be the fact that someone had died here, after all, people died in their hotel rooms all the time. Maybe it was the way she died, maybe the horror of her final moments was so profound that it permeated every floor and hallway. Maybe the slumbering business travelers and vacationing families would wake at exactly 1:49 AM, their hearts beating wildly and their sheets drenched with sweat. Maybe it was nothing more than new, more conveniently located-off ramp that cut this whole section of the city out of the tourist trade.

The sound of the seventh floor stairwell opening was high and shrill like a woman’s scream. Frowning, I trudged down the hallway, listening to the pat-pat-patter of the leaky ceiling. I found the familiar suite and slipped the key into the lock. The door resisted for a heartbeat then swung open. For a moment I stood there staring into the shadowed, empty room, torn between the instinct to run and the vows I had made. This, like the bickering with the desk clerk, is a ritual for me.

The lights stayed off, I knew the geography here all too well. Closing the door behind me, I crossed the room and sat on the musty bed. It was funny in a way, after almost a decade I still trembled at this moment. For a time I stared into the gloom, watching the darkness churn, then I closed my eyes and replayed visions of broken locks, police tape and dried blood over and over in my mind.

A shudder worked its way up my spine. I could almost imagine her kneeling on the bed behind me, her slender arms wrapping around my back.

“I miss you.” My voice was reverent, uncertain, of all the rituals I observed on this terrible anniversary this was the most important, “I wish I had come back sooner. I wish I had been here. I wish-.”

From out of the darkness her voice is at my ear, “I know.”

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Al Bruno III
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Sarah_M_G: This story was truly gripping from start to finish. The way the author used Scottish dialect throughout the novel really helped to put you in he in the place where it was all happening. Every character was well described and thought out. How they all fitted together really worked and loved how t...

Caitlin E. Jones: Such a riveting short story, full to the brim with folklore and horrors! The rich details used to make up Doolin were as well-placed as they were written, right down to the disturbing presence of magical creatures. The lives of the humans are used to great effect, giving us short glimpses of thei...

Kastril Nomenclature: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

heich: Excellent story and excellent writing style. I hope in the future read your works.The story you present is innovative, fresh, different from everything else and let a feeling that you know you want to read more of it. I hope you continue moving in the same, because he's smart and only you know wh...

Clarissa: Very atmospheric and descriptive language, with good character development. This is a complex and interesting story - definitely worth a read.

duggsy: This kept me intrigued, I only intended on reading 1 chapter but couldn't stop until I'd read the whole thing. The only let-down were a few spelling mistakes hence the 3 stars but otherwise a great read.

Pam Thomas: Loved the story. It left me thinking just a tad bit. Also, it is the ultimate blend of genres that I adore! Continue writing!

Alex Rushmer: I like the intrigue that you introduce from the very beginning of the story. The idea of the girl waking up in the alley with no memory of how she got there and with injuries is very interesting. It was very well done. There were a lot of grammatical errors that need to be fixed though. I think t...

E_W_Hemmings: First of all, sorry this review took so long: I've had science mocks recently and then when I came to read this, I made notes to put in the review like I usually do... but then I deleted them. Well done me. As a result, this review is a bit more general than most reviews I write, but hey ho, let'...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."