Happy Nights Inn
A quick flash reveals a screaming woman in a wedding dress. Then the sound of a gunshot waking me up in a panicked frenzy. Sweat drips over my forehead as I frantically look around my car. At least, I think it’s my car. Where the hell am I? Oh god! I can’t even remember my name.
Aghh! What is with this pain on my forehead? Have I been in an accident? As I look up at my windshield, a spindly tree towers over me. It’s branches stretch up towards the sky, swaying back and forth.
My jaw tightens. I'm momentarily overcome with fright as my eyes make contact with the rearview mirror. A bald headed man with a thick bushy beard looks back at me. A man who I don’t even recognize. I run my hands frantically over my head to check for signs of damage. No blood anywhere. Not even a bump.
I reach into my pant pockets, rummaging for clues. A wallet. Most likely mine. With great anticipation, I pull out a square shaped driver’s license. Bill Sanderson. That’s my name. Even the photo matches what I look like. Bald head with the beard. Surely, I must have hit my head somewhere as that name does not ring familiar. No bank cards inside the wallet though. Just about two hundred dollars worth of cash. Reaching further into my pockets, I pull out a phone. The feelings of optimism are quickly replaced by that of dread as the phone appears to be out of charge.
Perhaps there is something in the glove compartment I can make use of. Without hesitation, I open it to find a pile of paper items. Magazines, comic books, food menus, an anger management pamphlet. I’m overwhelmed with a growing sense of discomfort as the anger management pamphlet stares back up at me. Surely that’s not mine. Is it?
I look out the window, trying to get a glimpse through the snow. Not a single billboard lines the barren landscape. Nothing but endless plots of land covered in snow. No telephone lines, and not a single shadow of a building on the horizon. I need to get to a hospital or a police station. No point just sitting here. It could be days before a car shows up. Or even weeks.
As I’m about to step out of the car, I notice a single cigarette lying deep inside the glove compartment. For some reason, I feel compelled to grab it before leaving.
The white light of the moon shines around me, lighting my path. The front of the car is completely stripped away, revealing an exposed engine. Seems a miracle that I managed to survive without even a scratch. My feet crunch against snow as I walk towards the trunk of the car. After popping it open with a sense of urgency, I’m relieved to find a mini flashlight staring back at me. Next to it lies a pocket knife. Without wasting any time, I attach the flashlight to my breast pocket. A moment of hesitation follows before grabbing the pocket knife. Just in case I need to defend myself out here.
The wind sounds more ghostly now. It’s lonely out here. Cold and merciless. With each breath of the wind, I find myself being stabbed by the icy air.
I lift up my collar to block out the wind. Several footprints are left behind as the snow comes up over my ankles. I begin to shiver uncontrollably from the cold. God, it’s a wasteland out here. By instinct, my hand begins to reach for the cigarette in my left pocket. Searching my jacket pockets for a lighter, it doesn’t take me long to find one.
With the cigarette firmly placed between my lips, I hold up the lighter to the end. CLICK. Nothing. CLICK. Again, nothing. Finally, I get a light, but the wind instantly wipes it away. With a growing sense of desperation, I try harder, cupping my hands around the cigarette.
Out of nowhere, an unknown memory begins to play in my mind. I find myself standing in the darkness, holding a cigarette. Only this time, a woman is beside me, a purse draped over her arm. We are both waiting next to a bus stop sign lingering in the black void.
“Excuse me, do you have a light?” I ask the woman.
She looks at me. We exchange a smile.
“Actually, I do,” she replies.
She searches her purse, then lights the cigarette for me. There’s a flash of her beautiful eyes, her earrings, her lips curving into a smile. Instead of a click this time, I hear a loud gunshot as I ignite the lighter. My heart starts to pound as I frantically look around for the source of the sound. There is nobody here. I’m all alone.
I rip the cigarette from my mouth, chucking it far away. The wind picks up now, sounding like hundreds of ghostly wails. I’m starting to think this road doesn’t have an end. And if it does, I can’t help but wonder what’s on the other side.
I rub my hands together, breathing warmth into them and holding them against my ears. Small clouds emanate from my mouth as I take heavy breaths. I can’t be the only one out here. Surely, there must be a gas station nearby. Or a trucker making his nightly drive to town. Though the act of hitchhiking seems ill advised, I would rather take my chances in some stranger’s car than be out here in this freezing hellhole. Plus, I got a knife in case he were to try something funny.
Finally feeling the urge to scream, I begin to yell at the top of my voice.
“Hello? Is there anybody out here?! Anybody!”
No answer. I keep rubbing my hands together.
My voice begins to trail off as I fall to my knees on the snowy road. As if on queue, the pain on my forehead comes back. This time worse than the last. I grunt in agony as I grab onto my head. Before long, I find myself lying face down on the snow.
I think I’ve reached the end of the road. A place where they’ve stopped putting up billboards and houses. It’s like the whole world knew not to trespass here...except for me.
With my right cheek firmly pressed against the snow, my eyes begin to flutter. As I feel every inch of life being drained out of me, I begin to ask the obvious questions. Why me? What could I have possibly done to deserve this? Slowly drifting towards the world of the dead, I prepare myself for what is to come. Be it the afterlife or eternal nothingness.
My droopy eyes remain fixated on the empty road ahead. Far in the distance, something catches my attention. I lift my head. My vision becomes clearer, as I begin to notice the edges of a billboard on the side of the road. That wasn’t there before.
With a great deal of discomfort, I manage to push myself off the ground and get back on my feet. Like a fly drawn to light, I begin to make my way towards this billboard. Lights blare onto the image. It’s a beautiful font but worn with time. Suddenly this feels like a strange fever dream.
In the distance, two buildings can be seen. One of them is short, the other a two-story with stairs protruding from the side. Looks like a motel. Light flickers in the smaller building, a grayish-blue hue glowing on the horizon. I don’t care how shabby it looks. Long as I got a roof and a bed.
My feet struggle in the snow, but I continue to press forward. As I pass the billboard, I look up at the scraped and peeling letters.
HAPPY NIGHTS INN
As I come across what looks like a gravel parking lot, I begin to realize that it’s way too quiet out here. The buildings are shabby up close, worn by time and weather. Turning towards the two-story motel building, I notice that every window is dark. Is this place even open?
My foot brushes against something that clinks. I look down to see broken glass amongst a layer of trash. The light shines onto the glass, making it shimmer. As the wind continues to howl ominously around me, I begin to walk towards the smaller building, noticing the peeling dark red paint covering the outer walls.
Reaching the door, I see an old sign swinging in the wind, clattering against the glass door.
‘Come in. We are Open.’
Don’t need much more of an invitation than that. Without hesitation, I swing the door open and make my way inside. Finally, I can feel the life seeping back into my arms and legs. The place is completely empty, except for some worn furniture scattered here and there. The rest of the room is in shambles, as if long forgotten. Paint peels from the walls in long strips. Some sections are hardly even painted. Several curtains along the windows have been eaten by moths. Strange static and muffled voices are faintly heard though I’m yet to see an actual person.
My boots, now coated in slush and mud, scrape against the splintery wooden floor. Multiple scratches cover it. Long and sinister. Some of them innocently from furniture, and some of them engraved much deeper into the wood. I run my hand along one of the leather couches. I recoil in disgust as my fingers are coated with a thick layer of dust. Jeez, don’t they have a cleaning guy?
As I’m about to sit down to take a breather, I notice the leather stripped from the arms of the couch. Holes stretch across the cushions, stuffing peeking out.
The static grows sharper now, drawing my attention towards the desk. I take a step over a long scratch in the wood. The voices from the desk sound almost like a woman’s, though its hard to hear.
The desk looks just as worn as the rest of the room, waiting ominously in the center of the lobby. A faint light flickers over stacks of papers. It’s a small television with a square shaped 1950’s style screen. A thin cord stretches from the back towards a power outlet behind the desk.
The voices emanating from the TV sound almost inhuman. Garbled from the static. The screen is faced inwards. I turn it slightly to get a better look. The picture is grimy, wavering. An occasional black bar wipes over the image, distorting it with each pass down the screen. An anchorwoman is seen speaking into a microphone in front of a courthouse. Her voice is cracking from static. The banner underneath her reads: ‘Accused child killer walks free.’
On the screen, the man accused of this heinous crime is seen walking down the stairs of the courthouse. Wearing a smug look on his face, he waves to the camera. What a travesty of justice. How can our society let someone like him just walk free? How can anyone possibly do something like that to a poor defenseless child? Hang the bastard, I say.
The television flickers over the contents laid out on the desk. There’s a thick book with a leathery cover, worn out like the rest of the room. A cup full of pens waits next to it. It’s been waiting a long time, covered in its own thick layer of dust and cobwebs.
My attention falls on a silver bell in front of the book. The image from the TV is reflected onto it. I raise my hand, tapping it against the bell. DING. Nothing.
“Hello? Anybody here?”
I tap the bell again. DING. Still no answer. I ring the bell, over and over with great impatience.
“Is anybody here? Please, I need help!”
Don’t think anyone’s here. But then why were the lights on? Who’s been watching the TV? As I look around the lobby, I notice something odd. There aren’t any decorations on the walls. Instead, there are square-shaped impressions where picture frames would have been. Ghostly imprints. This place seems long abandoned. But anything’s better than the side of the road. I’ll spend the night in the damn lobby if I have to.
I decide to try the bell again. As I raise my hand, the TV screen catches my eye. This time, two anchors are seen at a desk. The banner under them reads: ‘Bride and Best Man Found Dead in Hotel Suite. Groom Still Missing.’
The screen switches to a new image. An elderly couple in a living room. A reporter sits with them. The banner switches to say: ‘Family of Bride Speaks Out.’
For some reason, my eyes are glued to the screen. I reach over for a volume knob on the TV, trying to turn it up, only to be met with more inhuman mumbling and static. Suddenly, from the darkness, a hand latches onto my shoulder.
“Would you like to check in?”
I nearly jump from my skin. I stifle a gasp as I turn to face an elderly man with a leathery face. He is seen holding onto a wooden handle. Something sloshes near my feet. I look down to see a yellow mopping bucket on wheels. The contents are dark red, thick and syrupy, with a faint gloss of grease on the top. The elderly man rolls it slightly behind him as he throws a dirty brown towel over his shoulder.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you there.”
His demeanor is calm, eerily friendly.
“Oh. That’s okay. I didn’t hear you come in,” I reply.
I look around trying to figure out where he came from.
“I was just cleaning one of the rooms upstairs. Guests here tend to leave a big bloody mess before they check out,” the old man says.
He shuffles with the bucket around the front desk. He takes off a puffy coat, revealing a white collarless shirt stained with dark splotches. He gathers himself, turning off the television, then sneaking a look at me.
“Rough night?” he asks.
I take a long breath, running my hand over my head.
“Could I please use your phone? I think I might have been in an accident.”
“Oh, that’s terrible. But unfortunately, all our phone lines are down.”
“Damn it. Do you think anyone here could give me a ride back to town?”
“I’m sorry but the folks who come here are not your typical friendly types. I would have driven you myself but my truck’s in the repair shop right now.”
“Is there a hospital or a police station nearby?”
“Nope. Nothing ahead for miles. Tell you what. Why don’t you spend the night here? Bob’s coming in tomorrow morning. He will take you where you need to go.”
“Umm, ya okay. How much is it for the night?
“Don’t worry about it Mr... sorry I didn’t quite catch your name. I’m Robert.”
He extends his right hand towards me.
“My..my name. Right. Just hold on a second.”
I frantically pull out the wallet from my pocket and hand him my driver’s licence. The old man’s mouth twists into a crooked smile, exposing his rotten yellow teeth. He reaches into his cup for a pen and opens the large book in front of him. The cover thuds as he finds an empty place in the middle. As he is taking down my information, I notice a long list of names on the page he is writing on. Then why does it feel like we two are the only people here?
He gently hands me back my ID before pulling open a drawer with a screech. I’m then handed a key with the number 205 written on the tag.
“Enjoy your stay, Mr. Sanderson.”
The man’s smile sends a shiver down my spine. Colder than the air outside. Where did he even come from? I thank him as I take the key from his hand. The old man’s smile fades as he says something rather bizarre.
“Oh! Mr. Sanderson. In this motel, we like to keep all the mirrors covered before 3 am.”
“Oh. Umm, why is that?” I ask with a puzzled look on my face.
“Oh, you know us old folks. We tend to be the superstitious types.”
“Oh. All right.”
The old man nods and smiles. Without wasting anymore time making meaningless small talk, I quickly make my way towards room 205. The key jangles in my hand as I walk towards the stairway. Still no light shining through any of the windows.
As I pass by the makeshift parking lot, I notice several cars parked in a neat row. Every single one of them is covered in a thick layer of snow. How long have they been here for? After making sure nobody is looking, I walk over and swipe my arm over one of the cars. As the snow falls, it reveals an old-fashioned BMW, rusted and worn down.
To avoid being seen by one of the tenants, I quickly move away from the parking lot and head towards the stairs. My foot mindlessly lands on the first step but slips instantly. I quickly grab on to the handrail in order to avoid a nasty fall. I look up to see each step covered in a layer of black ice.
Walking at a snail’s pace, I begin my harrowing journey to the top. My foot slips again, halfway up the set of stairs. I hold on to the railing for dear life as I find my footing again. Almost there. My breath is heavy as I continue to struggle. My mind flashes to the screaming woman in my dream. Followed by the sound of the gunshot. I close my eyes, trying to block out all thoughts as I finally reach the top.
The hallway is just as sinister as the lobby. Vintage wallpaper barely clings from its glue on the walls. A faint crunch disturbs me. I look under my shoe to see a thick cockroach. I recoil with disgust as I scrape my boot against the old faded carpet, spreading the milky-white guts of the cockroach deeper into the fibers. The hallway is dead silent. Not even the sound of a television muffled through the walls. Not a single cough or door slam. Everyone must be asleep. Assuming there’s even people here.
I wander further up the hallway, eventually stopping in front of room 205. The words “WELCOME BACK” are seen on the green floor mat that lies under my feet. The emptiness is unsettling. Despite all the cars outside, this place feels like a crypt. I check the key, then the door sign. Taking one last look around, I shove the key into the lock. It jams a bit, making me uneasy. I’m suddenly overwhelmed by the silence in the hallway.
It finally gives. I let out a huge sigh of relief and quickly shut myself inside the room. The hallway still waits in silence.
The room is mostly bare, except for a single sized bed and a mini table. Yellow light hovers from above. No windows. No portraits. No television. Just an old grandfather clock and a large mirror at the other end of the room.
I sit on the bed, testing the comfort. It squeaks under my weight as I slightly bounce on top of the faded comforter. Promptly removing my coat, I place it on the bed. Underneath, I have nicer clothes on. A dark dress shirt, neatly pressed.
My attention turns to the mini table. A stack of white fabric waits on the top. There’s a paper, laminated, though the plastic is peeling on the edges. There is only one sentence typed out in the center of the paper.
‘Please place over mirrors before 3 AM’
Seems like the old man was serious about the superstitious babble. Not that I believe in this nonsense. I nevertheless find myself casting a nervous glance around the room. The small and big hands on the grandfather clock are pointing at the numbers eleven and six respectively. I also notice a door beside the mirror.
Curiosity gets the better of me as I decide to check what lies behind. A dingy yellow light flickers to life as I turn on the light switch inside. It’s a bathroom. The tiles are cracked and filled in with mildew. I notice the toilet and recoil in disgust. Guess the maid must be on vacation. After flushing it, the filthy brown sludge in the bowl groans down the drain. The water that fills it is just as grimy.
Turning my attention to the dirty sink, I turn on the faucet. It also groans as water sloshes through the pipes. I put my hand under the faucet as I wait, only to be startled by a sudden and violent gush of dirty water. Disgusting. I walk away, angrily wiping my hands on my clothes.
After slamming the bathroom door behind me, I reach for the light switch. The entire room grows dark. I decide to crawl into the bed, ignoring the squeaks of the springs under the mattress. As my upper and lower eyelids make contact, I finally drift off to sleep.
A low moaning fills the room, almost sounding like the wind from earlier. It grows louder and louder. I try to block out the sound, by covering my head with a pillow before finally opening my eyes. I quickly sit up in a panic.
Where the hell am I? My breathing slows to a calm as I grab at the covers around me on the bed. Oh, right. I’m in a strange motel in an unknown part of town. The hell is that awful sound?
As I frantically look around for the flashlight in the dark, the moaning starts to sound more like wailing, as if a woman was crying nearby. The glow from my flashlight shines around the room. There is nobody here. I notice the time on the old grandfather clock. It is now 3:05 AM.
Pulling myself out from the covers, I immediately reach for the light switch. It flickers on for a moment, before flooding the room with yellow light. I turn in circles, trying to assess the source of the sound. The room is completely empty. Then the sound must be coming from...
My gaze falls on the bathroom door. My heartbeat can be heard as I breathe heavily. My socked feet take small step after small step towards the back of the room, closer to the mirror. The wailing continues on, sounding even more like a woman crying. I approach the door, placing my ear against the old wood. Sniffles and faint moans continue to be heard.
“Somebody in there?” I ask.
No answer, just faint crying. I knock on the door with impatient thuds.
“Hello? Anybody in there?” I ask again only to be met with more sniffs and sobs.
I take a deep breath, preparing myself as I reach for the doorknob. My thumb lightly brushes against the top of the knob before clicking it down. The door creaks as I push it open at a snail’s pace. My heart beats louder as I step inside. There is nobody here, but the crying continues.
The bathtub is obscured by a brown, soap-scum stained shower curtain. I hesitantly reach out, my fingers clutching the fabric. I blink furiously, trying to steady my breathing. Finally, I find the courage to fling the curtain to the side. The metal rings squeal against the rod in one swift motion. The tub is empty, except for several pink mildew stains. I let out a huge sigh of relief and slide the curtain back into place.
If it’s not here, then the sound must be coming from one of the other rooms. Though I'm hesitant to intervene in someone else's matter, this woman is driving me nuts. I head for the main door, ready to confront the tenant in the next room. As I walk by the mirror, something catches my eye.
Now facing the mirror on the wall, I take several steps towards it in disbelief. There’s a sliver of white in the corner of the mirror. A full outline of a woman in a wedding dress is revealed. She stands in the right hand corner of the room, with her back towards the mirror. Her veil floats up and down above her head as she sobs into her hands. I turn around to look at the woman, only to find that I’m still alone in the room.
Looking back at the mirror, I still see her standing in the corner. How the hell is this possible? The sobbing is almost like shrieking now as the woman continues to wail into her hands. I wave at the mirror and my reflection does the same.
In a panic, I lunge for the mirror, trying to dig my hands behind it. With a great deal of force, I manage to pry it off the wall only to see a cut out newspaper article. Why was this hidden behind the mirror?
The headline reads: “Bride killer found dead in fatal car crash.”
The picture of the so called bride killer is included in the article. The man is seen posing with a woman in a wedding dress. The one from my dream. Dressed in a white suit, he has long hair and is clean shaven. If the man was to shave off his head and grow a beard like mine, he could be my doppelganger.
I check the mirror once again. The crying bride is still standing her ground. For a glimmer of a second, she just barely turns her head in a violent twitch. Inhuman, grotesque. Her wailing blares in my ears, mixing with my staggered pulse.
I jump into my shoes, not even bothering to tie my shoelaces, and make a run for the door. Without looking back, I try to get away as far as possible from room 205. As I approach the top of the stairwell, I can see two uniformed police officers talking to the old man. Luckily, they do not see me. Looking around for another way to get to the bottom floor, I realize that the only way to walk out of this motel is by using the stairwell. I even considering jumping from the second floor but decide against it as I won’t get far with two broken legs.
My shoelaces click together as I run from room to room, banging on each door.
“Hey! Can anyone help me?! Please!”
I keep trying, but not a single door opens for me. As I frantically look for a way out, something catches my attention. An ominous message on one of the foggy windows.
It’s the room right next to mine. I place my ear against the door. But I hear nothing. Muffled male voices can be heard from outside. As the footsteps on the stairwell get louder, I begin to panic. Grabbing my pocket knife, I jam it into the keyhole, twisting and turning away as I nervously look to my right. They are coming for me now.
Takes me less than ten seconds to pick the lock. Quickly, I make my way inside and gently close the door so as to not make too loud of a sound. I shine my flashlight around the room but there is nobody here. My attention falls on the window where the words “HELP ME” are seen written backwards.
The voices outside are growing closer. Bleeps and walkie talkie static can also be heard. I look around the room once again. Almost the same as mine. No television. Just an old grandfather clock and a mirror. However, I notice the bathroom door slightly ajar. Curiosity gets the better of me as I begin to wonder whether there might be someone inside.
Gently pushing the door further, I shine my light upon the horrifying thing that lies in the tub. A man surrounded in a pool of his own blood. His throat slit wide open and his hands completely bloody. Right above his head, a message written in blood for all to see.
The mirror is completely smashed up. Shards of broken glass and blood are all over the sink under it. Shining the light on his face, I begin to recognize him. He is the man from the television. The one with the smug look on his face.
I jump from my skin as there are three loud bangs on the door.
BANG. BANG. BANG.
“Open up. This is the police.”
Oh God! How did they find me? The bangings grow louder now.
“Police! Open this door right now. We know you’re in there!”
I look back at the man in the tub. A moment of hesitation follows before I decide to turn off the flashlight and lock myself in the bathroom. Now surrounded in pitch black darkness, I can hear the muffled voices get closer. Surely, they must be in the room now. As if on queue, the sound of the wailing bride returns. Why won’t she just leave me alone?
The crying persists even as I hold my hands over my ears. The sound of my beating heart, the woman’s wails and the muffled voices of the police all crashing into my ear drums at once. Using my flashlight, I frantically looking around but there is nobody else here. Except for me and the dead man in the tub. However, I can still hear her terrified low sobs.
As my back brushes against something, I turn around to see a mirror attached to the back of the door. My eyes widen until they’re almost completely white. I see the woman now. She stands in the darker corner of the tub. Her body is turned towards the mirror now, but her face is covered by a thin wedding veil. All of a sudden, she stops crying. Only staring, waiting in complete silence.
I turn to look back at the tub. The dead man stares right back. No woman. I gaze at the mirror again, at the white veil looking back at me. Her silence makes me even more nervous. Taking down the mirror is not an option as it appears to be nailed to the door. My attention now shifts towards the doorknob.
As soon as I reach out my hand, the woman starts to walk towards me. Footsteps are heard as she steps over the bathtub. Her hands are spindly, the glimmer of a wedding ring shines under the light. Panic sets in. I can hear my heart pounding as I struggle with the doorknob. It won’t budge.
A tap as the knob jiggles. The woman gets closer. Another tap. I cry out for help, terrified as I’m clutching the doorknob, yanking it with full force with no luck.
“Somebody help! I’m stuck in the bathroom!”
I start to bang my fist on the door while the woman in the mirror gets ever so closer.
The mumbling outside picks back up.
“This is the police! Open this door right now!”
“I can’t! I can’t! It won’t open! Help!” I scream in desperation.
My pleas are met with silence from the other end.
“Are you still there? Please open the door! There is a woman here. She’s trying to kill me.”
I can now see that the woman in the mirror is only steps behind me now. Out of desperation, I clench my fist, this time bringing it down on the mirror. It crunches under my hand but doesn’t completely break. I cry out in agony as blood seeps over my fingers. Her image is now distorted in the glass.
I yell at the top of my lungs as I punch the mirror, over and over. Each one with more force. Another painful sensation on the forehead agitates me further. With each crack and crunch, more blood spews from my bare hand onto the grungy tiles, filling in the cracks. Glass shatters onto the floor in thick shards as most of the mirror is now broken.
But the footsteps can still be heard. A faint tapping almost inches from me. Then, there is silence. My breaths are heavy in the dark. The pocket knife shakes uncontrollably in my hand as I hold it up to defend myself.
No sign of the woman. Outside, the police officers remain silent. With my back pressed against the door, my bloodstained hand begins searching for the doorknob. This time, it clicks down effortlessly. I sigh with sudden relief, almost putting on a smile just as I’m about to open the door. Compared to this hellhole, prison does not seem so bad.
Suddenly, a loud bang is heard. In a split second, my body is launched forward as the door smashes against my back. I don’t even have time to scream before my forehead collides onto the open rim of the toilet seat.
A sickening crunch is heard as my skull makes contact with the porcelain. My forehead crushes inward, leaving a horrific dent of flesh and bone. Blood drips and swirls into the toilet bowl. It makes its way into the cracks of the tiles, trailing towards the doorway.
As I lay there in a pool of my own blood, I seem to be drifting in and out of consciousness. One of the officers can be heard saying, “I...I didn’t mean to kick the door that hard.”
Just then a familiar voice is heard.
“Damn it Bob. Every fucking time!” says the old man.
He bends down to take a look at me. The old man has a crooked smile on his face. Even though I’m dying, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude. I’m more than happy to leave this wretched place. The thought of never having to see that crooked smile of his. Or never having to hear that bitch wail and moan.
Finally, I’m free.
As I’m about to drift off to eternal slumber, the old man gently places his hand on my shoulder and says something that causes the hair on the back of my neck to stand up.
“Until we meet again, Mr. Sanderson.”
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