My eyes are sore and my heart has been racing since dawn three days ago, I'm unsure how far I can push this caffeine fueled struggle. I have been purposely avoiding my family, unable to entrust them with my visions, after all I fear the hotel itself has infiltrated my household long before I could ever envision.
I have spent my days awake in solitude, lurking the depths of the internet for an explanation. Digging through family photos and home videos, in search for clues or proof to show you; but instead I found nothing but distress.
Every picture I take,of every family vacation,of every birthday, even her baby pictures, they all depict the same thing. Green eyes and a mole on the left cheek.
I know damn too well no one in my family has had green eyes since my grandma, not my dad, not my uncles, not my cousins, not me and certainly not her. So why? Why are all these pictures lying? Could this be part of the tainted memories the hotel implanted onto me? Just for how long will my mind be fooled with?
That's what I thought until… I came across this one picture, heavily damaged and discoloured, but not enough to miss it. It depicted me and my sister with my parents, in front of a building that read just “Hotel”. You could see the sturdy columns and a fountain through the window. But more importantly it was right there, her brown eyes and the mole on her right cheek. Hard to notice since she was looking to the side, but it was definitely there.
I knew it, I had found it, the definitive proof that I needed.
“Brother, are you ok?”
“Are you alright in there?”
“Do you wanna talk?”
I hear them knocking on my door, asking if I'm ok... as if. Begone fiends, you won't fool me anymore. No matter how much you insist, that appearance cannot suffice to make me believe we are related by blood. Your concern is faked, as well as your humanity; you even dragged my parents into this. Their phone calls won't stop, that only could mean she, or rather it, has tainted them.
I'm scared of where my thoughts may lead me, as I envision myself using a knife to end their lives, releasing them of this corruption that has taken over.
Every passing day...
Every passing hour...
Every passing minute...
My thoughts linger on how easy it would be to slice open their throats as they watch TV.
I hate myself everytime the idea crosses my mind, but If I don't act soon, It will come after me. I know it. And I will have to do it.
I'm running out of options and there is only one other way to end this. I've got to meet her. I must go back to the hotel, in the flesh or in mind, it doesn't really matter. Going in the flesh would be ideal since I could go prepared, but its location remains a mystery. The picture is the only source I can rely on. I need to go back, I need to do a search for a matching building…
As soon as I blinked my head hit the keyboard, drifting into that place in my sleep once more.
This time I went back into a memory of that trip, a morning awakening in our room with mom, dad and my sister. Everyone was acting normal and cracking jokes, even in my dreams the guilt in my dark thoughts managed to find me. At that moment I recognized how truly happy we were., I hadn’t noticed then, that this would all be a happy memory if it were not for the damned place we were in.
I knew this whole dream was about to turn into a nightmare as soon as I took the elevator for breakfast.
My parents and sister, still in a good mood, hopped into the elevator talking about getting some eggs and bacon. I took a deep breath before joining them.
When it started descending I expected the worst. My parents apparently hadn’t had the experience of the elevator suddenly stopping one out of ten times, but my sister mentioned the sign at the lobby, which my parents dismissed as a childish and annoying idea for a “prank”. I took the chance to mention how I had been there, and the overall creepiness of it without going into further detail, to which they replied “Well, I hope none of us have to be there ever again”.
But it was already too late, fate had been set in motion. The monitors displayed static and the sound of white noise, which overshadowed any kind of conversation. Suddenly, there came a scream from my mom, freezing my blood just as the lights went out, our silhouettes only discernible by the faint radiance of the screens. It was the final warning before the fall. A drop where this metal container we were trapped in had yet to meet the concrete below.
We had reached the numberless floor, an unnamed place not meant to be reached.
That's how the memory goes, or how the memory was supposed to be. I don't remember us saying anything at the bottom, or ever leaving the hotel. I was hoping to find what happened then, but instead I met with something else.
I opened my eyes in a panic, startled to find myself alone in the elevator, in my current age once more. The lights were back on and the screens displayed the brown eyed “It” from the feast.
Through the static I heard her say...” I found you, now come and find me”
I woke up after that.
As I came back to myself, I noticed a new email in my inbox from an unknown sender. It was an address...