Vacancy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


This story is set in the 1960s, and follows a young woman on her journey on a stormy night. What could possibly go wrong?...

Submitted: November 04, 2017

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Submitted: November 04, 2017

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Vacancy

The road ahead was long and deserted. It stretched on for miles, like the lines on the map in the floorboard. It was old. The asphalt had turned a dull gray from past travelers. I kept my eyes on the dreary and endless road while I fumbled for a cigarette. I placed the end between my lips and lit it. I never realized how difficult it was to light one while driving. I sighed and tried not to fall asleep to the rain outside the car window. Rain has a funny way of putting people to sleep. It's almost like a lullaby with its faint pitter patter tone. I felt like I hadn’t slept in days.  The car swayed off the road slightly, and woke me up suddenly. I shook my head and patted my cheek with a gloved hand. He had bought me these gloves. He said he wanted to protect their daintiness, and keep them safe. Keep me safe. I saw these gloves while window shopping, but I knew I couldn’t afford them. He loved buying me things. Working as a waitress didn’t pay much. During the day, my job wasn’t so bad. Typically, there wasn’t much business, except a few men who ordered post lunch cocktails. At night, the work could be tiring. The pushing, grabbing, and more, mixed with the smell of cigarettes and liquor could make a girl exhausted. It was worth it though I had been saving my money so I could drive across a couple of states to see him. He was an airline pilot for Panam. I met him while he was on a break getting an Old-Fashioned. He said he preferred Canadian whiskey in his drink. One too many drinks can lead to a very drunk pilot he said. I felt sorry for him, and offered for him to stay with me for the night. I was used to it, after all. Eventually, we began to see each other more often, and he stayed the night.  I was waiting for him to pop the question, but it hadn’t happened yet. He said he wanted to settle down and quit flying first. It had been a while since the last time I spoke to him.

 I missed him. I needed to be with him again, and to see his smile again.  I decided to pack up my things to go see him. I was willing to give up everything to be his. It wouldn't be long now. Soon we would be together.....forever I hoped. The rain began to accumulate and went from a soft serenade to a downpour concerto. I leaned forward and strained to see. The gray road was blending with the rain, and looked like a blurry version of a Picasso painting. I needed to pull over. I was tired anyways, and it was late. I squinted to see if there was any sort of landmark where I could pull over. I spotted what seemed to be a motel off to the right. I pulled over into the parking lot and shut the car off. I couldn't really see my surroundings, but this would have to do for the night. I grabbed my bag from the passenger seat, and prepared for the rain. I pulled my hood over my head, and leapt out of the car. The rain was seeping through my coat, and through my blouse as I hurried underneath the motel roof. I took off my hood and shook my coat off. The motel was deserted, and a little outdated. I shrugged and went inside the OFFICE door, as it was labeled. I looked around at the quaint little office, and was immediately gracious that it was warm. It was very tidy, not a single thing was out of place. There was a desk with a book and pen carefully placed in the crease, a vase with daisies inside, a small bell to ring for service. Everything seemed to be in order, even though I had never even been here. I stepped forward and tapped the bell with my finger. No response. I tapped the bell again, and a young man looked around the corner. He smiled a warm smile and made his way to the desk. His hair was slicked to the side and he was wearing a simple gray sweater. He looked to be in his late twenties, yet he had a boyish persona about him. He nodded his head rather politely and said hello.

"Hello. I don't wish to bother you, but the storm outside is dreadful to try and drive through tonight. Do you have any rooms available?" Of course I knew the answer to my question due to the lack of other automobiles.

 

"Yes" the young man nodded "yes we are vacant."

 

I smiled "Oh good! May I please stay for the night?"

 

He grinned a boyish grin and nodded as he turned to fetch me a key.

 

I looked around behind the desk, and into the small parlor behind the young man. There was a strange type of figurine on the table. It looked like a bird, but it was seemingly lifeless.

“That bird looks so real” I motioned toward the bird

The young man nodded “Oh, it was. I found it on the porch and fixed it.”

I blinked at him and thought about what he had just said. It must have been stuffed. I grimaced to myself and continued to fill in my information. I began to sign my name in the book. I stopped for a moment before signing my name. Soon it would be different. I would have his last name, and we would be bound together as one. I could hardly wait! But first, he needed to get the home ready, and also buy a ring. It had been so long since he had someone to stay home for him. I pictured us sitting at home, eating dinner together, and just relaxing. Maybe even with a few children, we could live at ease. I had wondered why he had yet to call me. My mother always told me to beware of men like him. They only wanted one thing, and it was not a wife. I began to question things, even myself as it progressed. Still, it would be better than waitressing. At least it offered some hope. I desperately needed another cigarette.

“Do you do that as a hobby?” I gestured

“Yes, it is peaceful to me.” He said as he watched me write. I could feel his eyes on me as I looped the letters of my name on the signature line.

How odd that this nice young man would be here on a Friday night. Most people would be out and about, although, someone might need to watch the motel.

“Do you always spend your Friday nights here?”

He took the book and signed off a room number beside my name “Not always. Sometimes my mother is here.”

“Oh, I see. You live with your mother?”

He handed me the key with a puzzled look on his face “Yes, what is wrong with that?”

I shook my head “Nothing at all. I think it’s nice, I wish my mother was still around.”

I took the key and our hands touched. He looked at our hands, and then back at me.  “I’m sure it’s been hard for you.”

I nodded and blushed slightly “It has been difficult.”

After my mother had died, I had nobody to look up to, or even to ask questions to. I had to begin supporting myself, so I took a job at the Hemlocke Bar. Serving drinks was the easiest part of the job. I rolled the key over in my palm, and smiled at the man.

"Do you need any help with your bags?" He inquired

"No, thank you. I think I can manage. Thank you for everything." I twisted the door knob

“It’s my pleasure.” He said as I walked out of the office

The wind and rain was chilly as I walked down the line of doors to my room.I put the key into the hole and turned the doorknob. Once I walked inside, I removed my fairly damp coat. I shivered a little as I threw the coat into the nearest armchair. There was one bed in the center of the room, a small end table with a lamp, a dresser with a mirror, a closet, and what appeared to be a bathroom. The wallpaper was slightly peeling, but not drastically. The comforter had small green flowers and leaves on it. It looked old, but cozy. It was certainly better than the atrocious weather outside. I walked over to the bed and placed my bag on the end. I massaged the back of my neck with my hand as I sat on the bed. All of the endless driving had made me slightly sore. I decided to take a shower to ease the pain a little. I slipped my heels off and rubbed my feet. Whoever invented heels obviously had never worn them a day in their life. I stood up and placed my foot on the bed and unclipped my stockings and rolled them down. I shuffled them off of my feet and unzipped my skirt. After I shimmied out of my clothes I went to find the towel. I wrapped the blue motel towel around me and went to turn on the water in the shower. It was freezing! I gasped and jumped back a little. I decided to investigate the bathroom further while the water warmed. The floor was cold tile, and had an odd off whiteness to it, perhaps from being cleaned too much. The sink was moderately clean, almost as if it was rarely used. The soap was faintly placed in a nearby soap dish with a hand towel standing by. I hoped our future bathroom would be daintier, and prettier than this. I wanted hand carved soap, and new, soft hand towels for all of our guests to use. It would be marvelous! I reached my hand into the shower to find the blissful warm water I had been waiting for. I stepped into the shower after hanging my towel on the rail. I grabbed some soap and began lathering up, surrounding myself with the scent of gardenias. Oh, how I was ready for a peaceful night’s sleep! I would curl up in the bed and pretend I was with him. I would gaze down at the ring on my finger and just know everything was right.  I started to doze off in the shower, so I began to find things to occupy myself for a moment. The bathroom had a small window looking out at the front of the motel. The privacy curtains were frail, but the window was high enough for the shower to be concealed inside from view. The thought occurred to me that I had been in such a hurry I had forgotten to even see the sign out front. If he were to call, I would need to know where I was located. The letters outside shone an iridescent blue and stood out among the rain, as if a shining beacon of hope to fellow travelers stuck in the rainy weather. The letters were not fancy, just plain block letters, and to the point. I read the name over in my head, and continued to bathe.

"Bates Motel, vacancy. Hm..interesting name.” I whispered to myself while continuing to lather up.

I proceeded to shampoo my hair when I heard the oddest sound. My heart leapt up in my throat as I heard it once more, indicating the door opening.

Click


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