The night was calm and peaceful. The smooth roads winded and twisted further into the gloom. The dim headlights helped me drive away the darkness from the roads. But soon I started growing tired of the dismal drive. The tall canopies of the trees on either side, with its branches twisted and overgrown with vines, only enhanced the eerie feeling. Since my mind wasn’t that vulnerable to stories about ghosts and creatures of the night, I was brave and content. I kept away all chances of my mind accidentally threatening me of any imminent dangers.
For hours, my eyes could find only tree trunks, small creeks and occasionally, small strips of grasslands. In spite of being in night drives numerous times, I had sleep issues. I needed to crash and get some sleep at least around 1 or 2 in the morning. I checked my watch, careful not to take my eyes of the road for too long.
I wondered where I will find a motel inside this damned forest. I cursed the asshole who suggested the shortcut route to Texas. Muttering and whining weren’t going to help much. I continued driving, browsing through the trees for any signs of light or life. About half an hour later, when I had almost given up my search for a hotel and had decided to nestle inside my car, I saw a yellow glow through a small clearing through the trees. As I drove in through the gravel, I noticed the inn was small yet it looked like a decent place. The neon board read “SENSNARE INN” and looked unusually bright and cheerful for a lodge in such a deserted place. No vehicles outside, no lights through any of the windows, no doors open except for the one immediately near the entrance; I inferred not a lot of visitors have been inside the inn.
I stepped inside the small lobby and had a very foreboding vibe hit me. The place looked entirely different once inside. It was lit by bright fluorescent lamps and the walls were newly painted and decorated with portraits. Yet somehow, the place looked shady and spooky. But since I didn’t have much of an option and I was so exhausted by lack of sleep and hours of driving, I chose to ignore everything. As I reached the counter, I saw an old lady of about 70, sitting on a chair next to the wall and quietly beaming at me. I smiled back, not knowing what else to do. As I was about to ask her about the rooms, a young man came out of the next room with a register. I assumed the old lady was his mother.
He asked me to fill in the details. As I wrote my name, address and other details on the large book, I studied the manager. He was odd-looking, with huge spectacles and a pointy face. He always had a grim expression and tried hard to avoid eye contact. He handed me the keys, wished me night and went back inside his room, without even much of a polite glance at me. Since I was too tired to get offended, I chose to ignore him and went up the stairs searching for B 012, my room according to the tag on the key.
As I unlocked the door and went inside, a musty but bearable stench greeted me. I groped on the nearby walls for some light switch. I flicked the lights on and immediately found the room to be pleasing. Even though the furniture wasn’t much and the room altogether was bleak, it was clean and quite spacious. For someone who just needed freshening up and a few hours of sleep, there wasn’t much to complain.
I set down my only bag on the small table near the bed and fell onto the bed. After staring at the ceiling for a few minutes, thinking about the unnaturally quaint building I was presently in, I stood up and went into the washroom to pee. Again, I was delighted to see a clean and hygienic setup inside. I was starting to get acquainted to the new place, even though it was for an extremely short stay.
As I returned and sat on my bed, I saw a pamphlet neatly folded and kept under the pillow. It looked like it was placed there recently since it didn’t catch my eye as I came in before.
Now that I know the contents of the darned leaflet, I wish I had read it way earlier.
It read somewhat like this:
WELCOME TO SENSNARE INN
We are glad to have you as our guests. To make your stay here more comfortable, here are a few things you might want to follow.
- If there was no one accompanying the manager at the counter, you are good. If you saw someone else with him, bad luck. If you ever see the extra person again, NEVER make conversation.
- If the door is already open when you reach the room, DON’T ENTER. If not, then go inside and switch on the lights first.
- Bolt the door once you are inside. VERY IMPORTANT.
- Check inside the drawers for any kinds of remnants from the previous tenants. You never know what you are going to find.
- Open the door after 2 am under your own risk.
- If you happen to see a red glass bottle filled with water on the table, don’t drink it. It’s not provided by Sensnare.
- Before going to sleep, check under your bed. If you see nothing suspicious, check one more time. If you don’t see anything/anyone again, you are safe. In case you do see something…..well, hopefully nothing comes up.
- Don’t answer your door unless the person outside announces who he/she is. It is strictly advised not to entertain strangers.
- If you see someone hiding inside the cupboard, don’t panic. It might be one of the last occupants who had forgotten to leave. If the person appears to be hostile, kindly act based on your instincts.
- If you hear continuous knocks on the door at night, block the peephole quickly with something and stay on the bed. Don’t stay near the door longer at any cost.
- Don’t open the door in the morning unless the manager personally knocks on the door and brings you coffee. For any other emergency, call on the emergency number given at the back of the telephone.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Sensnare Inn. We expect your valuable feedback and suggestions. Happy Holidays!!
I am not saying I am scared. But it’s been three days and the manager hasn’t come upstairs to give me coffee, I hear only a heavy breathing sound when I dial the emergency number, and there is a shadow constantly lurking back and forth outside my door.