There is something disturbing about an abandoned hotel. A house can fall into disrepair, windows broken, steps sagging, weeds sprouting through the floorboards. A house is easily forgotten. A hotel however is always waiting – waiting for someone to arrive.
The hotel above Lake Hanopui was one such hotel. Built in the 1920s in the foothills of New Zealand’s southern alps, it had once been a popular retreat. Now, too far from the ski fields and the glaciers, the old hotel had fallen on hard times and the last owner had moved away years before. The old hotel slid into decay, silently watching the road where motor cars of holiday makers had once driven up to its doors.
A road on which today, two figures were walking.
Ned’s mother always said he was looking for trouble. His eyes lit up as he saw the sinister form of the hotel ahead.
“No way! This place is real!”
His companion hid her face in a thick woolen scarf, “Did you doubt it?”
“I heard of it, yeah. But I’ve never known anyone who’s been here.”
“I’ll take you inside,” she ran up the slope.
He’d got talking to her at a truckstop not far from the highway and they’d hitched a ride north. They’d got off in the middle of nowhere and she’d led him across open country for a good two hours. She was kind of dangerous, and Ned liked that.
“Did you know that when the hotel closed, they forgot two guests?” she said.
Ned raised an eyebrow.
“A brother and sister. They were sensitive, highly strung. Once the cars had gone they had no way of getting back to the highway.”
“So what happened to them?”
Her eyes flashed wickedly, “Oh, they say they never left. They learned – other ways of surviving.”
Ned grinned. She was weird. But hot. He climbed through the window after her.
“Awesome,” he muttered, finding himself in a grand dining room. The ceiling was covered with mould and moss. The furniture was rotting and the mirrors on the walls were distorted and stained with grime.
At the end of the room was a tall man.
“This is James,” the girl said.
Huh. Another guy…
“This hotel is only big enough for two guests,” James said, which was odd, because the room was huge, “We’ve got used to it over the years.”
Ned grinned stupidly. Weird was the word for these two.
“I guess I make three then,” he raised his chin.
The girl shook her head, placing an icy hand on Ned’s shoulder, “No two guests only. They really shouldn’t have left us here,” she whispered as she and her strange sibling smiled.
An exercise in micro-fiction – stories which run from zero to fifty
© 2014 M. C. Dulac