Sweat erupted out of every pore. My entire body trembled, the terror rose deep from within. My eyes were frozen upon the silver choices in front of me, unable to blink while I stared into the blue abyss of my fate. In mock uniformity they each hung in silence. They waited for me to make my choice. The only distinguishable feature that separated one from the other was the room numbers intricately carved above each key.
My heartbeat thundered in my ears. The pounding blood tore through me, perhaps for the last time. The enormity of my situation rendered me immobile, the words to form an answer locked inside my throat. Over thirty unknown options intended to end my life were in front of me. The horrors prepared in the abandoned hotel rooms that each key unlocked were contrived by the man holding the sharp steel against my throat.
“Time’s up. Chose now or I will. I know what’s behind each door and I doubt you would enjoy the one I pick. Who knows? The fates may guide you to the room that will be the least painful, and over the fastest.”
Escape was not an option. I knew only seconds of life remained. I had to know what brought me to this dreadful end.
“Why?” my voice was strong, unwilling to show my fear.
The tip of the blade caressed my cheek with almost loving strokes, the stranger’s breath hot in my ear.
“You were today’s toy. Lucky you.”
Motel Truth or Dare by D X Luc
The rain was a sideways sheet of ruin. At least it was to Jamallah. Now she would have to stop at a motel.
It was several more miles before she finally came to a dank, run down hell hole.
“Black woman goes into creepy motel in no man land? Great idea!” Jamallah mumbled as she lugged her bags inside.
No one stood at the counter leaving her to ring the bell and when the shadow appeared from the back office, Jamallah began to reevaluate her decision to enter this God forsaken place.
“Can I help you, luscious?”
Blinking she stared into the stormy green eyes of the motel clerk, their glow partly obscured by his dusty brown hair.
Frowning she handed him her card and notched her chin. “Room for the night. Make it a clean one if you can spare it.”
Her insult didn't get her quite the reaction she hoped for. She frowned down at his name tag. “Your name is Spere? As in Spear?”
He opened a blue case, loaded with antique keys. Yup, horror movie was written all over this place and she was gonna die.
Spere presented her with a grin that would give the devil a hard on. “My name is quite proper for what I'm good at. Now no payment required here. Pick a key. Any key. Truth or Dare, my dear. Matters not to me. Either way, tonight I'm going to set you free.”
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Room 323 By Jamallah Bergman
“Room 323 please”
The young lady went to the Cobalt Blue wall where several old fashioned metal keys hung on their individual hooks. Taking the one that had the small plaque over it that said ‘323’, she smiled at the older gentleman who gave her a wink as he walked away.
He had anticipated their meeting all week for it had been years since he last talked with her, much less seen her in person. Pressing the elevator button up, the door immediately opened as he got inside and pressed the button number ‘3’ while they closed once more before him.
She was shocked when he contacted her and when they got to talking; he realized that he had been a fool for leaving her like he did. He got what he had wanted from her but left her with nothing but unanswered questions. This time he told her he would make it right, he had thought about her way too much over the years.
Now he had her….and he wasn’t about to let her go from him again.
When the doors opened and he walked out onto the long hallway, he followed the signs that lead him to the door….door 323. Taking a deep breath, he put the key in the door and heard the click when he turned it. Walking inside the room, he saw a pair of long thick brown legs crossed at the foot of the bed.
He walked even further and said, “Hello my dear.”
Key To The Past by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
“I’d like my key, please.”
Elise drummed her fingers with impatience as the desk clerk fumbled as he handed it over. She wanted nothing more after a long day at the convention than a long soak in a warm bath, good red wine, and solitude.
When she opened the door to her room, Elise expected to see the modern décor featured in the hotel brochure. Instead, a huge Victorian bed claimed a third of the floor space and dark red flocked wall paper covered the walls. A man dressed in antique garments stared at her from his place beside the window.
“To what do I owe the honor of your visit?” he asked.
“Tell me why you’re in my room,” Elise barked back. She noticed, however, how attractive he was in an old-fashioned style.
“And I might ask why you’re in your petticoat.”
Elise glanced down at her white eyelet sundress, rolled her eyes, and stared. “It’s a dress,” she said. “Why’re you dressed like the 1890’s?”
His eyes widened but he smiled. “1892 to be exact,” he said as he pointed to a calendar on the wall. “Are you the lady of the evening I requested?”
Anticipation rippled down her spine. He’d named her secrete fantasy, to act as a courtesan for one night. “I am,” she said and kissed him. “I’m Elise.”
“Ben,” he said. He took her in his arms and gave back the kiss with powerful heat.
Morning, she decided, would be time enough for explanations.
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Key To Hell – Barbara Watkins
Cassandra closed the door behind her to room 236 and placed the key on the nightstand by the bed. She had frequented this establishment many times over the past few months, reserving a different room each time. However, on this night, key 236 would either unlock the door to madness or free the way to enlightenment. Wasting no time, she reached into her purse, pulled out a mini recorder, and hit the record button.
“I blame no one for what I’m about to do. I have been living under a cloud of darkness for some time now – a life without meaning or purpose. I cannot find the strength to go on any longer.”
Hitting the stop button on the recorder, she pushed the playback button and cringed when she heard not her voice, but a beastly growl followed by a disembodied voice.
“Feed that hunger to drive your soul into hell. Unleash your earthly shackles – prepare to walk a carpet of black blood into my kingdom. For here, firelight will brighten your darkness and you shall have a purpose.”
Cassandra threw the recorder across the room. The existence of the ghostly evidence lay scattered across the gleaming wooden floor. Had she been given a foretaste of what her soul would encounter?
Concerned, after several days and unanswered calls to room 236, the hotel desk clerk ordered the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign be removed.
The desk clerk entered the room with the housemaid following close behind. “Don’t tell me it has happened again?”
The desk clerk shook his head in disgust. “You think people would have enough respect to turn in the key and let us know when checking out early! And why does it always happen in room 236?”
Betrayal by Kassanna
Carnoman glanced behind him before entering the building. Staying vigilante was a must and now was not the time to get arrogant. The demons fought amongst themselves and the angels were threatening war. His plan couldn’t have gone any smoother. A chuckle escaped past his lips as he eased the door closed behind him. The old stairs he climbed creaked under his feet as he made his way up careful not to lean on the crumbling bannister. Yes, he would show them, those he called brother that dared to laugh. Soon enough he would have all the power and the denizens of heaven and hell alike would bow to him. He stopped on the landing.
His hand hovered above the crystal knob. A millennia, it had taken so many years and much careful planning but his time was almost at hand. Carnoman leaned forward and placed his cheek on the wooden panel. A slight thump, currents of anticipation traveled along his spine, he would rule the worlds. He wrapped his fingers around the knob and turned it. A faint blue light illuminated the room and everywhere he looked there were keys. They hung from the ceiling and were strung across the walls. He grazed his fingertips over the cool metal of a skeleton key as he entered the room and deftly shut the door behind him. He’d traded, smuggled or outright stolen every key in the room and when the time was right he would use them.
Keys to submission, by Michel Prince
The end of Jessica’s shift at The Longfellow Hotel was always quiet and allowed her a few minutes to flip through the pages of her latest vamp novel. Lost in the world created by her favorite author a cold wind blew in from the door rattling the keys behind her, but the entry door was still closed. Turning left and right she tried to see where the breeze could have come from. The winter weather had negated the option of an open window.
“Is there a vacancy?” A man appeared in front of her.
“Um…yes, sir,” she replied while trying to regain her composure.
Had he been standing there all along? She surely wouldn’t have missed a man of his stature. Standing before her with broad shoulders the man had to be at least six-seven with long dark hair framing his chiseled face. He was mesmerizing. This fear she’d initially felt melted as his charcoal eyes seemed to dive into her soul.
Nervously she turned and fondled the key for room 214.
“I require a room with western exposure,” he informed and she switched to room 247.
“You seem very agreeable.”
His voice washed over her and she felt heat wrapping around her whole body. Jessica seemed to feel as if anything he said she’d be powerless to refuse.
“If you reply yes sir one more time I might have to give that phrase a new meaning for you.”
Freedom Keys W Lynn Chantale
“I got it!” Dustin exclaimed.
Willow jerked her head up at the snap and jangle of manacles falling to the hard packed dirt. “Hurry. Time is running out,” she said. She stared at the large face of the clock. They’d been given a choice, find the key to free themselves or suffer an unspeakable death.
Shrieks of terror echoed through the ventilation shaft followed by the whirl of a chainsaw. Those screams increased in volume and pitch before the room silent again. The silence was just as frightening.
Dustin jammed the key in the lock. It didn’t work. He raced to the blue board, snatching the remaining keys from their hooks.
“Leave me,” she whispered.
“I don’t think so.” Each key he inserted fit, but did not turn the lock.
Willow stared at the clock. The minute hand moved way too fast. They had less than five minuted to leave. The shackles loosened.
She shook off the chains. Dustin grabbed her hand and they ran for the door, the bright light cut a swath through the dimness. Behind them a siren blared. Out of time. Footsteps pounded across wooden boards. Just a little farther.
Willow swiveled her head.
“Don’t look back!”
Sunlight danced on her skin. A burst of energy pumped her legs faster. Together they leapt through the opening and into freedom. Panting they held each and peered at the house. A shadowed figure stood on the threshold. He saluted them, glided backward and the door closed.
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Hotel Hell, Elizabeth Morgan
It was idiotic how easy it was to become uncomfortable. How stepping inside an establishment could cause unease to wash over you; leaving the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck standing on end within a single moment.
Knowing a building was haunted never helped, but the most people saw such a statement as a simple way of reeling tourists in. Then again most people were narrow-minded, something you couldn’t be in my line of work.
My footsteps were steady as I moved across the marble floor; not stopping for a second until I stood before the receptionist desk.
“Welcome to the Peak Hotel. Do you have a reservation?” The brunette glanced between myself and Jace; her blue gaze lingering a little too long on my partner.
“Yes. Hunter.” Jace replied.
A few clicks on her computer keyboard and her pleasant expression tightened. “It appears we have a parcel waiting for you, sir. One moment please.”
I let out a breath the moment the brunette disappeared.
“You feel it to?” Jace asked through clenched teeth. His focus fixed dead ahead.
I had no doubt that if he shifted forms every strand of his glossy coat would be stood on end. The energy in the building was pulsating.
“Feel it? I’m drowning in bad vibes over here.”
“It would explain why Keldar picked this location. What better place to open a door to the other world then-”
“A hotel with over four hundred guests and lord knows how many staff.” I finished as my gaze wandered over the large wooden key shelf that consumed the entire wall before us; noting the number of empty hooks.
“This amount of life force mixed with the energy already staining this premises . . . opening the door is going to be as easy as breathing.”
I looked at him. “Then I suggest we find, gag, and bring him in before he unleashes a shitload of unwelcome visitors.”
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