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THE MOTEL HEART
By Gemma Paul
I hear this thumping. Faint, but there. This dum dum, dum dum, dum dum. It’s even, rhythmic, steady.
This isn’t my room.
I’m staying at a Motel, one of those off-the-beaten tracks ones in the middle of nowhere. Not my choice. The company I work for booked it for me. Cheapest they could get I guess.
I lie in bed listening to the thump. The noise becoming as irritating as a ticking clock. No matter how much I close my eyes and try to block it out… I can’t. It seems the deeper the night becomes the louder it gets.
I get out of bed intent on finding the noise. I reach for the light switch. Darkness still. The lights on the bedside clock are out too. I reach for my phone. Its screen lights up brightly, 1:58AM. I throw the covers back, shivering slightly as the cold room air hits me. I move towards the wardrobe, the one right by the door. The nearer I get the louder the noise.
I grab the handle of the wardrobe. The noise almost deafening as the thumping echos around my ears. I yank it open quick, it rocks on its hinges with the force. I move my phone inside to light up the space. It’s empty, only a small chest in the bottom.
I pull the chest out, it’s old with ornate carvings over the wooden casing. I lift the latch and slowly open the lid. The thumping gets faster, its verging on erratic now as I lift the lid higher. Light shines inside. There’s something there. It’s hard to tell just what in the dark with only my phone for light. It something roundish wrapped in paper, big enough to fit inside my palm. It’s soft with a handwritten note tied to it with brown string.
“Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
The girl this belongs to is dead,
And soon you will be too.”
Putting my phone down the light illuminating the room, I open the package pulling tentatively on the string. The note falls away landing on the duvet. The paper sticks to the object. It’s damp, sticky. I peel the paper away.
There’s a screaming, high-pitched, pain ridden. The thumping beating loud in my ears. The screaming stops, replaced by a gurgle.
I’m struggling to breathe. Blood trickles down my chin. I look down to see a large butchers knife sticking out of my chest and a heart in my hand beneath the paper. The thumping I can now feel against my ear as someone holds me up against their chest. Their heart is beating wildly. Fast, chaotic. I can feel it. Just as I can feel mine slowing. Dum….. dum……….dum……….
“Roses are red.” My eyes open wide as a deep gruff voice whispers, his hot breathe against my ear. “Violets are blue, You’re about to join the dead, And I’ll take your heart too.”