MICHELE FRITSCHLE - SNAPPED
“One room can contain a thousand different memories,” the voice said, it was a woman’s voice; high pitched and nasally.
“Please come out, I’m just trying to sleep ma’am,” said Melonie, a middle-aged woman with very deep-cut smile lines. She had rented the hotel room only hours before, not realizing how literal they were about “one room” until entering it. White walls stained yellow from years of cigarette smoke, the pipes creaking and snapping constantly.
“Aren’t you a tad curious? About the secrets this room hides. The scandalous nights between husbands and mistresses, the teenagers who’ve rented it solely to get drunk and get kicked out. These are only the beginning! Don’t you see, I could tell you some magnificent stories!” said the voice, obviously getting more and more excited with every sound that spills from nowhere Melonie can see.
“Perhaps you’ve got great stories, truly mind-altering stories, but perhaps I need to sleep. No disrespect but I work early, and I have a presentation to prepare for before going in,” said Melonie in an annoyed tone, slowly turning to analyze the room.
“I’ll cut you a deal!” said the voice, followed up with a flicker of the lights.
“And what would that entail?” said Melonie, sounding tired.
“Let me tell you one story, just one! Then, I’ll leave you be,” said the voice.
Melonie didn’t say a word, as she noticed that the nasally voice sounded more distorted than earlier. She nods her head in agreement of the voice’s deal.
“So yes? You’ll listen to one of the room’s stories?” said the voice.
“Yes. As long as you leave immediately afterwards. Just let me change quickly and sit down. It’s been a long day at the office and my neck is sore. Seems like my neck is sorer every day now if I’m to be honest”
“Are we comfortable now?” said the voice.
“Yes,” said Melonie quickly.
“Finally! I have chosen a fairly recent story,” said the voice, sounding nasally again, “it was a rainy night, such as tonight, when a woman rented this very room.”
The voice paused. Melonie rolls her eyes, annoyed.
“Dreading work the next morning, she prepared herself for bed…” the voice trails off, seemingly distracted.
“Can we get to the point already?” said Melonie, while lying in the bed with her eyes closed.
“You simply cannot rush a good story! Don’t you dare fall asleep on me either,” said the voice, who’s tone was growing harsher and distorted once again, “I won’t warn you again.”
Melonie nods her head in agreement after opening her eyes and pulling herself upright.
“As the women was drifting to sleep, the pipes snapped loudly. Scaring the woman awake, each time she finally was about to fall asleep, it would happen again,” said the voice, the tone stayed harsh this time.
The voice continued, “As the clock was nearing three in the morning, the woman decided to call and complain to the front office. No one answered her calls. By four, she felt like she was going crazy. The one hour had felt like one day, every second passing slower than the first. But you see, this woman, she had a history of overthinking. She avoided spending time alone because her brain wanted her dead, but her heart didn’t agree.”
“So, she was suicidal? Depressed perhaps?” said Melonie, who was struggling to keep her eyes awake.
“Perhaps,” said the voice before continuing, “but, that isn’t the point. Don’t just shrug off the ending I’m about to tell you because of that. There’s more to this room, to this world, than that. You know this though, you just don’t want to admit it, yet.”
“Can you just get back to the story,” said Melonie, who was obviously shaken by the voice’s statement.
“She felt as if the room didn’t want her to sleep. The place had it out for her. If she did successfully fall asleep, she thought she’d die for sure. She never had thoughts like this before, she wasn’t paranoid of death. She certainly wasn’t paranoid of places,” said the voice, still carrying that distorted, harsh tone. The nasally sound that was there in the beginning was gone.
“She never heard voices before either, besides her own of course. By five, she felt as if she had lost her mind already. Thinking how there was no way the night wasn’t over yet,” said the voice, “She began to breath faster, her eyes open wide. They resembled an owl’s eyes in that moment, large and brown. The voices kept getting louder, till they were screaming in her head. They wanted her dead, they were convincing and made death sound like a dream.”
Melonie was starting to fall asleep; her eyes were falling shut as the voice paused the story to let it play out.
Melonie suddenly jolts up, as the pipes snapped loudly. They sounded more like bones than pipes.
“Now you see, Melonie, this woman was easily swayed that night. She gave in and the voices told her how to do it. It ended in a loud snap, just like the pipes.” The voice said, the tone only growing deeper. It sounded less and less human, growing more demonic by the second.
“Melonie, you see, now this dead woman. She comes back nightly; she doesn’t remember what happened. She repeats the same day, over and over again. She relives her the day she had at work, then she comes here to die all over again with no knowledge of the past. Sounds like hell, doesn’t it?” said the distorted voice.
“You never mentioned her name. You must know it,” said Melonie, who was growing increasingly nervous, you could tell by the sweat beads falling down her face.
“I think you know,” said the voice.
Melonie looked at the time, it was four-forty-five in the morning.
The bones snap.
“When will she learn?” said the voice, nasally again.
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