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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)

TITLE: The Room
By Maxx .


I lingered in the doorway. The raindrops screamed behind, hounding me to enter. I hesitated. It didn’t feel right.

I’d never been there before. Still, something seemed out of place. I could sense it. The hairs on my neck tingled. Thunder rolled, goading me forward.

I stepped in, my eyes wide and unsure.

The air had been locked inside for a fool’s age. It was rancid with stale smoke from the tavern below, sedated with cheap freshener. I flipped the light switch hidden behind a crusted avocado-green drape. The bulb overhead failed to respond. A wicker shade suspended beyond the bed sputtered into a feeble glow. Squares of pale yellow struggled to reach the peeling wallpaper. Darkness fought to stay in control.

There was something ominous about the room.

I needed to get out. Stranded in an unfamiliar city or not, I couldn’t stay in there. I moved toward the phone on the table. I’d call the front desk and demand to be moved.

A shadow blocked my path as the door slammed shut behind me.

I spun about, startled. A cry echoed off darkened windows. The voice didn’t sound like my own. I stumbled against a chair and fell, my face buried in the musty carpet. The wicker lamp began to spin and sway, the light spasmodic and flickering. The room became a dying strobe and I was trapped inside.

Something touched my ankle.

I rolled and kicked against the air, pressing myself away from the thing, the evil presence, that I knew was there. My head struck the wall and I blinked back tears. My skin became cold as if a breath of decay and morbidity had blown across me.

I thrashed about with my fists. “Go away! Leave me alone!”

There was movement beside me. I froze in terror.

A bolt of lightning arced across the night. For a moment a billion raindrops were ignited, making the sky look like molten lead pouring down, consuming the earth in a fiery damnation. The blinding flash seared my eyes and I twisted from the trauma.

A skeletal face leered at me, its mouth stretched in horror and agony.

I scrambled away as the room was swallowed in darkness. The electricity failed and the walls shook with dread.

I felt my chest convulse and, against my will, a rending scream issued from my lungs, adding to the furious cacophony of the storm.

I knew in that instant that I was going to die.

Shadows in the night, the rustling of blackness in the pitch. My eyes were useless, but I could see a figure in my mind… feel it with my soul. It moved into the doorway and stood, taller and taller, filling the space and towering above me.

There was no escape.

My heart felt as if it had exploded and I lost control of my faculties. I flailed about as insanity consumed me. I tried to flee, to run, to get out of that place….the room from hell. In my blindness I crashed against the bedpost and fell, my fate sealed.

I reached for anything to protect myself from the phantom that sought me in the gloom. My hand found the pillow and I hurtled it. “Get out,” I screamed. “Get out of here!”

It moved toward me, reaching, grasping.

“No!” I struggled back across the bed. Light, I needed light. I couldn’t confront what was shrouded in murk. I reached for the lamp and twisted the switch. There was no relief.

I fumbled my hand on the night stand. The clock. I lifted and threw it.

From the demon a mocking, rumbling, laughter carried in a peal of thunder.

I didn’t want to die, alone, afraid, far from home. A stranger in a strange land. Yet, I was unable to save myself. “God, please. Not like this.” Tears of frustration filled my eyes. “Don’t let it end like this.”

The creature was upon me.

I groped for a weapon, a defense, anything at all. But it was beyond me. I opened the drawer and felt something hard. I picked it up and swung just as claws were grasping my neck.

A bolt of lightning struck as I made impact with my foe. The lamp beside me burst to life and filled the room with a blinding glare.

I was alone.

I dropped onto the mattress, my weapon, a book, falling open beside me.

The inscription read, “Holy Bible. Placed in the room by the Gideons.”

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This article has been read 1592 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kyle Chezum09/19/05
Way cool. I've found one of my favorites already, I can tell! The descriptive language was impressive, and the pace didn't let up for a heartbeat. Keep up the good work!
Jan Ackerson 09/21/05
Very impressively written allegory!
Anita Neuman09/22/05
Ah, Maxx, no need to be embarassed. This is FABULOUS! You never disappoint.
janet rubin09/22/05
Fourth paragraph is AWESOME! Great as always.
Lynda Lee Schab 09/23/05
This reads like a good horror movie (are there any GOOD horror movies? LOL) But this one actually had a point. :-)
Excellent writing, as always.
Blessings, Lynda
Debra Brand09/23/05
Hmmm. Could be the tricks the mind plays or is it real. Great work from a great writer.
Lauren Bombardier09/23/05
Wow. Definitely not the usual Gideon's Bible story.
Shari Armstrong 09/23/05
Love it! The sword of the Spirit in action :)
Kelly Klepfer09/23/05
Glad I read this in the light of day.
darlene hight09/23/05
Loved it! Gripping, scarey and a powerful weapon :)

Donnah Cole09/23/05
Once again, amazed at your writing! Fast paced and suspenseful. You have an awesome gift!
Amy Verlennich09/23/05
Okay... this is amazing... I LOVE this! Absolutely wonderful! GREAT! WINNER... I've found another favorite this week! Great job. Blessings, Amy Verlennich
Jan Warrick09/24/05
Great job as always. You made us unwilling witnesses to the fear the character was feeling; yet, we kept reading. Keep it up. I expect to see a novel written by Maxx in the local bookstore in the next couple of years.
Val Clark09/24/05
Going against the flow here, Maxx. Great pace. Disappointing, clichéd end. If I read another Gideon’s bible entry I think I will scream!
Julianne Jones09/25/05
You are the master of description! Too incredible for words! I can still feel - no taste - the fear. My only criticism: the last line. It fell flat after everything that had gone before and, I suspect, was unnecessary. I think most readers would realise the significane of the book found in the nightstand. Just a thought. Well done.
Phyllis Inniss09/26/05
Like the other reviewers, I like the fast-paced movement of your entry and the images your writing evoked. Well done.
Shannon Redmon09/26/05
I loved this entry! Shows us the reality of Satan and his demons but more than that the Power of Gods Word! Only Gods Word can destroy every flaming missile Satan throws at us!
Deborah Porter 09/26/05
Maxx, fantastic as always. There were quite a few "Gideon-related" entries, but you definitely came at it from a very different angle. Excellent suspense and tension, with a heart-pounding pace from start to finish. Well done. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Debbie OConnor09/26/05
EXCELLENT! I love that his weapon was literally the Word. Very creative with a terrific point.
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/26/05
Wow, I especially liked the line: "Darkness fought to stay in control". Good allegory.
Joseph Civitella09/26/05
Congratulations, Maxx! Your story had me in its grasp from the start. Your writing style is very evocative, yet saying only enough to leave the rest up to the imagination. I agree with some of the feedback that the last line was a little too cliché in comparison to the build up, almost as if you're trying to make the point too obvious. But then again, maybe that is the point!
Crista Darr09/27/05
What an intense ride! Clobber him with The Book! I wish it opened to a verse rather than the inscription. Another masterpiece though - Congratulations!
Linda Watson Owen09/27/05
Wow! Whew, can I breathe now?? Great-suspensefully fun -story, Maxx!
Shelley Snyder09/29/05
What a great story! Had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Fantastic job with the descriptions, and I rather liked the end with the Gideon's Bible...
B Brenton10/04/05
I agree with some other comments. A verse would have been a more poignant place for it to open at. Kept me rivited though. :) Nice.
Jessica Schmit05/30/06
This was written in very "Maxx form" I am referring to your incredible words and colorful descriptions. Honestly, how do you come up with those words? Amazing. To me I saw this room as a place that this man was in life. He was in unfamilar territory, maybe it was a battle with sin, or a mind struggle against the darkness. Either way, it was quite a dramatic and intense piece. Not your usual to say the least. I liked seeing the piece come to life. The spiritual battle was very well described. Better than anything I've read from perreti and dekker. Your ending was different than your usual. Kinda predictable, but not in a bad way. I saw you got some nasty critisim for that ending and if I know you, you're kicking yourself for making it cliche, but I don't think it detracted from the intensity of the piece. I could see everything you described so clearly. I honestly thought this was one of the best written pieces you've ever done. The quality was extremely high. Very good job.