Fiction · Little stories · Short stories

Arsee’s short stories 184 Room No. 432

Part 2.

It had to be some kind of mind-altering drug that had been slipped into his drink at the dinner joint he had been to, that was the only explanation. Peter had to get to the hospital before he did something dangerous. He had to have the antidote to whatever had been administered to him. He bolted to the archaic elevator and rang the elevator button like a man possessed. There was no one sign of any elevator. To his horror he could not even see an elevator in the shaft. This was a really bad trip. 

The fire exit! Peter dashed across the corridor to the green sign of a man running out of the door. In his mind he was the man in the sign, he needed that door. He found the door and to his relief it was unlocked. He ran down the steps, two at a time and came to the landing of what should have been the third floor but read fourth floor. He tore through another flight of stairs to arrive once again at the fourth floor. Yet another flight of stairs and he was still the fourth floor. 

Peter Woo began to cry, frustrated.

This was certainly not the way out if all he could to do was arrive at the fourth floor no matter how many stairs he climbed down. He shot back into the hotel corridor through the emergency exit. Still the fourth floor and still the rooms were all room number 432.

He pushed the nearest door open and found Wendy in the room, she stood by the window, looking worried. “I told you coming to this Hotel was a bad idea Peter but you thought me a village idiot who believed in mumbo jumbo. Now what are we going to do?”

“I have no idea! How did Bruce get here? How did you get here? Is this all happening for real?” Peter collapsed on a chair by the dresser, gasping for breath, exhausted with all the stairwell jumping. 

“Perhaps all this is just in your mind, perhaps I am just a memory but I am not here to help you. I am here to ask you a question.” The look in Wendy’s eyes changed from concern to sadness.

“What question?” Peter asked her.

“Have you never seen the love in my eyes for you? Have you been blind? Are you the self-centered unfeeling person the world claims you are?”

Peter could not believe his ears. Wendy had been in love with him all these years and he did not even know? How could that be? This was not Wendy! This was just another trap. He stood up and began to make for the door. Wendy only looked on sadly. 

This time Peter did not even feel the need to run. He had resigned to his fate. There was indeed something wrong with this hotel. He had no idea what it was but it was like he was caught in the grip of his wrong doings.

In one room he saw his high school teacher who he had sent love letters to secretly, she knew it was him all along she said. His Mother in one room, she was not happy that he had left China for Hong Kong. His Father was not happy that he could not keep a family, he was a drunk and he was an embarrassment.

But he was not ready for Michael. He saw Michael lying on the hotel bed but strangely it looked more like a hospital bed. Michael had the hospital tubes and wires sprouting from him, he looked Peter firmly in the eye and whispered in a gruff voice, “One day I will wake up Peter, I am not going to be in a coma forever. I am going to wake up and tell everyone what you did to me. I am going to tell Mom and Dad that I did not fall and that you pushed me. You pushed me on the glass table and I severed my spine. You are a monster. The worst kind of older brother a man can have!”

“It was an accident Michael. We were just kids. I was only ten and you were eight. I was scared. Very scared of what Mom and Dad would do to me.” Peter began sobbing at the sight of his younger Brother in all those tubes. But what started making Peter breathless was the secret that he had kept all his life. A panic began to grip his heart and it felt like someone was taking all the breathable air away from him. He started to hyperventilate.

He ran out of the room. Dashing to another one to find some air but it only got worse. There was not only no air to breathe but Michael lay in that room as well. “You lived a happy life while I lay in a coma. You stole my life from me Peter. You don’t deserve the air you breathe!” Michael screamed out from the bed he lay on.

Peter felt his lungs were going to burst, the rhythm of his heart had become an unbearable thumping and his vision began to blur. The window! He had to open the window somehow, he needed to breathe!

Then Peter got up to his feet and without a second thought crashed through the window and its glass. 

Later night revelers on the streets of Macau would tell the police later that they saw the man jump from the fourth floor and crash on the pavement. One of them even went on to say that they heard the man whisper, “Forgive me Michael.”

Wendy read the news in the morning paper. It was a curse to live for thousands of years and make people see their real selves in torturous ways like the Clube Macau Hotel, but then that was the bane of being the Angel of Death. It was a job and she had to do it.

-Arsee.

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