By: Grace Donaghy
All I needed to do was get away. Get out of this hotel that has seemed to haunt me since the day I stepped foot into it. My heart was beating out of my chest but my mind was only on one thing, escaping. I turned the corner racing towards the main lobby where I knew I could be free. As soon as I turned the corner, I saw him. His back was facing towards me as he stormed through the hallway. I started backing up as quickly but as quietly as I could. “I’m going to get away” I thought as I was nearing the intersection and in my eyes, my safety. I was so close when I tripped and fell. His head whipped around and our eyes met. My only thought was to run. So I did, as fast as I could away from him and away from this hell of a place.
5 days earlier…
I got off the plane and a flood of excitement filled through my body. Leaving my dreary town that made me depressed with the cold and entering this tropical place was the best thing to happen to me this year. My family and I were on our way to our hotel in the Cayman Islands.
“Come on Emma!” my mom yelled as the rest of my family awaited in the rental car. We would be at the hotel soon and vacation could finally start. I raced to the car and slammed the door shut behind me. A smile fell on my face as the car started leaving the airport and heading to my new home for the next 5 days.
As soon as we got there, I flung open the car door, grabbed my stuff, and charged into the hotel. I wanted to explore and meet new people. I stepped into the lobby and a spine-chilling feeling rushed over me. I knew it was nothing but my nerves with new places so I kept walking in.
“Oh I’m sorry.” The janitor said as he tripped into me. The smile on his face reminded me of something straight out of a horror movie and my brother started laughing.
“Stop it Ethan. He’s creepy enough no need to egg him on.” I said. Ethan laughed in my face and said I worried too much. I agreed with him, which is rare for us. We were at this amazing place, I needed to focus on that.
Our parents finished checking us in and we rushed to our room on the 7th floor of the hotel. We had one room for the kids and a connecting room for the parents. I stepped onto the deck and saw the ocean down below and I couldn’t wait for this trip. I put my swimsuit on and ran downstairs. I dove into the ocean with no second thought. The ocean has always been my favorite place ever since I have been little. The waves crashing over me and the peace it made me feel is one of the reasons why. Our hotel had no internet meaning no tv and no social media. With this in mind, my one goal was to relax. I spent the whole day at the beach before going back to the hotel and showering. My family and I were going to dinner at the hotel tonight so I needed to get ready.
“Emma, why do you take so long to get ready?” My brother Ethan said in an agitated voice.
“I’m coming , I’m coming. God learn to be patient.” I rushed and grabbed my stuff and we met our parents in the hallway.
As we were walking to dinner, I saw this room with no label on it. I grabbed the handle and behind to try to open it when I heard the same voice from earlier.
“That door is always locked. Guests are not allowed inside.” The janitor said. The creepy smile still stuck on his face.
I kept walking and tried to ignore the feeling he was displaying through my body. We went to a hibachi restaurant at the hotel and we had the time of our lives. Not a care in the world while we laughed and made cherished memories. On our walk back, I saw the forbidden door was open. I immediately grabbed my brother and knew we needed to explore it. We have explored the whole hotel except this room and my curiosity couldn’t take not knowing what is inside.
“Go ahead mom and dad, me and Ethan are going to explore a little more.”
I slipped into the room with Ethan trailing behind me and I shut the door. The lights were off, but I heard voices. I flicked the lights on and was immediately filled with shock and terror. There were monitors all over the place with cameras on every part of the hotel, including our hotel room. There was a stack of newspapers with a headline, “Most wanted: for 1st-degree murders, name of the subject: Unknown, if you have any information contact the police immediately.” The picture attached to the poster was a smile way too familiar. One that has haunted me since I stepped foot into this hotel: the janitor. I started panicking and knew I needed to get my family. I have heard stories about people going missing on this island but never believed them. Ethan and I turned off the lights and left the room in a hurry. Standing down the hall was him, with his terrorizing eyes and frighting smile.
“Hey! I thought I told you you’re not allowed in there.” He screamed in a tense voice. And at that moment I knew I needed to get away.
“Oh, the door was unlocked. We just went to shut it.” I said in a shaky voice knowing he could see past my lie. I started inching away trying to make my fear invisible to his eyes. I said goodbye and started walking away so quickly as if I was racing someone. I turned around and saw him following us so the walk turned into a run. We ran to the elevators and frantically clicked the button. “Ding!” we heard and the elevator door opened. I grabbed Ethan and we ran inside. Just as the doors were about to shut I saw his face walking up to the elevators.
“You can run but you can’t hide.” He screamed at us, “Did you forget I have a camera everywhere. I bet you saw that on your little field trip earlier.”
Me and Ethan ran to knock on the door of our parents room. “Let us in!” We yelled frantically trying to warn them before it’s too late. After filling them in on everything we gave our mom our stuff and made a game plan. We decided it would be easier if we split up and each make our way to the car and leave from there. A big group gave us a bigger target so we went our own ways.
I chose to use the stairs to get down to the first floor. I ran down as all the air left my lungs and I was barely breathing, just going. I got to the bottom of the stairs and knew I only had a little bit left to go. All I needed to do was get away. Get out of this hotel that has seemed to haunt me since the day I stepped foot into it. My heart was beating out of my chest but my mind was only on one thing, escaping. I turned the corner racing towards the main lobby where I knew I could be free. As soon as I turned the corner, I saw him. His back was facing towards me as he stormed through the hallway. I started backing up as quickly but as quietly as I could. “I’m going to get away” I thought as I was nearing the intersection and in my eyes my safety. I was so close when I tripped and fell. His head whipped around and our eyes met. My only thought was to run. So I did, as fast as I could away from him and away from this hell of a place.
I ran to the stairs and to the emergency escape door inside. I saw my mom’s car parked with my brother inside. I ran in and we started pulling away as fast as we could. I looked in the window and saw my dad and the janitor inching towards him.
“NO!” I cried. “Please mom, we can’t leave dad here.”
“He will find a way to get out, I need to get you two to safety.”
We sped away as fast as the car could go towards the airport. I felt a huge sigh of relief but little did I know that was the last time I would ever see my dad.