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Don't Check Into This Hotel


August 13th, 2021


This is my second week at this hotel. Or at least I think it’s my second week. I still can’t figure out if the first week happened or it was an incredibly vivid dream. One thing I know for sure is, I’m not supposed to be here anymore.

This hotel is strange, but not at first. When I first came through the door, I thought this hotel was grand. The subtle lavender scent, soft orchestral music, and staff dressed neatly in their purple and gold uniforms. Everyone was friendly. The concierge lady was all smiles, the bellboy taking my luggage before anyone asked, and the maids were giving me extra shampoo and conditioner just because. The pool was never crowded, the water always nicely heated up, and plenty of mini quiches were served. Free meals around the clock, built-in theatre with every movie ever released in the hotel’s collection, and they even have an arcade with all my favourite games. This place was so perfect when I first arrived; I never thought anything was amiss. I didn’t even think or care about my friend who said he was reaching soon but never did. After a blissful three days at the hotel, I went to check-out only for the concierge lady to tell me it was still the 13th, and I couldn’t leave yet. But it wasn’t the 13th; It was the 15th. And today is supposed to be the 16th. I don’t know why all the clocks and calendars read 13. I had already spent 3 days in this hotel, so how can it be possible that it is still the 13th? No, it can’t be. They are playing me. They are taking me for a fool.

I’m demanding a check-out right now.

August 13th, 2021


It restarted. Again. The day restarted again. I went down at 12pm yesterday to check out. The clock above the concierge read 12:10 when my patience ran low. I had gotten so frustrated, the room started to spin. My voice became hoarse from shouting. Tears were seconds away from rolling down my cheeks. 12:13 it read when I forcefully spun the monitor around to see what was wrong with the system. Why was it still showing as the 13th?

And then she took out a needle. It pierced my skin.

The clock now reads 8am, August 13th.

This is not a dream. She used the needle on me again. I remember getting injected in the neck when everything restarted. The first time. Or was it the second? They are not letting me leave this hotel. Why? Why can’t I leave? This isn’t a “hotel policy” as they keep claiming. I’m trapped here, and I need to leave.

August 13th, 2021


I just jumped out of the window and woke up on the bed. The clock reads 8am, August 13th.

What is happening? Is this really a dream? Should I continue to stay until the 15th and see if I can check out then?

I don’t really have a choice, do I?

August 14th, 2021


The weather was weird today. Maybe I really am in a really, extremely, supremely vivid dream. I tried leaving again, through the main lobby door this time. The lady at the concierge asked where I was going. “Out,” I replied. I turned my back against her, took 2 steps towards the door when it started raining.

“Looks like you have to stay in this hotel,” she said with a smile on her face.

I dismissed her and kept walking. Then hail started to fall.

“Mr Collins, you can’t go out now. It’s unsafe.”

I took another step towards the door.

“A category 1 hurricane is headed towards us. Please stay indoors.” The TV sounded as it showed devasting scenes from outside. I glanced towards the doors and the TV announced, “category 2”.

“Mr Collins, it is really unwise for you to head out now. Please follow our bellboy back to your room. Or to any other room in this hotel. We just got the movie ‘Escape Room’, maybe you would like to watch it?”

Then I remember taking a deep breath and charging towards the door when the ground started shaking. The lady kept yelling at me to stay in the hotel, asking me not to go. And when I finally gave up and slowly inched towards the bellboy, almost instantly, the weather changed.

Blue skies and cool breeze of air wafted through the lobby.

Where was the storm?

August 15th, 2021


I’m checking out now. Fingers crossed.

August 13th, 2021


It’s 8am.

© 2021 Alison Lian

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