By Syeda Asrene Fatema and Luca Martinez Cecchetelli
On a quest to discover the epitome of luxury by obtaining a reservation at the hotel with no name, the protagonist finally succeeds. However, his pleasure and opulence quickly go downhill as his insidious nightmare ensues. This was supposed to be a haven for the elite and powerful, instead it appears to be a haven for everything that is representative of his horror and torment. In a struggle to escape from the hotel with no name, he finds himself physically and mentally stuck with a plaguing noise. His heart beating to the rhythm of the noise, the noise he so passionately hates, the noise that ever so brutally torments him day in and day out. Eventually blurring the lines between the known and the unknown. The tumultuous ringing dominating his every thought, he spirals.
After weeks of waiting for a vacancy in the perfect place, I’ve finally managed to get a reservation at the hotel with no name. Its reputation is unprecedented, with people of only the highest class enjoying its luxury. Once I’d driven all the way to the right of the lake, I received some of the best treatment I’ve ever experienced. (I better, I’m paying a fortune for this). As I walked through the crowded hallways I could hear nearly every conversation possible taking place, yet I couldn’t listen to any of them, all of these overlapping voices seemed like white noise. When I looked around it seemed as if I was surrounded by walking clichés, there was of course the married couple trying to spice up their marriage, the lonely husband whose wife no longer completes him, the single woman trying to escape her troubles and the little children who just never shut up. Look at all these lonely people, looking for someone else’s attention, making it feel as if the world was as spirited as movies tell us. I got tired just from looking at these disgusting characters, I almost wish I could suppress them all into one room and make them disappear to clear my mind. I didn’t realize how tired I was after the trip here and I passed out the second my head touched the feather-filled pillow.
BRRRRRT BRRRRRRT BRRRRT BRRRRRRT
The phone rang time and again, and its buzzing couldn’t let me sleep. Apparently, the bill was not enough to cover the butlers doing their goddamn jobs. I waited, and waited, and waited; ten minutes went by and no one picked up the phone. I dashed out of my room to yell at whoever was responsible for not doing their job, but the moment I opened the door, all of the overlapping voices in the background came to a halt each time the phone rang. It must be the lack of sleep. The hallways were empty, lights palpated every once in a while, the air conditioning was at full blast and the phone was always just one room away. BRRRRRT BRRRT Since I couldn’t find the goddamn butler, I began looking for the phone but couldn’t find it. As I got closer, the ringing kept getting louder
My ears were burning after ea—
That last ring brought me to my knees with no strength to get up. As I looked up I saw it, I saw the phone with its diabolical ringing right above me, but something was missing. Where was the chord? How could it be ringing without it? I could swear the phone wasn’t there before. I tried to get a hold of it, but … but when I grasped it, I was holding my car’s handle and found myself outside the hotel.
I started breathing heavily, I could barely stand up, but I couldn’t understand how I came back here in the first place.
I felt disoriented, my mind and body working as two separate beings. The ringing, however, persisted in my mind —
BRRRRRT BRRRRRRT BRRRRRRT
I was outside, but my mind was still back inside. Feeling brave, I opened the car door and took a seat. I closed my eyes and focused on where the ringing was coming from.
I was scared, yet also desperate in my attempts to trace its origin and put an end to it once and for all. Mentally tracing my steps back into the hotel, I inched closer to that incessant telephone noise. There it is, I see it, I try to reach out…
My blood is coursing through my veins at a sickening pace, my pupils dilate to pint-points, my mind overcome with the interminable ringing. As I attempt to close my fist around the telephone, I instantaneously thud against my car seat. My eyes open and I realize how futile this attempt of mine was.
I am back in the car, the ringing faint now. I cannot sleep, I cannot go back inside, I will not go back inside. This was not what I signed up for. What was this all for anyways? I have nothing better to do than to wait this out in my car.
I remember how riveting the hotel seemed from the outside at first. I remember my first time at the hotel, the aura of grandeur that the building practically bled. The luxury and status I craved and tried so desperately to cling to, like a moth to the flame.
The ringing was the same as before, faint— but if I have to go on like this till morning I think I’d lose my mind.
Nevertheless, finally calm and collected, at least more than before, I closed my eyes and decided this was the way to ride the horror of this noise out till sunrise.
I shifted in the back of the car, I had decided to lie down there. My eyes catch the first glimmer of sunrise. I slowly open my eyes. The sudden realization hits me, I am not in my car, the sunlight hitting my eyes was not from the car window but from a small dust and spider-web-covered window right above my head. I have no idea where the night has brought me.
I feel my limbs restricted and bound. Fully awake now, I examine my arms and legs, they’re tied with rope to the ground, the rope bound by metal hooks fixed into the ground. I unceremoniously scream and shout but no one answers.
I take a deep breath and scream again, nothing changes. I don’t recognize this place, and I have no clue as to who would do this to me. I scream once more, and once more no one replies.
I am exhausted, weary, and drained out. I close my eyes and fall back asleep, hoping maybe once again my mind will rescue me and I will wake up to my car.
BRRRRRT BRRRRRRRRT BRRRRRRT,
It still exists, faint and in the back of my mind. Haunting me on the ground in my car, and also haunting me underground in this unknown location adorned with dust and cobwebs and that incessant ringing noise once more.
You may also like…
- “Theodora is missing” by Vakare and Sophia