The Hotelier (story assignment for my OU course)
Henry blew the ancient dust from his fingers, as the heavy door swung shut behind him. The heavy, musty air threatened to suffocate, as blades of light cut through into the darkened lobby. Shadows danced across decrepit corners, and the floorboards groaned under weighty footfall.
It had been over a decade since he had set foot in the old hotel; yet it had always remained a stain on his heart. These walls remembered many stories, and few of them were pleasant.
Removing his bowler hat, Henry ran his fingers through his lank, greying hair, and waited for his eyes to become accustomed to the encroaching gloom.
Reaching for a nearby switch, he bathed the room in a dim light, and moved towards the foreboding staircase; the ornate banister, decaying under the weight of decades, guiding him up the uneven path.
Finding himself on the landing, he was suddenly taken aback by a stern visage, watching his every movement from within a heavy golden frame. The painting swam with dark, rich oils, and the vastness seemed to draw in the little light available. A shudder swept down Henry’s spine, as he edged towards one of the formerly-plush guest rooms.
Easing open the creaking door, a chill emanated from within the inky blackness.
This wasn’t any breeze, or touch of ice, but an unnatural breath from the grave. The stench of centuries overwhelmed Henry’s feeble body; shaking him to his very core. Hairs raised, and goose pimples mottled his pale skin.
Feeling his legs buckle, Henry fell. His head struck the floorboards, and ricocheted off the hard wood. The eerie visage of a hellish spectre, the last thing he saw before he lost
Author: Iain Peter Morrison
Copyright: Iain Peter Morrison