Room 37. According to the online blogosphere, this was the room where the magic happened. She would have preferred it if the magic happened in the bar and she could’ve set up camp there for the next 12 hours, but who was she to tell visitors from the afterlife where to get their kicks.
She looked around The Grand Duke’s early 90’s, dated attempt at decadence; the garish patterned wallpaper, the off-white, overly washed bed sheets and sun-bleached curtains. Just once it would be nice if a five star hotel and spa resort decided to have a haunting.
The somewhat on-edge concierge had refused to step into the room, choosing to stand at the doorway and pass her her bags pretty swiftly. It wasn’t unusual in her line of work. The staff were always the worst and if the hotel management thought she was stupid enough to think they didn’t instruct all employees to play along and big up the hype, then so be it. Occasionally it even made her stays more interesting.
The Grand Duke was a little different though, she had to admit. So far, not one person had tried to regale her with stories of phantom noises and moving furniture, or that one time, Hilda, the 82 year old cleaner, had felt a ‘presence’. They definitely all knew why she was there, the side glances and slightly longer than necessary eye contact from the few employees she had come across so far made it clear that they were well aware of what she was doing.
Her job was always the same; arrive, set up, spend the night, record everything, occasionally interview staff for interesting stories, and, if the hotel or venue was willing to spring for the fee, take part in a séance with a local medium of at least some credibility. If the night was at all interesting, a few others would return and film the dialogue and presenting the following evening, the events and results were edited together in a bid to make it a ratings winner, which it rarely was, and the whole thing was then aired on a freeview tv chanel that had a lower viewership than the CCTV cameras in her local newsagent.
The rule was always never to speak to the guests. Most hotels didn’t want to scare away customers, but even when they were using their small-time notoriety to increase business, her boss didn’t want members of the public interfering with the ‘process’.
She began her ritual, pacing the room in order to find the ‘sweet spot’, every hotel room had one.
The corner by the dresser. Perfect.
She got straight to work setting up various pieces of recording equipment; some for sound, some for images. One with night vision, one without. She loved this part. She often fantasised that she was setting up for some tasteless, low rent, porn film, and she often thought she’d probably make more money if she did. She pictured various well-endowed men taking her roughly from behind on the bed on which she now centred the focus of one of the cameras. Just the thought made her creative (among other) juices start to flow. She squeezed her thighs together in bid to brush off the low burning sensation that immediately awakened between her legs.
She checked and double checked the equipment; not that it mattered, she rarely caught anything on camera that was going to provide her with her big break.
Sighing and contemplating for about the five hundredth time whether or not this would be her last gig, she picked up her bag and left the room to explore the rest of the hotel.
There was nothing exciting about this hotel. Every room and corridor was as clichéd as the next, and the smell of slightly damp bed linen clung to the walls as she made her way around, getting a feel for the building and trying to find anything her boss might be able to use as what he called a ‘hook’. She gave up pretty quickly and decided to have an early (and decidedly sub-par) dinner in the hotel restaurant before returning to her room to shower and go to bed.
The internet was the program’s main source of income, from its website and webisodes (for those that didn’t make the tv cut), and the forums that had countless people suggesting venue after venue. She checked them regularly, returning this evening to the forum post that had lead her here in the first place. Strange noises in the corridor…blah blah…staff don’t even like to work there…blah blah….building has a violent history….blah blah….Room 37….
She wasn’t sure of the time. She wasn’t even sure if she was awake, but the definite brush of something against her leg made her shift under the covers and stir slightly. When it happened again she barely even noticed. The tiniest sound of contentment escaped her as the brush became a tender stroke that started slowly along the back of her calf. As it reached her thigh it became just slightly firmer, gliding smoothly upwards. She sighed a little, drifting in and out of the deepest sleep, enjoying the dreamlike sensation, and moved her leg aside to allow her imaginary admirer easier access to her.
The most delicate touch crept between her legs and lightly stroked her already silken wetness. She shifted again, her subconscious state enjoying this little episode. Fingertips traced the smooth line of her stomach, circling towards her ribs and barely sweeping her breast, arousing a tender nipple in their path, over her shoulder, gently down her arm, before curling firmly around her wrist. She half-heartedly attempted to release the grip, but her slumbering state left it a futile assignment, and this dream was just beginning to get interesting.
…….continued in Taboo, available now on Amazon Kindle!