Are you ready for the ending???
The carpet which had been a subtle beige was now soaked red. On the floor by her feet, Andy lay face down. Embedded in the back of his head was a very large axe. The door to the room was wide open. A tray with cups and sachets of coffee lay discarded in the doorway. Scarlett stepped over Andy’s prostrate figure, and looked at his face for any sign of life. She saw his face contorted in pain, his eyes wide open in horror. Sobbing and hyperventilating, she paced the room, panicking and not knowing what to do. She paced to the window. The fog was now so dense, she couldn’t even see the cars in the car park. The lights merely lit up the white fog, making it seem even thicker and foreboding. She waited for someone to come and see what the screaming was about, but nobody came. Then, without warning, the door slammed shut and the room went black. Scarlett span round, but before her eyes could adjust to the darkness, she felt something grab her arm and twist it behind her back. She screamed out loud, before a shadowy hand appeared and clamped over her mouth. She could feel a heavy breath on her neck. A smell of stale tobacco wafted across her face, and she gagged involuntarily.
“Hush now,” a gravelly voice hissed in her ear. “I’d hate to have to kill twice in one night.” Scarlett whimpered, nodding her head. She felt another hand on her shoulder. Her skin crawled as she felt the cold, hardness of the hand track her shoulder and then round to her breast. She could hardly breathe with the hand on her mouth and the sickening tobacco smell in her nostrils. She wanted to scream and run, but was frozen by fear.
Suddenly, a car alarm sounded outside. Scarlett felt the hand on her mouth relax ever so slightly, and she sank her teeth in. There was a loud yell in her ear, and she felt the grip loosen. She lurched forward and ran towards the thin sliver of light that signalled the door and the corridor beyond. She tripped over Andy’s prone body in the darkness, and as she put her arm out to break her fall, she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. She screamed in agony and panic. Behind her she heard the gravelly voice calling her all the names under the sun, threatening her with certain death. She reached out with her hand and touched metal. She felt in the darkness and her hand rested on wood. The axe. With all her might, she yanked it free of poor Andy’s skull and swung in the darkness. She heard a cackle of laughter, before a clunk silenced the sound. Rather than wait for the consequences, Scarlett dropped the axe and turned to reach for the door handle. She yanked at it and the door swung open, illuminating the small area by the door. The carpet was soaked dark red with Andy’s blood, and Scarlett could see bone poking through a gash in her left forearm. Fighting off the urge to vomit, she lurched down the corridor screaming, and banging on doors with her good arm. Eventually, a door opened and a sleepy old couple stood in the doorway. They looked at her in confusion. There she stood dressed for sex, but covered in blood, and her face stained with mascara. She begged for help, casting desperate glances back at the open doorway of room 13.
“Please help me,” she screamed.
“Do you know what time it is?” The woman mumbled grumpily. Scarlett looked at her in disbelief. “It’s half past ten,” the woman finished. “Hardly the time for running around hotels dressed like that.”
“My boyfriend has been murdered, and there’s someone in my room,” she babbled. “You have to help me, please.”
The old man, who had been silent until now, suddenly seemed to wake up.
“Don’t worry, love.” He soothed. “You come on in. Sheila, lend the lass your dressing gown.” He let Scarlett past him and into their room. “Right, I’ll just put my glasses on, and then we’ll see what all the to-do is.” Scarlett nodded and shivered as Sheila appeared with a flanneled lilac dressing gown and wrapped it round her. The old chap was about to go when Sheila called him back.
“Be careful, Gordon,” she warned him. Then she handed him an umbrella. “Take this, dear. Just in case.”
Gordon nodded and took the umbrella from his wife. He silently stole down the corridor to where the door was gaping open. Scarlett watched him disappear out of view, and felt a wave of dread wash over her. She waited for something to happen, but nothing did. After a while, Gordon returned, his slippers stained red from the bloody carpet.
“Well, there’s no one there now, love.” He announced. “Well, apart from the fella with his head caved in.”
Scarlett looked at him in disbelief. She ran past him and along the corridor back the room. The light was on and the full horror of the situation lay before her. Beyond Andy’s body, the carpet was soaked dark red with blood. Then she could see her own red footprints leading to the window, which was now wide open, the cold air of the night flooding in. Even though she was wearing the dressing gown, she felt her nipples harden, and she wrapped her arms around herself. She could see larger blobs of blood on the carpet, trodden in by bigger feet wearing shoes. She looked around the room to check there was nobody else there. The axe lay on the floor by the bed, the blade caked with blood and hair. Scarlett looked at herself in the mirror and then her arm. She threw up right there, on the carpet. Gordon and Sheila stood in the doorway, looking at her with a look half of pity, and half of fear and confusion. She looked at them begging for them to believe her. She knew what it looked like – a dead man, an axe, and a blood covered girl with no other explanation.
Gordon stood aside as another man entered the room.
“What the fucking hell happened here?” He said, before catching sight of Andy and repressing his own urge to throw up.
“A bit of a kerfuffle, I’d say,” Gordon summed up.
“We’d better call the police, I reckon,” the hotel employee said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Scarlett looked at him in panic. The urge to pee took over and she excused herself to the bathroom. She took her bag off the seat and lifted it up so she could sit down. As she peed, she tried to formulate a plan. She looked at her bag and saw her car keys resting on the top. Once finished, she snatched the keys with her good hand and then opened the bathroom door. Gordon and Sheila had now been joined by more onlookers. She took one last look at Andy, and pushed past the crowd and ran away down the corridor. She ran straight past the security guard coming up the stairs and straight out of the front door, the borrowed dressing gown now open, displaying her blood covered body and underwear as she ran. She stopped in the car park, disorientated by the thick fog and the pain in her arm. She span round looking for a clue to where her car was. She looked up at where the room was and saw the Security Guard looking out of the open window. He yelled something at her, but she couldn’t hear him, she stepped further into the fog, the outline of the hotel disappearing in the murk. She walked in the fog, her car keys in her hand. She kept pressing the key fob, hoping to see the reassuring flash of her car lights. Finally, she hit the jackpot and saw the familiar flash. Then she heard the unmistakeable sound of heavy footsteps, and a dark shadow fell across her. Her path to her car was blocked. She should have run away. But fear was now replaced with anger. She ran towards her car, and the shadow, and she ran straight into something sturdy. However, her speed worked in her favour and she merely span past and to her car. As she fumbled to open the boot, she heard a chuckle behind her.
“Nowhere to run,” the familiar gravelly voice intoned. Scarlett heard the crunch of shoe sole on cold tarmac. She finally managed to open the boot and reach in. The footsteps were right behind her now, and she felt a hand grab her by the hair. As she was pulled backwards, her hand touched wood. Her hand gripped the handle of her baseball bat and as she was flung to the ground, she let out a defiant yell and swung the bat one-handed with her good arm. She missed the shadowy figure by some margin and landed hard on the tarmac, on top of her broken arm. She screamed in agony and pure fear. The bat clanked onto the ground, landing a few inches from her. The white fog went dark as the light was blotted out by the figure towering over her. He laughed. She felt a hand yank her hair and pull her to her knees.
“Time to say good night,” the gravelly voice hissed in her ear.
Just as Scarlett expected everything to go black, she heard a different voice yelling in the distance. Then, further in the distance, the unmistakeable sound of a siren pierced the night, and the fog was illuminated with a familiar blue hue. She sensed the figure behind her stop in his tracks, his grip on her hair loosening. She dived forward and picked up the discarded baseball bat. As the sound of screeching brakes and shrill sirens filled the air, Scarlett took a deep breath, and swung the bat with all her might at the shadowy figure. With a dull thud, the bat connected and red blood arced through the blue tinged fog. Scarlett felt the nails tugging on flesh, and yanked hard to free the bat. She saw the figure turn round and face her. She screamed and raised the bat above her head, bringing it down into where the face would have been. The shadowy figure let out a blood-curdling scream and slumped down to the cold tarmac. Scarlett stood over the dark figure and spat on him. Then she raised the bat and brought it down again and again, until she felt someone grab her by the waist and pull her away, still swinging. She let the bat drop and went limp, the adrenaline finally leaving her body as she was dragged away. She felt the pain in her arm surge through her body and the last thing she saw before she blacked out was a concerned male face and the familiar high-visibility jacket of a Policeman.
When Scarlett slowly opened her eyes, she heard the familiar cry of her mother’s voice. Then she was being hugged so tightly, she could hardly breathe. She coughed, her throat and mouth completely dry. She tried to move her left arm, but felt the familiar restriction of a plaster cast and sling. She felt disorientated and tried work out where she was. She craned her neck and saw the familiar sight of a hospital ward. She saw Dom sat by her bedside, a stern look on his face. Her mother let go and allowed Scarlett to sit up. The curtains were drawn around the bed, and she could see feet coming and going in the ward around her. She had so many questions that needed answers. She tried to speak, but nothing came out. She tried again, but her mouth was so dry, her lips so cracked, that it hurt. Scarlett tried to recall the events that led her here, and it was only when she saw the bloodstained dressing gown flung over the back of another chair that a wave of fear and sadness overwhelmed her. She began to sob uncontrollably. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She barely felt her mother and brother embrace her and hold her. She closed her eyes again, and all she could see was Andy’s contorted face, and the sight of blood arcing through the air.