hotel of mystery's
large wooden door creaked loudly as it swung open to reveal the large
entrance hall of the run-down hotel. Given the thick layer of dust
and the hundreds of cobwebs hanging from every exposed surface it
seemed an appropriate noise. Jake liked the image. Like the haunted
house in all the old films he had seen on the TV late at night. His
ten year old mind raced with excitement as he struggled to look fast
his father into the gloomy interior.
my god what a mess” his dad muttered at the sight of the hotels
interior. “No wander they are going to knock it down”.
think its cool dad” Jake replied as they made there way inside.
The cooler air of the building was a welcome relief compared to the
hot summer air outside. As Jakes eyes adjusted to the dark he began
to make out more details. The old wooden chairs lined up against the
wall to his left appeared to be the old waiting area. Simple but
effective he thought as his eyes continued to scan the room. Ahead of
him was a large grand wooden staircase, the centre piece of the
entrance hall. To his right was the counter where the guests would
have been welcomed and booked in. Jake had only stayed in one hotel
in the past and it had been nothing like this. It was all modern and
light. Nothing as exciting as this.
my god” Jakes mothers comment mimicked her husbands as she
entered the hall followed closely by Jakes younger sister, Kate.
wander no ones stayed here for years its disgusting. How on earth did
your uncle live here. He must have been a disgrace'.
dear lets not talk ill of the dead, we just need to check the
building and fill in the paperwork then we can be out of here”.
right, sorry. The sooner we leave the better”.
like it. Its got a cool haunted feel to it, I'm going to go and
explore” he shouted in an excited voice as he ran towards the
so fast” his father put his arm out to slow him down.”Take
it easy. I don't want you getting hurt on a rusty nail or something'.
He motioned Jake to carry on carefully with a smile. 'Just as long as
Jake took another step towards the stairs he heard his mother
interject “Are you sure bill, who knows what's safe to stand
on. It looks like this place is going to fall down before they get a
chance to knock it down”.
course its safe dear, he's a young man now. He can look after
himself”. Jake smiled at the idea, a young man. It sounded so
good to hear it from his own fathers lips. Being a young man however
brought on certain responsibilities which were about to bring him
back down to earth. 'He can look after Kate while we sort everything
out too' his father finished.
dad...' he started before realising it would be futile. He looked
over towards his eight year old sister and made a face of
disappointment which was duly ignored by everyone. He turned to face
the large staircase hoping Kate would just follow there parents
anyway just like she normally did.
he slowly approached the large wide staircase his eyes fixed on the
ends of the bannisters. They were carved into the shape of dragon
head, just like he had seen in class during lessons about Chinese
celebrations. “Cool” he whispered under his breath as he
let his fingers run over there surface removing layers of dirt to
reveal a fine polished wood that was chipped and worn in places.
are you going Jake? I don't like it up there” Kate moaned from
behind him. Oh no she was going to follow him “I'm going to
explore silly, you don't have to come if you don't want to'.
looked around to see mum and dad disappear into a side room. She
looked back towards the stairs as Jake began to climb to the upper
floor. With a few seconds thought she began to follow Jake before he
disappeared from view.
the top of the stairs was a small landing that stretched across the
width of the entrance hall. To Jakes left and right were identical
doors leading to the rooms of the hotel. He chose to take the left
door as there seemed little difference between the two.
fell as he pushed the door open. It resisted slightly, stuck to the
door frame by time and neglect , before finally giving in. It creaked
open to reveal a narrow passage. More of the dark, dust and cobwebs
filled the hallway just like the entrance behind him. Lace curtains,
black with dirt, gently fluttered in a slight breeze that made its
way through the cracks and holes in the old wooden window frames and
glass. For Jake this was getting more exciting by the second. Even
more like an old haunted house, more so than he could have ever
dreamed. He had seem many of the old black and white films, his
parents had figured they were too old to be really scary any more.
Sure he had some nightmares after watching them but once he had
finally gotten over them his curiosity was peaked once again and he
would watch another. As he slowly walked down the hallway he felt a
chill down his spine, the tingle of excitement as he tried to look
through a torn curtain to the outside world. Through the thick layers
of dirt and grime he could just make out the rolling green fields and
hedges far below. The hotel was situated on top of a small hill on
the edge of a small village. With great views of the expansive
countryside that its many visitors would have come to explore. It
must have been great once, many years ago. That was until everyone
began to go abroad for there holidays. Now the place had been left to
decay as his fathers uncle has become a recluse. Hiding away on the
hill becoming the strange man of the village.
he proceeded down the hallway he heard the door behind him open
causing hit to jump.
up” Kate called out to him in a nervous voice. How could he
lose her he wandered as he continued to explore trying his best to
passed several doors on his right, each of them was numbered starting
from nine. There was no room thirteen as was customary in hotels. His
father has explained to him about the unlucky number but it never
made much sense to Jake. How could a number be unlucky.
heard Kate behind him as she counted the doors. “Why is there
no thirteen?” she asked. This was silly, he had to lose her
somehow and fast. Maybe he could scare her away.
because its full of monsters like all the rooms in this hotel' he
lied. 'Don't be silly, mum says there's no such thing as monsters”.
what mum said to calm you down, of course there's monsters. Theirs
the one in your closet remember?”
say that! Your scaring me”
laughed, he loved to wind up his little sister. Sadly however it
didn't work as intended. Instead of her running away she grabbed hold
of his arm for safety.
off” he shook his arm to get her clammy hands off. She let go
with an insulted look but stayed close by his side as her eyes looked
around paranoid of every shadow.
finally reached the end of the hall where they were greeted with a
small staircase that wound up around a dark corner.
will definitely be monsters up there” he joked again.
are you going?” she enquired as he put his foot on the first
exploring arn't I?”
I don't like it up there its all dark”.
don't follow me”. Finally he might be able to get rid of her.
made his way up the stairs into the darkness. The staircase turned
around to the left and then right before finally ending with a simple
wooden door. A sign declared 'Staff only' in large red letters. The
door was no where near as elaborate as the doors below. Maybe it was
due to its simplicity or the message declaring limited access that
made Jake even more excited to enter. It had a feeling of mystery
about it. The area only a few people could ever go as marked clearly
by the sign. He pushed the door open which, like all the other doors,
creaked to reveal an attic full of shelves and cupboards.
interior was even darker than the hallway with only a single dirty
window on the far wall. Strangely this attic seemed cleaner than the
rest of the hotel. Some of the shelves and cupboards seemed clear of
the thick layers of dust and dirt that covered everything else.
was something about this room that made Jake pause. He felt both
excited and yet curious about this new discovery. There was something
in the air that his senses did not recognise. Perhaps he should leave
this room alone, after all there were plenty of others in the hotel
left to explore.
her older brother Kate did not feel the caution, instead for the
first time since they had arrived she began to get excited. Her eyes
fixed on a large dolls house in the far corner of the room. With only
the slightest hesitation she pushed past Jake and headed into the
Jake called out as she pushed him aside. She ignored him as she
walked forwards transfixed by the dirty wooden house. She had always
wanted a dolls house of her own.
watched her for a few seconds before realising what she had her eyes
on. With his own feelings of caution all but gone he made his own way
into the attic and began to look around. As he slowly made his way
across the dust covered floor he began to take notice of the books
that lined the many shelves. As he used his fingers to clear away the
dirt from there spines he began to read there subjects. 'UFO's –
Fact of fiction' was written in large text along the side of one of
the larger hardback books. In fact as he continued to clear away the
dirt from more of the books he realised that they were all on the
subjects of either UFO's, space or general science. Was his fathers
uncle a UFO nut he wandered to himself. As he began to pull one of
the books from the shelf to take a closer look he suddenly realised
his mistake. Several books fell from the shelves and onto the floor
with a series of loud and echoing thuds. Dust flew up from the floor
surrounding him in a mist of age old dirt.
gave out a short sharp squeal that made Jake jump. “They are
only books Kate” he snapped as her turned to face her. But her
eyes where not on him but rather on the upstairs window of the dolls
house, which now had light coming from it. Kates face had gone
completely pale as she pointed to the source of the light. 'Where did
that come from?' she managed to stammer.
did it!” Jake coughed from amongst the slowly clearing mist of
dust. “Some dolls houses have lights on them even I know that
didn't touch it!” she snapped back, her eyes beginning to fill
Jake sighed as he walked over to her. This is just typical of Kate he
thought to himself. Messing around with thing and then pretending she
hadn't to avoid getting into trouble. Tears always seemed to work
with mum but not normally with Jake. This time however was an
exception. There was too much to explore that wasting time arguing
made his way over to the dolls house and looked around the outside to
try and find the switch. To his surprise there was one. It must be on
the inside he reasoned before the realisation of Kate's innocence
slowly dawned on him. The front would have to be removed to switch
the light on and there was no way Kate could have replaced it so
quickly. “Where's the switch, I can't find it?”
don't know, I told you I never touched it”.
took a sudden step back as another light came on upstairs “What
the...” he began before he started to hear a quiet shuffling
sound that emanated from within the house. Something was inside and
moving around. He looked to Kate who's eyes were wide with fear
before finally finding the courage to approach the house. “It
was probably just a mouse” he said aloud as he cautiously
lifted away the front panel to reveal the insides of the wooden
he found inside however was like no rodent he had ever seen. A small
furry creature about the size of a rat peered out to him with two
small beady eyes that were attached to long thin stalks. Its long
grey hair clung to a round body with three legs sticking out like a
tripod giving it a slightly unbalanced look. Like a surprised spider
it stood frozen halfway down the miniature stairs. “Wow cool”
Jake managed under his breath as he waited to see what the little
furry creature would do next.
is it?” Kate enquired as she peered for a closer look beside
idea” Jake replied with the biggest smile across his face. This
was the coolest thing he had found to date and he was relishing the
moment. The creature stayed still for a few moments more before it
decided to continue its slow and somewhat difficult descent down the
stirs. Its movement was erratic and almost comical due to its strange
arrangement of three tripod legs. It watched the two children from
its two eyes as it took each unbalanced step down towards the ground
Kate and Jake stood transfixed for the whole time, neither one saying
a word in case they scared it. The small creature proceeded into the
kitchen area and with a movement as fast as lightning it pressed the
small plastic light switch on the wall using its leg. The light
flicked on lighting up the two children's awestruck faces.
mind raced to catch up with what he was seeing. It was like nothing
else he had ever witnessed. He began to remember the many books that
lined the shelves behind him. Was it really possible he wandered,
could this little creature be alien?. “Hello?” he said
creature didn't respond as it gingerly made its way over to a
cupboard on the wall. With another fast kick of its leg it opened the
cupboard door to reveal numerous round purple lumps of clay. A mould
perhaps Jake thought as he watched it begin to feed. Its leg moved
again this time knocking some of the ball shaped lumps out of the
cupboard and onto the kitchen floor. From here the creature skewered
each ball and then, with another fast motion of its leg, flicked the
ball up into a small round mouth that had until now remained hidden
behind its thick fur. Any slower and it would lose its balance and
fall over. Jake continued to watch the spectacle for a few more
minutes before his eyes started to wander around the room once again.
It was clear that this creature was going to take its time eating.
looked across to Kate who had already lost interest and was now
looking at the drawers underneath the dolls house.
that?”. She was pointing to one of the drawers where a small
engraving had been made above the handle. Two circles, one inside the
other, were calved unprofessionally into the dark wood.
don't know” Jake admitted as he began to pull the drawer open.
Inside was a small ball of what looked like wet green plasticine. “I
love plasticine” Kate shouted excitedly as she reached for it.
don't know Kate it doesn't look right to me”.
scooped up the ball into her hand before realising her mistake. The
round ball began change colour to a pale white. Kate held it out in
the palm of her hand in awe as it began to turn on a thin layer of
translucent slime. As it rolled to a stop both of the kids recognised
its shape at once. “Its an eye!” Kate whispered under her
breath as she stood motionless fearing that if she moved it would
hurt her. The white of the eye was made slightly green from a thin
layer of the transparent slime that covered its surface. It stared at
her and Jake for several seconds before it began to turn to look
around the room. Its movement was smooth and slow as it turned a full
three hundred and sixty degree circle in her palm before looking at
Kate once again.
tried Kate as she stared at the strange creature. In response it
appeared to blink, the green layer went from transparent to solid and
is it?” enquired Kate again.
don't know” Jake ignored his sisters comments most of the time
but for once he genuinely had no answer. “It must be alien”
he guessed as he continued to watch. Kate tried to turn her hand to
view the side of the creature but the eye just turned to face her
almost instantly. It seemed impossible to examine it closely, the
closer she looked the more she found her eyes looking into its dark
black pupil. Inside the deep black she could see sadness. She could
feel its loneliness that it had been left with after there fathers
uncles death, this poor creature had been left alone hidden away in
the dark drawer for who knows how long she thought to herself.
have to take them with us” she said without hesitation.
are you mad!. Mum won't even let me have a pet fish, how on earth are
we going to convince her?”
don't know but they need our help. You heard dad, he said this place
is going to be knocked down!”.
thought for a moment. She was right though he had to admit, they
couldn't leave these creatures behind. But then again they didn't
know a thing about these critters. What did they eat?, Were they
dangerous?. Sure they looked harmless enough now but who knew what
could happen when they got scared. He looked from the eye, still held
in Kate's palm, to the feeding creature in the dolls house.
could also see the loneliness of these two creatures. It was then
that he heard the noise of his mum calling them “Jake. Kate.
Where are you we are ready to go now”.
eyes widened in fear as she looked to him for direction.
he said with confidence “I've got an idea”. With that he
picked up the three legged creature from the house and carefully
placed it in his jacket pocket. He motioned to Kate to do the same as
he picked up the remaining food from the doll house cupboard and
placed it in the same pocket, a snack for the road. Kate gently
placed the eye in her pocket as directed and smiled.
admired the dolls house as she slowly cleaned away the dirt from the
outside with a damp cloth. She had always wanted a dolls house as big
as this. She was still surprised that her parents had agreed to her
keeping it. Inside she could hear the small creature shuffling
around. That was something her parents didn't know about.
he doing?” Jaek enquired from the doorway.
Kate beamed “He's very hungry since he moved in”.
I pit Alphie in my drawer, he seems happy enough” Alphie was
the name he had given to the small eye like creature.“I am just
so glad we found uncle rays notes”.
diary had been hidden away amongst the bookshelves where Jake had
stumbled cross it. Thanks to his parents agreeing to give Kate the
dolls house he had been able to spend more time exploring the attic
while they messed about.
diary was full of information of a solitary man who lived an
extraordinary life. Uncle Ray had stumbled upon the creatures while
on one of his many hikes through the countryside. His excitement of
his find was easy to see from the words on the page as he described
the creatures in amazing detail. It appeared like he had spent weeks
observing both the the critters and keeping detailed notes. In time
the creatures had become the hotels only guests hidden away in the
attic where Ray would look after them. They had kept him company and
in return they had done the same. Uncle Ray had decided they were
aliens from another world perhaps deposited by a meteorite but never
described his reasoning. To Jake and Kate it made little difference,
all they cared about was looking after the creatures. Jake continued
observing the creatures keeping a diary of everything that happened
just like Uncle Ray, he felt it was necessary given the dedication
Ray had given to it before his death. In the darkness of the drawer
the eye sat content and no longer alone. In the house the small furry
creature ate happily as it watched Kate clean its home. To Jake and
Kate it felt like this was just the beginning of a very long and