Fiction Park

The Hotel

  • It had a mystic vibe to it. Every corner seemed to hold a story of its own
- Runa Maharjan
Just before I fell asleep, I heard somebody knock on my door. 3 am at night, I figured it was the receptionist. She must have forgotten to mention something to me. But, when I opened the door, there was a small girl looking flustered

Feb 19, 2017-The flight landed in Kathmandu on November 25, 1:00 am. I had come to Nepal to conduct my psychology research. I looked forward to meeting all kinds of people and learning about their inside-world. Because I was taking the time to soak in all the excitement, by the time I walked out of the airport to catch a cab, there was only the last one standing in the parking lot. Since, the hotel I had booked was at the other end of the city, I just asked the driver to take me to the nearest, nicest hotel possible.

Getting into that cab, at an odd hour, when the driver and I were the only people in proximity, marked the beginning of my adventure. The driver, a middle-aged man with a remarkable glow on his face, seemed both polite and friendly. “My name is Nabin,” he shared before he would go on to tell me all kinds of stories about his life. 

“The roads here are terrible, and it gets worse every year. 16 years ago, my daughter and I met this horrible bus accident. When we came out of it, our lives changed forever. For some odd reason, my wife walked away without a proper goodbye and till date, I have never heard from her. I don’t even know if it was something I did, or she had always planned to leave.” His voice sunk as he shared this intimate piece of information about himself. 

He confided how he had learnt to live without his wife, but his daughter still longed to see her mother. On some days, especially this time of the year, she would grow desperate and lose it a little bit. He recalled how just two days later would mark the anniversary of the family’s breakdown.   

“Ma’am here’s the hotel. It is as beautiful and peaceful inside as it is outside. The hotel is out of this world.” 

I paid the fare and walked inside. The hotel had a mystic vibe to it. Every corner seemed to hold a story of its own. At the reception, I was received by a beautiful receptionist. Since we were the only people up at that hour, every word we uttered would echo from wall to wall. She led me to my room. 

On the door hung an odd sign that read ‘Kavya, 2000/11/27’.

When I asked if the sign came with a story, the receptionist just smiled. “It’s late ma’am. We can talk tomorrow.” I absolutely agreed. I was exhausted. It was almost 3 am. I took a quick hot shower and slipped inside the blanket.  

Just before I fell asleep, I heard somebody knock on my door. 3 am at night, I figured it was the receptionist. She must have forgotten to mention something to me. But, when I opened the door, there was a small girl looking flustered. She looked at me with her beautiful eyes as if she was looking for an answer.  

“Both mommy and daddy are lost. I can’t find them. I am tired.” Her sad eyes revealed the truth in her words. I hurriedly asked her to walk with me towards the reception. If only that little soul could walk anymore. She was much more exhausted than I was. So I tucked her in the bed instead and went to the reception by myself. 

When I told the receptionist that a girl had walked into my room looking for her parents, she looked rather unaffected. She smiled very calmly and said, “Ma’am there have been no complaints of a missing child. In fact, I have not noticed 

a little girl, like you describe, in this hotel. I was growing impatient by the moment, there I was worried about a child that wasn’t even my responsibility and then there she was—the receptionist of the hotel—who couldn’t care less. Furious, I commanded that she come have a look at the room. She complied. 

“Please take the child and file a police complaint as soon as possible. A little girl is making rounds at this hour and you’re telling me no parents have placed a complaint?” 

When we came back to my room, I was shocked. The girl had probably left the room to search for her parents again. I even convinced the receptionist to search the corridor with me, but the girl was nowhere to be found. 

“Ma’am if there is a little girl we’ll find her tomorrow. You need to take some rest now.”  

She was right. I didn’t have an ounce of energy left in my body. I snuggled in again. Just when I was about to fall asleep, I saw the little girl again. She looked angrier and much more tired than before. I realised that she was not looking at me but looking through me and when I turned around there was a man sleeping beside me. I shrieked and stood up immediately. When I looked around I was no more in my room. I stood beside the bed petrified, trying to make sense of the situation, while the girl climbed up. 

“Baba, I looked for you everywhere! Where is Ama? Baba, wake up.” The man seemed to be in deep sleep. She nudged the man, but he wouldn’t move. The girl started wailing, and then screaming and before I could do anything about it, she took out a pair of scissors from her tunic and stabbed the man—not once, not twice but ample times. 

I screamed at the top of my voice, before I woke up. It was just a nightmare. There was no man, there was no girl, there was no blood. There was just a lot of sweat. I looked at the time; it was still just 3:30.  

When I woke up the next day, I felt sick. Since it was gloomy outside, I decided to just sleep in. But first, I would go grab something to eat. The lobby was rather busy in the morning, I saw a lot of people—of different shapes, sizes and ages—that morning. But oddly enough, everybody was very well dressed, as if they were going out for a reception. The women and girls wore beautiful dresses and the men and boys wore handsome suits. 

My heart raced when I saw the man who was murdered in my dreams, in the lobby. I went up to the receptionist and asked her if there was any sign of the little girl I told her about last night. Still no sign or complaints, she ensured me. I went back to my room and slept the entire day. Even when I opened my eyes every now and then, I could barely move my body. 

At one point in the night someone whispered in my ears. “Ama, I have been looking for you all day, wake up!” When I opened my eyes it was the same little girl with the same pair of scissors in her hand. She was sitting on my chest. I screamed in an attempt to wake up from the nightmare, in vain. This time it was really happening. I pushed her away, jumped on feet and started running, asking for help. But, not a single person in the hotel showed up for rescue. When I reached the reception, the receptionist calmly smiled at me and said, “She is not lost, you are. Run for life!” 

I ran as fast as I could before I passed through a floating body. I looked at it, “Nabin!”

He didn’t seem to hear me, he dashed to the child, picked her up in his arms and said, “She’s not your Ama.” 

I looked at them for a split second before I continued running away from the hotel. The only lit house at that hour was the police station. I went inside and told them everything. One of the policemen smirked, as if he didn’t believe a thing that I said. “Madam, have you been drinking?” I was scared and furious. A kind policeman asked, “What is the name of the hotel, Ma’am?”    

I tried to remember the name, but I realised, that night I was so tired I forgot to note the name. Besides, there were no signs of the hotel merchandises anywhere in and around the room. I was infuriated, I suggested that I’d take the policemen to the hotel instead. 

When we finally reached the area, there was no building standing. 

“Trust me, there was a hotel here, all my belongings were still inside.” Frustrated as I fell on the ground, a policeman brought my bags. “Ma’am are these yours?” 

“Yes, where did you find them?” 

The policeman led me and rest of his team to a grave that read, ‘Kavya, 2000/11/27’. 

“This was the name of my room.” 

Beside that grave was another on which was engraved, ‘Nabin, 2000/11/27’.

“Ma’am looks like you spent two nights on a graveyard. Do you 

need help?” 

I just nodded. 

Published: 19-02-2017 08:50

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