Hello lovely readers! It’s another ‘Write on Wednesday’ day today, and I have been thinking about today’s story all day. This is a hard one for me I think 🙂 Today’s prompt is to tell an atmosphere laden, tragedy driven Noir story. You can read a detailed description of the prompt along with some excellent tips from Julie here.
It had been a really long day. The straight concrete road had long been left behind in favor of this dusty, gravel filled path. Matt was starting to doubt his decision of taking that man’s advice for this short cut. But his car was running low on fuel and so was he. He really needed to find that goddamn motel before both him and the car broke down.
A few hours later, just when he decided to give up and spend the night in his car, he saw the blessed light in the distance. That had to be his home. The motel the man had mentioned. He sped towards the light and found the lonely signpost, that read ‘Motel’ in half blinking red neon light. He parked his car up front. He hadn’t expected to find any other cars here, so remote that this motel was. But he noticed two other cars parked too. Maybe there were more people traveling this road than he thought. Who cares really, he thought to himself, as he walked in to the reception.
There was no one at the reception. He rang the bell and tried to peer in, just in case the receptionist was asleep or drunk. But there was no one. He rang the bell, once, twice. Looked down at his watch. 10:10 pm. “Ugh, I don’t have time for this“, he cursed under his breath. He looked up at the set of keys hanging in front of him, and reached out towards one of the keys.
“Just what are you doing exactly?“, spoke someone with a heavy seductive voice behind him. Matt startled back and turned around to face a middle aged woman.
“I’m sorry, but I did ring the bell a couple of times. I need a room for the night. And if you could spare some tea and biscuits, that would be much appreciated“, he said, as he addressed the woman- probably the owner.
“Oh, I think you have mistook me for the receptionist“, she said calmly. “My name is Lisa, and I’m staying here in room 701 with my girlfriend, for the night. Had come in to buy a pack of smokes from the receptionist. But looks like he’s away. Too bad. You got any on you?“, she asked me.
“No, sorry. I don’t smoke. Look, Lisa, I really need to retire for the night, have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. So if you don’t mind, I’ll be taking one of those keys and will just leave the money here. I’ll be off before the sun rises tomorrow, so maybe you could inform the owner?“, he requested.
She shrugged and walked off. He took the key to room 710, and unlocked the door. The room smelled damp and dusty. He switched on the lights, and a single bulb flickered on, throwing the room in a dirty yellow glow. “If the room had feelings, I’d say it was really depressed“, he thought and smiled. He undressed, placed his phone, wallet and watch on the bedside table and drifted off to sleep. The watch showed 11:10 pm.
Thump thump thump! ‘Mr. Matt! Open the door Mr Matt! Matt, open the door! Please! You need to leave, now!!’
Matt tried opening his eyes, he was so tired. Who the hell is banging at his door in the middle of the night?! He glanced at his watch. It was 12:10 am. “I’m coming! Calm down!“, he shouted.
He opened the door and a rush of cold night breeze met his face. The crickets were singing and the frogs were croaking. But there was no one outside. He looked about, but there was absolutely no one. His mind must be playing tricks, or he must have been dreaming. He walked a little ahead, and saw room 701, where that woman was staying. The lights were out. He tried to put his ear to check if there were any sounds- nothing. “This is a waste of time“, he thought and went back towards his room. While he was walking back, he noticed there were two more cars parked now. Quite late for people to be checking into the motel, he wondered.
He went inside his room, closed the door, and turned off the light. Thud! something hard hit him on the head, and he blacked out.
Matt tried opening his eyes. It seemed brighter now. His head felt heavy, so did his body. He felt a sudden discomfort on his back, as if he were lying on a bed of rocks, instead of an actual bed. He must be have been really tired, but the last few days had been rough. He had to get to the city soon, to meet his girlfriend and start his life over. He had come clean after a year at that hell hole and he was ready to take on life now. He couldn’t wait to get to the city and hold his love in his arms. And so he had been driving non-stop for over 3 days, stopping only for overnight stays at motels or hotels along the way. Today was the day he would meet her and when his life would turn around finally. Just as soon as he is able to open his eyes and get the hell up from this bed.
He tried to brush a fly off his ear. But then, he couldn’t feel his hands. What? He couldn’t feel either of his hands. He tried to strain his neck. He was panicking now. His heart beating very fast. Where was he? What was happening to him? Slowly, the panic set his adrenalin rushing, and he jolted up awake. And then he screamed and screamed and screamed.
A month later…
“The police have uncovered a motel along the highway, that was a place of the most gruesome murders. It seems the motel was run as a black market for body part harvesting and other illegal experiments on unsuspecting travelers. Mutilated and dismembered bodies of at least 10 people were found in various rooms in the motel, and the Police was tipped off, when a Meth addict called Matt Allcoat did not make it home as was expected by his girlfriend and was last seen by a family who had directed him towards a short cut to get to the highway faster. The Police have identified Matt’s body from the pile of bodies they discovered. Matt is survived by his girlfriend and his newborn daughter. The search is still on for the owners of this motel and the perpetrators of this heinous crime.” – The news reporter rattled off.
“Excuse me Ma’am, do you have any room available for the night please?“, asked the man.
“Of course, you can take room 710. It isn’t busy these days, what after that ghastly incident of the motel on the highway.“, said Lisa, as she stared at the man and took a drag from her smoke.
Feedback time 🙂
- Give me an honest feedback on this attempt guys, this is a hard setting for me
- Did I manage to write a noir?
- What could I have improved in this story? More atmosphere?
- How can one write short noir stories?