Willis glared at the hotel for several minutes. “Well, are you going to sit here in the car all night? Rather silly of you since, as Frank said, everything is free in Gloomdown, beastly nights and all! Might as well ‘get over it’ and go inside to get a room.” Willis raised a fist and shouted, “Bram, if you weren’t a ghost I would kill you right
now!” Bram faded out.
Willis finally dragged himself out of the car, slammed the door then got a suitcase out of the trunk. He saw another suitcase with the name Bram in bold black lettering. “What the devil would a ghost need a suitcase for?” As he stared at it in amazement, it floated out of the trunk and up the stairs to the hotel door. “What the hell does he have in there! Halloween season or not all this is beastly, everything tonight is beastly. The town, the turn-abouts, Frank at the gas station – crazy, bizarre, beastly nights indeed!” He grabbed his suitcase and followed Bram.
The outside of the hotel was spooky, dirty, run-down, and had cobwebs all over it. There were several lit jack-o-lanterns on the porch. When Willis opened the front door he was shocked! He did not expect to see such opulent splendor. Deep red plush carpeting and velvet drapes provided a warm and cozy atmosphere. The overstuffed couches and chairs in dark gold velvet were inviting and luxurious. Brilliant crystal chandeliers hung from high ceilings of dark blood-red wood. All the wood molding on the walls framed embossed wallpaper in red and gold flowers. The front desk was also of deep blood-red wood. Elaborate Tiffany lamps adorned the desk and all tables in the lounge.
“May I help you, Sir?” Willis turned to the voice and saw a lovely woman with long raven black hair standing behind the desk. He walked over and sat his suitcase down by Bram’s and asked for a room. “For just tonight, please. A double,” he said as he looked down at Bram’s suitcase. He turned to look again at the lounge and rolled his eyes when he saw Bram lying on one of the couches. “You are not alone, Sir?”
Willis turned back and thought he saw a bat swoop down behind the desk. Then the woman raised up and apologized. “I dropped my pen. You are not alone? So, you need a double?” His mind went blank for a few seconds. “Hmm? Oh, yes, uhm, no I am not alone. I mean, yes, I am alone. I just like doubles. Makes me feel I am not alone.” Her lips were blood red and when she smiled he stared at her red-stained teeth. Must be smeared lipstick, he thought. She handed him a large pen. He signed the register and the ink looked like blood! What is it with everything blood red!??
Bram tapped him on the shoulder and Willis jumped, throwing his pen up in the air. The woman caught it and licked the ink dripping from it. “She is a vampire, you know,” Bram whispered in his ear. Willis tried to ask, “Is there a way …,” but his voice came out in a squeak. “There are many ways,” the woman said. “How would you like it?” She dipped her finger in a large drop of ink on the desk and sucked on it. Removing her finger slowly she smiled at him. “Out of town?” Willis coughed to clear his throat. “Is there a way out of town? I could not find an exit.”
“Not now,” she reached over to touch his hand with her long nails. “I will have someone take you up to your room. Here is your key,” she ran her nails across his hand. “I will take you to your room, Sir,” a man picked up the suitcases. “Follow me, please.” Willis followed the Bell Boy who had an uncanny resemblance to Dracula. “They are all vampires here, including the elevator operator,” Bram whispered. Willis could hardly walk he was so scared.
“Costumes,” he whispered harshly. “They all are in Halloween costumes!” He was not really convinced of that.
When they got to the room, the desk lady was leaning against the door. She flashed an angry look at the Bell Boy. “I will take care of our guest. You can go now.” The Bell Boy’s eyes flashed anger back at her, but he left. Willis unlocked the door and said, “I will be fine, thank you.” He quickly picked up the suitcases, rushed inside and shut the door, locking it securely. “Locks won’t keep them out, you know,” Bram whispered. Willis was at the breaking point.
“Why are you whispering? No one can hear you except me! We have got to get out of here now! Can you make me fade out as you do? I’m going crazy and will be dead by morning if we stay,” he whined.
“Well, you are writing the story, Willis. It is up to you,” Bram flopped down on one of the beds.
Willis stared at him. “What do you mean? I’m writing the story? What the hell are you talking about?” Willis was getting hysterical.
Bram sat up on the side of the bed. “I mean you had better get your notebook out quickly and write those vampires out of here and write us back on the highway in your car. And do it quickly, they are coming down the hall now.”
Something clicked in Willis’ mind. He frantically grabbed his suitcase, threw it on the bed and opened it, throwing his clothes out then grabbed his notebook and pen. He was turning to the Beastly Nights for Halloween story when he heard the vampires at the door, arguing with each other. He started writing as fast as he could. The door
opened and the desk lady came in, struggling with three other vampires. She finally pulled away from them, turned to Willis and bared her teeth, hissing at him. The other three came in and all were approaching him as he wrote, shaking badly. He looked up at them bending over him and stabbed his pen down on the paper, making a period. They all vanished instantly.
Willis saw the exit on the highway. “I think we are going to make it to the gas station just in time, Bram. We will be at the house soon now. You know, I must be awfully sleepy from driving so long. I have the strangest feeling like I have been dreaming about living in one of my horror novels, the one titled Beastly Nights for Halloween.”
“You don’t say,” said Bram.
© 2017 Phyllis Doyle Burns