Time Warp - Victoria WETZEL
“Hello. How may I help you?” The desk clerk asked as I sauntered into the hotel.
“I’m here to check in,” I replied.
“Okay! Can I get your name?”
“Rosie. Rosie Clark,” I responded, surveying my surroundings.
“Wonderful! Room 13,” she said, chipperly.
I snatched the key from her outstretched hand, grabbed my suitcase, and headed down the hallway in search of room 13. Something felt off about this hotel. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. If it weren’t for the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere with nothing else around for miles, I might have left for a different one.
Instead, I found room 13 and inserted the rusty key.
The old wooden door took quite a while to shove open, it was obvious not many people visited here, and the maintenance crew must have been on an indefinite vacation- or they didn’t exist. Finally, the stubborn door swung open to reveal a dusty room. There was a medium-sized cot carelessly shoved against the wall, with a bed-side table on its left. Facing the bed was a very old television with 2 slim antennas sticking out the top. There was a small hallway leading into
where the bed was, and accompanying the hallway were two small doors. One surely led to the bathroom, and the other appeared to be a coat closet. I sighed and trudged into the ever-so-slightly creepy room. I gingerly peeled back the lacy curtains to reveal a dark, moonlit desert.
I checked the only modern item in the room, a small alarm clock stationed on the bedside table. 1:30 am, JAN 5, 2019. I got ready for bed as the uneasy feeling inside me swelled bigger and bigger. By the time I crawled into bed, the anxiety and slight nausea were almost overwhelming.
But as I laid down and tried to relax, sleep eventually found me, snuffing out the last shreds of angst.
I woke up to a beautiful sunrise that dappled the sky with luminescent purples and vibrant pinks. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Time to start a new day, I thought, sliding out of bed and throwing some clothes on. One of my favorite parts of hotels are the breakfasts. Pretty much any breakfast food was served in the dining room every morning. I walked down the hall and eventually found my way to the eating area. What I saw nearly made me gasp.
The abandoned, creepy hotel that I had checked into last night had somehow transformed into a busy, noisy, normal hotel. Assuming everyone had been asleep when I’d arrived, I cautiously made my way into the dining room. The feeling of nausea was slowly seeping back into me settling into every muscle, begging me to get far, far away from this hotel.
The commotion and normalcy of the whole scene made me swallow the nagging feeling and join everyone else, though.
I wove through the complete chaos until I found the breakfast bar. There, I grabbed a muffin and filled up a plastic cup with some juice before sitting down at an empty booth. Some time later, I finished my breakfast and decided to go exploring. I wandered down each hallway, searching for anything that caught my interest. I was also half-hoping I would be able to find the exit so I could take a short walk. No such luck. I was starting to think I should probably try to find my way back when I saw it- a huge, serene swimming pool, waiting for me to take a dip.
In no time at all, I found myself running back to my room and slipping into my teal swimming suit. Before I left, though, I caught sight of the little alarm clock in the bedside table. I stopped. The clock read: 7:30 pm. JAN, 10, 2019.
Weird. I thought. The clock must be broken. I wasn’t entirely surprised, considering the state of the rest of the room. I grabbed my towel and found my way back to the pool. There were about 5 people in it.
I took a step into the pool. The warm-ish pool water sloshed over my toes. I took another step, and another. Then pushed off from the bottom step. Why had I never gone swimming like this before? I mean, sure, there were the occasional trips to the ocean, but I’d never really gotten into a body of water and swam. It was one of the best sensations ever. I re-surfaced and took a deep breath, wincing at the slight burn in my lungs. I wasn’t used to holding my breath for so long.
Eventually, the pool started to clear out, and I was still there, swimming the length of the pool. It felt good to finally stretch my legs after the long road trip that had brought me here.
After what felt like about 2 hours, I finally pulled myself out of the pool, where I dried off and slipped on a hoodie, then I set out to find my room, where I changed into the warmest clothing I could find. I then pulled out my book and began to read. I read until my eyes grew heavy. Eventually, I closed my book and reached over to turn the light off when something caught my eye. I froze. The alarm clock read; 4:10 pm. FEB 16, 2019; over a month since I’d checked in.
I leapt out of bed and grabbed my watch. It read the same thing. I grabbed my slippers and stumbled down the hall, into the dining area. Where I found a clock; 4:10 pm. FEB 16, 2019 The feeling of nausea and angst came rolling back, so strong it nearly knocked me over. I knew something had been off about this place. That’s why I could never find the exit- I had been caught in a time warp. Never to leave again...