The first chapter to a C.S. Lewis inspired story about one young woman, named Rebecca, and her interactions with an evil spiritual force, parading around as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man.
Severed hands upon her chest grew thick, dirty yellow nails and dug into her flesh. They ripped through her torso, exposing her heart, lungs, and stomach.
Hot, boiling acid bubbled up from her stomach. It burned potently, destroying flesh and intestines as it overflowed into her body.
The severed hands had disappeared, but she could feel someone. A gleeful enemy. A spirit that was all too happy as she lay dying.
* * * * *
Rebecca’s eyelids opened in a flash. She could still feel the acid in her body. Though, her flesh remained intact. It was nothing but heartburn from eating pizza too late last night. She slowly released the sheets from her tight grasp.
Her surroundings confused her, and she struggled to remember where she was. A snore to her left alerted her to Daisy, her friend. Then Rebecca began to remember last night’s events.
She shifted in the motel’s queen-sized bed, and her head exploded with pain. Oh, of course, she had too much to drink last night, as well. Putting her hands on either side of her head, she leaned forward and tried not to vomit from the nausea.
Daisy had stopped her last night from spending the night with the Swede. At least, she thought he was Swedish, maybe German, or Norwegian. She didn’t care. He was hot, and she wanted him.
Now, Daisy hadn’t stopped her last night for any religious issue, nor for any feminist garbage. She had merely dumped her stomach’s contents all over the guy. Making Rebecca drag her to a place to stay for the night while the guy cleaned up.
With this memory in mind, Rebecca picked up a down pillow and forcefully threw it at Daisy. The sleeping young woman moaned on impact, but didn’t wake up. Making Rebecca glower at her.
Slowly rising from the bed, she stretched her arms above her head. Her hungover headache throbbed ten times greater. She needed coffee, in a bad way. Did the motel have any continental breakfast? She decided to find out before she cleaned up for the day.
* * * * *
Whatever motel they had chosen, it was a nice one. Expensive too, more than likely. However, she went ahead and grabbed one of the fluffy, white robes and wrapped it around her. If the hotel host and hostess didn’t want their guests running around in robes, then they shouldn’t have supplied them.
With the room’s key in the robe’s pocket, she unlocked the four locks and let the room’s door slam shut behind her. She hoped it hurt Daisy’s head more than her own.
The halls were wide, just like every other place in the area. Victorian red carpeting on the floors, extravagantly embellished designs on the walls, and chandeliers on the ceiling all gave Rebecca the impression that she belonged here.
She actually grew up in one of Brooklyn’s poor neighborhoods. And God knew the trouble she experienced there…and created. But, in her mind, she knew she would rise to higher classes. Maybe that’s why she and Daisy ended up there.
She found the continental breakfast in an oversized room near the front lobby. Walking into the room, she stopped and smirked. Taking in the same extravagant designs as the halls and smelling the sweet and hearty breakfast foods at the buffet table made her giddy. Making her almost forget her headache.
People milled around the coffee maker. But there was enough to go around. Grabbing a white, porcelain mug, Rebecca poured herself some French roast. Then she turned around to find a seat.
There were mostly men in the breakfast room. Rebecca relaxed a little. The men seemed somewhat pleased to see her, their wives would have probably given her dirty looks. The thought made her smile.
Blowing on her coffee, she strolled to the center tables, and she stopped. She said a mild curse under her breath as some coffee spilled over her fingers. But he acted like he didn’t notice.
It was the same guy, the Swede. His blue eyes, dark and deep, were on her. A blush crept into her cheeks as she noticed him check out her every curve and sway. He seemed interested in her too. But what was he doing here?
Uneasiness filled her. Thoughts of him following her to this motel played in her mind. After all, she couldn’t even remember fully how she had got here. And she had yet to remember the motel’s name.
“Hello, Rebecca. Did you sleep well?” he said. He chuckled, a deep-throated, bass laugh. It wasn’t menacing, but it wasn’t friendly either.
She decided to play it casual. “Didn’t expect to see you here. I guess I didn’t notice what happened once my friend and I left the nightclub. You seem to have cleaned up fine.” Without an invitation, she settled herself at his table on the seat opposite.
“I always clean up well,” he said. He gave her a closed-lip smile, a dark twinkle in his eye. Then his expression turned to mimic her casual attitude. “I spend enough time here to know the laundromat’s location and how much change to have on me to use it.”
The expression in his eye had made Rebecca recoil. Ignoring it, she moved on and said, “So, you use it often then?” Rebecca wondered if he vacationed here often. Maybe he frequently stayed at this motel?
“Whenever I find myself here,” he said. His eyes flickered around the room, then settled on her. The tight-lipped smile returned, but without words.
An awkward smile of her own crossed her lips. He was toying with her, she realized. She sipped her coffee, slightly burning her tongue. “And after you cleaned up this time, you went back to find the girl with her vomiting friend. Because you just hadn’t had enough.”
Rebecca didn’t like being toyed with. Whenever she felt like someone was, she challenged the person. Making him uncomfortable as he made her uncomfortable.
But the Swede remained undisturbed, his expression blank. “Yes, I followed you and Daisy here,” he said, his tone flat and steady.
Anxiety hit, and her heartbeats tripled in speed. Had she voiced her worry out loud? He had to be teasing, she told herself. He was merely smart enough to catch her innuendo.
She remembered which city she resided in, and calmed herself. No real creep could afford to stay at a place like this. She wondered if her own credit card even had enough credit leftover to afford this little sleepover.
Men filled the tables around them. The men in business suits talked finance, the retirees talked about stage shows and fishing, and the college kids focused on the food. Everyone seemed at ease around this blue-eyed, blonde man. If anything, they seemed jealous of him.
However easy the men around her seemed, Rebecca decided the time had come for her to take her coffee and leave. Maybe Daisy was awake. Maybe she shouldn’t have left Daisy alone in the room in the first place.
Excusing herself, she turned her back on him as quickly as a ‘casual’ attitude would allow her to. Her dream began to come back to her, piece by piece. Unlike last night, the Swede had given her a foreboding impression. Much like the gleeful enemy in her dream.