Room 101c

I’m not one to find myself staying over at a hotel room when I travel. I make sure I always know someone where I’m going. I like feeling like I’m at a home, not a guest in a place that always just so “clean” and “formal”. I always feel alone at hotels as well, no one to talk to, it gets boring. I’ve probably slept at a hotel twice in my entire life. So why am I currently checking myself into a hotel by 12 am? Well, when your crazy husband is threatening to kill you and you have to get away as fast as you can, you find yourself doing crazy things. I’m drawn away from my thoughts when the receptionist puts the key card in my hands, “your room will be room 101c”; I grab the keys, drag myself to the room and text my friend. As I’m about to swipe, my friend messages me, telling me some superstitious story about the horrors of the disappearing room 101c. She’s always been so dramatic, I roll my eyes tell her not to be silly, swipe my key card and enter the room. It’s so beautiful, and it’s so modern this is probably the best hotel room I’ve seen in Nigeria. I’m in awe, I immediately start taking pictures so I can brag about it later.


I can’t breathe. Why can’t I breathe? Why does everything feel tipsy turvy? What is going on? Where am I? I don’t know what’s going on. I want to talk, I want to move but it feels like my body has turned to solid gold, everything is so heavy. I need to know where I am. I look around but there’s not light, there’s just a void, absolutely nothing. But there’s a smell, it’s putrid. I almost want to puke I can’t see where the smell is coming from, I think it’s me, I’ve never had the best nose. Oh, wait it’s not me but it’s around me, probably beside me, or maybe in front of me. I hate this, everything about this. WHERE THE HELL AM I? Okay June, think… the last thing I remember is trying to take photos so that I could put them on my blog and Instagram and cash out. Ugh, I feel so groggy, aha! That must be it, I was drugged, but why didn’t I hear the person, I have sharp ears.


I can’t move, what is this? Why am I strapped down? Where am I? This is a stark contrast from where I woke up last time. The lights are blinding, and the smell of disinfectant is just enough to make me feel nauseated. Why am I reacting to all these smells? Could it be… no, that’s impossible. I need to know where I am and get back to the hotel room. Ugh, hotel rooms, I hate those places, that’s where all of this started. My thoughts are interrupted by footsteps. I can’t see who it is, but it sounds like more than one person. They hover around the table for a while, not speaking but communicating. I know they’re communicating, I don’t know how I know, I just know. They are on both sides now, they’re wearing masks that remind me of hazmat suits. Am I toxic? Is that why all this is happening? Did the government find out I leak sulphur? Was that the smell? One of them bends down and says “you’re not toxic, but you’re carrying something toxic in you”. Woah, can they hear my thoughts? “Some of them” she whispers. She nods at the other person, I don’t know where he went but before I can even process what happened I feel a hot searing pain. I try to scream but my mouth seems sewn shot, I’m struggling against the pain against their sharp instruments, and the neck brace miraculously breaks free, they seem to be making an incision from my vagina to my ribs. I try to scream again and my lips feel like lead, they remove a baby? They stop for a moment while I stare. It looks like a baby but it doesn’t. It’s deformed, not ugly, but deformed, its hands are too small, it’s legs are too big, its eyes are rolled backwards. Something isn’t adding up, this baby looks like a mature baby, but I only have memories of missing one month of my period. I thought that one-month-old or even max two-month-old babies weren’t fully formed. So why? Why is my baby… why does my baby look like a fully developed baby, albeit deformed? It blinks, and I scream, the loudest yell I can remember ever coming out of me in my whole life.


I wake up, the pictures on my phone are amazing. It’s morning already? What the hell happened last night? I check myself in the mirror, I look the exact same way I did before I entered wherever I was. It’s obviously time for me to leave this place. Can’t tell Ada what happened, though, can’t feed into her superstitions. I head over with my key to the receptionist and check out, he hands me a complimentary care package, and says “so you won’t be leaving with your husband”. I turn around so fast I almost get whiplash, “I have no husband we literally separated yesterday.” He mulls over the records “Hmm so who was that man that was here”, “which man?” I ask. “He said he wanted to see his pregnant wife in room 101C.” Now I’m getting heated “You’re mistaken see, I’m not pregnant, give me that key.” He searches for a bit “I can’t find it”, this is incredulous “what do you mean can’t find it”, “I know you gave it to me, I probably dropped it carelessly” he says. “Not to worry” he rustles around, “I have the master key”, we’re walking around the floor we pass 101a and 101b. I’m getting worried now, “101C you said?” he turns with the fake patronising (this woman’s pregnancy hormones are making her cuckoo) “doesn’t seem to be any room like that.”


So this is a story I was going to submit for a competition, chickened out ’cause of all the great entries I saw. Hoped you enjoyed it, there are a lot of errors in it, but knowing me if I don’t post it now, I’ll never post it.


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