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Jasmine Nights

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After the my shower, my skin had that cool menthol feeling you get after you brush your teeth. I slowly rubbed exotic, floral lotion into my tan skin. My airy skirts billowed around my legs and my toes were free in their sandals. I locked my hotel room door and slipped the key into my pocket. The way to the restaurant had been lit with diyas and I could smell the frangipani as it filled my nostrils with its heady scent. I could hear the tabla drums and was so engrossed in my surroundings I did not see the first step and tripped.

My face was heading straight for the sharp, unforgiving edge of the step when I was caught from behind. I turned around to thank my savior but was dizzy and stumbled into him knocking us both to the ground. Embarrassed, I stood up and righted myself only to realize that my key card was no longed safely lodged in my skirt pocket. I spyed it on the ground, retrieved it and looked up to apologize. The man standing in front of me was horrifying. He wore a navy turban with a cheap, synthetic shirt. His teeth were rotting and his eyes were as dark as night. He was physically impressive with heavy shoulders and thick, sausage hands. Grunting, he grabbed his own key card, pushed past me into the restaurant. It took me a moment to gather myself after this encounter then I walked up the stairs to the restaurant.

he setting was beautiful. Up on the hill the Jodhpur fort was lit up, contrasting against the darkness of the city surrounding the hotel. The tables each had a candle, bathing the patrons in dim candlelight. The branches of hibiscus trees hung overhead but bright stars peeked through the gaps in the branches. I saw my family sitting at the table and walked over to join that.

After a delicious dinner of dahl makani and roti, feeling stuffed, I stumbled up to my room, tired from a day of sightseeing in the blue city. I knew I had to get to sleep as we were visiting the fort tomorrow and I began to mentally make a list of the things I had to do before I went to sleep. I lazily put in my key card and pushed at the door. It wouldn't budge. I tried again, slowly, this time, and all I got was another red light. I looked at my card and it read: Room 303. I was in 241. Annoyed at this point, I remembered my fall and realized me and the Sikh man must have mixed up our cards. I marched over to 303, angry at my stupidity.

I knocked on the door. No answer. I tried again. No joy. I was about to walk down to reception when I heard voices shouting in Hindi. I knew there was someone in the room. I consider myself quite headstrong however I am prone to making stupid decisions. This was one of them. I pushed the key card into the door, the light flashed green and I opened the door.

The first thing I saw was the blood. Splattered up the walls, staining the bedding and making a fresh trail into the bathroom..... I knew I had to get out of there but just as I reached for the door, it slammed shut. I jumped into the closet just as the Sikh man stormed out of the bathroom. His cheap shirt now had lakes of blood covering it. He looked around for a bit then went back into the bathroom and their conversation in Hindi resumed. Leaning out of the closet, I saw into the bathroom. Two men were standing around a man... And he looked pretty dead to me.



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