Gregory's Hotel; Chapter 1 (Part 2)

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Soul #1: Neko Zombie

Suddenly I heard an ear-splitting scream from the room next door. I started to walk with my new body. I couldn’t walk very fast, and I assumed I wasn’t very strong. I opened my room door and went out to the hallway. The door next to mine was made of metal and had a huge lock on it.

“(Mumble)…I’m so hungry…” someone said next door. I walked over to the door and looked through the keyhole. I saw a stone room with a steel bar window, like a prison. There was a person in the corner, sitting in the shadows. He stood up and looked right at me.

“Hmmm?...You…you’re the one who moved in next door yesterday, aren’t you?” He talked in a quiet voice. Somehow, it felt tortured. “I need to talk to you. So get the key that’s on the counter in the lobby. The lobby is down the hall, to the left… (moan)…” and he laid back down.

So I walked down the candle-lit hallway. It was still raining outside, and still was as dark as night. I walked into the lobby where I first met Gregory. He sat at the counter, reading a book. I walked up to him, and politely asked for the key.

“The key to the room next door?” he questioned. “The man who inhabits that room is the last remnant of a family that once caused us a great deal of trouble. A most dangerous man, indeed. He was once a timid and quiet guy. Then, one stormy night, long ago…”

Lightning flashed outside. “…Someone SEWED everything shut! Eyes! Mouth! Ears! Oh…what a horrible thing! Since then, he’s been a nasty crook who attacks anyone who draws near! As the manager of this hotel, I simply cannot let you have that key!” I couldn’t help but feel that story was a little farfetched.

“Well then, I guess it’s about time to make the round of the hotel.” Gregory left his counter, taking a lighted candle with him. As soon as he was out of my sight, I quickly grabbed the key and put it into my pocket. How else was I suppose to get it?

I went back to the room, and Gregory was looking into the room next to my room. He walked away, and I waited for him to leave. Once he was gone, I unlocked the door. The door was very heavy and covered in rust. It must have been here since this place was built. I walked into the prison-like room and met its captive.

“We meet at last…” he said. How Gregory had described him was right. His eyes were stitched just enough so he could see. He must’ve had trouble hearing because they too were stitched shut. And his mouth was stitched up just enough to hear him talk. But he didn’t seem threatening, more like beaten and scared. Like a puppy that’s owner took no care of him and threw him into the alley when he complained for food.

“My name is Neko. But Gregory keeps calling me this ‘awful zombie’, so I call myself Neko Zombie. Do you think I’m scary?” I shook my head in disagreement. “I don’t need your sympathy. Now, let me tell you about this awful place.”

“The guests in this hotel are planning to keep you here for all eternity. So they aren’t going to give up their souls. No, not their souls, the souls of others that they like to carry around. So…you’ll have to figure out how to get them by yourself. I’ll give my soul, but you’ll have to figure out on your own what my favorite food is. So, leave my room, and spy on me through the keyhole.”

I left the room, and looked through the keyhole. Neko started talking out loud. “I’m hungry… (moan)…I want something sweet…I’m so hungry… (groan)…something not too cold… (sigh)…I want DESSERT!!!!” Neko screamed so loud I turned away from the door. I thought about what Neko wanted; something sweet, but not cold. I walked back into the room.

“Well then, what’s my favorite food?” he asked. I guessed it was chocolate. “Mmm…chocolate. That’s it. Here, I’ll give you this.” Neko dropped a bottle with a bright light in it. “I picked this up somewhere a long time ago. You can have it. I don’t need it. Take this bag to carry it with.” I took the bag from Neko, and put the soul in the bag.

“There are 12 souls in all that you must find. Each of the guests living in this hotel is carrying one. So, how are you planning on delivering those souls back to Death?” I told Neko about meeting him in my dreams. “In that case, the best place to sleep is obviously your room. Come back here after you give that soul to Death.”

So I left Neko’s prison and went back to my room. 12 souls to collect, 12 guests to steal them from, I thought my death was a minor concern. I laid back down on my bed, fell asleep, and began to dream…

“Come on, now! Give it up! Trow away all dem worries!” I was greeted by Death again in my dream. “Ohhh, it’s you! Did ya manage to pick up any souls?” I took out the one soul I had. “You brought me a lost soul already? Well, dat sure was quick! Let me see it…” Death took a closer look at the soul. “Ok den, hand it over, like we agreed.” He lifted his scythe, and the soul was lifted out of my hands and went over to Death. He collected it, and glowed briefly. “Heh hey, tanks a lot! Just keep finding em’ and bringing em’ to me.” He started to disappear. “Good luck there buddy!” and he disappeared.





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