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I drove through the bumpy dirt road, dodging a few potholes, leaning forward and squinting to see outside my rain drenched windshield. Anymore of this and my poor car would be bottomed out and totaled. My left wiper fell off and my tire crushed it before I could break.
Great. Just what I needed. I took a left at the fork, and the dirt road completely disappeared underneath me. Now I'd have to depend on my eyes to find the old motel. A hill was coming up. Fantastic. Was the world out to get me today? My car stalled at the bottom, then completely shut down. I slammed my head against the wheel, and the horn blasted nice and clear. I fidgeted with the door, and managed to open it, stumbling into the rain. Zipping up my jacket, I ran as fast I could up the muddy hill. My pristine white sneakers didn't stand a chance. I couldn't see the top of the hill, and it seemed like it reached the sky. But eventually, soaked and shivering, I made it to the top and saw the shabby old motel only a few feet away.
I pushed the door open and tripped into the lobby, ignoring the stare of the receptionist.
"Sorry." I muttered, as I examined the damage of the now muddy floor. "Can I get a room, please."
"Sure. Just don't track mud on the carpet." She said, handing over a key. I handed over a wet roll of bills and headed down the hall. The number on the key read 7. Five doors later, I noticed one without a number, and felt suddenly disquieted by the fact. There was nothing particularly charismatic about the door, but there was something...
I opened my door and crashed before I could even make it to the bed, settling for an old velvet high back chair. Needless to say, I woke at an odd hour, with a crook in my neck. I ran my hand through my hair and walked off to the lobby for a bag of ice. A different receptionist was there.
"Hey," I said, scooping ice into a bag, "did you know one of those doors is missing a number?"
"Oh, yeah. The owner never bothered replacing it after what happened last fall."
I poured myself a cup of coffee and spit it out after the first sip. Too weak.
"What happened?" I asked impassively. I decided the coffee would feel better then the ice, and held it against the nape of my neck.
"You aren't from these parts, are you?"
"No, I'm kind of a, nomad, I guess you could say."
"There were these strange folks that came to town one day, had some car trouble just down the road, so they stopped here."
That's right, my car was down there, unattended. Crap.
"They were all white, with these, funny colored eyes."
"Yeah, that's it. They stayed in room 6, just down the hall. The next morning, the maid found the woman lying all distorted on her bed, wrapped up in sheets. I guess her husband killed her in the middle of the night and just left. I think it was her husband, they fought like a married couple, bickering all night. Anyway, no one wanted to stay there, so Mr. Callagine locked it up and took the number off the door. Ever since then, no ones stepped foot in that room. I get complaints all the time about sounds inside that room, it freaks people out."
"What kind of sounds?"
"Things being thrown against the walls, or tables falling over. Just enough to give guests the creeps."
"Huh." Was all I said as I made my way back to the room, stopping in front of the numberless door.
Intuition is the ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning. Perhaps, I had used my intuition tonight. Or maybe, I was just a little crazy. But aren't we all. I felt a little off my rocker as I reached for the door knob, holding my breath, and pushing.
It was locked, just like I'd been told.
I was about to leave. I should have left. Every sensible thought told me I should have left, but I resisted. I rebeled.
Kneeling in front of the door, I put my eye up to the keyhole and peeked through. Something red had been placed over the door. Probably to prevent people like me from sneaking a peek.
I laughed to myself, thinking of how ridiculous I must look, and went back to my room, immediately falling asleep. Again I awoke, but this time, it was late morning. The rain had stopped, but the clouds were still battleship gray.
And as I passed room number 6, that same feeling came over me, and I felt tempted once more to look into the room. There would be nothing different, so I decided against it.
I checked out of the hotel, and found my car untouched at the bottom of the hill where I'd left it. I don't know why it surprised me. The thing wasn't worth stealing. I climbed inside and made my way to the freeway, flipping through the radio and finally giving up.
As the clouds began to clear, so did my thoughts. And I came to the realization, that there was only one thing that made an albino distinct from the rest of the world.