The clock struck 3:00pm. Joseph was sitting on the bed…wondering…what was next. Randy, June and John had left a few hours earlier. The three said that they would guard the stairs and make sure nothing would happen. The lights were out and the shades drawn. The only light in the room was the sliver of sun under the shades. Joseph laid back and stared at the ceiling. Thoughts of doom filled his mind and he knew that this was not going to be his day. His friends had asked him to leave the Hotel and never return…but…he was already too far into this haunt.
A cold draft filled the room and on the ceiling Joseph noticed shadows. He sat up and looked over towards the armoire. There stood Miss. Abigail. She was naked to the bone with her back to him. He could see her perfect curves and he blushed. She swayed her hair across her buttocks and then turned to Joseph. He wanted to turn his eyes away…but he couldn’t. She lifted a shade and the beautiful sunlight draped her body in warmth. She moved over to Joseph and stood looking down at him. He was flushed as she swayed he breasts towards him. Her nipples were erect and he could see the outline of her pubic hair between her legs. She reached down to her breast and placed her hands under them and squeezed them…pushing her nipples further out towards Joseph. Joseph reached over and placed his hand along her thighs and pulled her onto the bed. He placed his mouth on hers and slipped his tongue into her mouth. His hands caressed her body and he felt her begin to undo his pants. He slipped his mouth to her left nipple and suckled it like a baby. He was going to make love to this woman like he never had made love to anyone before…including his fiancée Jennifer. But she pushed away quickly and moved back to the armoire. She pulled out a tuxedo and the charm she wanted him to wear and asked him politely to get dressed. She, in turn, began to put on her wedding dress.
“My dearest Gilbert…today we will be wed…and then…I will make love to you like you’ve never been made love to before.”
Joseph couldn’t say a word. His mind was quiet. He watched her dress covering her perfect body. He couldn’t move. She wanted him to dress…but his body was in suspended animation. The room began to close in on him and Miss. Abigail seemed to be miles away. His mind began to melt away from his face. The walls began to circle around him and the floor was no longer below him. His reflection spun around the room and with each revolution his features began to change. His eyes grew larger as he realized that he was no longer Joseph. His face was covered with stubble and his hair had changed to a darkened red. His build was more massive and as he searched for a reason…he now understood all that he had been told. He was…now…the spitting image of…Mike Herod.
John Smith stood at the top of the stairs. Randy was at one end of the corridor and June at the other. June’s heart was beating fast and Randy’s was a heavy thump. John Smith knew his duty. He had received another five hundred thousand dollars a year ago to do the same dastardly deed. The last man was supposed to be the only one, but, Mr. Rolantz paid well. Now, this Joseph was another bastard of the Herod blood line. Joseph was the last.
Sam the Bell Captain stood in front of Mike Herod’s room. His job was to not let him out. The past two times Herod had tried to stop the deaths of his lineage. Sam had been placed there by Gilbert Rolantz and Miss. Abigail. The door slowly creaked open as the big hand clicked to 3:45pm. Mike Herod stood there…disturbed by Sam’s appearance. Sam placed his hand on Herod’s chest and shoved him back into the room.
“Mr. Herod…your place today is here.”
“I can’t let you kill him.”
Herod rushed the Bell Captain…and as he did…a heart shaped charm was lifted up before his eyes, the very same heart charm that Miss. Abigail had purchased for her beloved. Herod’s face became flushed with blood and his heart came to a stop. He was stranded in the same suspended animation that Joseph had been placed in. however…the room stood still.
Miss. Abigail reached over to Joseph and pulled the charm away from him that he had placed around his neck. The room stopped and the floor returned to his feet. Joseph walked to the bathroom mirror and stared at his reflection. It was true…he was now Mike Herod. He turned to Miss. Abigail with a look of confusion upon his face. She stood before him in her wedding dress…glorious as usual. He looked down at his own body and he was dressed in the tuxedo. Miss. Abigail walked up to Joseph.
“I think you should read the last page of my diary.”
She handed him the book and he turned to the last page.
October 29th 1992
It’s done. The last of the blood line is dead. Mike Herod is forever finished. His soul burned as it stood quietly in his room. Gilbert and I walked his great grandson to the stairs and he fell to his death. My Gilbert is mine now forever. I take his arms and wrap them around my body. My lips brush his and our tongues lightly touch. Oh my God…after so many years of separated love…My betrothed is finally mine. Sam the Bell Captain has always been such a true friend…but now…I will leave with Gilbert…as Mrs. Gilbert Rolantz. Good bye my beloved Springs I’ll cherish you forever.
Joseph placed the book back in the steamer trunk as the clock struck 3:55pm. It was time. The door to the room opened as Gilbert stood outside. The three were led by Sam the Bell Captain down the corridor. They went down to the second floor…where they passed Randy first. Randy saw only Mike Herod and Gilbert Rolantz who he didn’t know at all. As they came to the stairs…John Smith held out his hand to Joseph. Joseph, knowing that there was nothing he could do took his hand. June looked up the hallway and something caught her eye. She noticed Mike Herod and Gilbert Rolantz…but as Joseph took John Smith’s hand…she saw Miss. Abigail and Sam the Bell Captain appear. At the same time…Randy also noticed the appearance. The two began to rush toward the stairs as John Smith…a much richer man then he was before…shoved Joseph down the stairs. Joseph slammed into the wall and tumbled head over heals. At the bottom of the stairs was a table with a candle burning. Joseph smashed the table and the candle caught his clothes on fire as the clock struck 4:00pm. Waiters and bus boys rushed with a fire extinguisher to put out the flame that engulfed Joseph. Randy and June ran up to the head of the stairs and looked down only to see burning cinders. It was too late. They turned and searched the hallway. Miss Abigail and Gilbert were gone. John Smith stood at the end of the corridor. Randy began to move towards him to try and stop him from leaving. He had just killed Joseph and he wasn’t going to escape. Sirens could be heard in the distance…and by God this John Smith was going to pay for this.
As Randy approached, John pulled a revolver from his pants and pointed it at Randy. Randy skidded to a stop just a few feet in front.
John began, frantically to explain why he had killed Joseph.
“I had to….don’t you understand…I had to….He would have killed me…..I had to…..it wasn’t the money….He said he’d Kill me…I didn’t want to…It wasn’t my fault….Don’t you see? He was going to kill me……”
Randy took a step closer and John looked him with the hurt and despair of a life now ruined. He placed the gun to his temple…Randy yelled…
“NOOOOOOOOOO” it was if he were in slow motion as he tried to rush to John to stop him….
He was too late.
In room 386 Gilbert took Miss. Abigail in his arms kissed her over and over. The room was no longer necessary the two would be together forever…in true love.
“Push…push…breathe deep….deeper….hold your breath…now PUSH!!!!”
The doctor had his hands full and was trying to turn around the baby. She cursed her loudest and hoped to God she’d be able to kill the son of a bitch who got her this way….
“Here it comes…push…push…all right…here it is….it’s a boy…”
The doctor lifted the baby up and cut the umbilical cord and handed it to the nurse to be cleaned and checked. Then the nurse placed him on Jennifer’s breast. The baby took to his mother and suckled the milk of life.
“God I wish he had been here…it’s a boy…I had a boy…!”
With the greatest love and joy of a newborn son…Jennifer laughed and wondered where Joseph was.
A Novel of Suspense, Horror and Love