Room 33 at 3am

At first, the room seemed normal.  I’ve stayed in many hotels over the years, this was just like any other business trip.  Nothing out of the ordinary. This room seemed just like the rest. That was until nightfall came, 3am to be exact.  I started to hear piano keys being pressed, not a song or tune, just random keys like a child trying to play and just hitting all the keys. for some reason at 3am, this sound is unsettling.

As far as I can remember there is no piano room in this hotel,  I didn’t see one anyway. The noise is so loud, I get out of bed, put my coat on and go looking for the piano, the further away I move from my room the fainter the sound gets.

I find myself at the reception desk. I ask the night clerk:  “Hey, Do you have a piano in the hotel?”
She has this knowing look on her face, as she curiously says: “No, why do you ask?”
I shake my head: “I must be hearing things, Lack of sleep can mess with your mind.”
She looks at the clock on the far wall behind her, I follow her gaze. The clock reads 3:15am.  She looks back to me: “what room are you staying in?”
I wonder why that matters as I answer her: “Room 33”
Her eyes widen: “Oh” she types on the keyboard in front of her: “We must be fully booked up.”

I frown: “Why?”
She glances up at me: “We don’t normally book out that room.”
My frown deepens: “Why?”
At this point I am wide awake, I look to her name badge, it reads Niamh, assistant manager. She looks to her hands and back to me: “30 years ago, there was a member of staff that used to book out that room when she had her sons over. She only got to see them twice a month.” She fidgets with her hands: “She wanted to make them feel spoiled when she had them.”
Intrigued I ask: “Why could she only see them twice a month.”
She looks to me with a steel cold look in her eyes: “Her mother in law took them from her, said that she was sick and could not be around them on her own.”

I nod almost afraid to ask why, she continues: “One day her mother in law told her that this would be her last visit with them, that she was moving away and taking them with her.”
She looks around the front desk as she says: “The older son took his piano, the younger one liked to think he could play, but instead he just hit the keys and was happy that noise was coming out.”
She smiles sweetly, almost as if remembering it. She wipes a tear from the corner of her eye: “She came up with a plan that would keep them together forever.”

She looks me in the eyes: “When it was bedtime she put the boys in separate beds. She made sure that they were both sound asleep before she smothered them to death. Then she took her own life.”
“How?” I have so many questions, yet I am compelled to ask this one.
“She hung herself in the bathroom, of room 33.” She smiles: “They have been together ever since.”
Not knowing what to say I am left speechless. I was going to ask to be moved out of that room when I remembered that she said they were fully booked up.

She looks at the clock on the wall, again I follow her gaze it reads 3.55am.  “Enjoy your time here, I really must be going.”
“Oh, ok then.”
I make my way back to room 33, It takes me longer than it should. It is well past 4am by now. I enter room 33 trying not to think about what Niamh just told me about this room.
When I enter the room I hear nothing, there is total silence. I leave the light on and try to sleep, the bathroom door is slightly open, I try to ignore it and close my eyes.

I wake up around 9am, I make my way to the reception desk. “Excuse me?”  I ask the lady.  “Yes, How may I help?” she says with a smile. Her name badge reads Jenny.
“Is Niamh still working?  I want to talk to her again, about my room and what she told me.”
She looks to her co-work and back to me: “When did you speak with Niamh?”
“Last night, or rather this morning, between 3.15 and 4am.”
She frowns: “No one covers the front desk between 3 and 5am.”
I frown in return: “But, I spoke to her for nearly an hour about what happened in my room.”

Jenny makes her way over to the bookshelf behind her and pulls a book out,  she brings it over to me and starts to flick through it.  It’s a picture book.  She stops flicking and points to a picture, “Is that Niamh?” I look at the picture of the lady with two young boys, both under the age of ten. “Yes, that’s her. Is she still here?”
Jenny shakes her head: “No, no she died over 30 years ago.”

I blink at her: “Did she hang herself in the bathroom of room 33 after she killed her two sons?”
She stares at me wide-eyed: “Yes, how did you know.”
“She told me the story last night.” I shake my head: “I would like a room transfer please?”
She nods: “Yes, of course, we are quiet this week. What room are you currently in?”
I grimace: “Room 33.”

She looks to me with a surprised expression: “I am sorry, there must have been a mix up with the booking.  I will arrange the transfer and move everything for you.” She touches my hand which is leaning on the countertop: “You will never have to go back into that room. “Thank you, Jenny.”

-Room 33 at 3am, a short story by Emma M. Carolan – 30/07/2018

The True Believers

Why is my world different from yours? You believe everything here to be true. Therefore it is. This is your reality.  I believe this world and everything in it to be false. A lie if you will.  Therefore it is.  I can bend the rules of your reality. Do things that no one here believes that they can do.  I have been awoken.  To me everyone in this world is asleep.  Following their own mundane lives.  Not seeing that they are in a continuous loop.  To you it may seem that I can time travel. To me, I wave my hand and bend the realms of time. As time does not exist.  Therefore the rules of time travel not do apply to me or others like me.

I can rewind back to when Shakespeare was but a boy. Talk to Oscar Wilde and William Yeats.  See Picasso create a master piece. I can move forward through time and see what the world becomes.  The future that people, you include, believe will come to be.  Even though you created this reality you may destroy it. Or you can change what you believe and change your world.

Ever wonder why some people seem to get things without really trying?  That’s because they don’t.  They just believe that they can do anything.  Therefore they can.  Michelle looks to me with disbelief in her eyes, she almost laughs at me as she says: “You’re a nut-job.”
I smile as I have been called worse: “You can change anything that you want about your life if you truly believe that you can.”
She picks up a plant as she says: “So you’re saying that I can change this plant into a puppy?”
I smile: “If you truly believe it.  Yes you can.”
She closes her eyes with doubt in her mind. Then something inside her changes. She trusts what I have told her, she believes it. When she opens her eyes she is holding a golden lab pup; she nearly drops it then she places it on the floor: “How did you do that?”
I simply shake my head: “I didn’t. You did. You believed it was a puppy, so it became a puppy.”

She stands, paces the floor.  “You’re telling me that everything in my life isn’t real. Everything and everyone in it is a lie.”
I sit back in my chair as she allows this to sink in: “Yes. I am.”
She almost shouts at me: “That’s a big deal!”
“Yes it is, I’ve been where you are you.”
“Why me?  Why are you telling me about all of this?”
I smile: “Not everyone is a believer. I had a feeling that you would be.”
“What’s next?” she asks in a mixture of doubt and excitement.
“Whatever you want… There is one thing though…” I pause long enough to know that I have her full attention. When I know that I have it I continue. “There are some believers that don’t want us to be awoken. They chase us and try to put us through a process that would put us back to sleep so to speak.. That’s why they are called sleepers.”

“The key is to remember that you control your reality.”
She retakes her seat: “What does that mean?”
“If you see them coming for you just believe that you are somewhere else.”
She sighs with a deep frown: “What happens if they catch us.”
I frown deeply: “That is the tricky thing.  They are also true believers, so it comes down to who has the most self belief.  If you believe that you can be freed more than they believe that you can’t. Then you will be freed.”
She thinks about it for a moment: “But if I doubt myself, they win?”
“Yes, without a doubt they will win if you don’t believe.”
“How will I know them?”
“They are always in pairs.  Two believers are stronger than one.”  I regard her with great intensity: “They wear black suits with the sleepers symbol on it.”
I shake my head: “They will appear to move at super sonic speed. Really they are just moving through time.”

“I’m dreaming right?” She questions.
I smile: “The total opposite, you’re more awake than you have ever been.”
She frowns: “But this makes no sense. At all.”
“Ok. I want you to do something for me.” she stares at me blankly, yet she does not object, so I continue: “Close your eyes.  Think of a moment in time that you want to revisit. Have it clear in your minds eye and picture both of us there.” I let her find this moment in time: “Now really focus. Concentrate.  We are both there.”  She nods
“Now swipe your hand in the air until you feel that you are where you want to be.”
As she takes this motion I can see her time line passing by. She has her eyes closed so she has missed it.  She holds her hand in a halted motion. Then she opens her eyes. she surveys the room. “It worked.”
“It worked because you believed it would.” She looks around at everything and everyone: “Where am I?” she asks almost disappointed.
“You are still you. Anyone from this so called time line, will see you as you were to them.  You will see your true self.”

She looks down to her clothes: “I’m in a dress?”
I laugh slightly: “Is that not what you wore to your debs?”
“Alex this is insane, this can’t be really happening.” she shakes her head and in flash we are back in her sitting room again. “what happened?”
“You didn’t believe it was real. So it wasn’t.” I lean forward.
She laughs, closes her eyes really tight. Giggles to herself. Her phone rings in that moment.  “Hello?” She answers the phone: “Yes this is Michelle Mitby.” She giggles again: “What competition have I won?”  She frowns: “Whats the cash prize?” she laughs again: “It’s already been transferred into my bank?…. Thanks!”  She hangs up the phone.

Slightly amused I ask: “What did you think about?”
“I believed that I had 10 million in my bank.”
I smile: “And do you?”
“It would seem so.”
I clear my throat: “The only thing is, you’ll no longer need money. As once you believe that you have something, you have it.”
She sits to attention: “Right so these sleeper guys. Why are they after you?”
“The monitor the zoners-”
She cuts me off:”Zoners?”
“AH.. Yeah. People that are zoned out, or in a trance as I like to say.”  She nods for me to continue: “So they monitor the zoners and they pick and chose who gets to be awoken.  When someone is awoken without them, they have no control over them. They lose a part of their powers.”
She shakes her head: “What does that mean?”
“Did you ever feel like no matter what you done, that life was just against you? Or everything was just plain wrong?”
She laughs: “Yeah. Who wasn’t?”
“That’s because they’ve been controlling your life. Every movement, every joy, every pain has been in their hands.  Some zoners believe that it is the will of their God, other zoners believe it is the universe that controls everything, when in reality it is the sleepers that control all of the zoners.”

She ponders for a moment: “What happens if everyone is awoken?”
I frown deeply: “I don’t know, but at least everyone would have control of their own lives.”
“How many people have you awoken?”
I nod towards her: “Including you. 29.”
She shakes her head: “Where are they?”
I smile: “Living their true dreams. Living their lives the way they want it.”
She frowns at me: “Why are you not living your dreams?”
I sigh: “My dream is for the whole world to be awoken.”
“So why can’t you just believe that everyone has been awoken? I mean is that not how it works? You believe it so it becomes true?”
“Trust me I have tried.” I lean forward, clasp my hands: “As much as I believe in others, there is nothing stronger than self-belief, and if the zoners don’t want to believe that they can be awoken, then they won’t be.”
She laughs: “So, I don’t like the life I have? Is that what you’re telling me?”
I smile: “No. That’s what you’re saying. If you didn’t want to be awoken, you wouldn’t have been.”


To be continued….. Possibly……

By Emma M. Carolan