Tonight is my first night covering the reception desk at this lovely but worn looking little historic hotel. This is my second job, which I took on a few months ago to save for a down payment on a condo. It was simply supposed to be for a bartender position. That job quickly turned into waiter, room delivery person, and now front desk reception, handling all needy guests’ requests and complaints.
It’s a quiet and boring night, with only a few guests checked in. It’s been storming all day, so the old electric lights continue to flicker and dim. The lobby is darker than usual because of the storm, so I keep dozing off, trying to read my latest Stephen King novel. In a world of my own, I drift from my novel and stare out over the reception desk at the musky red velvet heavy curtains wondering if they had ever been cleaned. The old threadbare now seemingly creepy couches and tired looking carpet look more worn than normal. I can almost see the centuries of dust settling on the bookcases. My mind wanders to the hotel’s ghost stories the staff were sharing last night. As with most historic hotels, this one purportedly has its own ghost. They said She watches from afar, never getting close enough to scare but just close enough to send a shiver down your spine and make you do a double-take thinking you saw Her. She stands behind people in the elevators making sure you get off on the right floor. They feel the tingling on their necks and catch a glimpse of something not there. She moves furniture around to make it to her liking. She hums people to sleep while walking up and down the hallways.
The phone rings and startles me out of my scary reverie. “CAN YOU STOP MOVING AROUND FURNITURE ON OUR FLOOR!” A lady screams down the phone. What is she going on about? There is absolutely no-one even on staff tonight except for me. For a moment, I shiver at the thought, shaking off the silly ghost stories. As is customary, I reply “I will get right on it, ma’am.” Yeah right. Not a chance am I getting into that elevator alone.
As I ponder who could be moving furniture on the otherwise empty guest floor, something brushes my hairline making my whole body go cold, I whip around to see nothing there but feel the cold envelop me even more. “Shake it off, shake it off!” I think to myself. You are just bored and you are scaring yourself! But, what if the stories are true and she really did exist…What was that? I swear I just saw a chair move. Now I am going completely insane.
I inch from behind the reception desk to take a quick look around and hear a scraping coming from the other side of the lounge area. Just a tiny bit afraid, I walk towards the noise looking back constantly to make sure nothing is behind me. “There is no such thing as ghosts, there is no such thing as ghosts,” I mutter to myself while feeling something breeze past my arm. Okay I am now official scared, really scared. Did those lights just dim a little? It must be the storm. I can quite literally hear my heart banging like a timpani drum trying to break free.
The phone rings again, bringing me back to reality… “holy crap”… I laugh in hysteria and run back to pick it up. It stops ringing before I can answer. Now, my mind is doing somersaults. I just want to go home now, scaring myself out of boredom is not fun anymore.
I sit back at the reception desk and try to read my book. After another chapter I realize I desperately need to go to the bathroom. I look around for a bucket, anything that would help me from not having to walk across that lounge again. I stare down… hmm, could I really use a trash can? It is a very valid question right now.
I really do have to go so, shaking off my silly nerves, I walk across the lounge to the bathroom. Of course, why wouldn’t the door creek as I open it? I quickly do my duty and feel much better. I laugh at how silly I’ve been. It’s amazing where you can let your mind go when you’re bored and alone at work, reading a spooky book. I think I’ll head back and search the front desk for a nice romance novel to finish off my night.
As I am washing my hands, I take a quick look in the mirror to see what a state of fright I must look now. Instead, I see Her standing behind me… smiling.