** note: originally I wrote this is screenplay format, and I have tried to keep it in that format as much as possible. Enjoy! **
EXT. OUTSIDE HOTEL - NIGHT
A man - DOMINIC - stands outside a hotel. It is raining. DOMINIC looks up and the rain is caught by the dimming lights of the hotel. A large sign hangs above the entrance. Years ago, when the sign was new, it would have read "Hotel Dumont" but someone has painted over part of the ’N’ in an attempt to graffiti it. DOMINIC is a shabby looking man, unshaven with dirty clothes, in his mid twenties. He is bulky and his shoulder length hair is damp but still curly. With him, he carries a small suitcase.
DOMINIC (Narrating) I had to go in. I had this feeling in my stomach, telling me to walk up the steps. I didn’t realize that this was, essentially, the beginning of the end, of course not. This moment, the very second I laid eyes on the Hotel "Dumort", is where it all started.
DOMINIC takes a deep breath and hurries inside. The inside of the hotel is an rundown as the outside. A single employee - ALICE - sits at a large desk staring a computer. She doesn’t look up when DOMINIC enters. DOMINIC walks up to the desk, slowly, wondering if she had seen him. He hesitates, then rings the bell once. ALICE slowly turns to him, eyes wide. ALICE hurriedly takes out her headphones.
ALICE Shit, sorry about that. I had my headphones in. I’ve been binge watching Netflix all day. You’re the first on to come in all day.
DOMINIC Oh, okay. I’d like a room. Just for tonight.
DOMINIC places a wad of bills on the counter.
ALICE ...Okay, I just need your name and number.
DOMINIC places a twenty dollar bill on the table.
DOMINIC John Smith.
ALICE squints at him suspiciously.
ALICE Okay, Mr. Smith. Room 623 is yours for the night. Top floor, end of the hall.
DOMINIC starts to walk away when the X-files theme song starts playing loudly. It startles him and he looks at the desk behind him. The music stops and ALICE smiles.
ALICE Sorry about that. Forgot to plug my headphones back in.
DOMINIC (Narrating) I guess that should have been my first clue.
INT. DOMINIC’S HOTEL ROOM - MIDNIGHT
DOMINIC sits in his hotel room. The walls are a deep red, but the paint is chipping in the corners and around the trim. The bed is old but it can be seen that it used to be opulent. A cockroach scuttles from behind the bathroom door and fits through a hole in the wall. DOMINIC sighs and walks over to the window. Opening the curtains, he reveals a brick wall.
DOMINIC (to himself) Nice view.
The light flickers. DOMINIC sighs again and closes the curtains. His bag and his cellphone sit on the bed. DOMINIC walks over to the bed and picks up his cellphone. He looks at it like it’s about as useful as a pet rock.
DOMINIC (Narrating) You really realize how useless your smart phone is when you disappear. You can’t just check Facebook, or Twitter or whatever just to pass the time anymore. Everything can track where you are and what you are doing. It’s almost freeing, not to have someone watching you all the time. I never had a Big Brother, I don’t need one now.
DOMINIC’S phone starts to ring in his hands. He looks down at it and his face falls. The screen reads ’Mom’. He declines the call, and tosses the phone on the bed.
DOMINIC (Narrating) You never stop missing your Mom though. And she never stops looking for you.
Suddenly, a scream pierces the air. DOMINIC runs out of his room and into the hallway, looking for the source. ALICE stands down the hallway at a maids cart, folding white towels.
ALICE Something I can help you with, Mr. Smith?
DOMINIC Did you hear that?
ALICE Hear what?
DOMINIC That scream. You must have heard it. I’m not crazy.
ALICE Mr. Smith, please. You are disturbing the other guests.
DOMINIC walks over to ALICE, calmly.
DOMINIC Other guests? What other guests. I haven’t seen anyone since I arrived except for a cockroach.
ALICE (Sarcastically) Really, Mr.Smith, name calling won’t get you anywhere. I think I know a little more about the people here than you do. Go back to your room.
DOMINIC looks around and then back at ALICE before retreating down the hallway. ALICE watches him close the door to his hotel room, before dumping the white towels into the laundry basket beside her. The top towel is a sickening shade of bright red.
INT. DINING ROOM - MORNING
DOMINIC stands outside the dining room, in front of a sign reading ’FREE MORNING BUFFET, INCLUDED!’ in the 1920’s equivalent to comic sans. DOMINIC shrugs and walks in. He walks over to a large table in the middle of the room, picking up a plate. The food looks as if it had been cooked hours ago. DOMINIC loads his plate up with food, mostly cold bacon and stale pancakes, and takes a seat.
There are a couple other people in the room, one small family, compete with a MOTHER - MRS.REED - , FATHER MR.REED - and a teenage boy - JOSH - and girl - HALLIE - , just looking for a place to stay for a night on a road trip. A woman - AYDA - sits on the far side of the room, engrossed in a newspaper. The only other people in the room are an older couple, dressed elegantly. The man -HAROLD smokes a cigar and takes a swig of whiskey and the woman EVELYN- talks to him about nothing in particular. DOMINIC looks at the whiskey in HAROLD’S hand and looks at his watch, it’s nine AM.
ALICE walks into the room with a worried look on her face.
[align=center]ALICE Hello! If I could have everyone’s attention, just for a moment. I’ve already informed the other guests, but unfortunately the rain outside and really turned for the worst. All the roads are closed, and it is advised that everyone stays indoors. I’m afraid you folks are going to be stuck here a few days. Anyone who can’t afford to stay, please come talk to me and I’m sure we can work something out.
HAROLD and EVELYN look unfazed by the news, while the REED family looks devastated. AYDA barely looks up from her newspaper. HAROLD leans over and says something to EVELYN. She nods and agrees, and they both follow ALICE out of the room.
DOMINIC shrugs and looks down at his breakfast. Beside him, his phone starts to ring, caller ID reading ’Mom’ again. DOMINIC lets it ring.
HALLIE REED stands up.[/align]
HALLIE Aren’t you going to answer that?
HALLIE You might as well put it on silent then.
DOMINIC looks at the family. They have New York accents, and HALLIE has long black braided hair, while her brother - JOSH - has an afro. Both the parents have short black hair. DOMINIC looks back at his phone and turns off the sound.
DOMINIC You’re right.
HALLIE sits down. AYDA looks up from her newspaper.
AYDA You know, were probably going to be stuck here a couple days. We might as well get along.
JOSH That’s always the first line of a horror movie, you know.
AYDA and the REEDS continue talking while DOMINIC gets up and walks into the front lobby. HAROLD and EVELYN are standing at the front desk, talking to ALICE. HAROLD pulls out a stack of bills and hands it to ALICE
DOMINIC I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t like credit cards.
HAROLD I only use them when I have to, son. Your stay is paid for, till the storm is over. The same for all the other guests.
DOMINIC That’s quite the sum to drop on strangers.
EVELYN This place is special to us. We’ve been coming here for a very long time. We wouldn’t want anyone to be cast out, not in this weather.
DOMINIC (Skeptically) How long has this place been around? It looks as if it’s about to fall in on itself.
HAROLD It made it’s grand debut in 1915. I have been coming here since 1930. We were here for all the important moments. In fact, we were sitting right where you were in the dining room when the end of World War two was announced, back in 1945.
Suddenly the scene around them changes. The dining room is bustling with people and loud jazz music is playing. DOMINIC, intrigued, walks into the dining room. Fifteen year old HAROLD and EVELYN are sitting where DOMINIC was moments before, not a trace of the awful breakfast buffet. ALICE is on the stage in the dining room, wearing a stylish but modest blue a-line dress. She taps the microphone and the band stops playing.
ALICE Everybody! If I may have your attention! I must announce, with great pleasure, that the end of World War Two is official, the Germans have been defeated and Hitler is dead!
The crowd cheers, and champagne bottles are popped in celebration. The scene blurs and disappears, leaving DOMINIC staring at the stage in the middle of the empty dining room. AYDA and the REED family are staring at him.
JOSH Dude, you good?
DOMINIC turns to look at ALICE
DOMINIC (abrasively) What the hell was that?
ALICE What are you talking about?
DOMINIC What I just saw, what the hell?
HAROLD What did you see, kid?
DOMINIC What you just said! I saw it all, you were sitting there, you were fifteen, and Alice... She was on stage. You looked the same! How could you have been the same?
HAROLD Have you had anything to drink this morning? Maybe something stronger?
DOMINIC No! Nothing. I know what I saw. It was as real as the scream I heard last night.
ALICE looks away, guiltily. DOMINIC doesn’t notice her reaction.
HAROLD Maybe you should get some sleep.
DOMINIC I don’t need sleep, I want to know what is going on here!
HALLIE The only thing that is going on here is you’re crazy.
DOMINIC glares at HALLIE but says nothing. An older gentleman walks into the room, just a little younger than HAROLD. He is wearing old jeans and a button down shirt. This is MR. ULRICH.
MR.ULRICH What’s going on, is everything okay?
HAROLD Everything is fine Ulrich, Mr.Smith here is just a little stressed out.
DOMINIC takes a deep breath, and calms himself down.
DOMINIC You’re right. Maybe I do need sleep. I’m sorry to disturb you all.
DOMINIC walks briskly out of the room, looking at the ground to avoid all eyes. HAROLD watches DOMINIC as he leaves the room.
HAROLD (quietly) That boy is going to be a disturbance.
INT. DOMINIC’S HOTEL ROOM
DOMINIC is packing his small bag, stuffing things inside as fast as possible.
DOMINIC (Narrating) I would have left, right at this moment. I was crazy at home, I was crazy here. There was no where I could be normal, so why be anywhere? Just keep going, I told myself. Just keep running.
DOMINIC stops to feel his pockets.
DOMINIC (Out loud) Shit! I left my phone in that damn dining room.
There is a knock on the door.
DOMINIC I’m fine! I just want some privacy!
DOMINIC’S ring tone can be heard through the door. DOMINIC quickly opens the door, but only halfway. The ring tone stops.
ALICE (quietly) You have a few missed calls.
ALICE catches a view of the inside of DOMINIC’S hotel room.
ALICE You can’t leave, it’s too dangerous.
DOMINIC (chuckles) Yeah, from what happened down there I’d say it’s too dangerous to stay.
DOMINIC’S phone starts to ring again, caller ID reading ’Mom’. DOMINIC takes to phone from ALICE, throwing it against the wall behind her, propelled by rage. ALICE cringes. DOMINIC immediately realizes what he has done, and hangs his head.
ALICE I guess you’re not a Momma’s boy, are you, Dominic?
DOMINIC How did you find my name?!
ALICE It wasn’t hard. A quick search for missing criminals, and when that didn’t work, missing persons. A lot of people are looking for you.
ALICE Dominic, look, you aren’t crazy. I really believe you
ALICE is cut of by a scream from down the hall.
ALICE (under her breath) Shit.
DOMINIC You heard that too?
ALICE Yeah, I did. Come on, let’s go.
[align=center]They both starting walking quickly down the hallway.
DOMINIC You want to go towards the scream? You’re gonna die first you know. The hero always dies first!
ALICE Not a horror movie. More like down the Rabbit Hole.
They stop at a door and ALICE pulls out a large ring of keys, trying to open the door.
DOMINIC Hilarious. Did you parents name you after Alice in Wonderland?
ALICE No, she was named after me.
DOMINIC What are you talking-
The door swings open, and MR.ULRICH lays on the floor in a pool of blood. His face is frozen is a permanently surprised expression, his hands curled as if he were clawing at something moments before his death. His chest is open, the ribs peeled forward, exposing his entire chest. His heart has been ripped out.
DOMINIC Holy shit. Oh mt god. He’s dead. He’s dead. I’m gonna -
DOMINIC runs into the hallways and throws up. ALICE looks at the body sadly.
ALICE Shit. He had a family. A wife, three kids. He was a professor, just staying here while he was at a conference.
DOMINIC How are you so calm? That man is dead! A monster did this to him. It’s probably still inside the hotel! And you can see it too, so I know it’s real.
ALICE Yeah. It is.
DOMINIC What? What do you mean?
ALICE Look, I promise I will talk about this later, but right now I need you to shut the hell up and get some towels.
DOMINIC nods and follows ALICE to the supply closet. The camera zooms in on MR.ULRICH, follows a trail of blood from his empty chest to nothing but the bare fading violet wall of the hotel room. Scene cuts to black.
INT. ALICE’S OFFICE
DOMINIC is sitting on a couch across from ALICE. She sits in her desk chair, beside her desk which is covered in paper work. Pictures line the office, all of the hotel at different times. ALICE is in all of them, she looks the same in every one. DOMINIC hold a cup of coffee, and he is staring into space, still in shock.
ALICE Okay, I’ll start. First on all I was born in 1820.
ALICE I thought you would say that.
DOMINIC What are you, a vampire?
ALICE No. That’s stupid. I just kind of... am. I’m me, but I never die. I always stay how I am right now.
DOMINIC What is going on in the hotel?
ALICE I don’t know. I thought it had stopped, honestly. When the hotel was in it’s hay day, there were ... sacrifices. Always kept quiet, but they seemed to ... feed the hotel. When they stopped, people stopped coming, the hotel fell into what it is today. A rest stop on a road trip.
DOMINIC Why are you still here?
ALICE I can’t leave. I’ve tried. Whatever it is, it won’t let me. This storm, it’s the monsters doing. It doesn’t want anyone else leaving either.
DOMINIC Were all going to die.
ALICE nods solemnly.
ALICE I can never stop it.
DOMINIC We’re going to have to.
Scene fades to black while the next scene fades in.
INT. HOTEL DINING ROOM
AYDA, the REED family, HAROLD and EVELYN, DOMINIC and ALICE all sit in the dining room. AYDA and MRS.REED are playing a game with JOSH and HALLIE. HAROLD sips his drink paired with a new cigar. MR.REED sits beside HAROLD smoking on of his cigars. ALICE and DOMINIC sit rigidly, on edge.
AYDA Right, so crazy eights? Classic game! I can’t believe you guys didn’t know how to play. You all got the rules down?
JOSH Yep! Lets play! I’m gonna kick ass.
MRS.REED Josh, watch your mouth.
AYDA Okay! I just have to go to the washroom, why don’t you guys deal out the cards and I will be right back.
DOMINIC tenses up and looks at ALICE. ALICE nods. AYDA leaves the room, and ALICE follows after her. Just after they both leave the dining room, DOMINIC gets up and stands outside the bathroom in the hallway, on guard. After a few moments, AYDA comes out of the bathroom.
DOMINIC Where’s Alice?
AYDA What are you talking about?
DOMINIC Didn’t she go into the bathroom with you?
AYDA No, why would she have? Is everything okay?
DOMINIC Alice!? Where are you?
There is no response.
AYDA Are you feeling okay?
DOMINIC I’m fine. I need to find Alice.
AYDA looks past DOMINIC and becomes confused.
AYDA What are you doing?
AYDA’s eyes go wide and look directly at DOMINIC.
AYDA Watch out! She’s gonna
The screen snaps to black.
INT. HOTEL BASEMENT
The room is dark. A large furnace burns in the corner of the room. This is the source of light. The camera is focused on DOMINIC, who lays in the middle of the room, his wrists and feet bound together.
DOMINIC (Narrating) Never be the hero, kids. That’s how I got here. Betrayed by the only person it could possibly be, Alice. She’s definitely deluded, that’s for sure. Really sick in the head. How much does it take to make a person believe they are 200 years old? How much does it take to make you cut out another persons heart? I tried to be the hero. Now I’m gonna die, alone in a fuckin basement.
Suddenly, DOMINIC remembers AYDA. He turns his head, to look for her when he comes face to face with her, her eyes open and unresponsive. He looks to her body and see’s the sickeningly familiar sight.
DOMINIC (Out loud, sobbing) No! No, not her, oh god.
EVELYN You really should have been more prepared.
DOMINIC Evelyn? How did you...
EVELYN This hotel is my baby, you see. It’s my home away from home. This is where I fell in love, where I got married, where I have spent so many of my life’s milestones. I lead this place into extravagance and luxury. Insignificant lives are a small price to pay, son.
A sniffling is heard from a dark corner of the room. ALICE emerges from the corner, crying.
ALICE I can’t stop her... I can’t do it... I’m so sorry, Dom.
EVELYN Dom? Short for Dominic? What a lovely name.
DOMINIC Why are you doing this? Please, you don’t have to do this
EVELYN Oh but I do! I do, Dominic, I do. I’m tired of sitting with Harold day after day, watching him smoke his stupid cigars. I need company! I need this hotel to be alive once more!
EVELYN leans down, and DOMINIC tenses up. EVELYN strokes DOMINIC’S jaw with the tip of her finger, leaving a white line from the sharpness of her nails.
EVELYN You’re special, darling. You will feed this hotel, eternally.
DOMINIC I’m begging you. Please.
EVELYN stands over DOMINIC, her fail bony hand stroking his face. She leans down close to him.
EVELYN (whispering) Thank you.
ALICE (screaming) No! Dominic!
EVELYN violently presses her hand into DOMINIC’S chest. DOMINIC screams, and the scene slowly begins to fade, as do his screams. As the scene fades, DOMINIC dies.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM
A heart monitor is beeping. DOMINIC lies in the hospital bed, his hands and feet restrained. The hospital room is all white. A woman sits beside DOMINIC, his mother. She has large bags under her eyes, and her medium length blonde hair is pulled into a ponytail.
DOMINIC slowly begins to wake up.
DOMINIC Mom? Where am I?
MOM You’re in the hospital. You’ve been hallucinating for days. Raving about a monster.
DOMINIC (crying) Oh my god, it’s not real. Thank god.
MOM What’s not real?
DOMINIC pauses,choking back more tears.
MOM It’s alright, Dom. You don’t have to talk about it. The doctors are going to come in a bit.
DOMINIC What’s wrong with me?
MOM takes a deep breath and squeezes DOMINIC’S hand.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY - THREE MONTHS LATER
DOMINIC is walking briskly down a busy city street. He is wearing a jean jacket with a hoodie, and his hood is up. It is the early evening and it’s raining. It is just dark enough that the street lights have come on. DOMINIC suddenly stops walking, and turns to look at the building in front of him.
He looks up and the familiar dim lights and run down sign, graffitied to say ’Hotel Dumort’. Through the window he can see a young woman sitting at the reception desk with her headphones in. As if in a trance, DOMINIC slowly walks up the steps and in the door. As DOMINIC opens the door the scene cuts to black.
DOMINIC (Narrating) Don’t be the hero.
Story entries for the May – June (2016) Sixpenceee Story Contest can be found here. Simply submit a story to enter. Stories don't necessarily have to be creepy, for example, thought provoking stories or stories with a twist are definitely acceptable.
I know I'm kind of late to the party, but I was just re-reading through the stories in this contest and I have to say, I really love this one. There's something about the film script style that makes it especially chilling. Nice job!
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