Young Writers Society



Motel Midnight

by julia002


“Welcome to Utah: LIFE ELEVATED”

Miles and miles of dryland surrounded us as the sunset. Smooth blues and citrus clouds hid behind the plateau. I watched the wavy fence follow us and bugs get crushed by the windshield. He rolled down the window to smoke and the cool summer air rushed in the truck. We had been listening to the same Eagles CD for the past four hours, my ears started to get agitated. When were we going to get there?

Five hours ago, I was leaving the local gas station with a pack of cigarettes. I smiled up at the night sky. Thousands of little lights covered my world, watching over me.

“Excuse me, miss? I have an issue with my truck, could you help me for a quick minute?”

“Oh sure, of course!” I was glad to help. He was tall and rather handsome. He wore a flannel shirt, paired with a dark beard.

He had the hood open, looking at god knows what, I knew nothing of cars. Without glancing up he said, “could you grab me the pliers? They’re just sitting on the front seat.” Willingly, I climbed up the truck to grab the tool. Then I heard the hood slam shut. Before I knew it, I heard the engine roar and he drove off. I frantically tried to grab the door handle, but it wasn’t there. My breathing sped up as fast as my heartbeat and my field of vision became blurry. I instinctually started to scream, looking outside. Four boys were laughing on the sidewalk. Two boys riding in a shopping cart, the other pushing them in roller skates. They were oblivious, living in their own little world.

He gave my arm a blood-stopping grip, “don’t make this harder than it has to be.” His eyes had this malevolent look that made my soul black. His face had no life. This was not the same man at the gas station.

His touch froze me. I didn’t know what to do, I felt stupid, the way I didn’t move for hours. I looked out the window, watching the highway signs and cars speed by. My mind raced with ways I could escape. I could jump out the window! Convince him to let us stop for a bathroom break! I could crash the car, killing us both before he could do anything more to me. I could do anything. I had to do something. I was looking at this helpless girl, making her way to the middle of the desert.

As time went on, I forgot why I was there. I felt like I was a kid again, on a family road trip. Watching the birds fly and cows graze felt familiar.

“Do you like this music?” His deep voice crept into my ear.

“What?” I blurted out, not accustomed to him talking to me.

“Eagles. Do you like it?” He looked over at me, one hand on the wheel.

“I don’t mind it.”

Then he kept quiet for the rest of the trip. It got dark about twenty minutes after we entered Utah. Now I really had no idea what time it was or how long we had been driving for. Eventually, we pulled into a motel with a neon sign that read: MOTEL MIDNIGHT

“Room for two, please.” He asked the receptionist. He had dragged me out of the car with our hands clasped like we were lovers, in his other arm was a full duffel bag.

Our room had a slight stench of piss and one of the lights was burnt out. He brought me to the (once white, now yellow) bathroom and commanded me to stay like a dog. As soon as he closed the door I searched the fly-filled room for anything that could help me. No windows. No nail file. Maybe I could strangle him with the bedsheets? I could run out of the door when I got the chance. All ideas, no action. I was hopeless. In the other room, I could hear furniture moving and metal clinking.

Oh god.

“You- you can come out now.” His voice sounded softer than when he demanded I stay.

I walked out to find the two bedside tables moved to the middle of the room; with plates of food, wine, and a pillow on each side. A candle burned next to day-old flowers. I looked at and around him, searching for the torture devices, duct tape, rubber gloves. He nodded his head down, “sit.”

He had emptied Chinese takeout onto the ceramic plates. All I could do was stare at the food. He innocently started to eat. To my horror, he started to hum a song. One of the damn Eagles songs we had listened to on repeat.

“Go on. Eat. It won’t kill you.” He laughed at his own joke. My eyebrows creased as I tore my nails apart. “Here. Look.” He reached over and took my food with his chopsticks. Once he swallowed, I reluctantly started to eat. I was starving.

The rest of our meal was quiet. He tried talking about the weather and the long drive but the conversation ended very flatly. Then he put our dirty dishes in his duffle bag and brought out a pair of pajamas for me. I went to the bathroom to change and he led me to the bed. We both laid down next to each other and he turned the lights off. With my eyes wide open, he grasped my hand. That’s it. He never tried to touch me any more than that.

In the morning, he was gone. Duffle bag and all. He left a bus ticket for me on the bedside table. 


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136 Reviews


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Tue Jan 04, 2022 9:07 pm
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stygianmoon17 wrote a review...



Hey there, good evening/afternoon/morning/..
I'm here for a short review :P

Miles and miles of dryland surrounded us as the sunset. Smooth blues and citrus clouds hid behind the plateau. I watched the wavy fence follow us and bugs get crushed by the windshield. He rolled down the window to smoke and the cool summer air rushed in the truck. We had been listening to the same Eagles CD for the past four hours, my ears started to get agitated. When were we going to get there?


ooh so this is a great hook, I was immediately captivated and wanted to know more. However the first time you read this passage, it's not yet clear that she's been kidnapped. You could add more hints, such as the fact she kept looking at him in a scared way, that she's avoiding his gaze, that she's looking around for exits, that she's trying to reach for the pepper spray in her bag or smth..
These are all small hints, but when paired together, they're gonna make the reader even more thrilled

The kidnapping part was really well done ! I could almost see it happening, the one thing is that I feel like she gave up a bit too fast. Like, she just got put in a car, you can still fight back!!! And he didn't have a gun or a knife or anything either, so I was just confused on why she didn't try to run.

Might be because I watch way too many true crimes haha, but for added realism, you should definitely focus on that :)

“You- you can come out now.” His voice sounded softer than when he demanded I stay.

I walked out to find the two bedside tables moved to the middle of the room; with plates of food, wine, and a pillow on each side. A candle burned next to day-old flowers. I looked at and around him, searching for the torture devices, duct tape, rubber gloves. He nodded his head down, “sit.”

He had emptied Chinese takeout onto the ceramic plates. All I could do was stare at the food. He innocently started to eat. To my horror, he started to hum a song. One of the damn Eagles songs we had listened to on repeat.

“Go on. Eat. It won’t kill you.” He laughed at his own joke. My eyebrows creased as I tore my nails apart. “Here. Look.” He reached over and took my food with his chopsticks. Once he swallowed, I reluctantly started to eat. I was starving.

The rest of our meal was quiet. He tried talking about the weather and the long drive but the conversation ended very flatly. Then he put our dirty dishes in his duffle bag and brought out a pair of pajamas for me. I went to the bathroom to change and he led me to the bed. We both laid down next to each other and he turned the lights off. With my eyes wide open, he grasped my hand. That’s it. He never tried to touch me any more than that.

In the morning, he was gone. Duffle bag and all. He left a bus ticket for me on the bedside table.


The ending was so sweet ahhhh
I just wanna hug this old guy :(((

This is such a good short story though, the characters were really interesting, and I NEED backstory to this. My theory is that the old guy lost a wife/ daughter, and was looking for company, anything, just so that he could not be alone for a few hours. It's so touching and sad at the same time. I could definitely see a follow-up to this, cause this was just awesome and it has so much potential !!!
(also please tag me if you do ;)

Have a great day :D




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Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:36 am
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: OKayy...soo...it appears we've got ourselves a very curious and very mysterious scene here. The way it started showed no indication whatsoever of how it was going to end and it made for a nice little surprise there.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Miles and miles of dryland surrounded us as the sunset. Smooth blues and citrus clouds hid behind the plateau. I watched the wavy fence follow us and bugs get crushed by the windshield. He rolled down the window to smoke and the cool summer air rushed in the truck. We had been listening to the same Eagles CD for the past four hours, my ears started to get agitated. When were we going to get there?

Five hours ago, I was leaving the local gas station with a pack of cigarettes. I smiled up at the night sky. Thousands of little lights covered my world, watching over me.

“Excuse me, miss? I have an issue with my truck, could you help me for a quick minute?”

“Oh sure, of course!” I was glad to help. He was tall and rather handsome. He wore a flannel shirt, paired with a dark beard.


Okayy...well this is something..here. I don't know why, but I am somewhat immediately suspicious here of what could happen, but I suppose I shouldn't be jumping to any conclusions too quickly here with what might be going on here. So far, we've only gotten the barest explanation for the setting here.

He had the hood open, looking at god knows what, I knew nothing of cars. Without glancing up he said, “could you grab me the pliers? They’re just sitting on the front seat.” Willingly, I climbed up the truck to grab the tool. Then I heard the hood slam shut. Before I knew it, I heard the engine roar and he drove off. I frantically tried to grab the door handle, but it wasn’t there. My breathing sped up as fast as my heartbeat and my field of vision became blurry. I instinctually started to scream, looking outside. Four boys were laughing on the sidewalk. Two boys riding in a shopping cart, the other pushing them in roller skates. They were oblivious, living in their own little world.

He gave my arm a blood-stopping grip, “don’t make this harder than it has to be.” His eyes had this malevolent look that made my soul black. His face had no life. This was not the same man at the gas station.

His touch froze me. I didn’t know what to do, I felt stupid, the way I didn’t move for hours. I looked out the window, watching the highway signs and cars speed by. My mind raced with ways I could escape. I could jump out the window! Convince him to let us stop for a bathroom break! I could crash the car, killing us both before he could do anything more to me. I could do anything. I had to do something. I was looking at this helpless girl, making her way to the middle of the desert.


Well...I am not surprised at all by that particular turn of events. My suspicions were right after all..xD, it seems this guy is in fact upto no good. I think you do a pretty neat job there of showcasing those emotions as well, especially on the part of this protagonist here who is in a very bad situation they clearly have no idea how to get out of.

Then he kept quiet for the rest of the trip. It got dark about twenty minutes after we entered Utah. Now I really had no idea what time it was or how long we had been driving for. Eventually, we pulled into a motel with a neon sign that read: MOTEL MIDNIGHT

“Room for two, please.” He asked the receptionist. He had dragged me out of the car with our hands clasped like we were lovers, in his other arm was a full duffel bag.

Our room had a slight stench of piss and one of the lights was burnt out. He brought me to the (once white, now yellow) bathroom and commanded me to stay like a dog. As soon as he closed the door I searched the fly-filled room for anything that could help me. No windows. No nail file. Maybe I could strangle him with the bedsheets? I could run out of the door when I got the chance. All ideas, no action. I was hopeless. In the other room, I could hear furniture moving and metal clinking.


Okayy...this is steadily taking some slightly weird turns here. Considering the kind of emotions we had going down earlier and the actions of this man, it seemed like something horrible was not too far around the corner, but there is now a distinct shift in tone here and honestly this one sounds even creepier than the tone we had going earlier.

I walked out to find the two bedside tables moved to the middle of the room; with plates of food, wine, and a pillow on each side. A candle burned next to day-old flowers. I looked at and around him, searching for the torture devices, duct tape, rubber gloves. He nodded his head down, “sit.”

He had emptied Chinese takeout onto the ceramic plates. All I could do was stare at the food. He innocently started to eat. To my horror, he started to hum a song. One of the damn Eagles songs we had listened to on repeat.

“Go on. Eat. It won’t kill you.” He laughed at his own joke. My eyebrows creased as I tore my nails apart. “Here. Look.” He reached over and took my food with his chopsticks. Once he swallowed, I reluctantly started to eat. I was starving.

The rest of our meal was quiet. He tried talking about the weather and the long drive but the conversation ended very flatly. Then he put our dirty dishes in his duffle bag and brought out a pair of pajamas for me. I went to the bathroom to change and he led me to the bed. We both laid down next to each other and he turned the lights off. With my eyes wide open, he grasped my hand. That’s it. He never tried to touch me any more than that.

In the morning, he was gone. Duffle bag and all. He left a bus ticket for me on the bedside table.


Well the mystery factor is certainly very high here at the end of this one. I wasn't expecting anything quite like this to happen after that initial scene there and the ending really was genuinely a twist I never saw coming, well...this is a story that leaves you with quite some thoughts here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think you have a pretty solid story here. There's nothing too wrong that I can see, only that there's just a lot of very questionable actions going down here. The kidnapping bit that started things out was very predictable and simple and I think you did a good job on the emotional part as well, and then the ending was just plain surprising I think. It really was nothing like what I was expecting, and that made for a pretty exciting read I think, and also one where as a reader we're left wanting to know more.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




julia002 says...


thank you for this review, I love that you said you were surprised!



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Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:01 am
lunacat wrote a review...



Hihi <3
I'm here writing a quick review :D I'm very inexperienced with review writing, but I'll try my best.

"Miles and miles of dryland surrounded us as the sunset. Smooth blues and citrus clouds hid behind the plateau. I watched the wavy fence follow us and bugs get crushed by the windshield. He rolled down the window to smoke and the cool summer air rushed in the truck. We had been listening to the same Eagles CD for the past four hours, my ears started to get agitated. When were we going to get there?"

First of all I really liked the way you set the scene, I can really picture what's going on. I read the whole story before writing this review, but before knowing what happened, my guess was that she was with someone she knew because she seems so nonchalant and I don't know not totally terrified? which I think is a little strange since she's just been kidnapped? Well perhaps she calmed down over the span of four hours. Maybe its just me but I wouldn't really be looking forward to getting to the place where I could potentially be murdered/trafficked you know? But I still think this was a great start and I like your writing style! <33

"He had the hood open, looking at god knows what, I knew nothing of cars. Without glancing up he said, “could you grab me the pliers? They’re just sitting on the front seat.” Willingly, I climbed up the truck to grab the tool. Then I heard the hood slam shut."
AHHH WE DON'T GET INTO STRANGERS CARS. This pains me, I want to yell this at the person esfjbhsjhfbs <3

"The rest of our meal was quiet. He tried talking about the weather and the long drive but the conversation ended very flatly. Then he put our dirty dishes in his duffle bag and brought out a pair of pajamas for me. I went to the bathroom to change and he led me to the bed. We both laid down next to each other and he turned the lights off. With my eyes wide open, he grasped my hand. That’s it. He never tried to touch me any more than that.

In the morning, he was gone. Duffle bag and all. He left a bus ticket for me on the bedside table. "

Damn this was a strange but very interesting story. I wonder what was going through his mind. Overall I really really liked this story and I think you did a great job :3


-Luna <3




julia002 says...


thank you so much for the review! "strange but very interesting" is very flattering thanks;)




The strongest people are not those who show their true strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.
— Unknown