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Hotel Serenity: Prologue

by SunsetTree


Hotel Serenity: Prologue

    “Hey, hey! Wake up, you lazy piece of garbage! I said, wake up!”

    It wasn’t the sound of my exasperating alarm clock that awoke me from my not-so-sound slumber on that cold mid-December morning, but the sound of my own mother. “You are not going to sleep in ‘til three in the afternoon again – not this time. Get up! Now, Kyle!”

    My head hit the stiff mattress as Mom yanked the pillow out from under my head, and I begrudgingly rolled around and sat up, stretching my arms with a loud yawn. “Alright, Mom…I hear you. No need to shout.”

    My blurred vision came to, and the next thing I felt was a blunt, paper-like object bouncing off my forehead. “Ow!” I yelled, catching the bagged up newspaper in my arms. “Mom, what…a newspaper? Why are you handing me this?”

    “You’re going to be looking up phone numbers today, and you’re going to find yourself a job,” Mom said. “You’re not getting to use my car today until you’ve got yourself an interview. Gas went up again, and rent went up again – and you’re doing nothing to help me out with income.”

    “Mom, it’s my birthday,” I reminded her. “How about some breakfast, first?”

    “That goes and makes it even worse,” Mom said, her baggy green eyes twitching beneath her wrinkly forehead and tousled gray hair. “You’re not just a thirty-five year old living with his mom, you’re a thirty-six year old living with his mom. Time to get out into the real world, Kyle Edgins.”

***

    I guess I should take a moment to properly introduce myself. My name is Kyle Edgins, and yeah, I’m thirty-six, and I live with my mom. But it’s not like I’ve always relied on the old lady to put food on my plate. I moved to Washington when I was twenty-six, getting hitched to the love of my life. I almost even had a kid. I was about to become a family man, and I was loving every bit of it. But the funny thing you and I call life hit me like a speeding train. My wife got breast cancer, and miscarried our baby girl. The miscarriage taking away all the willpower she had to fight her illness, she passed away at the young age of twenty-nine. After her death, I didn’t know what to do with myself. My boss at the office where I worked told me to get out of this lull, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready to.

    And so, he fired me. Couldn’t pay the rent anymore, so I had to move back in with my alcoholic mother. Two years later, and you can pretty much see where I’m at, can’t you? No job, no car, no house; just living movie to movie, no future in plain sight.

    After Mom stormed out of my bedroom, I shaved and showered, before  heading downstairs into the kitchen. I saw Mom sitting at the round center table, a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka pressed to her lips.

    "Mom, what the hell are you doing?” I roared, hurrying to the table, grabbing the bottle from her hands. “This early in the morning? Come on!”

    Mom jumped up from the table, her wrinkly, pale skin turning a bright pink as her eyes filled with a furious anger in them. “So now you think you can tell me how to live my life?” she said. “What else am I supposed to drink for breakfast? Huh? Tell me that one!”

    “How about water,” I said.

    “Water…you…you just…you pathetic, mess of a man. I drink because of you. If you had a job, you’d help me pay the electricity bill! Three hundred dollars this month! How much of that are you helping me pay, huh? You and that good for nothing man I used to call a husband. Both of you are lazy, good for nothing pigs!”

    “Maybe it’s time you stop blaming Dad, and stop blaming me, and start blaming yourself!” I yelled, throwing the bottle to the ground, glass and alcohol with a thunderous shattering sound that echoed throughout the entire house. “I’m sick of this, Mom! I’ve tried! For two years, I’ve tried to get you to stop drinking! Every day I do this, but it’s like you don’t even care! And I can’t do it anymore. I can't do it anymore, Mom. I can’t go to bed across the hall from you each night, knowing that you’re killing yourself. So…this is it, Mom.”

    “What’s it? What is this? What are you doing?”

    “I’m leaving,” I said, taking a deep breath, shaking my head. “Goodbye, Mom.”

***

    I packed my things and dialed the number for a cab to take me to the nearby bank, where I had a savings account open with about five hundred dollars tucked away for emergencies. Now, I didn’t have a whole lot of people I could turn to when I was in a huge rut, but there was one woman who was always willing to hear me out if I needed something.

    I took in a large helping of cold winter air, popping quarters into a payphone, sticking the end piece up to my ear.

    “Grandma? It’s me, Kyle,” I said. “I need a place to stay.”

    "Oh, Kyle…happy birthday,” Grandma said on the other line, her voice hoarse and scratchy. “I’m sorry if I sound a bit weak. Just a bit under the weather, is all.”

    “Thanks, and I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “Can you help me out?”

There was a long strand of silence on the other end, before Grandma took a deep breath and spoke. “Kyle, you know you’re getting too old for this,” she said. “I know Amy’s death was hard on you, but you need to get it together on your own. For your sake, and your mother’s. You can’t just abandon her.”

“I’m not abandoning her,” I sternly said. “But I know she needs me. And I know she won’t realize that she needs me until I leave her for a while. It’s the only way to help her.”

    “I understand,” Grandma said. “But you can’t stay with me anymore. You know that your aunt is still living with me after her house burnt down years ago. She’s living in the guest room, and your cousins are sleeping on the couches. There’s just no room, I’m afraid.”

    “What about the hotel?” I said. “You have any vacancies? Come on, I’m desperate. I have nobody else to go to right now.”

    “Ah, yes, I believe your grandfather said there were vacancies,” Grandma said. “But you know how he is. He won’t let you stay there for free.”

    “I have some money,” I said. “Can I get him to at least give me a ride?”

    Grandma sighed. “I’ll see what I can do. I’m obviously not over there today; he’s running the inn by himself.”

    “Actually, wait,” I said. “I can call a cab. Will talk to you later. Love you.”

    “Please, Kyle. Just don’t give up on your mother.”

    Hotel Serenity was a small inn off the coast of California, owned and operated by my grandparents, Frank and Marilyn Gremera. My grandpa opened it up at the young age of twenty-one, and kept it up and running for fifty four long years before my arrival on that fateful day in mid-December.

    But the place had its secrets -- secrets that were like leeches, waiting for a man like me to come along and swallow me whole. Those secrets were going to rip me apart. They wanted me hurt, they wanted me dead. They were more twisted than the world's most severe sociopath, more terrifying than the most terminal of cancer you can imagine. The dark, tragic, terrifying truths that these secrets held were more torturous, more painful than the worst pain you could ever imagine, ten times over. And those secrets were ready for me.

    But I wasn’t ready for them. Not by a long shot.

------

A.N.: Consider this a "pilot" chapter, I'd like to know what you think of the characters and whether or not this is worth continuing ^^


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Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:49 pm
Pretzelstick says...



Oh, just a side note if you ever wanted to post further chapters of these, I would definitively be interested in taking a look at them! ^^
*encourages to do so!*




SunsetTree says...


one day



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Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:33 pm
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Songmorning wrote a review...



“Hey, hey! Wake up, you lazy piece of garbage! I said, wake up!”

It wasn’t the sound of my exasperating alarm clock that awoke me from my not-so-sound slumber on that cold mid-December morning, but the sound of my own mother.


Ohh...I don't like this already. In a good way, I don't like it, and I'm scared to see where it will lead. That verbal abuse being the first line of the story made me flinch, but when I saw the phrase, "my own mother", an actual pain shot through my heart. That's not okay for a mother to call her son a "lazy piece of garbage"--I don't care (or know yet) how old he is or what he's like, but that is not okay.

Oh wait...He's thirty-five? Maybe I do care a bit how old he is, then. That still wasn't nice of his mom, but I don't know if I can necessarily call it "abuse" now, if he's a fully-grown, middle-aged man. Haha...Well, I'm hooked now, for sure!

And then, after reading Kyle's backstory, I pressed my hands to my mouth and stared in sympathy and amazement. He's real, and his story is real. He's no deadbeat; he's someone to whom something awful happened, who's just been beat down by life, like a lot of the people who come to our church's food pantry. And his mom is definitely in the wrong, but she must have her own story too...

Water…you…you just…you pathetic, mess of a man. I drink because of you.

No, that's abuse. I'm going to call that abuse, and it doesn't matter how old Kyle is. I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of words like that, and it's just...no. No one ever say anything like that to anyone, okay? Never say "because of you" unless it's about something positive. That's not okay. I don't know if I can handle this character, but she must have her own story too. We can give her grace.

“Grandma? It’s me, Kyle,” I said. “I need a place to stay.”

Grandma? D'aaawww~

And I see it foreshadowed that Kyle's mom is going to be getting some grace in this story. :)

~~~

SO! You want to know what I think of the characters and whether or not this is worth continuing. I don't know if I even have to say that I love the characters already: they're real, and they're unique. The story idea is also realistic and unique. I've never read a story before that started out with this concept (although most of the stories I'm into are either written in the 1800's or have animals as the main characters), and I think it's a really great idea.

I think you absolutely should continue it because it's an idea that's worthy of being played out in full.

Besides, I'm dying to know what these secrets are and what the hotel will be like!

But please continue Heartbeat Academy first. TT_TT




SunsetTree says...


I'm curious, have you ever played Hotel Dusk for the DS? it's an excellent game, and this might as well be a fan fiction, heheh. The atmosphere is practically the same, and the main character is the same with a different last name, although his mother is nowhere nearly as terrible as the one in this story...

thanks for reviewing ^^



Songmorning says...


Aww, unfortunately, I've never played that! Sounds like just the sort of atmosphere I'd enjoy in a game, though. :)



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Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:58 am
MissLyricz wrote a review...



Well, first of all, your title is very intriguing. ;) I found myself very curious as to what the story was going to be about and I already had a feeling it was going to be about a dark hotel with twisted secrets. Hotel Serenity is meant to be a peaceful place for relaxation, but it's actually the complete opposite: it's disturbed.

The characters are very strong and the interactions between them is very believable- great job! The readers are forced to feel sorry for Kyle, due to what was revealed about his story and what has become of him since that tragedy.

It was a very good introduction to this story and however long it takes for you to continue writing it, I will be waiting because I look forward to reading it one day!


MissLyricz x




SunsetTree says...


ah, thats different from Pretzelsticks review...thanks



MissLyricz says...


Haha, you're welcome! :D
I prefer to review the positives rather than the negatives. I always thought that was what encouraged a writer to continue a story. Though if there were any negatives, I would have mentioned them in the nicest way possible. ;)



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Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:37 pm
Pretzelstick wrote a review...



Heya tiger, Pretzel here for a review of your prologue. Basically, this is going to be done for the #11in11 challenge and plus you specifically requested this from me.

Let's dance, shall we?

Favorite line:

But the place had its secrets -- secrets that were like leeches, waiting for a man like me to come along and swallow me whole.


I always have craved an air of mystery in books and stories. ^^

“Hey, hey! Wake up, you lazy piece of garbage! I said, wake up!”


Well, to start off that first sentence, falls out as… flat. I wasn’t expecting a hook, because there should be strong hook in the first chapter, and not necessarily in the prologue. The thing is, if this was a published book and I had read the beginning, I definitively would have skipped forward to that first chapter immediately, like I actually do already in my usual style. It’s just like that I judge a book usually by it’s first sentence of so, so I am a strong believer in something interesting that grapple’s my mind and forces me to keep on reading.

“Mom, it’s my birthday,” I reminded her. “How about some breakfast, first?”


Couldn't this thought just happen when he woke up? It's pretty unexpected that this is his birthday, because it kind of looks like just a typical time, so if you want the readers to know about this special day, then you could very well introduce it the moment that he is woken up, even if he doesn't believe that this is a big day necessarily.

I guess I should take a moment to properly introduce myself. My name is Kyle Edgins, and yeah, I’m thirty-six, and I live with my mom.


This is first person POV, right? So the main character, Kyle is the narrator and MC I am assuming. Introducing characters like this seems extremely cliche, and makes me literally cringe on the other side of the screen. This type of introduction is very "buisness-like" intro and it doesn't make me feel related to the character at all.

“I’m leaving,” I said, taking a deep breath, shaking my head. “Goodbye, Mom.”


This doesn't really mean that much to me. If this had happened in Chapter 20, then I would have cared more. I would have understood the situation more. And I can relate to this, on a personal level because these types of thoughts sometimes go through my head. But I couldn't connect with this character when he left, because to be honest, I barely know why. It does say some of the reasons, but you really show more than tell here.
But you know how he is. He won’t let you stay there for free.”


This hotel, a family business apparently, and his grandfather wouldn't allow him to stay for free a little bit? Now, I don't understand why his house, where his daughter and grand kids sleep and live is any different from his hotel, probably the grandpa's second house. I really question his motives and his reasoning behind not accepting Kyle's request when he was in need of relocation for a bit. This bit really puzzles me.

“I know Amy’s death was hard on you, but you need to get it together on your own.


This is too much backstory for a prologue, to be honest. Now, I know that the prologue is supposed to demonstrate what happened before the actually first chapter, but also backstory should be beautifully weaved into the novel as a whole. Some of my favorite books have been books which flashbacks and thoughts of the past, because they can give you a picture of where the MC is coming from, and what they have even experienced in their past here.

What do I think about Kyle?Now, I will try to squeeze in a paragraph or two about your specific requests that you would want me to mention. Your character, Kyle really seems like a spoiled-brat, at first because of living with his parents at such an old age, and then wanting to use his sick grandmother to his advantage of a home. He didn't even want to stay in the hotel, because you really made that apparent in the last paragraph. He also seems like he is forgetful, and isn't good at managing money at all. You need to flesh him out, and develop him a lot more. Because right now, he really just seems like a paper man, who doesn't really show a lot of emotions, only ones like throwing a bottle of alcohol down, which is an immature panic that babies display. So, do I like Kyle? No, because he is still far from being developed and honed into what you were imagining him as.

Is this story worth continuing.? Only if you don't rush it and lock your inner editor inside. Only if you have a plan. Only if you are ready to commit yourself into finishing this project. Only if you intend to spend hours imagining and fantasicing different scenes. Only if you write consistently.

-That's all

~Pretzel




SunsetTree says...


ah. almost missed this because didn't get a notification, thanks friend. I've been wanting to do a mystery story set in a hotel, this was just a rough draft of what a beginning of that would seem like, heheh.



Pretzelstick says...


Excellent idea! Hotel mystery is kind of unoriginal so maybe you'll put in your own plot twist or something?I hope that I helped.



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Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:22 am
felistia wrote a review...



Hi tigeraye, Felistia here with a short review of your work.
Firstly I love the opening, it starts the story off well and your descriptions in here are great. Well done.

I do have some nit-picks though. You wrote said a lot in here and (said) is one of those words you really want to stay away from as much as possible. You did use other words like roar and sighed, but you still used (said) way to much. I didn't pick up on any spelling or grammar mistakes as far as I know. I know a lot of people don't like prologues, but I personally love them and this one was just right. Well done.

I definitely think you should carry on with the story and I will follow it. Just send me a private message when you post it and I will get to it as soon as I can. I hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day\night.




SunsetTree says...


thanks friend. If I continue this it won't be for a while, but I'll let you know ^^




Very well; I hear; I admit, but I have a voice too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced.
— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness