Hell’s Park Hotel

Photo by IvanH on Unsplash

by Jane Vogel

I watched him die in his last drop of wine.
The other girl fled, not a single look back.
In my rearview mirror, lights flashed revenge.
chasing me toward a dark cul-de-sac.
Behind a bug-stained light loomed Hell’s Park Hotel.
I checked in with only my rage to unpack.

Your room is all ready for you to begin
to receive your rewards here at our inn.

I woke up at dawn, smelled smoke floating through, 
huge drifting ashes and terrible silence.
The bed started melting, the air turned murky,
no phone, flickering lights, maybe dark science?
Flames licked the windows, blocked that escape path.
I prepared to face fate with dogged defiance.

Doorways are many but exits are none.
Your endless wandering has just begun.

That glowing sign in the hallway explained
the line of mute guests passing my door — 
business suits, jewels, red caps and guns,
bookbags and collars — all had one chore:
Chase ashes! No resting! A wine glass walks by — 
my lover beside me, faithless no more.

Your choices led you to Hell’s Park Hotel
There’s always a welcome, and never farewell.


Originally featured in The Weekly Knob Horror Trope Challenge- October, 19, 2019

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