Rent A Room

“And this is the bubble room!”

I step inside of the room, and my eyes are struck with wonder. Shining white, with small rainbows glowing in every corner of the room.

Once my eyes adjust to the brightness, I see that all of the rainbows are glistening off the bubbles. In the center of the room, bubbles are overflowing. Big bubbles that can’t handle their size, and small bubbles that float away as soon as they get the chance. They float around me, making me believe that they’re sentient.

“Woah! H—How’d you build this room!?”

“I’m glad you asked. Now, this room may seem a bit small, but that’s because it is! This room is to get you close to bubbles, and bubbles close to you. It’s a place to relax and let your worries pop away.”

“A-And these walls, are they made out of gold!?”

“Oh no! Of course not. The shine of the bubbles makes the yellow tiles glow with a squeaky clean sheen. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the bubbles company.”

The guide closes the door, walking into the center of the bubble pit. Once the guide gets to the center, they kneel down and thrust themselves up, their arms flying into the air. The bubbles launch up, the gold glimmer of the room lighting up the center of each and every one.

“Don’t be afraid to have a little fun, they won’t bite. They’re even a bit special as well.” The guide sways their arms to the side, the bubbles flying along with their movements. The guide puts their arms high in the air, and a slew of glistening rainbows rains upwards, surrounding their body. The bubbles hit the ceiling and hover back to the ground, going right back into the vortex.

The bubbles suddenly disperse, revealing the guide. They have the biggest grin on their face as they give a well-earned bow for their performance.

“Wow, h—how’d you do all that!?”

“Just give it a try, it’s easy!” Overjoyed by their invitation, I rush to the center, the gentle touch of the bubbles jumping onto my skin.           

Comforting dampness soaks into my clothes, making me feel ready to give this a shot. I throw my hands to the ceiling, the bubbles all flying into the air in the shape of a cone. They trickle down one by one, rainbows studding themselves into the air.

Bubbles of astounding sizes start to surface around me, giving me an idea. Not knowing what to expect, I carefully set my hands on the gargantuan bubble. They slowly sink into its surface, but I have to make sure to be careful, or it might pop.

I move my hands up, the bubble stretching out on my hands, refusing to let go. The higher I raise my hands, the higher the bubbles start to float.

I have infinite power! I’ve never had this much control over anything power. These bubbles do whatever I do, and they love it! So, I love it too.

In one swift motion, I yank my hands out of the bubble, launching them to my side. A tsunami of color instantly flashes past me, blinding me with the warmth of beautiful colors.

“It looks like you’re really enjoying yourself. You’re free to stay in here as long as you like. Consider yourself a lucky guest, there are usually large groups of people that book this room. We have to make them sure in order for everyone to get their money’s worth, but not today I guess.” I acknowledge their words, but I’m too busy to respond. I’m trying to learn how to master the art of bubbles.

“Now, I know I have no right to ask this, but how’d you manage to afford this room today? It must’ve cost you a fortune, especially with no one booking it today. It’s a strange system, but the fewer people book a room, the more it’ll cost that day. It’s odd, but it’s how we operate.” If I practice long enough, I’ll be able to control every bubble in the world! No one can stop me! I’ll clean anyone that gets in my way!

“Bubbles, pretty bubbles!”

“Never mind… Please continue to enjoy your stay.”

“Enjoy!” The guide slams the door with a massive boom, a dim light hovering over our heads.

“Here, you got what you wanted. No distractions, complete focus. Now play.”

“Fine. I’ll play just like I said I would, but don’t try anything stupid.” I make the first move, slamming the black checker piece on the board. “Your move.”

“I can see that!” Their move is made in a rush, moving a piece at the far end of the board.

“Playing it safe I see.”

“Shut up. Your turn.”

“I know…” I take another one of my pieces without any thought, pushing it forward to the next space. My opponent follows suit, their blood-red checker piece slapping against the board. “You know what the color red represents?”    

“I don’t know. Red.”

“The color of blood, the color of pain.” For a moment, there’s a moment of silence. My opponent takes their eyes off the board, sight bolded with focus. A hint of rage shining from the pupils of their eyes.

“We both paid good money to be in this room to focus. Do you want to settle this game or not?”

“Of course, I wouldn’t run away from a halfhearted opponent like you.”

“I’m your twin idiot. If I’m hearted then you’re just as halfhearted as I am.”

“Stop trying to make sense and go already.”

“Okay.” Suddenly, my opponent leaps over one of my pieces in the center, making one of the boldest moves in checkers I’ve ever seen.

“Idiot!” With swift judgment, I counterattack by taking his piece right back. “That shows how impatient you really are.”

“Well one of us had to make move, or we’d be jumping around the board all day.”

“You’re dumb, just admit it.”

“The only reason we’re playing this is because you’re too stupid for chess.”

“Chess is just checkers with too many rules. You know when you put too many toppings on a sandwich, and everything starts falling out? Yeah, that’s chess.”

“Checkers is just sitting in a corner, like a coward, until a player makes a mistake because of how bored they get.”

“Well, I guess you’re really bored then.”

“You’re right, I am.” My opponent gets up, stretching themselves out.

“What’re you doing?”

“I’m leaving, do you remember where the exit was? I can’t see anything.”

“What do you mean you’re leaving!? I don’t want to win because you’re a quitter. Just finish the game, it’s not that hard.”

“This has already gone too far. Did we need to pay money for a room designed ‘for focus’? Whatever that means.”

“Yeah we did, you kept cheating and we kept getting distracted, so I decided we needed somewhere to focus, and you agreed!”

“We paid for a dark room with terrible lighting over checkers. I’m over this.”

“No, no! Get back here and come lose, now!”

“Excuse me! I’d like to get out of here, and I’d like to get a refund, please. Thank you.”

“They’re not gonna get you, we need to finish the game!”

“Checkers is boring.”

“Okay, fine—fine! Let’s play a new game? What about uh… rock, paper, scissors? Let’s play that.” I smash my fist into the palm of my hand, hoping to get my opponent’s attention. “Best of three and we leave, okay?” My opponent turns back to me and sits down.

“Best of three?”

“Best of three.”

We wave our fists three times, placing out bets.

I draw rock, my opponent draws paper. Damn it!

We go again. Rock, rock.

Again. Paper, paper.

Again. Paper, scissors. One more and I lose!

Again. Scissors, rock.

“Surprise, surprise. I win.” Before the defeat could travel through my veins, the entrance slams open, the tangy yellow light burning bright.

“Times up you two,” The guide yells from the entrance.

“How much more for an hour!?”

“We need this room for the next guests. There are no extensions today. Goodbye!” The light at the entrance shines intensely. My legs get sucked off the ground and the entrance flies towards me. I become engulfed in the light, pissed that I didn’t win the match of rock, paper, scissors.

I’ll win a game one day, I put my life on it!

“I’ll be here with you every step of the way. You won’t die… probably.”

“Y—Yeah. I won’t die, there’s no way I’ll die from this. No way!” It’s pitch black, an eternal void, dark as shit. It’s encasing me in its hands, wrapping in its musty fingers where ever it can slip through my body. I—I can’t take this! “Let me out, let me out, let me out!”

“Sorry, you paid for the non-refundable, aggressive, ten-minute experience. The only place you’re going to is the sweet embrace of hell. Enjoy!”

“Hell!? I never signed up to go to hell, what’re talking about!?”

“The gates are opening, and the souls are screaming. Can you hear them? Because I can.”

The darkness becomes murky, mucking around in its amalgamation of sins. My ear canals start to close in on themselves, a strange pressure taking over them. It goes from a heavy sense of gravity to a set of tingles in my ear.

Cold clutches start to prick about my ears, causing me to jump. More frigid grasps start to latch onto my skin, picking away at what they can. My skin pinches from the tugs on my body hair, my entire arm erupting with stings.

“Wh—What’s touching me? What’re you doing!?”

“Oh me? I’m just watching.”

“Watching!? What’re you watching? Can you see anything? What’s touching me!?”

“No, why would I be able to see in the dark?”

“You said you were watching me, that’s why!”

“You need to calm down. You’re only giving yourself away.” The more I move, the stronger the pinches become. Quickly after, I can feel the cold directly on my skin, a strong scratch scraping across my skin with ease. “See? What did I tell you?”

Golden eyes with burning black pupils start to appear in the air. They spawn in quick succession, the pupil flying around, looking for something. They come in droves, left, right, above, and below me. Am I even standing on solid ground?

The eyes start to fade in faster, the pupils setting their sights onto me. Thick red lines cracked into the golden eyes, piercing into the pupils.

The cold wraps around my wrists, gripping down as tight as possible. I try to struggle, but then my ankles get encased in the same cold.

My ears undergo the same gravity again, but it continues to grow in strength until I can hear a faint ringing in my ear. It starts off as a mosquito’s pain, manifesting into an ear-piercing screech. It stops once my eardrums are about to burst, becoming a cluster of whispers that echo inside of my head.

I don’t feel fear because now I know the demons are real. What sense is there in being scared when my greatest fear has come to life?

All of the eyes are locking on to me, their pupils overcoming with red streaks.

“Help me! P—Please!”

“Your sins are out on the table for all to see. There’s no saving you from what you’ve done. You probably should’ve thought of that before you got here.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong!”           

“If you’re alive then you’ve done something wrong. The world spins from the speed of human error.”

Suddenly, a rotten-looking hand comes out of the darkness, as if it was moving a curtain out the way. The hand is barely visible, but the eyes offer enough light for me to see. Atrociously long nails loom in front of me, twisting up to their sharp tips. It draws closer to me, protruding its pointer finger to my stomach.

It sets its nail onto my stomach. If it moves forward anymore, it’ll gouge into me with ease. Even with the slightest touch, it’s just about ripped through my stomach.

It inches forward, a hole pierced into my gut. Thick splatters squish onto the ground, my blood being drenched from my body. My life is being stolen from me, and there’s nothing I can do about it. My blood starts pouring out on the floor, akin to the flow of a waterfall.

“Oh, time’s up!” A strong white flash burns into my eyes. My vision stays a clean white for a couple of seconds, then I return back to reality… But everything is still white for some reason.

I stare at the hand in awe but I notice something different about it. It might’ve been the flash, but it looks a lot… goofier now.

Weird shreds hang off the hand, shreds that look flakey and thin. I look around me and see the eyes being followed by a bright trail of light, dust traveling inside of that trail.

Suddenly, the hand drops to the ground, and it starts moving, painfully loud footsteps and grunts while it drags across the floor. A sheet is moved out the way in the pure white background, the hand awkwardly fading behind it. Pieces of the weird shreds float into the air. I don’t know if it’s me, but it looks a lot like… paper.

“You can let go of our guest now, their ten-minute experience is over.” The cold on my ankles and wrists disappears. I crash on my ass, and four bodies in black suits scurry past me, heading behind the white curtain.

The eyes start to disappear as quickly as they came, but instead of morphing from out of the darkness, they awkwardly blink out of the light.

With thunder sparking through my heart, I remembered that I was dying. I check my wound to see the same weird flakes on my sweater, and a bright red oozing out of my sweater and onto the floor.

“This… this isn’t blood.”

“Not at all!”

I dip my finger into it, and it’s wet and loose. “This is ketchup, isn’t it?”

“Of course, you didn’t think you were actually going to hell, were you? We don’t have magical rooms here, don’t be ridiculous!”

“How did you get ketchup inside of my sweater?”

“I don’t know. Ketchup isn’t a part of the act at all. You must’ve had with you when you came in here.”

I open up my sweater and a ketchup bottle drained of its life is still oozing its content out.

“I didn’t bring this in here, how did you—”

“You must’ve had it with you when you came in here.”

“Why would I bring ketchup to a room like this?”

“I don’t know, why would you?”

“…”

“To find the exit, turn left and keep walking until you hit something. That’ll be the door. I hope you enjoyed your stay, come again!”

“Thanks…” Well, I was scared shitless, so I can’t say I didn’t get what I paid for. Wish the guide was less of an asshole though…

“So, I know this is going to be difficult to swallow, but there’s something that you need to know about your husband. When he comes to pick you up from work, there are times when he’ll come over to me, and say… things about me. He stares at me a lot too, which makes it even more obvious, and I know you two have been going through a really hard time in your relationship. Basically what I’m trying to see is, your husband wants me… over you.”

“Liar! You’re the one that’s trying to get with him! I can’t believe you’re the dumb bitch that’s ruining our marriage. I’ll make sure that everyone in the office knows how much of a dirty shit you are!”

“I can’t say that I’m surprised that he’s into another woman. Our marriage has been falling apart for months. I’m sorry that he’s latching onto you. Make sure to ignore him at all costs. If he tells you anything about loving you, he’s lying. He only sees women for their bodies, you’ll be another hit to him. Whatever you do, I can’t stop you, but stay away from that prick, I’ll deal with him. You’re the real victim in all this.”

“Fine, you can have him. There’s not much to gain from him anyways if you know what I mean.”

The three guides conclude their responses. Right off the bat, I’m getting what I paid for.

“Wait, hold on, what was that last response?”

“There’s a possibility she’ll respond with spite towards you. Maybe she knows what her husband is doing but is only staying with him for legal reasons.”

I lean back in the couch, the front of my head cramping with thought. If she knows that her husband is cheating on her, then what’s the point of telling her? I don’t want his musty ass, I just want him off my case, and he’s ignoring all of my obvious hints. I’d be so easy to be straightforward, but that’d mean I’d have to get aggressive, and I don’t want to do that at work, it’d be easy for him to report me. He’s lucky he’s my manager, or I would’ve shoved his head in the toilet by now.

“Okay, I feel what you’re saying about her knowing, but you on the left, what would I do if she got aggressive like that?”

“Well, she could know that her husband is cheating, but is in denial about it, or she doesn’t know at all, but reacts to your claim aggressively. There’s a possibility of her having a calm reaction as well, but I gave you the aggressive to prepare you for the worst.”

“Yeah… but how would I respond to her if she did that?”

“The best course of action would be to stay calm and take it. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about if your claims are based on truth, and not conjecture.”

“Of course it’s true! I don’t want someone’s dry-ass husband on me! Why would I make that up?”

“I don’t know, why would you make it up?”

“I wouldn’t make it up.”

“She doesn’t know that, all she has to trust is your words, and to my understanding, you have little to no relationship with this woman. You were just in the background of some awkward marital arguments while they were outside, assuming they were alone.”

And she always complains about her marriage before meetings, there’s that.”

“Right… Have you ever had genuine contact with this woman? Going out to lunch, having a nice chat, small talk, anything?”

“No.”

“And now you want to tell her about her unfaithful husband?”

“Yes.”

“Do you have any evidence to prove your claims?”

“Yes…”

“And what would that be?”

“My shoe stuck up his ass.”

“Really? What happened to keeping it profess—”

“You in the middle, tell me more about what you said.”

“Oh, me? I was thinking that she’s already seen the signs of her unfaithful husband but doesn’t know what to do about it. Maybe if you reach out to her, you can help her gain the confidence she needs to stand up against him.”

“Exactly! That’s the type of positivity that I need. She could be getting blackmailed by him too, where she has to stay in the marriage.”

“That could be possible, but remember, these are just possibilities, we don’t know what she would actually say. The best course of action would be to actually say this to her. Make sure to sit her down and go through all the details carefully.”

“Thanks, negative one! I’ll make sure to. We’ll take down her husband and make him regret being born!”

“Regret being born? Are you trying to kill him,” The negative one asks?

I heard her question, but there’s no point in answering it. I leap out of the couch and sprint out the door, knowing I put my money in the right place.

We’re not gonna kill her husband, but it is an option. The first thing I need to do is get the hard part over with, I’ll sit her down over some lunch, be buddy-buddy, then drop the news, in full, excruciating detail. I’ll even tell her about that time he was breathing down my neck, literally.

That asshole has got another thing coming. He’s lucky I know how to keep up that business act, but once I tell his wife what’s been going on, it’s over for him!

His nasty ass is gonna pay!

Book Club TREMG news Uncategorized

Alexander Richardson View All →

Hi! I post on this website for a chance to share my stories with the world. I’ve been writing for the past 6 years, learning more about creative writing to better my writing skills. My hope is to make a lot of friends here and grow as a writer. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like.
Instagram: alexander45678901
Discord: PancakeMan#9345

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