The Death of Dusk – Part 1

A Horror Story

Ben Feuer, Head Creative Writer

The parking lot was dark, for it was the dead of night in the desert of the Southwestern United States. Crickets chirped, and insects hummed. The parking lot was owned by a motel in the middle of this wasteland.


“…Now, for your favorite Halloween tunes. The date is Tuesday October 31st. and this is channel 106.6, your choice for the best year-round seasonal instrumental music in Arizona…”


The radio could be heard from inside the red Ford pickup as it entered the parking lot. It broke the silence and tranquility of the unusually dark night.


Alex Murrano, a tall and well-built man, stepped out of his car and slammed the door violently behind him. He was not angry, but very tired and extremely irritated. Alex was traveling cross country, all the way from New York to California, to try to find a good friend from high school. He lost contact with his friend, Alice Olsen, when she moved away at the end of their senior year. Once he learned that she was now living in California, he wanted to talk to her, to see how her life was going. Despite all of this, Alex was exhausted. Alex needed to rest at this motel, since he would have a difficult time sleeping in his car, and there was no other lodging for hundreds of miles.


Upon approaching the motel, Alex noticed that it was a dank, poorly lit collection of six single story buildings. Alex found himself in the reception area, which looked more like an airport than a motel. The floor was the color of dirty white marble. Rows of steel chairs were on either side of the entrance. The pale blue lighting reminded him of that which dentists use to look inside your mouth. It made him sick. The reception desk looked like a standard one used by motels, save that this one was made of decaying, dead wood. He approached the desk, noticing that there was no one there. Alex rang the table bell. No response. He started to regret not sleeping in his car, despite the freezing cold of the nighttime desert and his inability to sleep while sitting. This placed scared him somewhat too much.


“Hello, mister.”


Alex jumped, turning around from the desk with a startled gasp. There was a young girl with dirty, straight red hair and a torn, white dress directly behind him.


Where the heck did she come from!? Alex thought.


His feelings must have been too easy to read, for the young girl smiled and giggled in glee.


“Don’t you want a room key, mister?” The girl stuck her unusually long, pink, and slender tongue out and licked her lips.


Alex stared in shock. Fearing what would happen if he told her no; he nodded affirmatively, looking into the girls pale, yellow eyes.


“That is what I thought.” The girl whispered. She retrieved a brass key from her dress and gave it to him. “Your room number is 6-60. Keep the door locked shut at night, for you never know what may be lurking in the darkness.”

“Um. I-”

“And whatever you do, at least try not to pick up the telephone.”


The girl smiled at Alex’s response. She held out her hand.

“My payment for your stay here?”


Alex stared in shock for a moment, then dug into his pocket and took out a credit card. He gave it to the girl, who glared at it. She gave the credit card back to Alex, shaking her head. She smiled, showing rows of large, yellowed teeth.

“This will not do. I must acquire something else.”

“What do you mean?”

“…” The girl giggled softly, yet the noise of it reverberated in Alex’s ears for a few moments. “You will find out soon enough.”

The girl turned and walked away. Alex, trying to think of a logical explanation to what he just witnessed, retrieved his bags and went to the room he had been given for the night. The pathways between the buildings of the motel were long and dark. A strange, somewhat putrid smell wafted through the air.


What is that stench..?


Alex was lost in thought, sniffing and trying to identify the odor. Was it… rotting meat? No, it smelled somewhat like fruit. Maybe the motel’s dumpster was filled with leftovers from breakfast..?











To be continued in part 2…..