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Scholar-Journalist

Short Story: In 13 at 2

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By Aleena Usmani

“Jamie! Are you ready? Hurry up! Your train departs in 30mins.”

“Yes mom!”

Jamie quickly put on her coat and took one last look in the mirror. After that, she quickly rushed out of her room and grabbed her luggage.

“Be careful ok?” “Yes mom, I’ll be fine.” She hugged her mother tightly and left for the train station. She finally got admission in her dream medical college. One day, she would become a skilled doctor, and everybody would praise.

 After a long journey, Jamie finally arrived at Yellow-Creek, a small town near the main city where her college was; just a thirty-minute distance from there. She breathed deeply as she was standing in front of an old hostel. As she was thinking all about her upcoming exams.

“Excuse me, are you the warden?” She softly asked the old fat lady sitting in a chair.

“Yes? What’s your name?”

“Jamie Peterson. Is there any room enrolled under my name?”

The old lady looked over her glasses and turned back to find a key. She tossed it to Jamie.

“Room-13.”

“Thank you. Have a nice day!” replied, Jamie. She then looked for her room which was at the end of the hallway. She unlocked the door, threw her luggage, and plopped down upon the bed.

The long journey was tiring for her. She picked up her phone and checked the time. 7:30p.m. She exhaled and slept.

Jamie suddenly woke up to a loud ringing. She frantically searched around her bed to find the source of that irritating sound. She picked up her phone and answered her call.

“Yes mom! Yes…yes I had my dinner…I am going to study mom, I have my exam in two weeks…bye mom, take care”

She put down her phone and exhaled loudly. She checked the time. 11p.m. “DAMN!!” She quickly searched for her books and sat down to study.

Hours passed and she heard a loud thud nearby. She tried to ignore it but soon the lights started flickering, and they went out. There was a loud knock on her door.

She checked the time on her phone, 2 A.M. She slowly went out to open the door, only to stare at an empty hallway. She came back inside the room, forgetting what happened and continued studying.

The same series of events were repeated for the next few days at the same hour: 2 A.M. Jamie tried convincing herself that it was probably a coincidence. But the same thing kept happening again and again.

Jamie was scared as one of the light bulbs exploded once, and each day the knocking on the door grew louder and more violent. Jamie once again opened the door, relieved to see an actual human in front of her.

“Hi Jamie! I am Sally! I live in Room-20. You are a medical student, right? Well so am I! What a coincidence!”

Jamie felt at ease and invited Sally inside “Please ignore the mess.”

“Oh it’s alright. You know, I am a 3rd Year student, so if you ever need any help with your preparation, you can always ask me to help you out.”

“That’s so nice of you Sally. Well could you help me with……”

With that Sally became a frequent visitor at Jamie’s room.

The two of them would study together every day. Starting from 2 A.M. till 5 A.M. Two weeks passed, and it was Jamie’s final preparation. The night before the exam, Sally told her that she was going home and will be back within a week.

The morning came and Jamie did well in her exams. She was happy that Sally had helped her out. After a week, she happily went to Room-20 to meet Sally, but the door was locked. She found it rather strange because the area seemed to be deserted.

“Who are you?”

Jamie yelped in shock, to see another girl behind her.

“What are you doing here?”, the girl asked.

“Oh! I am here to meet Sally. She told me she lives in this room.”

“What? No way! Room-20? But this room has been locked for the past 2 years!”

Jamie was completely taken aback. 2 years!? Then could it be that Sally was lying? Why would she lie?

The girl enquired about Sally’s appearance. As Jamie described it to her, the girl’s face became pale.

“Follow me” She quietly said.

 “Is this your Sally?” She handed a photograph to Jamie.

“Yes! That’s Sally. How do you know her?”

“Sally used to be my best friend. We were both preparing for our medical term exams and we used to stay in Room-13. Soon, around a month before our exam, Sally started behaving weird. She would talk to herself, saying that a friend was helping her study. On the exam day, Sally came back to her room, only to never get out of it again. When the warden had the door taken down, all that was found was……was…….her body….decapitated.”

The girl broke down in tears in the memory of her best friend who was brutally murdered.

“I suggest you run as fast and far as you can.”

Jamie came back to her room, unable to think straight.

“Could it be true? God! It’s already midnight, I should start packing.”

Jamie hurriedly packed her luggage at 1:30 A.M. She was unable to find her phone! 1:45 A.M. Her heartbeat grew faster and her hands shook. 1:55 A.M, Suddenly, her phone rang, giving her a mini-heart attack. “Yes mom! I am on my way home. I’ll explain later.” 1:58 A.M, she was on the stairs.

DING! 2 A.M. This was it. A dark shadow surrounded Jamie, giving her a cold touch around her neck. The sight of two bright eyes froze her soul. Her screams echoed in the hallway.

SNAP! Her body lay there lifeless. Soon, the warden and the security guard came.

“Another girl…I wonder how much longer I would have to keep up with this…”

The warden murmured and left the site.

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