Jennifer didn't know what to make of this situation. Here she was, wherever "here" was, standing before a door marked with the number "one". In her hands she carried a brown paper bag. There was a bit of weight to it, which Jennifer found curious. She pondered for a moment. What was so important about this, and how did she even manage to get herself into this mess in the first place? For whatever reason or whatever purpose, at this point there was no turning back.
This had to be some old worn down motel, she thought to herself. The dim, yellow lights flickered every so often, and the rusted carpet looked as though it hadn't been cleaned in years. There was paint peeling off the walls and splinters coming off the doors. Jennifer picked a piece off when she approached her destination.
"Gross," she muttered under her breath as she flicked the splinter to the ground.
Her eyes stuck at the rusted "ONE" written on the door before. Odd for it to be written out as it was. She should knock, yet again her eyes peered down at the bag. Jennifer winced for a moment but curiosity slithered into her fingers as she began to open the ends of the bag.
CLICK! Her breath stopped as the door creaked open.
She was caught red handed, like a child. Before she had the chance to look up, a large hand gripped her wrist and pulled her into the dark abyss.
The bag slipped from her fingers as she slammed against the ground. 'Oh God, oh god oh god!' Her heart was ready to pound its way out of her chest. It was pitch black, and her eyes desperately tried to adjust to the dark.
Footsteps. Then the crinkling of the paper bag being lifted off the floor.
Fear kept its weight pressed down on her shoulders. Jennifer didn't know what to do. She could hear whoever it was fiddling with the bag.
Then as the man pulled the bag apart, it illuminated the face of her captor. His dark eyes were looking directly into whatever it was Jennifer brought him. His unruly hair fell over his shoulders and slightly over his eyes. Jennifer suddenly took a breath, and that's when his gaze darted towards her. He snuffed out the light, crumpling the bag in his large hands.
'Oh SHIT.' As the large steps approached her, she scrambled to get her feet. Again, the man gripped at her wrist. "STOP IT!" She cried.
He pulled her in, lifting Jennifer into his arms. "What are you doing!" She tried to struggle but his arms kept a firm hold. "What are you- WHERE ARE- LET GO!"
The sudden creak of the door caused her to flinch and the welcoming light back into the hallway caused her to shut her eyes. "Wha-" Then Jennifer was in the air. Before getting the chance to realize what was happening, she slammed onto the ground.
He had thrown her out. He literally threw her out the damn door.
SLAM! Her heart nearly shot out her ears. She turned back in time to hear the click of the lock.
No words could escape her lips and she pushed herself to her feet. Whoever the man was, he had thrown her quite hard. "What an asshole..." she muttered.
BAM! Something struck her across her face. As she raised her hands to cover her now stinging face, she looked over to see a small red ball roll back across the ground. It rolled up to a pair of small feet. A child?
"It's not polite to curse," came a sweet but gentle voice. A pair of small hands lifted the ball back into his hands. He eyes were blue and hair were whiter than snow. He was just so pale. A chill went up Jennifer's spine as she heard him speak.
"Who are you?" She asked.
Her eyes drifted behind the boy, where now every door was wide open. People were watching them, their clothes ragged, worn, and torn. Their tired, dark circles focused on them.
"What…" She took a step back.
"Jennifer, it's okay now..." The boy chimed.
She looked back down at the boy who was smiling. "H-How the hell do you know my name?"
The boy frowned. "That's not very nice, Jennifer," his voice barely a whisper.
Suddenly the hallway echoed with the sounds of slamming doors and splintering wood. Jennifer screamed as she heard the sounds continue behind her. Tears started streaming down her cheeks. She didn't know how to react, what to do, and covered her ears with her hands. "STOP IT!"
She was shaking while the boy continued to stand there.
"This is all your fault, anyway," the boy mocked.
She paused for a moment, taken aback by the boy's words. She looked back at the door of the stranger that pulled her in, trying to put the puzzle back together. "Now wait a minute..." She started as she regained her posture. She wasn't that courageous to demand answers from wheover was behind this door, but she knew this child could be useful for something. "I don't know who the fuck you are," the boy frowned, "but you better start explaining what the hell is happening right now."
Jennifer brought her hand to her face and caught the red ball. "And I can say whatever the fuck I want."
The boy looked upset. "Fine," he pouted. "I'll tell you what's going on, Jenny." He held out his arms for the rubber ball in her hands.
Her eyes narrowed. "And don't call me Jenny." She threw the plastic toy back at him. He obviously knew something she didn't.
"Thanks!" It was hard to read the boy's smile. It seemed innocent enough, but Jennifer knew better. "I'll tell you everything, Jenny...!" She winced. "But first," he started, "you'll have to catch me first!" It was then that the boy turned around and began running down the hall.
"What-WAIT!" Jennifer hesitated for a moment but knew she'd have to play this child's game for now. She took a deep breath and began the chase.
The lights seemed to dim further with each step she took which made it uncertain whether or not she was running away from danger or towards it. If it wasn't for the child's laughter, she would have lost her way. How many corners had she turned at this point?
"HEY!" She shouted. "This is enough!"
As she spun around another corner, she halted, nearly tumbling over her feet. The boy had stopped in the middle of the hallway.
"The game's over now, Jenny." he held the ball close to his chest.
A knot seemed to catch in her throat as she suddenly became aware of what was happening. Dread began to sit in; Hopelessness seeped in. She was trapped. "I don't understand," she lied.
The boy looked at her with a sad look in his eyes, then walked towards one of the doors.
She looked down at her hands and saw the blood. Her right hand was burnt. She reached for her chest and there it was... the bullet hole.
"You gave your soul to the devil," he reminded her.
She looked back towards him as he walked through the door. When she had finally made her way foward, she saw the rusted letters nailed to the door: "Jennifer".
"In a paper bag... You gave your soul to the devil, Jenny."
This was her home now.