Alesha let out a long, heavy sigh. She couldn't believe she was stuck in an old hotel in Lincoln, Maine, USA. It was the Summer Holidays and she had come to America with her mum, dad, and her annoying younger brothers Ashley and Scott, who were six and seven. Scott and Ashley weren't the quiet sort of kids. They tended to excited over anything, and were always hyper. The Miller family were staying at The Stars And Stripes Hotel, which was really old and boring.
Alesha would much rather be back at home in England, even it was raining all the time there. Alesha had only been there for two days, and had already taken advantage of the 'fantastic facilities'. There was the 'amazing' pool and spa, the 'fabulous' arcade and the 'wonderful' multi - sports court. Alesha couldn't see what was so fantastic about a dirty pool, an out-of-order spa, two fruit machines and a large pitch of mud with a few goalposts. It was going to be a very long and boring two weeks.
She had been out 'exploring' the creepy, old hotel trying to find some kids around her age. Alesha was 14, so it was quite easy really, as there were loads of fed up teenagers staying at the old place.
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"Alesha, we're going out!" her mum called.
"Cool, lets go to Detroit, or Hollywood, or...."
"No, I mean me and your father are going for a meal. We're going to find a place to eat. OK?"
"What?" Alesha protested. "That's not fair. You mean me, Ash and Scott have gotta stay here?"
"That's right. We'll be only be gone for about three hours. We are not going far, we are still staying in Lincoln, don't worry!"
"No buts, OK? Now, be good."
Alesha sat on the fraying green couch, and looked around the dreary brown and yellow room.
'The colours in here are awful. They so don't match!' she thought.
She picked up her magazine and started to read the article about her favourite rapper, Eminem. She glanced at the clock. Her parents had only been gone for ten minutes.
She heard a loud banging noise.
"Ashley, Scott, please SHUT UP! Stop that banging NOW!" she shouted.
"Alesha, it wasn't us!" Scott called.
"Whatever! Now, just shut up!"
She flicked on the old television and picked up the dusty remote control. The room hadn't been cleaned for ages. The floor had cigarette stains all over it, and as for the curtains, there was no point in having them there, because they were so ripped and frayed, they were almost non - existent.
The banging noise was really annoying her now, and she yelled at her brothers to shut up, but they denied making the banging sound.
She threw down her magazine and started to watch the TV. There was an image of a man building a brick wall in what looked a cellar. There was also a middle-aged lady with him. She looked really bewildered. Then the man turned to her and started beating the lady with a shovel. Boring! Alesha pressed the CHANNEL UP button.
'Wonder how to get TRL on this thing?' Alesha wondered.
The same image was on the screen. What? Alesha pushed down hard on the control. Maybe the button had got jammed. Now the woman was crying out in pain, and blood was staining her pale blue dress. She was screaming STOP! STOP! But the man obviously had no feelings, for he kept beating her, his shovel bright red, his face with an evil grin, his grey eyes frostily staring at the frightened woman, and the horror on the woman's face. Alesha was horrified, and pushed the button again. By now the woman was dead, and the TV still wasn't working properly. Alesha watched as the man started digging a hole, maybe a grave, in this thing that looked like a fireplace, but filled with soil and coal. Then Alesha heard a banging, and she wasn't sure whether it was on the TV or the same one as she had heard before.
Alesha was really frightened, but she was almost glued to the screen. She wasn't sure what it was, but it was like there was a special force, keeping her transfixed to the terrifying images. She tried to pull away, but she couldn't. She watched as the evil man kicked the dead body into the make - shift grave. After a while, the man had covered the woman with soil and coal. He carried on building the wall.
Alesha had snapped out of her trance, and tried the same button again. But when she pushed the button, nothing happened. What was going on? Maybe the remote wasn't working properly. That was why the sick program wouldn't go away. She stood up, and kept hearing continuous banging. Maybe it was next door or something. She was getting quite scared now. She realised that it was 6:30 pm, and that her parents had been gone for an hour. She couldn't bear to be alone now, so she called to her brothers. She turned the TV off.
"Oi, come 'ere, now!" she called out, agitated.
When they didn't answer, she went to investigate. She realised that they were asleep in their beds.
'Typical. Asleep at 6:30! Lazybones!' she thought. 'Well, they must be quite tired after the football this morning.'
Then there was a knock at the door. Thinking it was her parents, Alesha hastily opened it.
"Hi!" said a voice.
She saw it was her new friends that she had met in the pool yesterday.
"Hi Marshall, hi Justin, hi Mel!" Alesha cried.
Marshall was from Detroit, Justin was from California and Mel was from England. They were bored too.
"Wanna come out with us? We are sooooo bored, and we're jus' wondering whether you wanna come and jus' like wander around here." Justin said.
"I can't, I gotta look after my brothers." She replied.
"Go on!" Mel pleaded.
"Well, only quickly. Scott and Ash are asleep anyway."
Alesha stepped out with her friends, and realised that she had about two hours before her parents got back.
"So where we goin'?" Alesha asked.
"Dunno!" Mel replied.
They walked around, and found a set of stairs leading downwards. Alesha had forgotten about the TV incident, because she was happy that she wasn't alone anymore. There was a NO ENTRY sign on the door. Alesha's phone beeped. It was a text message. It said:
HI ALESHA HOPE U R LOOKIN AFTA UR BRUVZ. WE MIGHT BE BAK L8R, MAYB @ 9:30. HOPE U R OK. IF U GET WORRIED JUS CALL US. C U L8R MUM N DAD XX : )
Alesha felt a bit guilty leaving her brothers alone now, but pleased she was out of the boring, stuffy hotel room.
Marshall turned the NO ENTRY sign over so that it looked like a blank piece of card. They followed the stairs down, and realised that it was a cellar. It was pitch black. Alesha heard a very familiar noise.
"Uh....is there a light in 'ere?" Mel asked.
"Hey, guys, y'hear that?" Alesha questioned, totally ignoring Mel.
"What, the banging? Yeah, I think...." Justin said.
"SHHH!" she whispered.
Sure enough, there was a banging coming from somewhere in the room.
Marshall searched the wall with his hands to find a light switch. He found one, and flicked the switch on.
"Marshall..." Mel said.
The banging got louder.
"It's nothing, OK guys? Leave it. We're fine! Hey....Look, a video camera! Its one of them ones that came out about five years ago, you know, a pocket one! They are worth loads!" Justin shouted with excitement.
He went over to examine it. It was about 10cm in height and 5cm in width. Justin had seen it hidden in a small hole in the wall. It was plugged in though, as if someone had connected it to something.
Alesha noticed that something had been boarded up.
"Hey, check this out, I wonder what's behind this?"
"Er, probably nothin' interestin'" Marshall answered.
He started to kick the board down, with Justin still examining the video camera. Mel and Alesha just stood there talking.
Once Marshall kicked the down the board, there was a wall which was about 2 metres high.
"Hey, look over here!" he cried with excitement.
"What it is?" Mel asked.
"Dunno. I'm gonna climb over it and see what it's hiding."
He started to clamber over it, but the wall obviously hadn't been built properly, because it collapsed almost straight away. Marshall tumbled to the floor, and realised he had landed right next to something that made him feel quite sick...
"Ugh, Justin, it's a skeleton! How did it get down here?" Justin screamed.
"OH MY GOD!" Mel cried when she saw it.
"Cool..." Marshall marvelled.
"Yuk! What we gonna do?" Alesha shouted out.
Then Alesha remembered the video.
"Justin...." she called out.
She ran over to the video camera. It was true. The video camera was connected to a TV somewhere in the hotel. Her TV. The shocking images that she had been watching earlier had actually happened. She explained to the others what she had seen earlier. But how could the banging be explained?
Once Justin had gone to reception to find somebody, the once isolated room was filled with police, hotel staff and detectives. The police questioned the kids. Mel thought they would get told off for entering the cellar without permission! They didn't though. Although Alesha got told off for leaving Ashley and Scott on their own, she didn't really mind because it had been an adventure for her. Months the woman was named as Ann McKenzie.
The police confirmed that Alesha's story was true. What had happened was that years ago, Ann knew that her fiancï¿½ would kill her, because he was so violent, and every time she left him, he would hunt her down and beat her up. Every year they came to Maine, to The Stars And Stripes Hotel, and he kept dropping hints about death and that he would kill her once they were in Maine. Because they were from California, he thought that he wouldn't be caught because of the distance. She had no escape. So she invested in a mini camera so that he could be caught. Ann cleverly connected the camera to a TV, which happened to be in Alesha's room.
Since the hotel had been closed for the last three years due to health and safety reasons (Alesha wondered what it was like before the inspections), nobody would have noticed. Then Ann's fiancï¿½ (later named as Daniel Durst) beat her to death and sealed up her body up in the fireplace. Because the camera was a mini one, Daniel didn't notice it. Ann was removed from the Missing Persons list, and because Daniel's face was seen on the camera, the police caught him, and gave him a life imprisonment. The kids were given medals because they were quite brave. Alesha wasn't sure, but she had a funny feeling the banging noise was the ghost of Ann McKenzie, trying to get the attention of holiday - makers, so that everything would be discovered, and her fiancï¿½ would be put to justice.
After Alesha's holiday had finished, she kept in touch with the other kids. Maybe the holiday wasn't so bad after all!
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