Never Check Out: A Haunted Short Story

Enjoy this short story featuring Mage from Maggie's Bones and his lovely Sammara. I wrote it for a Live Write put on by Riley Bryant on Facebook on 10/28. I was given the picture below and had an hour to come up with the story! Hope you enjoy. 

“I can’t wait to get you alone,” Mage whispered in Sammara’s ear. The couple had been enjoying an evening of celebration as Mage’s band, Maggie’s Bones, was honored at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington. The band performed a short set for some label executives, the satellite radio station employees, and special guests. About five hundred people had packed into the place to enjoy the music.

 

Sammara had been feeling very sensitive all night, so much that her lace dress felt like sandpaper against her skin. She was incredibly happy to be there to support her lover and his friends, but she couldn't wait to get back to the hotel. During the band's set she wandered around the back of the crowd, watching the people, all the while feeling like someone was watching her.

 

Sammara was used to the feeling as she often picked up the impressions of those who'd passed on. She would perform a ritual daily and a special one before going to a place she knew would be full of activity. Unfortunately, tonight she and Mage  only had time to check-in to the hotel and change before they were due at the museum for sound check. Mage had been in a mood, though…

 

"That blouse has been driving me insane all day, chére. I couldn't wait to get you naked, and now you're telling me we have to hurry? Uh uh." He'd been willing to take the chance of the rest of the band being angry with him while he took his time undressing her. He exalted her as he slid her blouse down her arms, taking his time kissing the pale skin he uncovered. He'd been so patient with her during their courtship given her past as a victim of sexual assault. She trusted him completely and had worked through her P.T.S.D. before taking that step forward with him. Mage was a perfect gentleman, until he wasn't. And Sammara enjoyed it when he wasn't…

 

"That deep navy silk against your skin was so beautiful, and the feel of it on my skin... All I could think of was how good your skin would feel against me..." He kissed down the center of her chest, lovingly worshipping her nipples through the lace of her bra. But then he was taken over and his gentle caresses turned to desperate grasping. He yanked her long black velvet skirt down her legs and groaned when he saw the garters.

 

"Chére you really can't do this to me. You know how much I can't—"

 

"Well you're going to have to, babe. We're going to be late!"

 

He glanced at the clock and said, "fuck it." He was between her thighs in a flash, sliding her matching navy lace panties to the side to give him access to his happy place. Sammara could only lay back and smile, knowing his determination would pay off famously for her. She allowed her body to relax and let Mage carry her over that magnificent edge into ethereal bliss. But just as her brain was coming back online after her powerful orgasm, she felt something, or someone, brush past the bed. It didn't completely surprise her; hotels were a hotbed of psychic activity and paranormal phenomenon. But this had felt corporeal. Tangible. She gasped as she turned toward the movement and caught the glimpse of a woman's retreating figure pass through the closed bathroom door.

 

"Mage. Baby, stop," she panted, trying to sit up.

 

"What is it? Did I hurt you?"

 

"No, of course not. No, I just felt—"

 

"Movement. Yeah, I wondered if I felt something too. What did you feel?"

 

"I felt her brush past the bed. Her skirts brushed my hand, it was that strong. I saw her..."

 

Mage carefully covered her up and adjusted her skirt. Sammara pushed up to a sitting position and stared at the bathroom door. She felt pain slice through her arms and she cried out.

 

"No! She ran into the bathroom and flung the door open. The dim fluorescent light flickered on to illuminate a spotless white counter, floor and tub. Nothing was out of place, but she felt the echoes of pain through her limbs. She rubbed at her arms as Mage came up behind her.

 

"What do you see?" he asked. She shook her head.

 

"Nothing. Not a damn thing. But I felt it. Someone cut themselves in this bathroom. I felt it as plain as if I'd done it myself."

 

Sammara had experience with the feeling, sadly. It had been the way she'd coped with her own difficult past. Mage wrapped his arms around her and sighed. "I'm sorry, chére. Perhaps she's trying to tell you something."

 

That was often the case when Sammara felt things so strongly. Mage picked up on feelings, too, but he'd always looked at it as a way to kind of process the bad and make it good like he was some sort of psychic recycling plant. Sammara was still learning to work through the feelings she picked up.

 

Neither of them spoke a word as they dressed for the gig. She felt bad that Mage would be going to perform all wound up and promised herself she'd take care of him later. She dressed in her lace gown and took a brief few minutes to draw on her dramatic eyeliner and dark red lipstick. She went a little crazy with the darkness around her eyes. Even Mage commented that she looked really "goth." She ratted her hair out, making her short black bob twice its usual volume. Mage kept looking at her curiously but didn't speak.

 

They caught up to the rest of the band and rode over in a luxury van. Sherry, the band's manager and a long-time friend of Sammara’s went over all of the details on the way. Sherry and Marcus sat together, Jaylene was snuggled up on Devon's lap, and Star sat with Jade, the two of them the only bachelors of the group. Sammara held onto Mage's hand tightly. He rubbed at her hand, trying to make eye contact and make sure she was okay.

 

"I'm fine. Just a little shook up. Please don't worry about me." She kissed his cheek and then bent lower to bite him on the neck.

 

"Fuck, Sammara. You really want me to bust out of these pants now, don't ya? You better be ready for later, you." She loved how his New Orleans cadence of speaking came out when he was turned on.

 

The van pulled up to the museum at dusk and Sammara shivered as she felt something brush past her shoulder. Could it be that the entity had followed them? Ridden on the van with them? She looked around and saw just the edge of a black skirt and combat boots rounding one of the many corners of the funky building. Mage wrapped his arms tightly around her and guided her into the building.

 

While the band did a sound check, Sherry, Sammara and Jaylene sat together on some couches and chatted about Star's latest fight with Mackenzie, resulting in his current bachelor status.

 

"I swear, those two need to just accept that they're going to fight like this and quit with the whole breaking up bullshit," Sherry was saying. "Because, for real? If I can put up with Marcus's shit, she damn sure can deal with Star." Jaylene laughed and Sammara tried to follow the conversation but her eyes continued to scan her surroundings.

 

"Sammara? You look even paler than usual," Sherry said, getting an elbow from Jaylene. "What? I just meant she's got that emo chick thing going on."

 

Jaylene rolled her eyes, always the more diplomatic of the group. "You feeling okay?" she asked quietly. Sammara blinked and tried to form the words, but all she could do was shake her head. Jaylene reached over and took her hand. "Let me know what you need." Jaylene was always good for that. She'd been so helpful to Sammara through everything.

 

The band started playing around nine and by then the place was packed. Sammara started out hanging with her girls, but eventually she faded to the background, feeling increasingly uncomfortable. She kept looking for more flashes of whoever it was that had followed her here. But after nearly an hour, she was feeling flushed and needed a bathroom break. She made her way down a hallway where she remembered seeing a restroom sign and pushed her way into the room. She took a moment to rest her back against the closed door, feeling vibrations from Mage's heavy bass through the wood. She thought briefly about the vibrations he gave her without even touching his instrument and it made her laugh out loud, her hand brushing against the juncture of her thighs at the memory.

 

She took two steps into the bathroom before the lights flickered and went out. She spun around, gasping for air, and then they were back. She felt an angry presence at her back, so she turned slowly, her heart pounding in her ears. She fought to hide her terror at the face that stared back at her from the mirror above the sinks.

 

"You don't know what it's like," the weak, high-pitched voice cried out. Sammara drew closer to the counter. The girl in the mirror was dressed in a similar dress to hers, her coloring and hair looked similar, but the girl’s eyes were whited out, sort of milky looking.

 

"Tell me," Sammara whispered.

 

The girl cocked her head. "You don't know what it's like! I came here to be with him. He promised me that if I made it to Seattle we'd be together! We'd make beautiful music together. When I got to the hotel, I decided to surprise him rather than call up ahead. He only knew I'd be there sometime that weekend. But he knew! He knew I was coming! I'd told the manager I'd forgotten my key, told him I was Shane's wife, so they gave me a key. I opened the door and he was there... With her. They didn't even see me or hear me! All of my hopes and dreams were shattered in that moment. I couldn't take it. I ran for the bathroom, knowing he kept straight razors in his bag to cut the other guys' hair. I wanted him to feel my pain, wanted him to know how much he'd ruined me. So I ruined myself. I shoved his safety pins through my lips, to silence my voice forever, and I bled my soul out of my arms all over the carpet.”

 

Sammara cried silently as the poor girl told her the rest of the wretched tale. "They looked up as I fell to the floor. I remember her screams and him shouting for help, but it was too late. I slashed at my neck and face so they'd see it all. I wanted my blood all over their hands. I bled out there on the carpet. I wanted the pain to go away. I thought once I bled out, I'd find peace. But I'm still here! You're the first person who's seen me! How can this end?"

 

Sammara tried to send the poor girl some peace, but only felt her pain. She sank to the floor, her arms, neck and face burning. She felt her vision blurring and thought for sure she was about to die when another presence entered the room. A female's voice called out, "This will not do. Honey, you can't go around hurting my friends. This woman is too important. I'm going to take you with me and show you how to end this pain. I guaran— I mean, I'm going to help you heal from this terrible pain you're carrying around. Just trust me. I got this."

 

Sammara fell back on the floor and saw the lights flickering, but before everything went dark, she saw a familiar blonde woman in the mirror with the poor girl. The lights went out…

 

Later that night when they returned to the hotel after she was checked out by the EMTs at the venue, Mage held her close as she told him everything. "Chére you are so strong, so special. I know it causes you pain, but you have such a gift. I promise we're going to teach you how to use it in a safe way."

 

Sammara could only hope the poor girl found her peace as she drifted off into  much-needed sleep.

 

Thank you! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance SOON!

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