The bath.

The bathtub was slowly filling with hot water. After a depressing visit to Chicago to bury my grandmother, I was more than ready for a little escape, even it if did mean taking a bath in my room at the hotel. I was watching some TV to pass the time while the tub was filling. I was flipping through the channels before concluding there was nothing on. So I shut the TV off and walked to the bathroom to check on the bathtub. Just about there. So I began getting ready for my bath. I took off my glasses and undressed. I turned off all the lights in the room except for the light just outside the bathroom door. I walked up to the door to the room and turned the knob to engage the deadbolt. No way anyone could enter the room now.

I then walked into the bathroom, dropped the towel from around my waist and stepped into the tub. That water felt good.

There I was, sitting in the bathtub, closing my eyes and feeling the comforting water surround me. I could feel my anxiety and stress melt away and for the first time I was able to relax. I left my mind drift away on an invisible sailboat, letting it go wherever the winds blow.

Suddenly I opened my eyes. I had an alarming feeling that I wasn’t alone anymore. How could that be? That door is LOCKED.

It’s just me, all alone in the room.

How could anyone even get in the room?

Finally convinced I was alone, I closed my eyes. Again I set my mind adrift, setting it free to chase away the day’s stress.

Again, I opened my eyes.

There’s that feeling again. Someone is definitely in this room.

I looked towards the bathroom door and my eyes widened in horror. I could see the bathroom light shine from the other side of the door.

And moving feet.

Moving slowly past the bathroom.

I did a double take.

Nothing.

Was my mind playing tricks on me? Was I sleeping? Dreaming?

This was the second time I had that feeling I wasn’t alone.

Finding the bath soothing no longer, I had to investigate. I climbed out of the tub and wrapped a towel around my waist. Standing in front of the door, I summoned all my courage and cautiously opened the door.

Nothing.

What was that smell?

There was the smell of something in the room. I didn’t know what it was but I did know one thing.

It didn’t smell like this before my bath.

I slowly stepped out of the bathroom, daring to investigate. The feeling I was no longer alone blared louder than ever and I was struggling to get a grasp on what was going on.

Then I stepped on something.

Something that wasn’t there earlier.

I stooped down for a closer look.

It was dirt.

Then I noticed that the dirt was shaped like a footprint.

Not far from it was another footprint. In fact, there was a trail of footprints on the floor. But from who?

“Hello, Michael,” a voice rang out. Instantly a violent chill shot up my spine. Immediately I went for the door but found it just as locked as it was before.

“I’ve come to tuck you in,” my visitor said.

That’s when I got a good look at who dared drop by during my bath.

There, standing next to my bed, still wearing her blue dress with sprinkles of dirt, stood the person I never thought I’d see again.

My dead grandmother.

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