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.
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.
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.