The minute Sarah opened the door, the only thing she could do was scream at what she saw. It wasn’t the sight she was expecting when she went to clean her next room. Perhaps, this was what she got for watching too many horror movies during her breaks!
With a racing heart, she tiptoed inside the room. Sarah moved toward the bed…
Worthy of a heart attack
As the hotel housekeeper, all Sarah did every two o’clock in the afternoon was start the final cleaning of the rooms she checked two hours ago, the guests’ check-out time.
She was so engrossed in the horror movie she was watching on her break that she realized she had forgotten the time.
After rushing down the hall and catching her breath, Sarah nearly had a heart attack when she opened the door to Room 241. There was a sleeping boy in the middle of the bed!
Signs of life
There wasn’t supposed to be anyone in the room. When Sarah had done her initial cleaning two hours prior, there had been no one inside, and no signs of the guests having left a piece of luggage or a cell phone charger, let alone a child!
What scared Sarah the most was how pale the boy looked. He didn’t even look like he was breathing!
So, Sarah made the brave decision to go closer to the bed to check the boy for any signs of life.
The minute Sarah touched the boy’s neck, she almost gasped at how cold he was. But, thankfully, there was a pulse, and the boy seemed to be breathing softly.
Sarah cursed herself at how paranoid she had gotten. The boy wasn’t dead, just sleeping.
Maybe there had been a miscommunication with the other staff, and a family already checked into the room before Sarah had had the chance to finish cleaning it. So, she got on her walkie-talkie, and what she found out almost made her run for the hills!
No one had checked into Room 241! The room’s previous guests had checked out before Sarah had done her initial cleaning two hours ago.
So, Sarah hurriedly informed her manager that there was a sleeping boy in the room’s bed.
As she waited for her manager, Sarah surveyed the room to see if there were any more changes. The only thing she found was the piece of paper peeking out of the boy’s pillow.
Time for 911
Sarah had an internal debate about whether to check the paper or not. She was sure it had the answers, though.
Mustering all the courage she could, Sarah went around the bed and gingerly picked up the paper, careful not to wake the boy.
When she opened the envelope, Sarah realized she need to call 911!
Looking for the parents
Sarah heard through the hotel speakers that her colleagues were already trying to find the boy’s parents.
Sarah stayed with the boy in Room 241, hoping his parents would be arriving shortly. While waiting, Sarah noticed that there was seemingly no movement from the sleeping boy!
“Has anyone called the police?” Sarah asked through her walkie-talkie hurriedly. She almost went hysterical when she received a negative response!
The police are here
The police entered the scene in a rush. It really helped that they had sensed Sarah’s urgency when she had called, so they came as soon as they could.
One officer went to interview the front desk for records, while another interrogated Sarah as she was the main witness, and the last one checked the boy.
“Are you sure you didn’t see the boy’s guardian?” The officer asked. Sarah shook her head in response. She bit her lip nervously, wondering if she would somehow be held responsible for this strange set of events.
Scene of the crime
The staff at the front desk were almost shaking in fear. Not because they were guilty, but because the police interrogation was making everyone nervous.
The police asked Sarah and her coworkers question after question, and they provided all the information that they could.
When the officer got hold of the morning’s records, his eyes went big, and he immediately ran toward the scene of the crime!
In Room 241, the police’s interrogations of Sarah stopped. They resorted to surveying the room, looking for suspicious items that could point toward some answers.
Then, Sarah couldn’t believe she almost forgot an important thing. “The paper!” She suddenly exclaimed, making the officers turn to look at her.
Sarah immediately handed over the note she’d found under the boy’s pillow, and she saw how the officers’ mood suspiciously changed…
Closer to answers
The other officer barged in, shocking all of them. He told everyone that the couple who checked in a while ago could be the boy’s parents!
He showed everyone the pictures of the guests and Sarah immediately saw the resemblance.
Before Sarah could say what she wanted to say, the two officers showed their colleague the note. Sarah felt her anger surface at what they did next.
Dropping the case
In an instant, the police told them they were dropping the case and they had to leave!
Sarah could not believe what they just said. She looked at the abandoned sleeping boy, who could possibly never be reunited with his parents.
So as the officers were leaving, Sarah made the most hasty decision of her life…
Standing up to the police
Sarah ran in front of the hotel room door, blocking the officers’ exit. Sarah couldn’t believe her own actions, yet she stayed in place.
She didn’t bulge at the police staring down at her. She was blocking their only way out of the room! But Sarah thought she had to do this, as the boy’s safety was in the line.
“Ma’am, please step aside.” One of the officers asked. When Sarah refused, they threatened to arrest her, making her grudgingly step aside. But, Sarah hadn’t given up yet…
Right when Sarah realized that the police were not going to help the boy, she thought to take the matter into her own hands.
After all, Sarah knew for sure that the couple who checked in earlier were the boy’s parents!
After she made sure the boy was still asleep, she went out of the room with a determined look on her face.
Getting the footages
This was one of those times when Sarah was glad she was a really friendly co-worker. Doing a solo investigation would be hard work!
Sarah was already good friends with the hotel’s security team, the ones who ran all of the hotel security cameras.
After some friendly chit-chat, the team allowed Sarah to check the footage. What she saw made her blood run cold!
Unlocking the mystery
Sarah first checked the footage from earlier that morning, to confirm whether the couple in the records were true – they were!
After fast-forwarding a bit through the second-floor hallway footage, Sarah found a clip of her entering Room 241 when she did her first sweep of the room.
Nothing looked suspicious, and losing hope, Sarah was about to stop when what she saw made her almost drop from her seat!
The masked couple
Sarah continued combing through the footage for several minutes, but she wasn’t seeing anything promising about the boy’s parents or how he had gotten into the room unnoticed.
She thought there was no hope, until finally Sarah saw the scariest and most suspicious frame: a couple with masks covering their faces entered Room 241.
What’s worse, the people had gone inside after she had initially checked the room!
More than a nightmare
Sarah immediately asked other staff members about these suspicious characters. Had anyone noticed this couple dressed in masks moving around the hotel?
When Sarah showed her coworkers the footage, she was shocked to find out that none of them had seen this suspicious pair anywhere around the hotel.
It was slowly becoming more and more like a nightmare for Sarah!
Call emergency again!
When neither of the security guards saw the masked couple, Sarah knew the police needed to be called again.
Surely the discovery of the mysterious masked couple in the security footage would prove the case was more serious than the officers had originally thought?
Sarah could only hope so as she waited for the officers to return to the hotel.
The moment the same officers entered the hotel, Sarah knew there was something different about the way they were acting.
But Sarah still held on to hope that they might solve the sleeping boy’s case.
Right when the officers realized that they were heading toward the CCTV room, they were suddenly in a hurry!
More to come
Entering the security room with the officers, Sarah had the officers take a seat.
The footage of the masked couple was played. Sarah thought this might shock the officers, yet their faces remained blank and unreadable.
Right then, Sarah knew that there was something more going on with the officers in charge of their case.
Once the footage wrapped, the officers began whispering quietly to each other, obviously talking about what Sarah had just shown them.
They were keeping Sarah out of the loop, and while it made sense (Sarah wasn’t a police officer after all), she couldn’t help but feel frustrated.
Sarah was the one who had kept investigating. It felt like the officers weren’t taking the boy’s case as seriously as she was.
Meanwhile, the rest of the hotel staff were feeling overwhelmed. Of course, it raised the guests’ worries when police officers kept coming and going from the premises!
The hotel staff was receiving a lot of complaints and concerns from the guests.
After receiving complaint after complaint, it seemed as if the guests just kept getting angrier and angrier…
It reached the point where the staff had to stop receiving new check-ins.
This immediately got the attention of the management of the hotel.
Everyone on the staff knew that with some of the executives on the way, it was only about to get messier than the current situation…
Starting to get weird
Back in the security camera room, Sarah felt like she was going crazy.
The police were asking her questions about how she investigated the case.
Yet it didn’t escape Sarah’s attention that not one question was asked about the state of the abandoned boy!
“What about this couple, have you identified them?” One of the officers asked Sarah.
She shook her head in disagreement, thinking how they finally showed actual interest in helping the case move forward.
But, apparently, things were just about to get crazier…
The police asked to take a look at their check-in records again. Sarah agreed and went to the front desk to retrieve the requested records… only to find chaos in the lobby.
While not all guests were talking to her co-workers, everyone seemed to be speaking more loudly than usual.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the guests were angry!
Possible crime scene
Sarah could not believe what was happening before her but, she knows she shouldn’t be surprised at all.
The whole hotel is a possible crime scene, after all! But, she knows she should not get ahead of herself.
So, Sarah went to talk to one of her co-staff, Georgia, who did not appear as busy as the others, to find out what specifically the complaints were…
Running out of time
They were demanding to know what was happening. Some were even asking for refunds!
Sarah knows it’s only a matter of time before the executives of the hotel arrive, and she knows she could probably be in deep trouble as she was the one the police officers have gotten to know really well.
Their time is running out.
All for the boy
With the help of Georgia, Sarah managed to copy all the information the police needed from their database.
She knows she immediately had to hand over the files to the police, as there’s bound to be bigger problems once the executives come.
Sarah keeps thinking this is all worth it, for the abandoned boy in the room.
Not quite right…
The police officers looked happy when Sarah handed them the files they asked for.
While yes, they think they were getting closer to solving the case – hopefully, Sarah knew it’s unusual for police officers to show any giveaway on how they are feeling about the case.
That’s when she knew there was something not quite right about everything that was happening.
Close to breakthrough
They sifted through the files, once again talking so quietly that Sarah had to strain hearing their words.
Her listening in was to no avail, as she couldn’t make out the slightest sense of what they were talking about.
But the officers looked as if they were close to having a breakthrough with the couple’s identity. Until…
Going to the boy
The officers asked Sarah to take them to the boy’s room. Sarah felt hesitant until the hotel executives finally arrived.
After her boss and her boss’s boss learned more about the situation, they agreed that it was time to investigate further. So, Sarah led the police to the boy’s room.
What they did next made her feel horrified – more than watching any of her horror movies.
The minute the officers entered the room, Sarah knew they were already up to no good.
The skip on their step, as if they were children in a playground, were red flags for Sarah. So, she made a point to keep an eye on her every move.
But she did not move fast enough with what they did next.
By the neck
Sarah let out a gasp of horror when one of the police officers went near the sleeping boy… and started grabbing him by the neck.
Sarah rushed to stop and snatch the boy from the deadly hold, but the other police held her back by her arms.
Sarah could only watch helplessly as the officer proceeded to handle the child with an almost aggressive touch.
When the officer holding the boy saw her reaction, the officer looked at her with a confused expression.
Sarah was seriously starting to worry whether they were really police officers if they don’t even have the common sense that they were hurting the boy!
Even if you weren’t good with kids, surely it was common sense not to pick them up by the neck of all places?
“Look at the way you’re holding the boy,” the police officer holding Sarah said to his colleague.
It was then that the officer holding the boy realized what was wrong and… laughed! Sarah thought she was going crazy with what she was witnessing.
What they said next… well, it made Sarah filled with rage.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am. But, this boy isn’t real,” The officer explained.
Yes, Sarah decided she was certainly in one of her dreams.
The words didn’t make sense to her, until the officer holding the “boy” placed it back on the bed in a different position, for Sarah to see what he was talking about.
Then, they went on to explain how the boy was an enhanced dummy, a prop used for police training… like this.
Sarah didn’t believe a word they were saying. It sounded impossible. How could a dummy have a pulse?
Yet her curiosity got the better of her, and she drew closer to the realistic boy to have another look.
Sarah did not realize she voiced her question out loud. The officers explained how their new dummies were designed to be realistic.
“We have actually been searching for this boy for a week now,” One of the officers explained.
Sarah was slowly starting to wrap her head around what was happening… until anger finally got the best of her.
Just the start
Sarah ranted about messing with her time and emotions. She dedicated so much of her attention to something that was not meant to be real!
As she was shouting, the new presence in the room made Sarah pause immediately.
The minute she saw the faces of the people, she knew their stressful journey wasn’t ending anytime soon.