The Most Haunted Room in the Hotel – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 11 May 2016, these three words were chosen:

  • Purse
  • Shade
  • Mirror

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



She sighed nervously as she entered the Northwest-most room on the fourth floor. She hesitantly placed her purse on the credenza by the door, and rolled her luggage over to just beside the bed. This had been a bad idea. A very bad idea. Honestly, it was her editor’s idea, and she hadn’t felt like explaining her susceptibility to spirits, or that she had a history of being an accidental medium. He just wanted his story, and if she failed to impress him, her career died.

She’d been told that this room was “the most haunted room in the hotel”, since it was exactly co-located with where the maid’s quarters had been during the fire of 1911.

Exactly rebuilt, to the point where you couldn’t even find the point at which you entered the newer section of the hotel, she could only sense the point of change by the sudden change in mood. She’d passed it three doors down the hall, and here she was agreeing to stay in this place.

The evening shade was beginning to cross the courtyard out the window, so she pulled out her camera in order to begin documenting the evening, as per instructions from her editor. The very first picture, and there was a ghostly maid in the reflection in the mirror. Great. She took a few more, and the maid started walking away from the photo, but toward her reflected self. She felt a cold hand on her arm, and thought to herself, This could get interesting.

Or was it even her thinking it?


Kansas lifted her hand to shade her eyes from the brilliant sun. After living in Seattle for a year, she wasn’t use to the brightness of a desert morning, and she could feel a headache already beginning. It’d be a doozy if she had to stay outside for much longer.

Desperately wanting to go back indoors to her cool dark rooms, she pursed her lips as she scanned the sky for the hundredth time. Jack was late, and that was worrisome. Jack was never late. If he didn’t show up soon her bread would not turn out right. It wasn’t the same without the Oaxacan cheese.

There – was that a glint of a mirror on his plane? Yes! With relief Kansas ran out to the airfield.

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The prophecy will be revealed when you look in the mirror under the shade of the great tree.

Dimitri had to admit that he was getting a little tired of these cryptic riddles. If the gods wanted him to save all the land from evil, being a bit more helpful was they least they could do. He sighed. Getting upset wouldn’t help the situation, so he took a few deep breaths. Dimitri pulled the ancient map out of the purse he had “acquired” and laid it on the rickety table. Somewhere on this wrinkled paper marred with water stains was the location of this tree and he had to find it, no matter the cost.

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Tera placed the large leather purse on the ground, then massaged her aching shoulder. She had hiked into the woods so far it should be impossible for any unsuspecting person to find her. But she knew how these things went, so she hiked a few more miles just to be sure. It was probably her imagination, but the diary was making that bag incredibly heavy.

After she had stretched out the tightness of her muscles, she began to pull out the supplies she had carefully gathered. The mirror, the glass of shade, summer’s last rose, and the other things the spell had specified.

Last of all she pulled out the diary. Though it was no thicker than her thumb, it seemed one could turn pages forever without reaching the end. That was only one of the things that made the diary hold no little terror for her. Still, she had to do this.

She opened it to the page she had marked with a yellow sticker. The spell was written in her uncle’s messy scrawl, but it was easy for her eyes to follow it. She put the spell together, said the required words and waited for the spell to take effect. When it did, it was nothing even close to what she had expected, or wanted.

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“You know how much I hate it when girls take their purses to a dance club” this was said in a tone that was less then pleasant. I think Lisa was mad, or frustrated, or her general distain of people was showing through.

“It was the size of a diaper bag! Seriously!” Lisa continued to exclaim as she applied her lipstick in the mirror in the unisex bathroom in the club.

Sharing a bathroom with boys wasn’t the issue. However, having the urinals right next to the sinks meant that with the right angle you could ogle the junk of boys as they whipped it out in the mirror.

At one point I turned and had to shade my eyes as an especially well hung hottie made eye contact as he pulled it out to aim.

“Are you fucking hearing me? That bitch just gave me the stank eye. The one with the purse.” Lisa was now yelling.

Between the bitches and the cocks I wasn’t even sure what to do anymore.

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1 Comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

One response to “The Most Haunted Room in the Hotel – an ISG Writing Exercise

  1. Pingback: Writing Exercise: Cryptic Riddles – Alanna Cormier

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