The Red Room

Every year, students cram their way out of their thesis papers hoping to get lucky and finish on time. Some of us would stay in school during late hours till early in the morning just to catch up.

But one night, as me and my friend decided to finish before everybody else, we went to bunk in our room by bringing over sleeping bags and canned food to last us 3 straight days. It’s already near the end of the school year and most students have gone on their summer vacation, most of them where freshmen who don’t have to struggle with such ungodly thesis papers.

We were lucky enough to have our classroom to ourselves. As most students prefer to study in larger groups, me and my friend decided to study just the two of us, that way, there is less disturbance from the third, fourth and so on person. Second, they also prefer studying outside under trees or by the university fountain or “Sunken Garden” as we call it. But we were lagging on our paper that we had to finish it before the end of the term.

The first day went by calmly, there were rumors that the room we were staying in was the famous “Red room”. You will know why this room was called as such.

As we busied ourselves in our paper, sometimes I, sometimes my friend will fall asleep. It depends but we tried to stay awake for the other just in case. One can sleep and the other stays up. That way we can be sure there is somebody looking out, standing guard every night. Halfway during our 3 day stay, I woke up to see it was dead dark outside by looking at the surroundings, I looked at my digital watch with that button to illuminate the time. I saw it was “02:59” in the morning and in a few seconds the time struck “03:00”. I was also surprised to see my friend was fast asleep. Compelled by the responsibility at hand, I decided not to go back to sleep and keep watch. I still can’t believe we both fell asleep.

I was getting my self together and I went for my cellphone in my backpack. I saw there were 30 missed calls. I wondered why 30 knowing all my family knew I’m staying in the university for a few days. My boyfriend was spending the summer with his parents in their resort but we had already talked about my situation and he knew about my stay. I wondered who could be calling me with this kind of urgency, I paused to realize who it could be but came to nothing. There were no messages or any voice mail left on my phone so I simply put my phone back. I looked at my watch and saw it was “3:00”, weird as it may seem, I was sure enough that a few minutes had already gone by after I woke up, checked my phone and looked at my watch. I simply took it as my watch being broken eventhough I was starting to feel uneasy. I have heard about stories regard the unholy hour of 3 am but I chose not to delve further into pondering it.

I opened my lamp to start working on my paper. My friend seem to be sound asleep, I can see her body breathe. When I opened the lamp, I looked at my paper and to my shock, penciled from top to bottom was my paper, the paper I have been working on for a day and a half now was marred by a aggresive scribble that ran from top to bottom that almost felt like someone tried to rip my paper in half. Instead of fear, I felt really frustrated and mad about this and my anger turned on my friend, thinking she may have done this in an effort to slow me down. But then I tried to calm my nerves, thinking maybe it’s just that I have just woken up and being irrational. After all, if it was her, she would have already giggled after I opened the lamp, but instead I heard her snore soundly. I even pushed her slightly and saw she was really sleeping. Not wasting time, I tried to get as much done as humanly possible. After a several minutes of being glued to my paper, I realized my friend get up and she seemed to have ran out of the room quickly. The light on my paper is the only thing I can see and the dark room was hard to discern that I had to cover the lamp by my hand and managed to catch a glimpse of my “friend” running out of the door. I squinted my eyes just in time and saw her ran out. I figured maybe she needed to go to the washroom urgently and I went back to writing my paper.

After a few minutes, I checked on my friend. To my surprise, I saw her sleeping on the floor and scratched her head. She then wiped some saliva oozing from her mouth and I quickly asked her in a horrified tone as to how she’s managed to sneak back so quietly. She told me she never left the room and that was when the night really started to go for the worse.

I noticed that is wasn’t getting any brighter, in fact, it was somehow getting “redder” as if we have skipped morning and went straight to another dusk, only redder. It was unbelievable red that you cannot tell if it is dark or red but for sure you can discern that crimson shade everywhere. I stopped what I was doing and got up, then I saw I was alone in the room and my friend was nowhere to be seen. I turned to look and saw a woman dressed in an old-fashioned dress similar to the 1800s. She looked fair and she seemed to be standing high in the room. From the head I looked down slowly and saw that she was standing on a stool. The stool tripped and I shrieked in horror as she went dangling by the neck. She struggled, kicking and fighting till she was now looking at my direction, her eyes affixed at me and her face was something I cannot forget for the rest of my life. I closed my eyes thinking this is all a nightmare. Then what appears to be a knife darted from outside the window and struck the woman in the neck and I turned to look a floating man was holding several knives in his hand. He then looked at me and started to sharpen two knives as he looked at me with lust. He smiled menacingly with his eyes all wide that almost drove me insane, he then started throwing knives in my direction but it kept hitting the window railings that it flung in several directions. In anger of failing to hit me with his knives, he held on the railings and started to put his mouth inside, doing “smooching” actions at me occasionally banging his head on the railings. I shouted at the top of my lungs in order to wake up from this nightmare.

When I came to, my friend was slapping my face and I violently shoved her away from me. I then saw a crowd outside of the room with medical personnel nearby. I noticed I had been sweating profusely and realized I was “back” in the real world.

I was taken to the hospital and treated for shock and severe trauma.

After a several weeks, I managed to recover emotionally although that dreadful nightmare is fresh in my mind. One afternoon, was I was sitting by the main lobby of the hospital that has a large window with a view of the outside, a woman who is probably in her 50’s started talking to me. We got engaged in a hearty conversation and she mentioned she was an alumni of that university. She didn’t seem surprised as to why I was there after I told her I was a student of that same university. She began telling me stories about that university both good and bad. One story struck me and I listened to it as such.

She told me back in the days, during the early years of of that university. A student who was majoring in journalism wanted to make a story so shocking that she decided to write it using real people both alive and dead. Upon completion of her story, she handed it to her professor to which it was brought up to the school council for it’s inappropriate content. The student was expelled from school. One summer day, this girl snuck back in the university and stayed in that room (the one where I stayed with my friend) and was said to have sat down all day thinking of her ruined future. With nowhere else to go, (she’s apparently an orphan) she made a vow to make her story known to all while still including real life people; the story turning deadlier and nightmarish each time. And she took a pocket knife and slashed her wrists and started writing a story on the floor. It wasn’t long before she died and the only thing she wrote that was easily readable by those who came later was about a woman who hung herself out of madness, an even more sinister man floats from the outside of the window only to rid her of her misery then turning to the unlucky victim who was supposed to die at 3:00am.

The woman smiled at me for being safe after my ordeal. The woman added that, she feels sorry for whoever is not strong enough to wake up from the nightmare that is brought by the cursed “Red Room”.

She happens to be a teacher and she too happened to stay at that room at 3am. She said what I experience was nothing compared to what she had.

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