Get a Room

rating: +17+x

The hotel room’s dim lighting gave only the barest outline of her, but that’s all I needed. She was beautiful. Too beautiful for the light’s negligence to hide. Her straight figure, the sharper features of her face. The low lamp behind her let me know that her dress was her favorite color: green.

She opened her arms, and begged me closer.

“Come,” she said, so sweetly. “Come here.”

“I’ve missed you,” I said, taking my first steps forward. “Are you real?”

“Come closer,” she said. “Come to me.”

My doubts were forgotten. Her voice was so soothing, her arms so open, there was nothing I could do but rush into them. My arms wrapped around her with a ferocity I hardly knew I was capable, and into her shoulder I openly wept.

“I’ve missed you so much,” I was barely able to get out. “Every moment of every day I have missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too. Stay with me.”

I nodded without questioning. “I’ll stay.”

“Good,” she said as I ran my hand through her hair, holding her face close to mine, tears streaking down my cheeks — I couldn’t believe it was her. I couldn’t believe I was seeing her again. “Never leave me,” she asked.

I shook my head. Why would she need to ask? It was unthinkable. Of course I’d never leave. Never would I ever leave again.

And then my skin began to tingle. And then my skin began to hurt, like a million pin-sized worms had suddenly eaten their way through the surface of my stomach, my cheek, my hands, anywhere that I touched her. But I didn’t stop my embrace. I couldn’t bring myself to let go.

My knees went out. My arms felt weak. My jaw began to slump. I couldn’t keep my form. My shape. It was like my bones had left me. I hadn’t the strength anymore to move my muscles. Everything hurt, but by the time I had the mind to scream I couldn’t. My teeth began to fall out of my mouth. My eyes melted out of their sockets. The molten remains of my flesh were becoming a pool on the floor when —


I startled awake. I was at my desk, drool pooling in the crook of my elbow which I had fallen asleep in. I wiped saliva from my mouth, and my arm on my side, and tried to look like I hadn’t just embarrassed myself in front of a colleague.

She just shook her head. “You’ve been doing that recently.”

“Yeah…” I tried to pull something more articulate out of my head, but I ended up just saying: “Sorry.”

“Well. I was just meaning to give you this.” She placed down a folder on my desk. I flipped open the front, and saw it was a survey of some kind.

“The rounds are being made for the mental health survey. It’s time for the SCP-031 team to take their turn.”


I took the folder, and put it in one of my drawers.

“Promise me you’ll get to it? It seems like you’re one of the people who need it most.”

“I’m fine,” I responded.

“You’re not,” she stated.

I furrowed my brow. She just smiled sadly at me. “You’re not doing so hot. It doesn’t take an expert to see that. I’ve offered that you talk to me, but you never have. Please, take the survey. It’s not optional.”

She took her leave, off into the mess of cubicles. As my ears dug their way up from my dreariness, I recognized the tapping of keyboards. I reoriented myself, looking down at what I had fallen asleep on. Right. Data entry for SCP-031. The entire reason for my being here.

I leaned my head against my hand, and looked up.

Up at the vents. If SCP-031 affected the air, they would have to be airtight, but it didn’t.

Still. I thought he could hear it breathing.

I shook his head, and put my face back down. To my computer. To work. But I couldn’t focus on it. When I opened my desktop, all I could do was look at the clock in the lower right corner.

Only some hours now. Mere hours until the gap in the guards. Until a room would be left open. A room where I could be alone. With her.

Hours passed without event, my responsibilities merely visiting my conscience before I dismissed them. When it was time, I stood up. I didn’t have anything to announce, but if anyone asked, I was going to the bathroom.

I walked down the hallway, and entered the elevator.

It was only some floors. Just a moment or two.

The doors opened, and I walked briskly into the hallways. It was just a hotel. Patterned carpet, perfect temperature, regular lighting fixtures, circular designs so that you couldn’t get lost. You wouldn’t be able to tell something was wrong with it on a first inspection. We really were at the frontier of human knowledge here.

Slyly hidden as the normal key readers on all the other doors, these ones only responded to Foundation personnel. My hands shook as I reached for my keycard, and sweat nearly made the thing slip from my hand when I went to slide it.

The thing beeped. The tiny light turned from red to green. The door opened.

I walked in.

It was a suite. I could have met her in any of the rooms, but I wanted this one. It was spacious, the bed was beautiful, the lighting was dim. It was romantic. She would love it.

I closed the door behind me, and knew I had to move fast. The guards may be gone, but the cameras weren’t off. It was only a matter of time until someone spotted me. I saw the air vent, and pulled a chair under it. I stood on the chair, and dug through a coat pocket to find a screwdriver. I used the screwdriver to take the vent cover off.

Air blew over me, and I imagined I could smell her perfume in it.

That was fake. I shook the thought out of my head. Stay real, I thought to myself, stay here.

I didn’t know if it would work, I wasn’t exactly sure, but I bit down on the very tip of my pointer finger and tore a bit of skin off. With the little blood that came from the prick, I smeared a spot onto the inside of the vent.

With that, I was done.

I got off the chair, put it back, and waited.

It was so nerve-wracking. I could barely stand just sitting there on the bed and looking at the vent. My hands rubbed together without my bidding them. My foot tapped the ground. My eyes glanced suspiciously at the security camera.

No alarms yet. But she wasn’t here either.

I chewed at the inside of my cheek until I hear noises.

Something coming from the vent.

I stood immediately. I was so preoccupied with whether she would come or not that I forgot to make myself presentable for if she did. I ran fingers through my hair to try and smooth it, I tucked my shirt into my pants, I discarded my coat so I would look dressed for the occasion in my button-down and black pants.

Then it was here.

The vent spilled pink and white tendrils, which terminated into pods, like head-sized wiffle-balls where the insides were white and wet. They sprayed a humid aroma, like that of freshly caught fish mixed with a slightly sweet air of stevia. They were flailing, looking like a blind octopus trying to swipe for nearby food, before seeming to find a better purpose. They soon put all of their pods together, and the things unfolded before my eyes. The exterior undid itself and the white poured out and melded together, until all of the pods shifted to form one solid shape, which then filled with color and texture… until it was all her.

A human. My wife.

She opened her eyes, and caught my gaze, and smiled.

A lump formed in my throat so that when I tried to make some kind of connection, the only thing that came out was a squeak. But she didn’t mind.

She opened her arms wide, and motioned me in for an embrace.

“Here,” she said with the same hitch to her voice that she’d had since the disease had spread to her throat, “come here.”

“I’ve missed you. Fuck, I’ve missed you so much.

She nodded. “I know.”

What was I doing? I ran towards her, forgetting at once all the pomp and circumstance, all my plans of a quiet evening of reconnection. I tossed myself into her arms, and clung to her for dear life.

“I thought I’d never see you again,” I cried into her shoulder.

“I’m here,” she said.

“You’re here,” I repeated, like I still had to convince myself it was true.

I pulled back from her just enough to look into her face, and she gave me a smile like she was sad to see me again.

I puzzled. “What’s wrong?”

She shook her head. “There’s nothing wrong.”

My adrenaline didn’t let me hang on the thought. The only thing I could hold onto was the idea I needed to kiss her. So I did. I pulled her into a kiss, and I tried my damnedest to pour every ounce of passion I had into it. Every morning I woke up in an empty bed was in that kiss. Every night I took a shower alone was in that kiss. Every dinner I ate, every empty hand I walked through the park with. I gave it all to her. I gave her everything.

And as I was kissing her, my skin began to tingle. And then my skin began to hurt, like a million pin-sized worms had suddenly eaten their way through my hands and lips. I could feel the maggots push their way through her mouth and into mine, beginning to eat at my tongue and my gums and the roof of my mouth. But I didn’t stop pressing my lips to hers. There wasn’t a single impulse in my body to let go of her.

My knees went out, but she held me up. My arms fell to my sides but she kept hugging me. My jaw began to slump, but when I fell to the floor, our mouths were still connected by a long coil of pencil-thin tendrils. I realized too late I was losing shape. My skin started to detach from my muscles, my muscles detach from my bones, my bones become porous and bleed marrow. By the time I had the thought to scream, I couldn’t.

I was gone.


I raised my head from my desk with such speed that I heard it crack.

“Jesus,” she stated simply.

“Sorry. Bad dream.”

She just gave me a look. A sad, disappointed look. “Caesar, what are you doing here?”

I furrowed my brow. “What do you mean?”

“Why don’t you leave? Take the day off. Hell, take several days off. You have paid time off saved up. Why don’t you take it?”

I couldn’t figure out how to respond. My senses were slowly coming back to me, and as they faded in, I began to take in the rest of my sights and sounds. The cubicles, the typing on keyboards, the low conversations somewhere. But it was… lesser than usual. There should be more people working at this time.

I shook my head lightly. No, I was just tired.

“My work is important. It’s the only thing that…” I trailed off, realizing I’d cornered myself.

She took a deep, loud breath. “That distracts you?”

I hung my head, and avoided eye contact.

“There’s a lot more to life than the past, Caesar.” She slapped a folder down on my desk. “This is the mental health survey, for people working on SCP-031. It’s required. And as soon as you’re done filling it out, I want to see you go home, okay?”

I looked up, and nodded. “I’ll be gone sooner than that.”

We shared an uncomfortable stare. “Don’t,” is all she said. Then, she walked away. Off into the cubicles.

I took a couple shaky moments to myself. What did she know? She wasn’t stopping me. No one was stopping me. I stood up only to check the cubicles around me, and saw my first observation confirmed. There were surprisingly few people. Maybe ten others around that I could see, and one was on their way out the door.

I checked the clock on the wall across from me, but for some reason I knew it didn’t matter.

People were leaving. There weren’t going to be guards. So there was no point in waiting around, either.

I walked past the emptying cubicles, through the hallway, and into the elevator.

It was only some floors. Just a moment or two.

I was already moving before the doors opened, my feet stepping into the hall before the elevator could fully settle onto the floor. I briskly made my way to my right, feet passing over the patterned carpet, the only noises being my breath and my footsteps and the low electric hum of the lights overhead.

No one was here, as I expected.

I pulled out my keycard and swiped it against my chosen door. A suite. Romance, low light. Perfection.

The door beeped and the light turned green. I pushed it open and stumbled into the room.

My eyes searched. Vent. Right.

I put a chair underneath it, stood on the chair, and fished a screwdriver I’d snuck into work out of my pocket. It was only moments until the vent cover was removed, and as soon as its heavy metal plating clanged against the floor, I felt the air turn from its cool conditioning to a hot, organic pulse.


I stepped down from the chair, and was about to remove it before an outpour of tendrils made me take some steps backwards, abandoning my effort. The pods on their ends wasted no time, unfolding and meshing together, weaving into the form of my dearly beloved.

Once she was formed, her eyes stayed closed.

“Theresa?” I asked, taking a nervous step forward.

Her eyes fluttered open. She saw me, and smiled. “Caesar.” She opened her arms. “Come here.”

I walked forward, and reached a hand towards hers. She let me take it.

“I’ve missed you,” I said.

“I’ve missed you too.” She pulled me into a hug, and I allowed her to take me.

We stood in silence for some time, only breathing together.

“Why did you leave me?” I asked.

“I didn’t mean to,” she responded.

“I know. It’s just,” I fought back tears, “it hurt so much. I don’t know what life is supposed to be without you. I’m so glad you’re back.”

I pulled away, and looked into her eyes. “Are you? Are you glad to be back?”

She avoided my gaze.

“Theresa?” I asked, and stroked her cheek.

“I’m happy to be with you,” she said, and turned towards me, giving me a sad smile.

“What’s wrong?”

But instead of responding to me, she just pulled me back into a tight embrace. “Nothing’s wrong,” she whispered into my ear, but she didn’t sound like she believed it. “Nothing’s wrong.”

I felt a horrid and sudden pain as my body split at the abdomen, my hips and legs slumping to the floor while Theresa held up my torso, the only connecting tissue being my unfolding intestines, the blood and muscles —


I woke up, but no one was there. The world was dark, the only light a faint glow from my computer screen. As soon as my eyes adjusted, I saw that it was open to a Word document. Typed onto it was one word, in 12 point font arial, all lowercase:


I fumbled for my phone so that I could have a flashlight, and as I did so, my hand brushed against a folder on my desk. I held it up to the light of the computer screen, and saw its words:

SCP-031 Team Mental Health Survey

I threw it onto the ground with an anger I didn’t know I had. My breathing laboured. I grabbed the phone out of my pocket, turned the flashlight on, and stood up.

I was at work. The big room. The cubicles. I was at my office desk. Right, of course. I was exhausted, and I had gone to work, and I had fallen asleep. I nearly checked the clock, but I didn’t feel I had to.

There was only one place to go.

I walked past the empty desks, I walked through the hallway and towards the elevator, but when I pressed the button nothing happened, nothing lit up. No matter. I took the stairs.

I nearly tripped and fell several times, but I kept my balance. I felt so shaky today. I had no idea why.

But it was only a some floors. Only a moment or two.

Then I was where I wanted to be. I walked down the hallway, flashlight in hand, and my breath sounded so loud. I made it to the suite I wanted, keycard at the ready in my hand, but… the door was already open. A light was on inside.

I pushed through, and she was there.


Sitting on the bed, looking as beautiful as the day we met.

I was frozen in place. She didn’t seem to look at me.

“Theresa? Is that you?”

She said nothing. I stepped into the room. “Are you alright? I haven’t seen you in so long, I…”

I lost my words, and merely moved forward, closing the door behind me.

“I can leave if you want to be alone,” I offered.

“No,” she finally spoke, “it’s alright. Come here.”

I walked forward, step after step, removing my jacket and placing it on a chair I passed by, before sitting at her side on the bed. She didn’t move to touch me, or even to look at me.

“What’s wrong?” I pried.

She shook her head. “Caesar,” she sounded so meak, “nothing could be wrong with you here.”

She finally looked up and smiled, but it was sad. It wasn’t what I wanted. She wasn’t letting me in.

Still, she opened her arms, and I gently pulled her into a hug. “I’ve missed you so much,” I said.

“I know.”

We only held that position, sitting on the bed, embracing one another, for minutes or more. Our breaths were the only sounds.

At some point, she started crying.

I rubbed her back, trying to soothe her. She wouldn’t tell me what was wrong, so I didn’t ask. I only tried to be a comforting presence.

“Caesar,” she choked out.


“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Sorry for what? What could you possibly be sorry for, this…” I searched for something more meaningful, but came up with nothing. “This is perfect.”

“I’m sorry for coming back,” is all she said.

I kissed her, and she kissed me back. When we were done, I looked into her eyes.

“You coming back is all I ever wanted,” I said. I meant it. “It’s the only thing worth living for.”

I saw the worms, the tendrils, the maggots coming out from under her eyes and the corner of her mouth, wriggling from behind her and towards me.

She sniffled. “Does it hurt?”

I didn’t move an inch as the oily wires dug into the flesh of my face, slipping into my cheeks and under my collarbone, slowly consuming my left hand on her side. I only moved to smooth back her hair, and kiss her on the forehead.

“Of course not,” I said, before I could no longer speak. “It could never hurt to love you.”

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