To whom do you belong?
Nightmare Magazine’s May 2020 issue brings us The Blue Room, a story that poses this very question while leading us by the hand, a step at a time, into an escalation of danger so subtle, so seemingly innocent, that by the time we realize our mistake, it is far too late.
After fleeing an abusive relationship that has turned deadly, Amada Gutierrez begins a new job cleaning rooms in a hotel, the top floor of which is decades overdue for an upgrade. On this floor, there is a locked room no one enters.
Amada’s ex, Tommy, calls and texts relentlessly, promising to find her and bring her back to where she belongs. Even her own family pressures her to go back to the security of having a man to take care of her.
Gradually, she becomes aware that something is watching her, shielding her from harassment by others…but also seeking to claim ownership of her. The answers to this mystery lie behind the door of that upper room, a place to which Amada, like so many women before her, seems bound.
The main concern of this disturbing story from Clarion Workshop alumni Yohanca Delgado & Claire Renwood is, who gets to own your life? How much of your Self do you give up, in order to keep others happy, to avoid conflict?
One of life’s most terrifying choices can be to take rightful ownership of your own destiny.
(image by Cdd20)