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Room No. 4 (Writing Prompts)

Writing Challenge Writing Prompts

Room No. 4 (Writing Prompts)

What's with room number 4? Is room #4 the answer to something or a question? Do we have to care what's behind the door? Does it matter?

I've no idea, same as I've no idea why this week's writing prompt wanted to be shades of gray or somewhat silvery, depending on your viewpoint.

Last week's prompt led two writers to veer toward the same topic very independently of one another and I'm wondering what this week's prompt will do. I think we'll be surprised. (Surprise me?)

So are you ready to take the challenge this week and write? I hope you are.

See you in the comments section.

Words and Wishes, Prompts Fulfilled

Last week's box for wishes led to pretty words, sad words. There's something about that word wish, isn't there?


A couple of years ago I had been sneaking through her house while she was outside with mum and found a really old and mysterious looking wooden chest in her bedroom. It seemed to have once been painted but the coating had long flaked away and the silver ornaments were all dull and grey.

I couldn’t lift the lid back then, but…


Not that anybody asked me, but I don’t much like the word wish. It’s a too-little word that asked to do too much.
Not that you asked, but me, I like the word will.
I will do, I will try. I will. On the face of it I know it’s really the same, cause it’s talking about the future, same as wish is, but somehow it seems more spine-straight, you know? More solid, firm, possible? Yeah, I guess that’s what I mean. I will is soon, I wish is…a cloudy-kinda sometime, a chilly sort of out there.
Her box of wishes had traveled with her for years, and across parsecs of space, stowed in the lumpy and scuffed duffel bag that held all her possessions. Now, that box had found a home on the bureau in the bedroom she shared with Kl’yd.
He was the wish she didn’t know she had made. He was there in the heart-shaped stone, the note from the lovesick boy, and the arm from the broken doll. All of the secrets the journal held were now shared with him.
have a box for wishes
Full of envy-laden sighs
I wish I wrote like Shakespeare
I wish that I could fly
I wish to be a mermaid
And I wish to be an elf
I wish to be a warrior
And I wish to be myself
I have a box for wishes
And wish instead of do
I need to give up wishing
And create my world anew
So from today I practise
And build experience and skill
Today I give up wishing
And instead of wish, I will.
a face is a shape full of wishes
a shell, an arch, a curve, a point
a story of what’s passed
looking to the future


Stay well, take care of yourself, and write if writing helps with both of those, okay?

More Writing Prompts
A Box for Wishes
Dead Mountain
A Broken Instrument

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  • Anarion on

    The day I had both a work-related and a personal epiphany started like any other day.

    That year I was working as a cleaner for a hotel chain called The Immortal. I mostly liked the work because I rarely had to interact with people and could listen to music while I cleaned. The only person I talked to on a more or less regular basis was my co-worker Jake.

    I met Jake on the fire escape for a smoke and since I just did the room I hated the most, I immediately started to complain about that.

    “I hate doing room no. 4! The person in there only gives me the weirdest times to clean, honestly, I don’t think I have ever been in there in daylight. I also think they are in some kind of satanic cult, because I keep having to clean blood stains out of the carpet AND I’m pretty sure they sleep under the bed.”

    By this point Jake was looking at me like I was stupid. “Well, duh. He’s a vampire.”

    I inhaled in shock and almost swallowed my cigarette. Jake sounded way too honest for that to be a joke. Plus, it kinda made sense.

    “He’s what?”

    “A vamp. Are you seriously surprised? I figured that out after a week.”

    “But… how… why… Nobody warned me! I feel like that warrants a warning! How can they send humans in there to clean? What about occupational safety?”

    “They don’t. That’s the point.”

    “What point?”

    “You do know why the hotel is called The Immortal, right?”

    “I figured it’s like The Hyatt or The Imperion.”

    Now Jake looked like he thought my brain might have fallen out of my head at some point.

    “No, it’s because everybody is immortal, guests and staff.”

    “But I’m not… Wait. Am I?”

    “You’ve been hit by a car twice and walked away without a scratch!”

    “I thought I was lucky!”

    Now Jake looked like he was mentally going through all the immortals he knew, trying to figure out if he’d heard of one that functioned without a brain. Then he shrugged and slapped me on the back.

    “Come on, I’m gonna buy you a beer and fill you in. No, wait, there are at least two immortals that explode when they drink beer. Better be safe!”

    “I thought the whole idea of being immortal is to, you know, not die?”

    He grinned and said, “Everybody has a weakness. Let’s hope yours isn’t alcohol!”

    It wasn’t. At least not in that sense. I did embarrass myself by telling 24 people I was an immortal (unsurprisingly not a single one believed me) and then I ended the evening by puking on Jake’s shoes. Why he is still friends with me, I’ll never know.

  • Jamie Ashbird on

    I always expected it to be in a leafy forest, a moss covered tuft, under an enormous fallen oak.
    The last place I thought I’d finally see one of Them, a hidden one, was in the room the school kept all those heavy mats we had to pull out whenever it was time for gymnastics. (Or what passed as gymnastics in high school. A few forward rolls and some wobbly attempts at walking across a beam.)
    Room 4 contained: a pile of mats as tall as me, with decades worth of teenage grime on them; tubs full of skipping ropes, lacrosse sticks, softball gloves—sweaty inside despite not seeing a human hand for months; a stack of unmatched witches hats; one tall, shimmering, blurry, beautiful immortal; and a me.
    So what now? No, really. That’s what I asked it. We’d been standing there in awkward silence, me gaping like a carp, it doing its whole shimmery thing.
    My eyes couldn’t focus on it, no matter how hard I tried. I’d always been pretty good at those magic eye pictures and so I tried that method, to no avail. And yet, I knew exactly what this creature looked like. It had bypassed the primitive notion of eyeballs and settled for projecting its own image straight onto my brain. Impressive.
    So what now? Wait, quotation marks. “So what now?” I asked.
    “Are you talking to me?” it replied. “I’m going home. I’ve been stuck in here for months. Don’t your PE teachers ever make you do sport?”
    “Yeah, yeah. Some idiot from the science department chucked a box of magnets and baggies of iron filings right there near the door. I haven’t been able to go near it. If you wouldn’t mind.” The creature gestured moving the box aside.
    I obliged, and shoved the box away from the door with my foot.
    “That’s it. That’s what was keeping you in here?”
    I turned around to see I was talking to the wind. Talking to myself, there was no wind. It was completely still that day. I don’t know why I said that. Anyway, the creature was gone, just like that. No word of thanks or goodbye. Barely a hello.
    Though as I wondered at the rudeness, I also recalled I’d meant to go into Room 3, not 4.
    That was the one with all the old Christmas decorations in it. So if I was lucky, maybe I’d open the door and find Narnia.

  • Atlin Merrick on

    If this were a story you’d avoid room number four. You’d know that just because someone had singled out.

    “There, that…that’s room number four.”

    You’d blink and lower your voice and whisper a little joke, “Oh? Is that where some immortal cryptid lives? Feeding on bats and room service?”

    The person who pointed it out would laugh and tell you some story about an eccentric inventor who’d jumped out the window when she learned her boyfriend’s airplane was shot down over the Antarctic or something.

    “Oh that’s sad,” you’d say.

    “She didn’t die or anything. Just broke her leg. I mean it’s room number four, it’s only six feet above the sidewalk.”

    And then you’d continue on your way, because this is a short story and possibly the characters are going to lunch now or whatever.

    But this isn’t a story, and room number four doesn’t have a cryptid behind the door.

    Room number four is important because that? That’s where we run and hide when the bone marrow and room service-eating death worms come crawling from the woodwork.

    The cryptids are outside. We? We are the ones who need to be inside.

  • GV Pearce on

    “Do you know what immortality is? What it really is under all the glamour and rumours and Hollywood glitter?” The vampire punctuated this question with a drag on their cigarette & a twirl of perfectly manicured nails. “It’s everything blurring together into one great mess of nothing. Take this hotel for example.”
    The videographer turned slowly to take in all the ramshackle glory of the hundred year old lobby.
    “I came here when it first opened, booked myself into room #4 because it was nice and accessible to the streets below—one shouldn’t fly to high on a full stomach, it’s like you humans and swimming. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, when it opened there was a lovely young man on the desk, and the bellboys had such wonderful taste, haha. But you sleep for a decade or two and everything has changed while staying just the same. Waking in that room—it could be any year until you actually open the door. And sometimes even that isn’t enough to be sure. Sometimes you see someone you know, or someone you think you know, and suddenly it’s 1937 all over again. I haven’t bothered to learn anyone’s name since the mid-Sixties—what’s the point if they’ll be dead the next time you blink?”
    “But what about the technology?” The interviewer asked. “Isn’t that amazing?”
    The vampire shrugged. It was a movement suggestive of wings under their immaculate grey suit. “Hardly. Humans have been finding excuses to ignore one another since cave paintings was invented.”
    “Well, why about facial recognition technology? Aren’t you afraid someone will realise what you are?”
    “Why should I be afraid? A friend I’ve known for a thousand years works in movies, everyone knows he’s immortal—no one cares.”
    “So why hide here in room #4? Why not leave this hotel?”
    The vampire sighed. “One day it will be gone, but every day will still be the same as the last.”

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