Chapter 3: The Pit and the Potato

Chapter 3: The Pit and the Potato

A Chapter by M.R Steiner

Assaults and fatalities at Geneva hotel


Chapter 3: the pit and the potato



Article by Alberto West

Date: July 23rd 2013

Translation: English

Assaults and fatalities at Geneva hotel

Police were called to a disturbance at the Geneva Rose hotel near the U.N quarter in the early hours of Tuesday morning. No identities have been divulged but several sources mention possible injuries and at least two fatalities on the 18th floor. The investigation is still open with little other information available at this time.’


Annika Toten - July 23rd 2013 �" Geneva


That’s all I’ve found so far. It’s only been a few hours and there’s already a blurb on it. For god’s sake none of this would have happened if she stayed out of my business. What kind of idiot invades someone’s privacy like that?


That morning I woke up on the balcony and nearly got blinded by the sun. It felt like knife shaped fireworks in my eyes as I yelled and rolled onto the floor. Barely a second later there was this huge thud at the door.


“Lobby 40 minutes, get showered and don’t be late.” Miss Sampson’s voice sounded hung over.


A late night left me pretty tired. I would have been zombie Annika all day if it wasn’t for a free coffee machine near reception. It hit me after that first boiling sip that I forgot my stupid bag. Everybody was already seated on the bus by the time I made it on-board, with literally no other choice but to sit by Miss Sampson. She nearly drove me insane with her desperate attempts at small talk.


Some of the students started to scream as the coach careened round the country lanes. The lush scenery whipped by the windows in vivid green blurs as I showed more interest in the high mountains beyond. It was like we were inside a painting wrapped up in a huge stone frame. You could tell why so many people loved this place. 


What I didn’t know at the time was that fate sent an agent to crush that joy out of me. We pulled up in Cologny and got off the bus to meet our tour guide who looked like a hippy in a crinkled suit. He spoke the worst English imaginable, didn’t answer any questions and kept talking in a continuous sentence, only stopping for breath. There was a freaking twenty minute lecture about a sewer grate. He cared more about the brick and barely mentioned the people who actually lived in those buildings. I looked around to see the rest of the class yawning from boredom, even Miss Sampson started to go all droopy eyed.


“This next building was put up around 1710 and is very special place of journey for people who like rhymes,” said the guide.


He could have put it better, but it was still true. We finally arrived at the gates of that one place I desperately wanted to see, the Villa Diodati.


It was beautiful. A winding path cut up through the dew-slick hills to meet a hedge of thick shrubs. They blocked the 1st floor from view, but I could still see the balcony and the rectangular windows as the light battled the peaks to give it an almost golden glow.


I left me awestruck. Everyone else walked further up the road whilst I just gawked at the Villa. My hand seemed to unconsciously drift towards the button on the gate which buzzed for a few seconds with no answer.


I hadn’t come all that way just to look at the place from a distance. I deserved much more than that.


That cold knot in my stomach started twisting as I casually strolled to the wall and looked around. I can still feel where the stone shredded my stomach I after I grabbed the ledge and pulled myself over. My body slumped into the undergrowth behind. The Villa got closer than ever, I could see a half-open door almost inviting me in. I started to get this weird sensation the closer it became, that feeling you get when you’re at a really good part of a book, that shiver down the spine as each sense lights up. That’s when you know everything is going to change.


Until then the Villa was just a dream. Now it is an exquisite memory.


Despite the modern trash it still had a real sense of history. A tiny bit of charge struck my fingers as they brushed against a tapestry in the first corridor I entered. Decorative rugs ran in patterns of red blue and green across tiled floors towards the main hall. They captivated me as I stepped through the threshold to a set of walls painted like a beautiful garden scene.


I could almost feel the people who took refuge there, I imagined myself sat amongst them on that night in 1816. The rain is rolling down the windows as Lord Byron performs a dramatic reading in the centre. The noon-lit candles bathe his face to memorize us all as the lighting strikes outside. Mrs Shelley jumps in reaction. Her husband Percy thinks she’s scared but the truth is she’s inspired. It’s my second favourite fantasy and for a moment, I almost lived it.


“Who left the patio doors open?” called a voice.


My body jumped in shock whilst a set of footsteps closed in. I darted for the corridor when a hand poked around the door and found myself cut off. There must have been a dozen people and they were all getting closer.


I looked around but there wasn’t any other way but the stairs. I hid in one of the bedrooms at the end of the second floor, desperate to control my breathing; each panicked gasp seemed to draw them closer towards me.


Their feet stamped up the stairs as I backed away and dived behind a huge wooden bed. In that split second I felt my heel press against the wall, a wooden panel broke loose, that’s where I found them.


This huge red book rested behind a mass of cobwebs and dust, half burned black like it had been in fire. It left me so transfixed that I stopped caring about the people outside. Instead I pried it from the confines. A horde of spiders scuttled from the pages as something else shot out from underneath.


It rolled along the floor and collided with my foot, this bright green liquid corked like wine that rested upright on a round base.


These things would have never been discovered if it wasn’t for me. There was no way I was going to let someone else take the credit. That’s when I decided to pack them away in my bag.


“Who the hell are you?” called a voice at the door.


I stood up and tightened my shoulder straps whilst staring at this young dark haired guy with a confused look on his face. We both went silent as I slowly paced backwards. I get why he was angry, but that look on his face turned into one of straight up murder when he lunged across the bed. It got me so scared that I dived through the window out onto the balcony.


“Come back here girl!” He ran out the room and a dozen other voices joined him in the hall.


I was trapped.


There was only one way to escape. I climbed up on the ledge to see a spiked iron wall and the patio below. It wasn’t worth the risk; I’d be gutted on the fence. I decided to just give up until a pack of them burst round the corner.


My legs jolted from the surprise, I slipped over the edge. The spike punched right through, luckily it impaled my bag. It still horrified me to think my discoveries were wrecked. I had to nudge my shoulders until the first strap loosened. I hit the ground then ripped down my bag, for a second I thought the glass shattered.


Everything inside seemed okay, the book was more or less solid and the green vial was intact.


“Come back here now!” they screamed it from the second floor as they watched me bound down the hill.


Their voices still carried in the wind after I climbed over the wall and ran for a couple blocks. It was exciting, terrifying and at the time, worth all the effort. A big smile rose up on my face. I never felt so alive.


Unfortunately it was an hour since my class wandered away. Imagine my surprise when I found everyone half-asleep at the top of the road. The guide was still droning on about the buildings as I tried to sneak back in. Darla definitely noticed, but she was still angry and just glared without a word.


“How was it?” whispered Miss Sampson’s voice behind me. “I know how much you love that place, you didn’t miss much here but don’t think I’ll be doing anymore favours.”


She let me slip away from the tour.


Honestly I felt kind of disappointed in myself. She trusted me and I just used it to commit a robbery. Then of course I remembered how important my discovery could be. I was certain everything would be worth it in the end.


We finally made our way back to the bus after two more mind melting hours. I waited till everyone climbed in before I tried to get on with the bag in hand.


“Halt.” said the driver.


“Annika put your things in storage under the bus,” said Miss Sampson.


The entire class started to giggle, especially Kaitlin. They insisted I put the damn thing below. I would have argued a bit more until I saw that man from the Villa up the road.


It was such a stupid thing to do. The reckless driver became my worst enemy. Heavy rain started to fall and we were swept off our seats with every veer; my mind was struck with horrible visions of the glass smashing or the book snapping. By the time we got back to the hotel I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t stop shaking.


Miss Sampson stopped me the moment I ran off the bus and wouldn’t let me go until we talked. “Annika what’s wrong.”


I looked behind her and saw the class taking their things from storage. All I wanted was to get my bag before anyone else had the chance to damage it. She still kept talking while everyone else just wandered inside, like the rain didn’t matter.


“Listen Annika, maybe today has brought up some stuff, maybe getting to see the Villa has made you think about the past? I understand what losing someone is like.”


“I don’t want to talk so please just drop it.” I only said it to get her off my back.


She walked off while the coach driver checked the storage bay. I dove in front and snatched the bag out of reach before he could lean any closer.


The tension began to reach breaking point. Strangers in the elevator gave some funny looks whilst I lightly hopped with excitement. It probably seemed really strange to an observer, getting worked up about a half burned book. To me it could have been a lost manuscript or even a hand written poem by Byron himself. The possibilities were endless and it was my piece of history.


I locked the door between mine and Darla’s room and started to lay the treasures out on the bed when a piece of paper dropped out of the book.


 It looked like a note.


‘So much suffering has struck this day.

I cannot find it within myself to destroy what remains. I do so out of hope that it may one day save those it wrongly consigned to torment.

Until then let the wretched thing lay forgotten and alone.

No good can ever come from such a cursed tome.’


I assumed it was just superstitious nonsense.


Then I noticed the bottle was missing.


My heart raced as I checked the bag, somebody stole it.


There were only two suspects on my mind. People who wanted to get back at me and probably thought it would be funny, Kaitlin Coopers and her potato-like boyfriend.


I didn’t know what that green stuff was. They probably mistook it for alcohol or something? Chances are they were dead if either of them drank it.


Those morons put their lives danger and I would get the blame. It became all I could think of as the elevator descended to reception. The guy at the front desk didn’t speak English. I was almost in tears trying to explain. Thank god a porter read the leger and told me they were in a corner of the 18th floor, room 19.


Screams rattled the elevator doors before they even opened, Kaitlin wailed harder than back at the airport. Everything felt like it had slowed down as I charged towards her door and slammed against the lock. I remember my left shoulder nearly popped out the socket as it flung open.


Sheets of rain darkened the sky; the lights were broken as occasional sparks lit up the smashed furniture on beneath. Kaitlin was huddled in the corner, covered in sick. She didn’t respond to my words; she just stared at the bathroom door.


The tiles rattled to the thump of heavy footsteps as the hinges loosely swung open. Thomas Woodman obviously wasn’t feeling like himself. His hands were bloated into folds of loose flesh, a web a dark veins stretched from the lips right into his eyes. He seemed almost blind and tested the air as a heaving plume of gas shot out his nose.


“What on earth is going on here?” said a Porter as he walked into the room.


Thomas roared so loud it shook the floor. With a single leap he landed on that that poor man.


It’s kind of hard to describe what happened next. The flabby skin started to grow around the man’s body like when a snake unhinges its jaw. I listened to his bones crack as he a gurgled one last bloody scream against the pressure.


Woodman heard me wretch at the sight. He turned round to face the noise. Every piece of him moved with a mind of its own, a walking wad of flesh that chased me towards the balcony. His animal-like huffs panted with each step, unnaturally fast and horribly strong, almost at my back as I dived across the stone.


It was like a freight train struck me in the chest when his full force slammed me against that glass railing. Shards sprayed into air as he spilled over the side and fell to his death.


I too clung over the edge and felt the rain loosen my grip, hastened by flop sweat and nerves. That bint Kaitlin just sat there staring as I clawed against the balcony and rolled to safety.


We didn’t say a word to each other; my only concern was finding that bottle before I ended up in jail. I found it uncorked in the bathroom, stood atop a trail of puke with a strange green glow.


No way was I touching it with bare skin. Instead I used my shirt like a glove to seal it shut then rolled the bottle up in a pouch. The police were going to turn up any minute and I had to hide the evidence,


“This wasn’t my fault, Kaitlin shouldn’t have taken it!” I said it over and over as I ran up the stairwell.


My room door slammed behind me, tears rolled down my face, I fell to the ground. The stress started to hit, but I still had to hide everything.


It sounded like Darla was using the shower. I saw her spare luggage close to the door when I peeked into the room, it was my only chance. Maybe they won’t search her stuff?


I hope to god that she doesn’t find them.


It’s been about 4 hours and I still haven’t heard anything else. No one has knocked on the door yet. It all weighed down on me so much that I started this diary entry. Of course now I have to hide this as well…


Darla’s a pretty heavy sleeper so I’ll just sneak it into her things the moment I’m finished.


Who wrote that book and what the hell is that green stuff?


I bet the police will want to talk with me tomorrow, either way I’m probably screwed. Who would believe any of this?


What the am I going to do?

© 2016 M.R Steiner

Author's Note

M.R Steiner
Report spelling mistakes or be dipped in the bog of eternal stench.

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Featured Review

I truly enjoyed this chapter, (not sure what the pit had to do with anything), things are starting to go from bad to worse and that's allways the best part of he story for me. We're watching every thing fall into place as the world falls down around poor little Annika Tolkien, and I can't wait to see what hell is coming next.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

M.R Steiner

6 Years Ago

Thank you for reading this, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) the pit reference was more to allude to Thoma.. read more


this is a good story you have a way of drawing in your reader it's a very nice story

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

M.R Steiner

6 Years Ago

thank you, I have been at this particular piece for a very long time now. I'm still not happy with t.. read more

6 Years Ago

it's cool man can you read and review people don't keep there word
I truly enjoyed this chapter, (not sure what the pit had to do with anything), things are starting to go from bad to worse and that's allways the best part of he story for me. We're watching every thing fall into place as the world falls down around poor little Annika Tolkien, and I can't wait to see what hell is coming next.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

M.R Steiner

6 Years Ago

Thank you for reading this, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) the pit reference was more to allude to Thoma.. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on August 31, 2016
Last Updated on November 15, 2016
Tags: lovecraft, mary shelley, occult, science fiction, dark, lord byron, mythos, horror, addiction, pain, relapse


M.R Steiner
M.R Steiner

a terrible city, an even more terrible region, United Kingdom

looking for advice and feedback, every critic welcome no matter what, I will thank you :) more..