The first time I met him, he was drunk on the street, he fell on the pavement and I thought someone died. Our friendships span of more than 5 years. Infact, one of my best friends even like a father to me in Chinatown. He came to Chinatown from Ipoh when he was 17 yo, with a GCE (equivalent to O level) and high dream of getting rich in the city of concrete jungle.
The third floor.
PG 18, not for those with a weak heart, pregnant or on a diet.
Uncle Lim was looking so sad that night, sitting down at a bench in a coffee shop. “At least he is sober”, I thought. “Don’t disturb A ba tonight (A ba was what he referred himself to me), A ba lost money gambling, must be the curse from the third floor”, he told me in his stern face. “Cheer up A ba, I pay for your dinner, but tell me about the third floor”, I tried to console him. “Ok, but Napi must promise A ba, never ever go to the third floor (he was referring to the hotel he was working)”, he said. “Promise A ba”.
Salma and Salim (not their real name) arrived very late (about 1.00 am) to KL from Kelantan. Salma had some urgent business matters to settle with a bank located in Jln Tun HS Lee the following day. She was pregnant and due to another 2 months. Their proton Wira took them to the hotel (real name is intentionally omitted from the story) in Chinatown as the appointment is in the same vicinity. Fyi, the hotel was famous and a big name in the 60s and 70s.
They didn’t have reservation and those were the days before Abnb or agoda. From outside, the hotel looks very bright and they saw through the glass walls that there were many people inside, quite cheerful looking. Salim, feeling very tired at that time saw an entrance to the basement carpark and drove there. Both of them took a lift and punch the button to the Lobby.
When they reached at the lobby, it looks different from outside. The lobby looks very somber, quite dark, old furniture’s and only 2 ladies were there, both were wearing white uniforms. Salim made a quick deal, gave his credit card and were given his room keys, 333. Salim and Salma made their way again to the lift and to their room. The corridor to their room was dark and they felt something was wrong in the room although they can’t explain it, quite the feeling of uneasiness. The temperature was exceptionally cold even before they turned the aircond.
After 5 minutes in the room Salma felt unbearable pain in her tummy. She grimaced and told Salim about it. Salim panicked and tried the room’s phone (his cellphone was accidentally left in the car), no sound. He went outside to look for help and found a lady in white uniform he was assuming the hotel cleaner. “Kak, my wife is having an emergency, any in-house medical team”, he pleaded. “Ask the manager at the lobby”, the lady replied. Salim left Salma and raced to the lift and he suddenly remembered his phone in the car so he decided to pick up the phone first.
After he took his phone he went to the lobby, but….the lobby looks so different, brighter, many people and the staffs were wearing batik shirts. He told his predicament to the receptionist at the counter. “There is no room number 333 and you are not registered as a hotel guest, the lifts do not stop at the 3rd floor. We cant find anyone registered with your name here ”.
Without hesitation, he sprinted towards the staircase to the third floor. He heard his wife screaming and yelling for help upon reaching the third floor. It was dark, but he saw four figures in white with long hairs surrounded his wife, lying on a table. They were laughing hysterically and look scary. Salim recited some verses from Al Quran and bravely moved towards them, hands clenched in fists.
Fortunately, the 4 figures gradually disappeared into thin air. He carried his wife downstairs to the lobby (the real one). An hour later, Salma was fined, the pain in her tummy also stopped, but they left to find another hotel….. The third floor used to be a club but mostly the mobs were using the floor for their activities. It was closed for the last 4 years prior to the story due to many ominous things happened at the floor…..