Room 188 | Jason Hemens

Best served cold.

Room 188

Jason Hemens

The Audition Retribution Award


“I see hundreds like you every year. Pretty little dreamers with stars in their eyes. I’m spoilt for choice. But you know how it works. That’s why you invited me back to your crappy little motel room. For the real audition.”

“I’ve spoken to a few of the girls, Mr Warburg. Done my research. I know what you like.”

“I’ve always said the best actors know what their fans want. So come over here and…over here…and…”

“Are you feeling okay, Mr Warburg. Let me help you onto the bed. I put enough in your drink to fell a horse! I’m surprised you didn’t notice the symptoms, but I guess it’s different when you’re on the receiving end. There we go, let me get these restraints on you. Two for your wrists, two for your ankles.”

She moves away from the bed, straightens her skirt.

“You don’t even remember this motel room, do you? Room 188. Cast your mind back twenty years. Her name was Louise. You took her innocence that day. Her dreams too. What you did changed the course of her life, and I bet you’ve never given it a second thought.”

She puts on a pair of surgical gloves.

“Don’t look at me all wide-eyed like that, Mr Warburg. I’m not going to hurt you. Not yet, anyway. We’re going to spend some quality time together. Really get to know each other. I’ve booked this motel room for seven days.”

Mr Warburg struggles weakly against his constraints, mumbling incoherently.

“My mother only told me about you the day before she took the overdose. Can you believe it? Kept it a secret all that time. It would have explained so much to me. The failed relationships. The depression. The drugs. In the end, she just wanted me to understand why. And although she didn’t say it, I know she wanted me to find you.”

She takes a syringe from her bag and places it on the bedside table.

“Have you heard of crystal meth, Mr Warburg? One of the most addictive drugs on the street. I have enough here to shoot you up three times a day for the full week. You’ll love it. The first hit will be euphoric.”

“Listen to me,” came the feeble request. “I’ll give you anything…just…”

“I know what you’re trying to say, Mr Warburg. Just name my price. Whatever I want. Money, a career, anything. As long as I let you go. Well I can’t do that, silly! I haven’t even decided how this will end. Part of me wants you to develop a taste for the drug and spend the rest of your worthless life battling the addiction. You’d have to appreciate the irony in that.”

She picks up the syringe.

“Or do I just give you an overdose now? A life for a life. My mother was easy prey for a predator like you, Mr Warburg. Intimidated by your power, your connections, your money. But I want you to know she did her best for me. Despite the cards she was dealt. She was a gentle person, Mr Warburg. Nothing like me. I’ve always been cold. Could never understand why. But there was a missing piece to the puzzle. I’d never met my father. Until now. Turns out I’m just as ruthless as you, Dad. And I’m going to make you pay for what you did.”

Audition Retribution Award

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