Bucharesti | The Dreamweaver

My family had been living in a luxury hotel in Bucharest for over a year in a witness protection program after I inadvertently became involved with some underworld figures back in Chicago.

I went downstairs to the hotel's grand ballroom where Jewish High Holiday services were being conducted. There, I chanted nearly all of the prayers and hymns as they were sung with the familiar Sephardic melodies I had remembered from when I lived in Valencia and regularly attended services at a small community synagogue there.

Back at the hotel, I wanted to change my close and needed to use the toilet, but my older daughter was taking a shower so I had to wait.

Once my daughter was out of the shower, she opened the door to let me in.

Inside the bathroom, I noticed the urinal was covered with a towel and as I moved the towel to the side, I noticed in was clogged up and unusable.

I then went into the bathroom stall to use the toilet.

When I was finished, I returned to my room to look for a change of clothes, specifically for a new pair of Levi's 501 jeans I had recently purchased.

My wife then entered the bedroom to show me a photo of an acquaintance of ours, a Turkish woman we knew in the Netherlands, who was depicted in the photograph having dinner at a beach club with a man we knew as being nefarious and known for being both a homosexual and someone who would prey on divorced women and con them out of their savings.

I took my wife's phone and posted a message on the Turkish woman's photo that read "Queer."

Seeing the message I had posted, my wife said that the woman will see it was my wife who posted the message and not anonymous as I had thought it would be, so I took her phone once again and deleted the message, hoping that the woman didn't see it.

Just then, I got a call on my cellphone from a foreign number. I answered the call but there was no one on the other end despite seeing that the call was live.

Panicking, thinking my cover had been blown and that I was in imminent danger, I sent my wife and daughter out of the suite, closed all the drapes and dimmed the lights.

I went over to switch off the t.v. where I had been watching a film on Netflix starring James Spader.

I quickly switched off the t.v. but the sound was still on and I fumbled nervously with the remote control until I was finally able to mute the volume.

Walking back to my room to finally put on my new jeans, I heard some keys rattling outside the door and when I looked into the peephole I saw two uniformed Chicago Police officers.

I opened the door and the officers were surprised seeing how they had yet to knock on the door.

I invited the officers in and told them I would be back in a minute because I was just about to change my jeans.

A few minutes later I returned and asked the officers what they wanted.

They told me there had been some activity in the case and that I was now a suspect but that I shouldn't worry; they said the people who I was going to testify against had blamed me for the murder in order to get me out in the open.

Just then, my wife returned and was surprised to see the police had come from Chicago and demanded to see their identification cards and to speak to their supervisor because she had some doubts thinking the officers might be imposters.

One of the officers called his supervisor on his walkie-talkie and handed it to my wife, who was quickly satisfied that the officers were legitimate.

My wife then noticed a strange smell coming from the corridor and we all went out to see where the odor was coming from.

Just then, my wife pointed to a door that appeared to be connected to our room that had a window above it covered with what looked like a ripped bed sheet.

Taking a chair that was in the corridor, my wife placed it in front of the door and proceeded to stand on it saying that she had never seen that door before and perhaps it led to a "vestibule."

She then pushed the window open and pulled out the torn sheet allowing her to look into the vestibule.

As it was dark inside, she took her cellphone and switched on the flashlight and a horrified look suddenly came to her face and at once we all knew she had discovered a body.

One of the police officers opened the door to an adjacent room where a police dog had been waiting; the officer took the dog over to the vestibule door where the dog signaled to confirm that there was indeed a deceased person behind the door.

My wife told the police officers that in all the time we had been living in the hotel, she had never once seen that door.

The officers told us not to worry that they would get to the bottom of things and that for now it would be best that we took up residence at another hotel until it was safe for us to return.

Then I woke up.

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