Frozen In Her Tracks
Clara takes a peek underneath the dirty mattress in her run-down motel and she stands frozen in her tracks. She can feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand up straight like soldiers at war.
But just as she lets out a gasp at what she can see, Clara notices a flashing light from across the room. Within a matter of seconds, Clara’s heart stops when she realizes the light was coming from a camera. Someone was watching her every move.
An Ordinary Woman
Clara Moore was an ordinary woman who lived in an ordinary town, just north of Pennsylvania. A working single parent to four-year-old Josh, Clara was determined to provide for her son.
But this devoted mom had no idea what was coming to her.
Working Single Parent
Being a single parent, Clara often struggled to make ends meet. She worked as a motel cleaner which was great for Clara as the hours were flexible and the pay was decent.
But Clara was about to uncover something truly unimaginable that would leave her second-guessing her job forever.
Clara had been working as a motel cleaner for five years. It wasn’t a glamorous job, far from it, but cleaning was therapeutic for Clara.
In all her years of working at the motel, she thought she had seen it all. But when started her shift on a cold Saturday morning, she had no idea what she was about to find in one of the motel rooms.
Off To Work
At the crack of dawn, Clara took her son Josh to a friend's house while she went off to work. Kitted out in her favorite winter coat, Clara stood at the bus stop shivering.
Through the mist, Clara could see the bus’s headlights getting closer. Then, she noticed something on the bus stop shelter: as soon as she saw it she was lost for words.
Armed And Dangerous
There was a poster on the bus shelter which read WOMAN MISSING in big, black font. Clara read the poster and learned the woman had been missing for five months.
This MIA-woman was last seen with a stocky, rugged man. He was considered to be armed and dangerous.
Riding The Bus
As Clara finished reading the poster her heart ached with sympathy for the woman’s family.
But with her bus pulling up, Clara brushed off her concerned thoughts about the missing woman. Little did she know she shouldn’t have.
Arriving At Work
Clara swiftly arrived at the motel ready to start her shift. She picked up her cleaning cart and carefully navigated it through the hotel's cream-colored corridors.
Just as she turned the corner, she saw a man checking out of a suite that she had to clean later on. As soon as Clara laid her eyes on the rugged man, an uneasy feeling hit the pit of her stomach.
Who Was He?
For some strange reason, Clara recognized this man. Was it his scruffy beard? Or his alarming height? She couldn’t figure it out, so instead, she presumed he just had “one of those faces.”
She pushed her cleaning cart into her first room of the day and got to work. She thought it was going to be an ordinary day, but she was so wrong.
Another Room To Clean
A couple of hours passed, and Clara had managed to clean two rooms. Up next on her list? The suite she saw the rugged man checking out of earlier.
The suite was a much larger room so it was going to take a lot more time (and effort,) but nothing could have prepared Clara for what she would find.
A Terrible Smell
As soon as she set foot into the suite, a terrible smell lingered in the air. What had the person in here been eating? It smelt like rotting meat mixed with rotting cheese.
Clara pulled up her cleaning cart and got out her wipes. She had no idea that something truly unimaginable was a mere few feet away.
Getting To Work
Clara got to work and started cleaning the suite. But she couldn’t help but notice that the gross smell still lingered around. What could it be?
She carried on cleaning, singing out loud to her favorite pop song. She thought she was all alone in the motel room, but unbeknownst to her, somebody was watching her every move.
Under The Mattress
After finishing cleaning the bathroom, Clara headed over to the two large beds. Armed with a fresh pair of cotton-scented sheets she was planning to strip the bed and replace it.
She lifted the mattress to take the sheet off and what she saw left her lost for words.
Someone Was Watching Her
Just as Clara let out a gasp at what she saw under the mattress, she noticed a flashing light coming from across the room.
Then suddenly, Clara’s heart stopped when she realized the light was from a camera. Somebody was watching her.
Clara feels panic wash over. You see not only was somebody watching Clara’s every move but what she found in the mattress was an envelope. What was it doing here? Slowly, while gripping onto the envelope, Clara made her way to the other side of the room, and away from the flashing light.
She wanted to run and leave the room but she had to see what was inside the envelope. She opened it up and what she saw changed her life forever.
Inside The Envelope
It was a cash tip! But it wasn’t just a mere two figure cash tip, it was a $500 tip! Clara couldn’t believe she was holding $500 in her hands. What was going on?
Hundreds of questions ran through her mind. Then suddenly, Clara heard a hard knock at the door.
Someone At The Door
Slowly, Clara made her way to the door and peeked through the peephole. She gasped out when she saw it was the rugged guy from earlier.
The same rugged guy who had been in this suite a mere few hours ago. What was going on?
What Did He Want?
Clara opened the door and was greeted by the rugged man and a smile plastered on his face. He saw the cash in her hands and looked straight at Clara. “We need to talk,” he said.
Without a second to waste the rugged man barged inside the suite with Clara inside it, and slammed the door shut.
Telling The Truth
Clara could feel panic and fear wash over her. Who was this man? What did he want? Was he the one recording her? Nothing made sense anymore.
The rugged man sat Clara down on the bed, ready to reveal the truth. But Clara wasn’t prepared for it. Not one bit.
It Was Him All Along
Turns out that this rugged man was the one that left the $500 tip and he had left it specifically for Clara.
He admired the work ethic and hard work cleaners and those in hospitality have. But was he the one recording her?
A Very Happy Ending
The secret camera was also his; he wanted to catch the reaction of a hotel cleaning receiving a generous and incredible tip.
When Clara was told the truth, she let out a sigh of relief, before quickly hugging the rugged man and thanking him 20 times. This stranger truly had just made her year, let alone week!