The Concierge

Sofie Jubelirer

Chapter One:

I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock beeping on my bed table. It was 5:30 AM, the sun was not up yet, but the fog had already crept around the hills of New Hampshire. The rest of my family was already downstairs eating breakfast, and I was still groggy as  I put on my joggers, sweatshirt. I grabbed my phone off the table and went downstairs. We were going to Boston for winter break since mom grew up there and wanted to take us back to her hometown. We were staying in a small hotel right next to the Wharf, and I planned on doing lots of shopping. The weather didn’t look so nice outside, and I heard it was going to be cold and dreary in Boston. That didn’t stop me from thinking about what I could find there. After all, my parents always told me I was very inquisitive.

I had always loved to explore, since I could walk actually. Everywhere we went as a family I liked to wander off into little nooks and crannies of the town to explore. I’d never been to Boston though, but it intrigued me to go to a place I’d never been.  

I got in the back seat of the car, my parents driving in the front. My eyes started to drift off into the clouds until I found myself sleeping, my head pressed against the car window. When I woke up, I saw the gloomy grey clouds towering over a small shack that could hardly be described as a building. “The Wharf Hotel: A Classic Stay!” lay printed on a large wooden door marking the entrance, which creaked as we opened it.  

“Welcome! How may I assist you?” 

I turned around to see a piercing blue-eyed man in a beige suit with a dark black tie. His name tag said Mr. Blair- concierge, and his eyes were glossy. My parents went to the check-in desk, and were greeted with a large key with the number 102 embedded in it. With my family, I walked down the narrow hallway plastered on either side with vintage wallpaper, which depicted that this place was falling apart. We finally found the room with a large gold doorknob, adjacent to our neighbor’s, which donned a “do not disturb sign.” I saw the paint on the door was peeling off and thought I heard a clashing sound as I entered the room. I left this thought behind to explore further, discovering two beds, a bathroom with a shower and toilet, and a giant window with a view of the grey parking lot. It was only 9:00 AM, leaving with me plenty of time to explore the city and escape this dump of a hotel.  

I left the room only to hear the same noise of metal clashing. This time, I tried to follow the noise; it was coming from close by, so I walked towards the neighboring door, room 103, and put my ear against the door. It came from there. Noise in hotels is not uncommon, I thought to myself, but for some reason this sound was suspicious. It was muffled and quiet, but I was able to make out a few words from a male voice.

“9:15, tonight, outside of Jule’s Antiques. I need that key. I’ll pay up to $1,000 if I have to …So be there tonight in the alleyway, and make sure to blend in to look normal…I don’t want anyone to know about this.” 

Not knowing what to do with this information, I kept listening and was greeted by a woman’s snappy voice.

“Honey, how’s the plan going? Everything in motion? Because I want my money now! Make sure to call the Boss and ask how much we’re getting paid for this. Because for this crap I deserve at least one million! Oh, and make sure to have Mr. Blair ready by 9:00, so when we get that other key, he’s ready.” 

The Boss? A key? Mr. Blair the concierge? What is going on? I was baffled by all this information and felt something was off. . No normal person gets paid one million dollars in one night for anything legal. And Mr. Blair? What does he have to do with all this? I need to find out what’s going on because this whole trip has been off. 

I decided not to go out today, except to Jule’s Antiques, I wanted to see the fuss about it and the key they were talking about.

In lieu of going out today, I decided I could do some detective work. Not only do I need to find out who is in room 103, but I also need to look for that key at Jule’s Antiques, check-in on Mr. Blair at 9 tonight, and follow those people at 9:15 to see what they’re planning.

Chapter two…

It was already 10:00 AM, I had plenty of time to work and walk around town and, most importantly, find the check-in book to see who was in room 103. There were only about 25 families staying in the hotel in total and most had already ventured out into Boston to explore, which narrowed down my search. “The Connos,” was the name according to the book. Connos? Nothing rang a bell. When in doubt, I thought, google – I pulled out my laptop and typed in “Connos.” I quickly found some marriage articles, photos of the two, and their Facebooks. 

 Mr. Conno, Steven, was a tall slim man with dark black hair and hazel green eyes. Mrs. Conno, Grace, was a petite woman with long brown hair and dark brown eyes. In the pictures, Mr. Conno starred beyond the camera, his face hard and unsmiling as stone. Strangely, he clenched his fists at his side in his Facebook profile picture. Mrs. Conno had a thin face with a half-smile in most of her pictures. It looked as if she never was enjoying herself, and her outfits full of grey and black clothing did not help her appearance. They both seemed unhappy and unsmiling in every picture I found, and also appeared somehow very different from each other, but at the same time very similar. I clicked on the news tab on Google under my search. Again, all I found were some marriage articles about the two and employment information. I scrolled to the bottom of the second page, where my eyes were caught by a headline reading: “STEVE AND GRACE CONNO ACCUSED OF MURDER AND POSSESSION OF SECRET WEAPON.” I clicked on the source, MWY Magazine, and read the article. A secret weapon? There was not much information on it, but there was mention of poison. There was also a mention of a key, which was interesting. I pondered, was this the same key the Connos were talking about earlier? After that, the trickle of information from the internet ran dry. I didn’t know if the source was real, but in this case, I was open to anything.  

Murder did seem a little extreme though, even if I had no idea who these people were. I had never considered that they were murderers, so I assumed this article was somewhat fake news: maybe they were innocent, maybe it wasn’t the same people. This all still seemed suspicious, but I had to go to my next step, hoping the points would connect in the end.  

My parents were still back at the hotel, though they planned on venturing out later tonight since they were still doing work for their jobs. As I walked along the harborside, I could smell the salt from the ocean. It was strong. This small little town seemed so peaceful, I thought as I walked on the sidewalk viewing people who were also visiting. I also saw store owners, residents, musicians on the streets, and far more. The people were so diverse, as the town was too with its multiple small businesses. After stumbling around the town for 20 minutes, I found my destination, “Jule’s Antiques”.The store looked old,, almost rusty, as lots of the paint was peeling off the sides of the shop. It was already 2:00 PM, I guess I lost track of time doing research. I walked inside to find a gallery of different items across the wall. There were clocks, cards, machines, plates, cups, and so much more.  

“Why hello my dear child. What are you looking for?”  

I turned around to see a faint old woman in a cashmere scarf and wooden walker at her side. She spoke very fluently for someone of her age, I assumed she was at least 80 given all her wrinkles and curved stature.  

“ I’m just stopping in to look around, explore the town. you by any chance collect keys here?” 

“Why yes, we do! Right over there in the back corner. Go have yourself a look. Are you looking for anything specific dear?” she said without hesitation. 

“No, I just like to collect them, you know, for fun.” 

Not a good coverup, I thought to myself, but it would have to do. I mean who collects keys for fun? The woman didn’t seem to care though, as her facial expression did not change when she spoke I would have to assume she has nothing to do with the plan. 

I went to the back corner and found, well, way too many keys. There were brass keys, silver keys, tiny keys, large keys; my eyes were blinded by them all. I couldn’t buy all of them, of course, and I had a very little chance that I would buy the right one. I decided to pick out three because they were only a few bucks each. Three is better than none I figured. 

I chose a small sterling silver key, a regular flat door key in gold, and a large Victorian looking brass key. The last key stuck out to me, it had lots of unique lines on it in patterns I had never seen. It had swirls carved into it, waves so thin and delicate, the key seemed like a treasure. The lines felt smooth against my hand, and I went up to the counter and paid for them all. I put them all in my purse and left the shop. 

Chapter Three… 

I walked around for a few more hours, and met my parents to explore the other shops around the water. I was trying to act normal, but my mind kept wandering off to the Connos and their scheming. It was a thought that made my heart almost fly out of my chest, that the people right next door to us might have taken the life of a human being. It seemed impossible. I’ve seen the news and murderers on TV, but in person, it’s a lot different. I mean, this was my imagination, all in my head… I hoped.

I walked with my eyes dull, but my head turned towards my parents, trying to engage in conversation. Even though I was standing on the sidewalk on the Wharf with my family, I felt like I was in a whole other universe, to say the least. 

“Skye what do you think…Skye? Are you there?” 

Suddenly, I was back on the sidewalk. I turned around to see my mom holding a long blue dress to her body to see if it fits her.  

“Yeah, it’s pretty,” I said unenthusiastically.  

My mom didn’t mind, she kept looking around the outdoor store items. We then went to grab something to eat, it was already 7:00 PM.I wasn’t hungry because I was too nervous about tonight. I went over the plan in my head a few more times, still petrified. I was sitting at a table in a restaurant, but again, I really wasn’t. I was silently freaking out, screaming with every breath I took, but no one could hear it. Something bad was happening and I needed to act. I couldn’t be a bystander in a situation like this. I was the only one capable of putting an end to this scheme the Connos were planning, and had to go for two reasons. One, to put an end to this awful plan, for harm could come. Two, to explore the unknown, and take a plunge into it in order to stop my fear from growing. Only by going and taking a leap of faith was the only right option to me. 

“Hey guys, I think I’m going to go back to the hotel, take a nap. I’m just exhausted from all that we’ve done today.” Taking a nap was the last thing I was going to be doing.  

They nodded along and told me they were going to stay out longer and get some dessert. My parents said they wouldn’t be back until 10:30 PM, giving me plenty of time for my plan. 

It was 8:50 PM when I arrived at the alley by Jule’s Antiques. I stood behind a dumpster and saw a man in a dark suit arrive. From his eyes, I instantly recognized that it was Mr. Blair, still glossy and bright blue. He sat on the ground and stared at the wall. He said nothing, and his face was dull. I was so confused, but to be honest, this whole situation was confusing. Mr. Blair sat there for 20 more minutes, still like a… robot.  I watched from behind the dumpster, making sure I made no noise, for it was so silent Mr. Blair could hear a pin drop.

Finally, Mr. And Mrs. Conno arrived in their black GMC. As they got out, they had with them a short man in brown khakis. His face was covered with a bag, and he was squirming in between Mr. Conno’s arms. The stone faced Conno dragged him to where Mr. Blair was sitting, with the bag still on the man’s head and tied his hands and legs.  


They didn’t care.

“Give us the money. NOW” they said with no compassion in their tone. 


I watched from afar as Mr. and Mrs. Conno  pulled out two keys, both bronze and shiny. The two keys were identical to each other. I looked down at my keys and prayed that they were the right ones. The Connos took their keys and looked straight into Mr. Blair’s eyes. 

“PLEASE! TAKE MY WALLET PLEASE TAKE IT ALL JUST LET ME GO!” said the man as I heard the shakiness in his voice. 

The Connos seized it and put it into a black bag.  

“Oh, you’re not going anywhere now” spoke Mrs. Conno. 

The man cried and whimpered as he sat on the ground by Mr. Blair, who was as still as a rock. The Connos took their keys and…then put them in Mr. Blair’s eyes. I was utterly disturbed. I felt nauseous from disgust.  Why would they do that? What is wrong with those people? Mr. Blair… did nothing?  


I jumped from behind the dumpster to see everyone turn to face me. 

“Excuse me, what are you doing here? Who is this girl? Grace, darling, get a bag and tie this girl up.” 


When those words came out of my mouth, I knew it was over. Mr. Conno threw me to the ground, right next to the man with the bag over his head. I saw a little blood on the ground, and soon my knee started to gush.

“Well, welcome. Might as well finish you off too, so join the club!” said Mr. Conno in a creepily enthusiastic tone. 

They turned the keys in Mr. Blair’s eyes. At that moment, I knew I didn’t get it right. I picked the wrong keys, my stupid plan, for what it was worth, was now trash. When the keys were locked, Mr. Blair’s mouth tilted open. He wasn’t a person, he was a machine. Inside the mouth was a small cork bottle with a green liquid. That liquid then started to vaporize in Mr. Blair’s mouth. They took off the bag of the man’s head next to me. My head was still throbbing from hitting the hard concrete ground.  

Slowly, a lime green vapor was released from Mr. Blair’s mouth. It was aimed directly at the man. He looked over at me, and I could see the fear in his eyes. I wanted to help him, but I was stuck. Suddenly, his face went blank and he collapsed. I heard him scream no right before in the faintest whisper. The Connos had left already, far away from the poisonous gas. I tried to move, but my vision had gotten fuzzy from the injury from Mr. Conno.  

“Please. Please. Please. Help me. Help.”  

I could barely speak, so only a whisper came out. Mr. Blair turned towards me and released the vapor. I tried to move again, but I was stuck. It felt like I was frozen, stuck in time, but the pain was too immense. I kept trying but Mr. Blair kept following me. I didn’t make it too far across the alley before I collapsed.

 I lay on my back as the green vapor surrounded me. I cried and cried, wishing that I hadn’t overheard or tried to get involved in this mess. I squirmed some more, even though I didn’t move more than an inch. Slowly, my breath grew heavier, the vapor collapsing in on me. My body hurt, but I still took one last effort to try and move away. A shiny cold metal hand grabbed my leg and dragged me back.  Everything got fuzzy, and all I could see was green.  

“Please, someone, anyone, help me…” 

Suddenly, the green faded into black.  

Hand Drawn Image by Diana Huang, Freshman (@dianah_art11)