“Where is everyone?” This was getting absurd. After that nerve wracking walk through the freakishly silent woods I was ready to get a room, take a shower, and go to sleep. I would worry about the car tomorrow. I banged the little bell on the reception desk again. It gave off a weak ding-ding but failed to summon a clerk
The lighting in the lobby was terrible, the lamps gave off only enough light to create islands of amber warmth in the whispering shadows. Whispering? I felt my skin crawl, there was a faint sound like low voices in another room. Where was everyone? I could smell food and hear kids playing as I trudged my way to the main building, but I had not seen anyone.
“Hello,” I called. “Hello, I need to check in, please.” Nothing.
I’ve never been known for my patience and this day had used up whatever little bit I had ever had. I leaned over the high desk and looked at the papers on the counter.
There my name was, right on top, it even had a room number listed. Randal Gentry – Rm. 213 was printed across the top of the sheet with a key taped to it. At the bottom of the page I could see today’s date and a time were written. It said
“Time of check in: 5:29pm. Expected check out: – …” I looked at my watch just as it registered 5:29.
This place is so weird, but I grabbed the paper with the key taped to it. Since no one had seen fit to come acknowledge me out here, I decided it would be OK if I went on up to my room. Improbably, they had the correct check in time. “I would have to find a manger to to talk to tomorrow morning.
The register lay in front of me on the high counter, and the last name on the list was Jared Miller. The handwriting is sharp, angular, almost angry looking. Someone else was not happy with the service either, I thought to myself as I reached for the pen to add my name underneath Jared’s.
“What the-” I didn’t get to finish the statement before a wave of sound like static on the television swept over me and a jolt like a short in a string of Christmas tree lights made the world go gray around the edges. It was almost like fainting, and for a moment I was afraid I was about to pass out. The buzzing sound increased. I was not standing in the hotel lobby any longer, late afternoon sun slanted through the windows of a hotel room.