I was back in the dim lobby. I dropped my arms. The anger from Jared seemed to cling to me like cigarette smoke.
It seemed so real, I had brought my hands up to protect my face from the giant dog. Had I cried out? No one had come to see what was the matter if I had. Of course they had not. Why would they?
Hallucinations were never a good sign. The pen swung against the side of the counter, the chain making soft scrapping sounds that seemed too loud compared to the now muffled sounds of the lobby.
Maybe it was too late, maybe I am already dead and this was purgatory. That theory would make more sense if I had ever been Catholic. In the evangelical branch I grew up in, only heaven and hell were allowed and most everyone was going to hell.
I just wanted to get to my room. I could hear the faint dings and creaks of an old elevator as it ran between floors, but it could not have been coming from the one in the lobby, it sat dark and empty, old fashioned accordion gate open, car still and foreboding. I did not see another, maybe there was one for the employees that was working. It was clear this one was not going anywhere.
Of course my room was on the second floor, I would have to climb the wide stairs that dominated the center of the lobby, like something out of an old movie. I could picture Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard slinking down the carpeted steps rasping her famous line.
“I may not be ready for my close up, but I am ready for nap,” I said to no one. I was too tired to climb after the long walk, but I also didn’t feel like waiting around in this weird half-dark lobby either.
The stairs vanished into darkness before the first landing, so I had to walk slowly, keeping my hand on the rail to make sure I didn’t trip and wind up back in the lobby. I really hoped I would not find a spider or some other unsavory creature in the dark.
My hand brushed something soft, and I had just enough time to register that is was a scarf or some other cloth before the static returned and the electric shock caused me to fall to my knees on the carpeted steps.
I was back in the afternoon lit room of Jerad and Jennifer.