Everything now seemed threatening. They were in the hotel. Or had been. At some point I had accepted that the evil dog like things were real. That was an unsettling thought, but I needed to find somewhere they could not get to me first.
The gluttonous children should have been safe in the middle of hte hotel. How had the things gotten into the coolers? I probably did nt want to know the answer to that.
Behind the counter was a door leading into an office. Just what I was looking for. The room was small, held two large filing cabinets, a desk and a couple of chairs. There was no window, but a decent sized duct looked like a way out if I had to escape quickly. Of course that plan might show that I watch too many movies.
I shut the office door and made my first unpleasant discovery. The door opened out in to the lobby. Blocking it was going to do me no good. I felt the heavy weight of hopelessness on me. My plan was a failure, just like everything else. It was a familiar feeling and part of me wanted to wrap myself in the dark cloud and wallow in my self pity.
Wait, it had a lock on it. That would buy me a little time, and if I put the desk and cabinets in front of it, that would be enough that I should be able to decide what to do next.
The desk and cabinets were extremely heavy and the temptation to give up was strong, but finally I managed to get it to slide a couple of feet. In this tiny room, that was all I needed.
Next I moved the desk at an angle to the cabinet, if anyone tried to move those by pushing them into the room, it would run into the desk, which would in turn only move a couple of inches before running into a wall.
I felt pretty smug about the arrangement. Until I tried to open the vent. I actually had no idea how to get it open, and am not mechanically inclined. My only chance was to find something to pry the cover off the vent.
The cabinets yielded nothing that could be used as a lever, but the desk had a very small metal ruler. It would have to do.
I wedged it between the vent cover and the plaster wall, watching bits of paint and white powder sift down onto the carpet. Slowly, the cover came free and I could see the duct beyond.
Now I wasn’t sure I liked my idea any more. Maybe I was just being silly and should go back up to my room and try to sleep.
It sounded like the front doors being thrown open hard enough to break the glass in the panes. The wind had been picking up, maybe a storm coming in off the lake. Maybe the wind had blown the door open.
Tick, tick, tick. It sounded like a dogs toenails on the floor of the lobby. A very big dog.
I was listening to the sounds out in the lobby so intently that when the phone rang from its place on the floor, I couldn’t help but give a yelp. It was quick, but it was loud. Anyone or anything out in the lobby was going to have heard it. The phone had been dead when I tried it earlier.
Tick, tick, tick. Just outside the door. And then a wet snuffling noise. At the crack under the door, I could see the shadow of something pacing back and forth in front of it.
The sniffing sound came again, followed by a deep breath drawn just under the door, followed by a huffing exhale. I knew it had found me. And I knew exactly what it was. It then did something no dog would have done, it slid a strangely hand like paw under the door and pulled. Cheap plywood splintering under sharp claws.
Thank god it didn’t have thumbs, I thought as I scrambled for my escape route.