High-tailing it out of the convenience store, Carmen couldn’t help but wonder if she should have stayed for a moment to search out that case of bottled water. At the threshold of the shop, she stopped, hesitated. Torn between safety and fresh water, she chose safety, knowing they’d only be able to carry the case so far before it would weigh them down needlessly.
Carmen answered Doug swiftly and without hesitation, “Left. Away from the freaks in the apartments and the creatures we saw on the streets.”
They turned in concert, not stopping to see what may be in front of them. If they needed to readjust, they would in time, but the desire to get away plagued the both of them.
“Do we have a plan?”
“Yes Doug. We’re going to find a safe place to hole up for the night. Then re-evaluate in the morning.” She hated being short with him, but simple directions got the results she needed in perilous situations.
Coming to the end of the road they were on, they spied a large hotel in front of them. All of the windows appeared intact, making them wonder if protection could be found beyond its walls. The shared a look before advancing to the front door.
The glass panelled revolving door was stuck, but the door beside it opened with ease. Taking a moment to turn the lock behind them, Carmen and Doug made their way deeper inside.
The interior smelled musty, the stench rife with disuse. No decay fought for space in their noses and the pair found it to be a good sign. If the building was overrun with monsters, the smell would have been unbearable.
The passed the check-in desk, items left in place as is someone were going to step back into place in mere seconds. It was eerie, like the lobby had been frozen in time without the people who once inhabited it present.
“It looks like they had warning…” Doug spoke, his voice echoing off the granite floors and plaster walls.
“They were lucky then. Not many of us had more than a brief emergency message on the television before that cut off too.”
“I know. I was there. Remember?” Carmen was a bit taken aback by Doug’s tone, his last statement delivered with a just a bit more snark than she appreciated.
“Yes Doug, you were. I’m sorry.” It was easier to just placate him when he got into one of his moods.
They moved through the lobby, coming to the bank of elevators that once carried guests up and down. Spying the note, Doug spoke first, “What do you make of this?”
“It says: Don’t use the lift. I would assume someone from the hotel left it to warn people from trying to get on the elevators.” It was the obvious answer and Carmen felt obliged to give it. Steeling herself against the look Doug gave her, she continued, “Let’s go see if we can’t find a room to spend the night in. It’s going to get dark soon anyway and I don’t see a need for us to continue looking when there are a wealth of rooms where we are.”
All rights reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow