Friday, April 19, 2013

Room Service

Damian crept over on wary feet. He froze when the knock sounded again, and then closed the last few steps to peer through the peep hole.

Two suited strangers stood on the other side, looking very much like generic government agents, Righty and Lefty. Righty leaned back, bulky arm settling at his side. Lefty rocked back and forth on his feet.

“Who's there?” Damian called out.

“Room service,” Lefty growled.

Righty chuckled.

They do not appear to be employees of the inn, Inigo observed.

No shit, Sherlock, Damian replied.

“I'm sorry, I believe you have the wrong room,” Damian answered.

Righty leaned in toward the door and smiled. His teeth were stained yellow and cracked, gums dark around the edges. Damian involuntarily took a step back. Was that sulfur he smelled?

“Damian Gardner,” Righty said. “No, I believe we have it right. Open the door.”

Though there was a door between them, Damian suddenly felt naked. Wood, metal, or whatever the barrier was made of did not seem to stop the stares. The big men somehow sensed Damian.

Damian closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could feel them out there. Waiting. Watching.

“G-go away,” Damian stammered. “Whatever you're here for, I don't want any part of it.”

“Well that's just too damn bad.”

The door exploded inwards, splinters of the jamb spinning through the air. Damian stumbled back until his knee slammed against something painful, and flipped onto the bed. Had they used a gun? Damian couldn’t recall hearing a blast.

The men strode into the room, eyes burning. Literally. Damian gawked. The irises were orange flames licking against a black background. There was nothing human about them. Panic shot through Damian like electricity arching off a Van de Graaff generator.

He fought with the comforter on the bed, wiggling like a fish in a net. He thrashed about, managing somehow to chuck the two pillows at his pursuers. Lefty swatted one away casually, while Righty slashed the other aside with a knife. A shower of white fluff spurted from the wounded sleeping implement.

A knife! A knife!

There seemed an echo in his brain. No time to worry about that now. We need a weapon. Damian flipped heels over head, rolling across the bed and landing on the other side. His hand darted out and grabbed the first thing it could find. The lamp. He pulled it off the nightstand and held it, burning before him as it if were a wizard's staff, though it was hardly large enough.

The men paused on the far side of the bed, pinning him with those awful eyes. They spread ever-so-slightly in the cramped room – Righty to the right, Lefty to the left – blocking both an escape around the foot of the bed and back across its disheveled surface. A crazed psychosis overcame Damian just then, and he embraced it, saying the first thing that came to his mind.

“You shall not pass!” he bellowed.

Lefty cocked his head and took a step forward. Righty just laughed.


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