Chorpus Christi Convenience Store, Two Days after the Hastur Incident
The doors to the convenience store opened with a chime and Quinzen entered, enjoying the cooler air. While he’d always hated the winter weather, he’d gotten used to the climate of the Northern USA and had not yet gotten used to the surprisingly summer-like weather of Southern Texas.
Soon I’ll be past the border though. Then I’ll have me some proper beach weather, and some beach girls, he thought as he collected his groceries. Only twenty-four hours and he’d be on an unregistered boat south to Brazil, specifically the small sea-side mansion he’d bought with some of the money he’d made from the Hastur deal.
Those idiots never knew what they were buyin’.
He got his groceries and walked to the cash register, where he got in line just before a tall guy in some seriously retro clothing.
“Excuse me, Sir,” said a cultured New England voice from behind.
“What’s it?” he asked as he turned around, expecting some complaint about cutting in line.
He looked at the tallish, pale guy behind him. He was wearing one of those old-man hats whose name he could never remember, the ones you saw old people wear in movies a lot, an old tweed blazer and some seriously old-school pants and leather shoes. The stuff actually looked like it had been made back in the twenties or something. The only thing that didn’t fit the style were his eyes – so dark blue of colour, they almost looked purple.
“You dropped this, Sir,” he said, holding out his wallet.
“Oh, thank you!” Quinzen replied. He took the wallet, positively surprised.
“Not a problem Sir. Just be careful, there’s a lot of pickpockets around here,” the young man said with an easy smile – that somehow made Quinzen’s hair stand on edge.
“Yes… sure. Thank you.” He turned around again, trying to ignore the feeling of danger. Trying not to make it too obvious, he checked his wallet and found nothing missing. Phew.
Still, he felt really unnerved now, and paid quite quickly so he’d get back to his hotel room behind the security he’d paid for.
He left the shop and hurried home, his earlier excitement for tomorrow gone and replaced with nervousness he couldn’t explain. The guy hadn’t been that strange, really.
Yet he kept looking over his shoulder, even once he was back in the hotel.
* * *
Three glasses of good Bourbon whiskey got him back in a better mood. He’d also taken a shower and changed into a fluffy bathrobe, and was now reclining on his sofa, getting his rod worked on by a girl the hotel provided (they were quite acommodating).
Ah, nothing like a good whiskey and a good blowjob to relax again.
He leaned back, sinking into the soft cushions as the girl – he’d paid extra to get an eighteen-year-old – worked for her money, relaxing, his eyes closing…
* * *
He woke up with a start when he suddenly felt cold. Really cold.
“Jesus, what the fuck!?” Jumping up from the sofa, he closed his bathrobe, rubbing his member clean of the cold saliva. He looked around for the bitch he’d paid for, but she was nowhere to be seen.
It was dark outside, and all his windows were leaning open, plus his air conditioner had been turned to absolute cold. All the lights were off, too.
“Shitshitshit, I’ll lodge one hell of a complaint!”
He walked over to the lightswitch – but then he screamed when his toe stubbed the coffee table… which hadn’t been in that place before.
He stumbled, holding his foot as he almost fell down. By the time he’d recovered enough to put his foot down again, the temperature had dropped even more.
Turning on the lights, he ran over to the windows and closed them, then turned the air conditioner up to full heat. “Wait till I find this bitch! I’ll spank her till her ass is glowing red!”
He went over to the phone and picked it up, dialing the reception… but the phone made no sound. What the fuck? He called again. Nothing. He tried calling his own cellphone. Nothing.
Oh fuck, oh fuck!
He ran to the door and tried to open it, but it was locked! Taking the key from his jacket nearby, he tried to open the lock, but it was stuck, too!
“Fuckfuckfuck!” And it’s still bleedin’ ass cold! Not that that was his main problem right now.
Deciding that he had to get dressed first, he went to his dresser – but he found it locked. The key was still there, though, so he opened it… and found it empty. “Mother-Fucker!” He slammed the doors shut and looked for the clothes he’d discarded earlier, but the laundry bin had already been emptied. “Fuck!”
What the hell am I doing? I need to get my gun!
He ran to his leather suitcase, where he stored his gun in. Opening it, he sighed, relieved to see that the gun was still there. Checking it, he found it still loaded, and he could release the safety.
“Whoever’s responsible better be bulletproof, ’cause I’m shootin’ now!” he shouted, looking around.
Then the lights went out again.
He whirled around, pointing his gun in the direction of the lightswitch and pulled the trigger…
But there was noone there – the moonlight let him see enough to tell that.
It also let him see easily that he wasn’t holding his gun.
Looking around, panicked, he saw it on the moonlight, taken apart, the cleaning kit layed out for some proper cleaning.
What the fuck!?
Just when he was already close to screaming, his whole body thrummed as a sound hit him – a sound like a gigantic heart, beating so low and slow it made his every bone vibrate in a way that would have made his genitals shrink if they weren’t already half frozen.
“Nonononono…” He turned to the door. He had to break out of here, now.
Bracing himself, he ran towards the door, fully intending to break it open.
He ran from the living area of the hotel suite into the small hallway that connected the bedroom, the bathroom and the living room. When he was halfway through the hallway, he put his left shoulder forward, aimed for the door, charging…
After a while, he stopped – he was still in the middle of the hallway.
“Oh God, what the hell is going on, what is going on?” The thrumming beat was still shaking him, making him more and more nervous. And it was so damn cold.
He turned around and ran back to the living room…
Nothing. He was still stuck in the same spot, even though he was already breathing hard. As if he’d run several laps around a football field.
What the fuuuuuuuck.
“Help! HELP!” he screamed at the top of his lungs. No response.
“HELP! HELP, I NEED HELP, PLEASE!”
The thrumming got louder as even the moonlight faded away, the hallway growing darker and darker…
No, that wasn’t right. The living room was moving away. It was just a spot of light in the distance now… then only a single point… then nothing.
He was alone. In utter darkness.
“Please, please, please, don’t hurt me,” he sobbed, collapsing onto the floor. “Please, I have money, I can pay you, pay you lots of money, I have friends, they can pay more, I’m very valuable, please…”
The thrumming faded away, leaving him alone… in silence. Darkness. Emptiness. It wasn’t even cold anymore, there was just… nothing.
“Please, please,” he sobbed, curling up.
Then, a deeper shadow formed in front of him, rising up from the ground, a shadow so black it seemed to haunt the darkness itself. The shadow bent over him, as blood-red eyes emerged on it.
“Tell me, boy… Are you afraid of The Dark?”