Tory’s hand squeezed firmly around Paul’s arm. He flinched and was about to say something when he noticed Tory’s wide-eyed expression. She quickly glanced towards the towering man and Paul until he was able to get the hint. Paul and Tory started following Jebediah towards the stairs as Paul quickly glanced back towards Dorothy.
“Enjoy your night dear,” she said as she watched them leave up the stairway.
“Your room is just ahead at the end of the hallway. They reached the familiar wooden door with the brass door handle and waited for Jebediah to open the room. He slid a blackened steel key into the keyhole and unlocked room 203. He slowly made his way inside and placed their luggage by the bed. He stood in place and waved his arm, welcoming them inside.
“Here we have the remote to the television. There are no phones inside the room, we apologize for the inconvenience. The restroom is back down the hall to the right. If you need anything, anything at all, please feel free to ring the bell at the desk downstairs. Dorothy is always on call,” he said as he made his way out the room and closed the door behind him.
Tory and Paul looked at each other and before he could get a word out Tory started motioning towards the door with her index finger.
“That was him! That was the man I saw in this room! Oh God, what are we going to do?” asked Tory.
Paul was pacing back and forth around the room, running his fingers through his hair. He mumbled something under his breath and looked up at Tory.
“We need to go. If you are 100% sure that was him, we need to go right now. Let’s use the phone that’s downstairs and call the cops. They can sort all this out,” replied Paul.
Tory nodded her head in agreement. She walked over to the door and placed her left ear to the wood. She heard nothing but silence on the other side. She looked back at Paul and motioned for him to follow her.
“Let me go first,” he said as he turned the door handle and they stepped into the hallway.
There was a dim light bulb illuminating the hallway on a small table by the window. They made their way across the hallway and found themselves at the top of the stairs. Paul peeked downstairs, no sign of the towering man.
“Okay, let’s go,” he motioned as he started down the stairs.
They reached the front desk and looked around for a phone to use. They saw an ivory colored rotary phone located on top of the desk by the check in computer. Paul reached over and placed it on the lobby countertop facing them.
“Oh no, it’s locked,” whispered Paul.
“What do you mean it’s locked? Let me see,” whispered Tory.
Paul moved out of the way while scanning the stairway and the hall that led to the end of the home. Tory tried to move the dial to make a phone call, but the lock prevented her from doing so.
“I guess we’ll have to wake her or leave. What do you think?” asked Tory.
“Let’s go get our car keys and-,” said Paul as the sound of a creaking door stopped him mid-sentence.
“Oh my, are you all alright?” asked Dorothy as she stepped out of the doorway behind the lobby desk in her nightgown and robe.
“We are so sorry to wake you. We were trying to make a phone call and didn’t want to disturb you,” said Tory.
“Let me get the key for you. Who were you trying to call at this hour?” asked Dorothy.
Tory hesitated before she answered Dorothy. She leaned in over the countertop and whispered.
“The man that took us to our room. I saw him inside that room earlier and it looked like he had done something to a woman in there. We need to contact the authorities,” said Tory.
“Oh dear, are you sure that’s what you saw? Jebediah has worked for me for many years and I’ve never had so much as a complaint against him. But if it’ll make you feel better, I guess you can have the sheriff come out. Let me get the key dear,” said Dorothy.
Dorothy disappeared back into her backroom to retrieve the key. After a few minutes she reappeared with a silver key in hand.
“Sorry about that, I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my body,” said Dorothy as she unlocked the phone and placed it back on the countertop.
Tory picked up the receiver and placed it to her ear.
“Excuse me, there’s no dial tone,” stated Tory.
“Be a dear and see if you can help this lovely couple dear,” said Dorothy as she smiled and looked past Tory and Paul.
The towering man was feet away from them, glaring at them without blinking.
“My pleasure mom,” he said as he lunged past Paul and reached out to grab Tory.
“Tory run!” screamed Paul as he pushed Jebediah out of the way.
Tory ran towards the front door only to find a locked steel door in her way. She shook the doorknob trying to force it open.
“You won’t find a way out that way dear,” said Dorothy.
The towering man laughed as he struck Paul across the face with a closed fist and watched him stumbled to the ground. He turned his attention back towards Tory.
“Let’s play,” he said as he started towards her.
Tory ran around the sofa that was in the lobby and grabbed a lamp that was on a side table. She pulled it firmly and ripped the plugged wire from its outlet. Tory launched the lamp towards the towering man’s head as she continued to run towards the stairs. The lamp shattered upon making contact against his face.
“Get her! She’s getting away!” screamed Dorothy.
Jebediah grabbed his brow where the lamp had struck him. He pulled his hand away and examined the blood on his fingertips.
“No!” he screamed as he lumbered towards the staircase.
Tory had made her way to the top of the stairs and was running down the hall, banging on the 3 other doors that lined the hallway. No one answered.
She made it to the end of the hallway again. Back to the door that started it all, room 203. She looked back, trying to find an escape from this nightmare. She saw the shadow of the towering man at the end of the hallway.
“There’s nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. No one to save you,” said the towering man as he started running towards her.
Tory ran through the doorway to room 203 and locked the door behind her. She leaned against the door and closed her eyes awaiting the impact that was to come. The seconds ticked by like an eternity, but the silence filled the air. She opened her eyes and inhaled a breath of fresh air. She no longer heard the footsteps of the towering man, no longer heard the screams of a lunatic.
She kneeled in front of the door and slowly lowered her eye to the keyhole. He was no longer in the hallway. Now was her chance.
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