Read the vampire novels for free online...

#1: Rebirth - About - Go to Chapter 1

#2: The Rising - About - Go to Chapter 1

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Rising - Chapter 42: The Cliffside Hotel

The small town of Blackchapel sat high in the mountains, far from the interference of the big city. Its main function was as a stop-off point for hikers, mountain climbers and those making their way up to the ski slopes in the winter.

It’s definitely not skiing weather today, Dave thought as the first heavy drops of rain rattled off his car. The wipers were going at full speed as he turned his car into the car park of the Cliffside Hotel, an impressive structure with a large wooden entrance that gave it the look of an over-sized ski lodge. Overlooking the foggy depths on the opposite side of the road, it was an unexpected, imposing sight on a road that had been empty for miles.

Blackchapel was a town based solely on one side of the road. Just down from the hotel were a bar and a convenience store with apartments above and a filling station at the end of the row of buildings. Driving fast enough along the mountain road you could blink and almost miss the whole town.

At nine o’clock in the morning, Dave assumed correctly that the bar would be closed and instead decided to head for the hotel entrance. The wind outside made the rain pour into the car as soon as he opened the door. Dave jumped out, ran across the car park and up the steps to the revolving doors that led him into the hotel reception. He did his best to shake the rain off his jacket and what hair hadn’t receded from the top of his shiny head.

A young man in a red jacket approached him. ‘Hello, sir. Welcome to the Cliffside Hotel. I am the concierge. Can I take your bags?’

Erm… no thanks. I haven’t got any. Just passing through.’

Passing through, sir? Are you visiting friends?’

Something like that, yes. Do you have a room free?’

Of course, sir. We’re out of season now until the winter. The weather’s turning so I don’t think the few visitors we’ve had here over the last few nights will be staying long. Please come over to the desk.’

The young man escorted Dave to the reception desk and walked round to the other side. Dave cast his eyes round the amber-lit reception hall and noticed that he and the concierge were alone.

You’re right. It’s quiet here today. Is there no one else working here?’

Not at the front desk, sir. Just me today.’

Must be slow out of season.’

No, sir. Actually, the Morningside Mall rents out a lot of the rooms during the quiet season for the staff that work the night shifts.’

The Morningside Mall? That’s pretty far away, isn’t it?’

It is, but there’s a bus that picks the staff up and brings them home. They’ll be back here very soon, actually.’

I suppose I’d better get my head down if I want some rest, then.’

No, don’t worry. They usually just sleep through the day.’

Are the workers from round here?’ Dave asked, expecting a shifty look to confirm his suspicions that the mall workers were illegal immigrants.

Yes sir. They’ve lived round here for a long time.’

Dave thought it was odd that a mall would rent out a hotel for its workers but not being an expert in the leisure industry, he shrugged it off.

Can you give me a room with a view of the road and the mountains?’

The concierge looked at Dave a little funny. He picked a set of keys off a numbered hook behind him and handed them to him. ‘Here you go, sir. Room two-thirteen. Perfect view of the road. And the mountains of course. Take the elevator to the second floor then take a left and follow the signs.’

Thanks,’ said Dave and made his way to the elevator.

The silence of the hotel was eerie. There wasn’t even any muzak playing in the elevator to put his mind at ease. He got out of the elevator and made his way towards room two-thirteen. The floor creaked under his feet. He reached the door to his room and looked up and down the long corridor to his left and right.

No one. No movement. Not a sound.

The whole place made him feel uneasy and he felt a sense of relief as he entered the room and shut the door. The bed, desk and chair in the corner made the room look just like any other hotel room he had ever stayed in but it didn’t feel them same. Dave locked the door behind him.

He walked over to the window and threw the curtains open. Just as the concierge had said, he had a perfect view of the road. The wind was blowing the rain away from the hotel so there would be no problem spotting the black car belonging to Doctor Forrest, should it return to Blackchapel.

Dave pulled the chair away from the desk and sat himself down by the window. He grabbed the remote and turned the TV to a news channel, just to have some background noise and cast his gaze towards the road.

The car had better return soon. This place is freaking me out.

Buy Rebirth and The Rising in print

Amazon: $16.95

Amazon: $19.95

Amazon: £7.99
Play: £7.99

Amazon: £9.50
Play: £9.49

No comments: