“Fuck off, we’re sleeping!”
Ivan looked at Jack wide eyed and astonished. Jack shrugged in reply to the unspoken question burning in Ivan’s glare. Both of them returned to their uneasy silent staring contest with the door. Silence, broken only by their quieted breaths, hung tenuously over them.
“Maybe he’s gone?” Ivan whispered.
“Go look out the peephole.”
“Go look out the peephole.”
“No, I heard you. I meant, fuck you dude.”
“No way. You’re the one that made us stay here.”
“Yeah, but you have the gun and found the cursed money.”
“I hate you. So. Much.”
With exaggerated slow and intentional movements, Ivan removed his satchel and slipped out the gun. Step by painfully cautious step, holding his breath, he crept towards the door. The safety gave an audible click as he made the gun ready to fire; an index finger rested along the trigger guard, and the weapon aimed down and away from him.
The gun trembled slightly in his grip. He was suddenly conscious of it’s full weight, and though he knew he would use it if the situation warranted, he wondered if he’d be able to hit his mark. It had been years since he fired a real gun. Even then, it had been in the controlled environment of a shooting range, and the targets were harmless.
Reaching the door had taken only a few moments, but Ivan felt as if he had crossed an eternity. His gaze held the door while he mustered the courage to look through the peephole. He steadied himself with a deep breath in through the nostrils and exhaling quietly through his lips.
He leaned close enough to look through the peephole. Nothing. No one stood outside their door. Only a fishbowl view of the empty space outside their room.
Ivan put the safety on the gun and rested his forehead against the door breathing a heavy sigh of relief.
“No one’s there. They must have believed you when you told them we were sleeping.”
“Who was it?”
“Maid service?” Ivan turned towards Jack.
“Not likely.” Jack gestured around the filthy room.
Two solid strikes slammed the door. Ivan jumped forward and turned towards the door startled. The door rattled against the frame interrupted intermittently by a forceful slam against the door causing it to jump against its hinges.
Ivan raised the gun instinctively taking off the safety as he stepped back towards the main room where Jack now stood holding a wooden chair ready to strike. The door rattled and jumped violently against its frame.
“I thought you said there wasn’t anyone there!” Jack yelled over the beating door.
“You need your eyes checked!”
“If we die, I am going to irritate the shit out of you for all eternity.”
“I’d have it no other way dude!”
Just as soon as the banging started, it stopped. The lights in the room flickered and went out. Deafening white noise cut through the air filling the room with a blue hue radiating from the static filled television turning on under its own power.
“What the fuck!?” Ivan swung around gun aimed towards the television.
Jack reached into his pocket drawing out Zippo lighter and igniting it in one fluid motion. He grabbed the television remote from the night stand pressing the mute button. The word “MUTE” in bold green letters appeared in the corner of the screen. The white noise played defiantly through the speakers.
Ivan went for the television plug.
“Uhh…Jack?” Ivan held up the power cord. It had been unplugged from the outlet. The television remained alive with static.
The phone on the nightstand rung drawing their attention.
“It’s for you, Jack.”
“Nope. Not answering it. You get it.”
“Nope! I checked the door. Your turn.”
“Dammit.” Jack set down the chair and reached for the ringing phone. “H-hello?”
“Open the door. Open the goddamn door.” It was the grizzled voice of the sleazy receptionist.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Open the door! Open the goddamn door!”
Banging sounded again at the door. It rattled violently against the sound of a heavy fist slamming on the other side.
“Jack! Who is it?”
“That asshole from downstairs quoting the Doors.”
“Shit!” Ivan pointed the gun down the short hall towards the door leading to the outside. “W-who’s there? I will shoot your ass!”
The banging grew louder. Ivan swallowed hard. He trembled, but stood his ground, his fingertip finding the trigger. He squeezed the trigger twice in rapid succession putting two holes dead center in the door. The rattling stopped and the television shut off. Jack dropped the phone.
“The phone just went dead.” Jack’s eyes locked on the holes in the door.
Ivan stood silent still trembling.
“Y-you okay?” Jack could hear his own heart beating like a drum in his ears. The lights in the room flickered to life.
“Did I…did I kill him?”
“No.” Ivan’s voice was barely above a whisper.
“How about we look?”
Ivan nodded and followed Jack to the door, gun still held at the ready. Jack peered through bullet holes. He could see nothing but darkness. The outside lights had gone out. His shaky hands forced him to wrestle with the locks before he could open the door.
Nothing. No one. No body. Not even a trail of blood to be found. Only a scorch mark on the walkway and the railing over looking the parking lot. It was as if someone had lit off an explosive device right outside their door. The mark centered where Ivan had discharged his weapon.
“Nope! Back inside! Get your things. We’re leaving.” Jack walked back inside staying well clear of the gun in Ivan’s extended hands. He closed and locked the door and rushed over to the bed where he began to pack in a hurry.
Ivan let out a heavy breath and lowered the weapon. “What’s going on?”
“Don’t know. Don’t care. A high speed chase would be better than this.”