The window shattered, glass exploding into the room, tearing through the thick floral curtains. Large shards pierced the wall across the room. A chorus of choked moans sang out beyond the bars of the broken window.
“Fuck! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” Ivan pulled shards of glass from his shoulder and arm.
Ivan raised an unsteady hand towards the window and fired three rounds. “FUCK!”
The door kicked open, ripping free from its hinges in a rain of splinters. A crowd gathered outside the threshold. Malleable men composed of tar stared through beady eyes fixed along their slick frames. Too many eyes overshadowed only by grin locked mouths filled with finger long jagged teeth. A collective giggle rippling through them like an unsettling sound of children drowning in a toxic sea of black.
Ivan and Jack stood dumbfounded and staring. Blood trickled down Ivan’s outstretched and shaking arm, gun aimed towards their alien intruders. Jack held a wooden chair locked over his shoulder unsure whether he’d stand firm, or run screaming like a madman in desperate flight.
Their only exit was blocked. It was a stand off between the two young men from the deserts of California and a nightmarish horde of alien beings. The silence was heavy; the air palpable with fear and hunger. The gun shook uncontrollably in Ivan’s hand.
The greasy man from the lobby pushed his way to the front of the mob. Strings of tar stuck to his coat as he brushed passed the creatures. A wicked wild eyed grin plastered his face. Jack opened his mouth to speak, but only an incoherent grumble issued.
“What? No wise ass comment? No middle finger?” The man said. “No? Well I ain’t got all night, and I promised my friends here a meal. So I’m going to…”
A shot rang out. The back of the man’s head exploded in a spray of blood, bone, and brains. A perfectly aimed shot planted between his eyes. Ivan wish he could believe the shot to be an intentional act of precision, but knew it to be dumb luck. The barrel of the gun trembled in his unsure grip.
The bullet passed through the man’s skull striking a tar creature behind him from an impossible angle. It was as if the bullet had curved to strike down another victim. From the wound in the creature a flame ignited. Fire engulfed it reducing it to ash in a matter of seconds.
The creatures lunged forward, a wave of gurgled hissing and sharply gnashing teeth leaving trails of slick ichor and tar in their wake. Jack brought the chair down hard against the face of the nearest monster. Its head whipped across and locked behind it. Still it pressed forward clawing and hissing.
Jack maneuvered the chair between them and drove the creature back nearly losing his balanced as his shoes slid in the sludge on the floor. With a forceful push the thing was sent sprawling back out the door and over the railing just outside.
A sharp pain fired down Jack’s arm as another creature clamped down on his shoulder with its bear trap jaws. It wrapped its arms around his chest fusing them together into a constricting strap. Red iris eyes gleefully looking up from the slimy strap enjoying the agony play along his face.
Over the thunder of the exploding pistol Ivan cried out to his friend. Three more creatures exploded into burning clouds of ash. A fourth creature melted into a puddle black sludge racing toward Ivan. A hand struck out from the center of the bubbling pool catching Ivan by the throat and pinning him to the wall. A second hand shot out catching his hand before he could get off a round into the melted form.
Ivan wrestled against his binds, but the creature overpowered him. His arm was forced against the wall. The tarred limb fused Ivan’s hand in place, hardening into a heavy plaster. The monster reformed. Foul sickening breath fell hot onto his face. The hand around his throat tightening. Slowly squeezing his windpipe shut.
Jack had been wrestled to the floor. The thing working its jaws into his shoulder and constricting around his arms. He could feel bones splintering. His agonizing cries gave way to a fit of laughter.
Through the strangulation Ivan choked out, “Whatsofunny?”
“H-h-his head! Like a pimple!”
Jack contorted wriggling a hand from his binds. Desperately he pushed his free hand against the thing’s head. Nightmares and visions of axe wielding men running in through the open door played in the tar creatures mind. It released its grip swinging wildly at invisible attackers.
Jack scrambled to his feet picking up the chair and smashing it down on the head of the thing which choked his friend. The creature went down. The chair shattered. He looked at his friend, eyes burning with a white light.
Ivan collapsed to the ground freed from the tar creature’s grip. The world around him felt alive; vibrant. It spoke and communed with him. The ebb and flow of nature called to him from the open door.
Outside heavy black clouds rolled in thundering and exploding in an electrical rage. Nature was alive and speaking to Ivan. He reached out with his mind drawing its energy inward. Lightning shot forth from his hands leaping from creature to creature reducing the remaining beings to ash and dust.
Jack gathered his friend to his feet. “Your eyes!”
Ivan’s eyes glowed with a green light.
“What’s going on?”
“Let’s get out of here. We can figure it out on our way out of this hell.”
Ivan and Jack grabbed their bags and ran out the door.
“Wait!” Jack said running back into the room. He pulled out his lighter and set the sheets of the beds on fire. He ran out rejoining Ivan.
“What did you do?”
“Put an end to this place.”
Together they ran to their car, rain pouring from the sky. Jack peeled out of the parking lot racing towards the interstate.