Chapter 6 (3)
Sam turned, his fist raised ready to punch the blue-eyed girl, but then froze when a scream greeted him.
Sam found himself staring at two troubled hazel brown eyes.
“Alice!” he remarked almost involuntarily
“Sam what is going on, what are you doing here?” she asked. Her smile was gone and so was the joy that was there before.
Sam turned away from her towards the two guards.
“There is no time to explain,” he said and grabbed her wrist.
He turned towards the doorway and rushed out; dragging Alice behind him.
He paused halfway down the marble pathway as the two behemoths had already reached the steps leading up to the walkway.
He turned around him and then dragged Alice towards the side. Over the small and intricately carved parapet wall. Clearing it in a single bound.
Fortunately, he heard Alice’s feet splashing on to the water of the small moat that ran around the hotel walls. He hadn’t realized what risk he was taking just leaping like that with the poor girl dragging behind him until he felt the relief at the sound of the splash.
However, he didn’t have the time to look back and make sure she was OK.
Instead, he pushed on.
The two guards were already turning away from the walkway and towards them.
He wanted to run. But, even though the water was just ankle deep, the bottom of the moat was very slippery. He didn’t want to take a risk of Alice falling down and hitting her head on the edges of the moat.
So he slowly waded through the moat until he reached the other end.
Fortunately, the two guards didn’t seem to be in a hurry to reach them. So Sam and Alice managed to reach the other end before the guards reached them.
By the time Alice was over the sides of the moat, however, the guards were on to them.
Now, up close and personal, Sam could get a good look at the two. Though he wished he hadn’t. There was nothing different about them at first glance. But, in his state, Sam saw everything with unnatural clarity. And he saw that the men’s faces were inhumanly calm and still. But more importantly, their eyes were ghostly pale; not demonic white but still inhuman.
From the way they moved and reacted, it hit him.
They were mindless drones. Created to do the heavy lifting.
However, even with their stiff movements, Sam barely survived a wild thrashing from one of the zombie guards. He ducked as the massive hand swung hard at him. The wind that it created struck him as hard as a slap.
The creature let out a heavy moan as it missed.
Sam didn’t want to give it a second chance to get him.
Still holding Alice, he rushed down the gravel roadway towards the massive gates. Running as fast as he could without putting too much strain on Alice.
As he ran, however, he couldn’t help but notice that it was, in fact, a moonless night. The only light came from the stars above.
The guards continued to amble along after them and they managed to reach the gates without any further troubles.
He stared at the heavy wrought iron gates, stretching high above him. Then turned towards Alice and the distant guards.
“We need to climb this,” he said and then turned down at her feet. He realized that she was still barefoot. Sam felt like an idiot. He made her run through the gravel and didn’t even bother to make sure she had some kind of footwear. The hard pebbles must have caused much pain on her soft soles.
He then turned towards the wrought iron gate. It was unlike most gates of its type. It had an iron back that prevented anyone from seeing what lay beyond. He wondered if it was meant to prevent those outside to see in or those inside from seeing out. But whatever its purpose there was an obvious problem. There was not much foot space between the heavy iron body and the iron carvings. What space there was there were a few sharp edges close together that could cause trouble for her soft bare skin.
‘How could he ask her to climb this?’
“Sam,” she said as he turned back to her. She must have sensed his dilemma because she immediately turned and walked towards the gate.
Sam wanted to stop her but he couldn’t find the words to say anything.
However, he found himself even more speechless as she, instead of climbing the gate, merely pushed them open.
“This is not the Hotel California,” she said as Sam stared at the open gates and the world beyond. His eyes open wide, surprised.