Angels and Demons: 3
Once again Sam found himself staring out of the window of a moving vehicle, watching the lush greenery moving past him. Once again he registered very little of the beauty that passed his line of sight.
He was trying to make sense of everything that had happened that night and everything that had been happening to him the last few days. But he found, for some reason, he couldn’t remember any of it. Even the image of Jess’ burnt body, which he once feared would be seared into his mind, seemed lost. It was as if his mind was already moving on.
Try as he may, there was a gentle mist that shrouded everything bad that had happened.
All his mind could recollect was the time he had spent at the waterfall, gazing at the stars, and walking through a beautiful and magical forest, twice, with Alice.
At that, he tried to turn around and look at Alice. But he couldn’t turn his head all the way. Instead of seeing her, he found his face brushing against the soft strands on the top of her head. He felt her hair against his skin; almost tasted it. He closed his eyes for a second.
Alice cuddled up to him almost as soon as they had gotten on the greyhound, resting her head on his shoulders. She must have been sleeping or about to go to sleep when he had disturbed her. Sam felt bad about that.
He felt worse about getting her involved in whatever it was that he had gotten himself into.
Sam tried to take a quick glance around at the faces in the bus, which was quite well crowded, even this late into the night. But Alice restricted his gaze considerably, and most of the faces that he could see were hidden behind the tall headrests. He wondered if these people were just like him, just like the others here.
‘Seekers of shelter and security’.
He wondered about the troubles they were trying escape. But he found his mind was unwilling to linger too long on the topic. Instead, the same mist seems to flood in over those thoughts.
He was quite surprised that they were able to even find something to take them to town. He had not quite planned what he was going to do once he stepped out of the gate. Everything he had done was on a whim. Even now, he had no clear idea how he planned on achieving his goals. All he knew was what he wanted…and that was explanations. He had a plan on getting that…at least a hope.
The hotel, as it were, was not situated against the main highway. Instead, they had to travel a considerable distance on foot along the gravel roadway running through a forest.
It would seem that the hotel itself was isolated from the rest of this world. Shielded from the eyes of all but those who came seeking it. Sam found no signs or boards or any other indication that it existed on the main road. The gravel roadway they had travelled through, the only thing to even show that something man-made existed beyond the thick forest, was also well hidden from curious eyes.
Sam hated the fact that Alice had to walk the distance on bare feet; which was why he was glad when the greyhound had stopped to pick them up.
Strangely though he didn’t remember seeing a bus stand.
Sam felt Alice stirring next to him and he turned to find her looking up confused and dazed. She still looked drowsy and tired. But more disappointedly, she had lost all signs of the cheeriness and joy that was there before. The smile that seemed etched permanently on her face, at one point, was gone without a trace. It hurt Sam to think that this was because of him.
She reached across him towards the window, and Sam moved back as much as he could to allow her space. But her body still brushed against his and he found himself smothered in feelings.
She pulled back and turned towards him. He stood frozen in his gaze, away from her, for a few seconds before he turned towards her.
“We are here,” she said, without any indication that she noticed his discomfort. And then, without another word, she got up and started making towards the front of the bus. It was only then that he noticed that she was dressed only in a flimsy silver-grey nightgown.