Hotel California: 2
It was John’s idea for them to leave the neighborhood. ‘To go on holiday’, somewhere nice; somewhere far. He had a suspicion that the idea may have been planted by someone else. Maybe it would have suggested that it would do the Winchesters good to be far away from ‘the Johnsons’. Your normal everyday neighbors from down the street.
Maybe his dad really believed that the distance would do him good. And maybe it would. But then Sam couldn’t stop thinking of the two demons living in their neighborhood. Acting as if it was the most normal thing.
‘What was going on here?’ he wondered.
’How could demons live in the same neighborhood as them and yet not be considered a threat?’
As he stared out of his mother’s Dodge Caravan, watching the world go past, he almost felt like a normal kid. But then he had no real experience of normal. Nor was he actually watching the world go by. The feeling though struck him for some reason. But only for a short while, before his mind once again drifted back to the thoughts that had consumed him before.
He saw nothing of the beauty that lay beyond. He barely noticed the green meadows or the distant grey mountains that went past his eyes.
“Sam, we’re here?” Jess said, breaking his thoughts and bringing him crashing back.
They were the first words she had spoken to him since morning. They had sat together through the whole ride and yet they didn’t even look at each other, let alone speak. But then, no one had. Or at least, he had not heard any chatter through the entire journey.
As he stepped down from the Dodge he looked around him. Trying to figure out where they were. He hadn’t paid much attention to where they were going. But he did see enough to know they were still within the city, or wherever it was that they were in. He hadn’t seen any boards or signs to say that they had crossed city limits; which made him wonder just how large this city was.
“Good Morning!” said a very cheery voice, emphasizing each word spoken. Greeting them barely a couple of minutes after they had set foot on to the pebbled path.
Sam turned his attention away from the heavy iron gateway they had come through. He had been trying to get a good glimpse of the top of the towering white stone walls that stretched out from either side of the gate. Half expecting, or even hoping, to see metal spikes. But the sun got in his way.
The grounds that expanded from beyond the pebbled pathway seemed endless. Just like the white stone wall.
“Welcome to Elysium Falls Hotel” the young girl continued in her musical voice.
More than her blue eyes, which seemed almost to glow like blue sapphires as she spoke, he was captivated by the wide smile that was on her face. It gave her whole fair skin almost an ethereal glow. She reminded him of Becky Rosen. Though the girl had a more commercial beauty and her locks more alike actual spun gold. Still, maybe her smile was the reason for the sense of déjà vu he felt.
When the girl spoke it was captivating and she seems to almost sing every word she said. He found himself fascinated by the marble angel that stood at the centre of the fountain, and the small green hill with its ring of coloured flowers that it stood upon. He was enthralled by its history for some reason.
After she was done showing them the fountain, which he had somehow missed on the way in, two more beautiful girls came, with the same bright blue eyes and glowing skin, and handed them warm towels and drinks.
Dean was enjoying the moment until he received a slap from Lisa, which made Sam smile. And as he smiled, he thought he saw Jess looking at him for the first time. So he tried to keep that same smile on his face. She looked confused. She was struggling with something, he could tell.
The bellhops that followed the girls took their luggage and their hostess led them into the hotel.
As she led them into the hotel, she described every inch of it, its design and its history. And Sam found himself listening and watching with equal awe as the rest of them.
The hotel, he recognized for the first time, was shaped like a tower that seemed to stretch forever, like a finger pointed heavenwards. Or more accurately an uncurled ribbon lying on itself.
She described the marble walkway that led towards the heavy oak doorway, which, like the rest of the hotel was larger than was necessary. She described the lobby beyond the doorway, pointed out the intricate carvings of angels on the walls, the flowers and laurels that flowed out from their trumpets forming borders. She even described the tall arched windows through which the sunlight fell and filled the lobby with a heavenly brightness. She described the furnishings and fittings as if she was a realtor trying to close a deal.
Sam should have found all this strange, if not for the fact that he was too busy following her images.
This was definitely not one of the many motels that they were used to staying in.
The girls seemed to enjoy the sights before them, even Ben was all smiles. For a moment even Sam found himself taken by the hotel.
He turned to Dean, who himself had a smile on his face. But when he saw Sam looking at him that smile faded and a gloom crossed his face. Dean quickly turned away and grabbed Lisa’s hand, as their hostess continued to lead them further into the hotel.
The elevator took them to the fifteenth floor of the hotel and to suite #1536.
She had already described the suite even before the elevator doors opened and they got a glimpse of it.
The suite itself didn’t disappoint. Just like the hotel, there was nothing small or simple about it.
She pointed out the living area that was visible the minute they stepped out. She went into minute details about everything; the living area at the very centre of the suite, with its plush couches and sofas. The entertainment area, the dining table and everything more. It seemed she had not missed anything that could possibly be there.
And as Sam made towards the huge pane windows on the other side of the suite, she described the view beyond. Sam found himself captivated by the sight of Elysium falls and the beautiful scenic wonder of the surrounding grounds. But more importantly, Sam was taken by the sheer magnitude of the area beyond those windows:
The hotel grounds seemed to go on forever.
‘How is this place possible?’
“Well, I hope you enjoy your suite. You will find your individual rooms on either ends and a few private rooms in case you want to do something more private” their hostess said and had a few laughs to herself. She then described every room, again in minute details, and then finally left them to their selves. Leaving the card keys for their suite on the coffee table at the centre of the suite.
Nobody gave each other even a casual glance, as they were too busy taking in the suite itself.
Then they scattered around exploring.
Eventually, Sam followed Jess into their room, while the others went to their own. Their bedroom itself was as opulent as the rest of the hotel.
“Want to forget our home and just live here?” asked Sam as he dropped down on to the bed.
Jess looked at him for a few seconds but didn’t say anything. She then turned away and started exploring their room.
“I don’t mean the hotel, or even the suite, I mean this room,” Sam said as Jess continued to ignore him.
His eyes followed her as she went from cupboard to desk, to TV stand, to the pantry and the rest. She never once turned in his general direction.
“I mean this place has practically everything we would ever need. We could just spend the rest of our lives here without ever leaving. I am pretty sure there is a grocery store somewhere inside here.”
“No,” she said, as she opened the walk-in cupboard, already stacked with their clothes. From where Sam rested he could see the inside of the thing and it seemed to him that it had just about enough room for everything they brought and more.
Jess closed the cupboard doors and turned towards him finally. She then raised a pamphlet to him.
“They have a grocery store downstairs that delivers,” she said and smiled. Sam smiled back and the both of them had a good laugh.
Jess then walked over towards the bed and dropped down next to him.
“Are you done Sam?” she asked cuddling up to him. “Because I am. I’m done hoping you would come back. You don’t know how much we went through waiting for you to come back to us, or how much it hurt to see you act the way you do. I want to understand what you’re going through Sam. I want to believe that all this is because you’re still trying to cope with the changes. I mean I can comprehend how much of a task it is to believe that all this is real. Especially after everything you two went through. But Sam, I don’t think I can watch you break like this.”
Sam held her close but didn’t turn towards her. Instead, he stared up towards the exquisitely crafted ceiling high above them.
“I’m done, Jess, I really am,” he said but he couldn’t bring himself to turn towards Jess as he said it.