His heart was pounding so loudly in his chest that he worried whatever was at the other end of the long hallway would be able to hear it. He ran his hand through his graying hair and leaned against the wall to listen, still and wide-eyed, with a face so pale it looked as if it had been drained of all blood.
There was absolute silence.
Moving away from the wall, his gaze still glued to the end of the hallway, he imagined something hideous, Lucifer himself, waiting to pounce from around the corner.
Something closed in on him from behind.
He took a step, his legs shaky, and the floor creaked beneath his feet. He glanced back again fearfully. A sharp wind rose from the far end of the hallway, whipping at him.
He spun around and ran.
In the absolute silence, only the sound of his footsteps could be heard as the sound echoed and amplified against the walls.
He was in a hotel, on the first floor; red carpet, white walls, and dark wooden doors. His lungs labored furiously, attempting to keep up with the demands of his pounding heart, the freezing cold air burning his lungs.
Every now and again, he glanced back over his shoulder, his eyes wide and full of dread, expecting, at any moment, one of those creatures. In another ten yards, he’d reach the end of the hallway and find safety in the lobby.
As if on cue, a big puff of cloud flooded upwards. It filled the hallway like water filling a tunnel.
He came to a screeching halt.
The fog had a human shape; hands, legs, and even a head. The horrified man focused on a pair of cold, black eyes in a snow-white face. He held a pistol, but didn’t try to shoot the demon, well aware that the bullet would fly right through it. He reached for the door to his right and turned the handle.
The man threw himself into the next room, adrenaline rushing through his veins. In a second, he clocked the window across the room. Frantically, he slammed the door behind him and ran for it.
When he reached the window, he covered his face with his coat, hurtling headlong into it, smashing through the glass.
Bits of glass rained down as he crumpled onto the asphalt. He scrambled across the ground and jumped to his feet like he would have done in his youth.
Once on his feet, he cast a quick gaze back through the window to the door. Through the keyhole, white gas was pouring in. He took a deep breath and ran as fast as he could.
As far from the hotel as possible, he kept telling himself. He didn’t look up, well aware there was nothing to see but a weird dome overhead that had covered the city a week ago, bringing forth those creepy demons.
For over seven days, he’d been surviving in this hellish new world. Two days ago, he’d gone farther for supplies than ever before, and that was when he’d spotted a human-sized fog that drifted along the street an inch above the asphalt. It was something that should only have been possible in horror movies.
They’d tracked him down. They’d come for his soul.
He wasn’t young anymore. As he ran, his breath quickened and his legs strained to hold his heavy weight for so long. When he reached the corner, he saw the parking lot. Multiple dead cars greeted him mournfully.
As far from the hotel as possible.
He stopped abruptly in the middle of the parking lot.
From every side, human-shaped fog entered the lot and gathered around him. Seven of them. He glanced back. Two more loomed into view.
This is it, he thought. He could try to run to the hotel entrance, but they were fast, especially when the ground was flat.
The fogs started closing in on him, the circle narrowing with every passing second. Terrified, the man watched them approach, mentally counting the last seconds of his life. Hope had abandoned him since he had fled his room. His aim had been to get as far from the hotel as possible to give a chance to the ones still in the hotel, but he’d failed. This was as far as he’d make it.
“I won’t give myself to you, you fucking demons,” the man bawled as he put the gun to his head.
The human-shaped fogs halted, their big hideous eyes fixed on the man.
His eyes flickered from demon to demon. A slight smile curled his lips as he squeezed them tight.
“God bless me,” he hissed under his breath.
He sucked in a deep breath—his last ever.He pulled the trigger.