|Clovis First pt 12|
They parked the car in an alley near the Chelsea Hotel. If all went right, they would not be returning to the car, so it did not matter if it got towed. Drest wore his pack on his back, carrying the staff he made in his hand, as they walked down 23rd street. Angela wore a sexy outfit, that showed her curves, legs, and stomach. Jaicam carried Drests' gun under his long shirt, but he did not feel secure.
They approached the strange looking building, with cast iron balconies, lining each floor. The neon sign, that hung from the front of the hotel, flickered the words HOTEL CHELSEA on and off, as if it was in the throws of death. The letters that would stay on, when it flickered, spelled a disjointed H,E,L and L. Drest halted the group, when he saw Angela and Jaicam staring nervously up at the foreboding sign.
"When we get inside," Drest said. "We are going to have to find someone that can point us in the right direction." Drest said, as they kept a lookout, towards the ominous other worldly looking building. "So," he let out a sigh. "We are going to have to use the Sight." The sky behind the hotel swirled, with deep red and purple thunder clouds. Lightning streaked across the sky with frightening power. "I have the feeling that we won't have to look to hard, to find what we are looking for." Drest looked at Angela quickly, then added. "Let's get where we need to go, as quickly as possible. I do not think, it is going to be easy." Drest started to walk slow, waiting for the others to catch up.
"What are we looking for?" Jaicam asked, not taking his eyes off the building looming in the distance.
"A place where we will be safe." Drest said looking both ways down the street. "I feel the hunt coming on." He added, crossing the street allowing Jaicam and Angela to walk in front of him. He caught a glimpse of someone watching him, from an alley nearby. He did not pay it any attention but he knew who it was, because his heart started to beat fast. He allowed his sight to shift as he held the staff he made, tight. "Stick close by me," he warned.
"We will," Jaicam said. Angela nodded, looking up at the ominous façade, of the legendary Chelsea. Jaicam noticed her eyes go clear and distant. She looked over at the boy and touched the top of his head. His sight shifted and the city became a dull gray color, except for things that stood out vividly. Shadows dipped in and out off the sewers and shadows. The were not malevolent he somehow knew, but they seemed to be feeding off of something.
"Those are the Shadowind," Angela said looking at the same thing Jaicam was looking at. "They feed on the decay of life. They are harmless," she assured him.
"Sort of like mushrooms," Jaicam said, looking at Angela.
"How do you mean." Angela asked the boy, as they walked in front of Drest, who was not paying attention to their conversation.
"Well, mushrooms feed off of dying trees, and things like that," the boy said. "They clear the land for new trees to exist, or something," he finished, as they came up to the hotel. Angela smiled at the boys inteligence, and playfully messed his hair up.
As they walked towards the entrance, Jaicam noticed plaques hanging on the green and red painted walls, dedicated to some of the famous people that once lived there. Some of the people he had heard of, like Arthur C. Clarke, and Dylan Thomas, but the others were a mystery to him. They must be good to get a plaque in their honor, he thought as they walked under the red and white canopy of the entrance.
As they pushed open the glass doors and entered the hotel, their eyes were assaulted by a riot of color and craziness. Art work hung on every green yellow and white wall. A sad fake Christmas tree, leaned against a couple chairs in the lobby, with no decorations on it, probably left there from many Christmas' ago. Dust covered the floor and art work on the walls. A topless drunk girl, came out of an old fashioned phone booth, and walked past them, without a look, and went through a hallway door. Jaicam leered after her, and Angela snapped her fingers in his face, pulling him back to the moment. They walked under a pink plaster lady on a swing, that hung from the ceiling. Dolls hung from artsie mobiles that spun slow, adding a creepy feel to the scene.
Drest wrapped his knuckles on a window that read "Office." A man sat with his feet up on the desk watching TV. He turned to look at who was bothering him with a sneer on his face.
"How can I help you," said the man impatienly, turning back to the staticy show he was watching. Drest led his group into the dark office, There was a giant safe off in the corner and frescos covered the ceilings. The dull copper name plate on the desk said Hotel Manager, with the name Kabaz written underneath it.
The man named Kabaz turned around and stood up. Jaicam let out a gasp as he saw the man with his changed eyes. He was just like Angela, with wings. The man looked at Jaicam.
"What's wrong kid, are you felling alright." The greasy looking man with wings said, his eyes looking at the group then settling on Angela.
"Nothing," Jaicam said looking down at the ground.
"I know you, don't I?" The manager asked Angela.
"I should hope so, I am your sister," Angela smiled, and the mans eyes went wide. Then a smile came to his face too, as his eyes turned clear. Jaicam noticed that he switched to his Sight.
"Reina! Is that you?" She nodded, and he ran around the desk, grabbing her up in a hug. "My oh my, how long has it been?" He said, as he spun her around.
"Too long," she said, as he held her in his arms, and kissed him on the forehead. "Look, you have to put me down. You know why we are here." He put Angela down, and looked at Drest and nodded.
"So you have the Clovis Key." Kabaz said, with a slight Indian accent, that did not seem to fit him. Drest nodded not looking at Jaicam. Kabaz smiled that big smile again and picked up his keys from the desk.
"Drest and Jaicam, meet my brother, Zabak the wanderer." They shook hands.
"The blood star reigns, and the time to open the gateway, has come." Drest said to Zabak who nodded with a hopeful smile on his face. "Has anybody been here, lately, that I should be aware of.
"There have been some strange things happening this week. I have noticed an increase in the Shadowind. It is as if, they are waiting for something." Angela and Jaicam looked at each other quickly, turning their attention back on Zabak. I have also felt a presence, a presence that makes me want to join in on the hunt."
"Mheclem is here in New York, and is coming for the Clovis Key" Angela spoke and Zabak turned towards her.
"That is impossible," he said to Angela. "The First Star here? How?" He asked, looking at the grim faces, of the little group.
"The how is a little hard to answer, all I can say is that he has always been here." Drest said impatiently. At that moment, the sound of the front doors opening, made them stop talking. The lights of the little office flickered, as they watched a man walk slowly into the hotel.
"The Nightmare Man," Jaicam said quietly backing into a corner of the office. Angela quickly closed the blinds on the office window, that separated them from the Nightmare Man.
"We are trapped." Drest said, stepping in front of Angela and Jaicam, lifting his staff that began to glow. The hunt began. The whole group could now feel the connection to each other. Zabak turned towards the safe and opened it stepping inside.
"Follow me," The man said, waving to the small group before disappearing into the dark safe. They looked at each other and walked into the safe. Drest closed the door behind him, and heard a click.
The inside of the safe was a passage way. They followed it through a hole in the wall. Zabak waited for them, then started up an old staircase.
"This passage was built during prohibition, to escape from the police." Zabak said, taking the stairs two at a time. Drest walked up the stairs backwards, pointing the staff down the hall they just came from, protecting the rear.
They went up only one floor, and Zabak pushed open a door. They stepped into a hall, coming out of a grandfather clock, into a hallway. Zabak signaled for them to follow and they rounded a corner. They could feel through the Hunt that Mheclem was close. They could feel his anger. They could feel his need.
"The door we need is just around the corner," Zabak said as they rounded the intersection. "In room 205." Drest now moved to the front of the group to protect them. His staff sent tiny pictures dancing off the wall. The blue cube lit up on top of the staff, with a haunting blue light, pulsing with energy. Jaicam counted down the room numbers. 210, 209,208, the room they needed was near the end of the hall.
An icy chill, fell over the hallway as the Nightmare Man stepped into the hallway. Behind him stood, some of the same grotesque creatures, Jaicam had seen, with the Nightmare Man the other day. Behind them, the hallway filled with more of the monstrosities. They were trapped. Zabak halted the group, not knowing what to do next. Fear showed on his face. Drest stepped in front of Zabak, and held the staff up for the Nightmare Man to see. The evil man Laughed at what he saw.
"So monkey, you expect to use my own weapons against me," The black eyes of the man had fire in them. Time stood still. "Ah, and I see you met my sister." The man turned his attention to Angela, but kept addressing Drest. "You know Reina has a special gift with men, I can see she has used it to snare you." Drest looked at Angela who stared at the wicked man.
"Quiet devil." Drest said. "You will not stop me with your bile." The man's black outfit started to swirl with intensity. His minions let out a curdled howl, that shook the art work from off the surrounding walls. The dark man's hair stood on end, as if he was covered in static electricity. He looked as if he was about to strike at them with some kind of magic power, when Angela started walking past Drest, towards the man, surrounded in the darkness. Drest and Jaicam could feel, an overwhelming attraction for her, as she walked by.
"Angela, no!," Drest screamed to her, but it was to late. She had committed to her act. Her sensuality, seemed to beat back the negative energy in the air. The Nightmare man, who a moment ago, looked as if he was ready to strike, looked stunned by this. She approached him like a cat. The way she moved was hypnotic. Even the ugly fowl beasts that followed this man, seemed entranced, caught up in her spell. The beasts behind the man started to crawl up the walls and ceiling trying to get close to her. Their heart beats filled the Hunt, racing and thundering in their chest. Jaicam held his hands to his ears, but he could not stop the sound that was in his head. He looked at Zabak, who was frozen in fear. Drest too looked helpless even with the strange weapon he held.
Angela now stood right in front of the man and leaned her head into him, and whispered something, in his ear. She smelled his neck, in a feral display of sexuality. The man closed his eyes and gulped, as he stammered to talk. The static seemed to dissipate around the man.
"Reina, you are beautiful," The Nightmare Man spoke. "But, do you think you can use your powers against me." The man reach out and grabbed her head twisting it around with a sickening crack. Her lifeless body, fell to the floor. Jaicam screamed as she fell. Drest let out a blood curdling howl as he raised the staff. Blue light lanced down the hall smashing into the man, and his beast men, setting them on fire, and smashing them through the far wall, like a tornado. The wall of the hotel, that took the brunt of the blast, collapsed sending concrete and the horrible monstrosities into the street bellow.
Drest turned the staff on the monsters behind them, to the same affect. Rage filled his eyes. He wheeled on Zabak who was frozen in fear.
"Come on, she bought us some time." Zabak snapped out of his trance and started down the ruined hallway. He fumbled in his pockets for keys. Drest grabbed Jaicam by the arm, who was crying, from watching Angela die. People who were asleep in their hotel rooms filled the hall, not knowing what had happened. "Get out side, the building is going to collapse. They panicked and ran for what was left of the stairs. As Drest and them reached the door, Zabak fumbled different keys into the lock. The Building let out a stressful moan.
"Come on! Come on!" Drest ordered. Finally he found the right key and turned it. He opened the door just in time. They dove through it, closing it behind them, as the building collapsed.
They stood in a strange corridor. The walls and floor, were transparent, as if there were no walls and floor. Blue and pink energy pulsated around them. Doors, filled the corridor, as far as they could see. They panted from exhaustion. The Sight had taken it's toll on them. The only one who did not seem affected by the use of the sight, was Zabak. Drest asked if everyone was ok, and they nodded.
"Hey kid, it's all right," Drest said as he put an arm around the boy, who was still crying. "She died to save us." Jaicam nodded and wiped tears from his eyes. Getting a good look at their surroundings.
"Where are we?" Jaicam asked, with a dull sad fascination. Zabak looked at the devastated pair, and put his arm up in a half hearted, theatrical gesture.
"You, my mortal friends," Zabak said to them, "are in the Hall of Doors."