This is Episode Fourteen in the ‘FEAR’ series
The previous episode is here
John didn’t know whether to chase after the couple he had seen, the woman of which he was sure he recognised. He was torn between waiting for the receptionist to return and following them.
After a few moments indecision John decided to follow the couple. They had gone down the side of the reception area where John knew there to be a suite of banqueting rooms. With his bag over his shoulder he found it slightly more difficult to pushe his way through the people who were milling around the reception.
“Excuse me.” And “sorry,” were the words tumbling off his tongue after almost every other step.
Turning the corner, around which the couple had disappeared, John could see no sight of either of them. He was looking down a short corridor. On one side there were three doors which John knew from previous experience and visits to the hotel that they were the toilets. On the other side the other doors were both marked private. Straight ahead were a set of double doors that lead into the banqueting suite. John rushed at the doors which lead to the toilets. Quickly throwing each one open he checked inside: first the disabled toilet, second the men’s toilet and finally the women’s. He was both relieved and frustrated to find the first two empty. When he threw the door open to the women’s toilet he rushed headlong into three women who were talking furtively and almost screamed as John came at them.
“Excuse me, I’m so sorry,” John repeated his mantra again as he reversed out the door.
Back in the corridor John wondered what was behind the doors marked private. He wasn’t sure if they would be locked or not it but decided he had to try them anyway.
The first one he tried was locked, so there was no way the couple had gone in there, unless they had had a key. The second door, although heavier to open than the other ones which lead into the toilets, opened with a bit of effort. It seemed it was fixed with a heavy duty closer. Opening the doorJohn could see that behind it was a service passageway with stairs going up to the floors above and others going down towards the garage. John guessed that the couple he was pursuing may have gone down the stairs to the garage and moved down that way, hopefully after them.
After two flights of stairs John came to another door. He grabbed the handle roughly and pulled it open. The garage was on the other side of the door. It was gloomy in there but not so dark that he could miss the two people ahead of him. The woman turned round. Even in the gloom John was still sure it was Karen’s friend, Erin. It looks like she recognised him too. She grabbed the man’s arm and dragged him aside towards a large back black van.
“Erin, is that you?” John shouted.
The woman dragged the man she was with even faster towards the black van. John could see that she was fumbling in her bag, probably looking for the keys.
“Wait, wait, Erin, stop.” John started to rush towards the couple.
As the woman opened the door to the van she dropped her bag spilling the contents onto the floor of the garage.
Crouching down she scooped up the what she ha dropped, threw it back into her bag and threw the bag onto the back seat of the van. Next she jumped into the driver’s seat. The man she was with was already buckling up in the passenger seat. Starting the engine the woman pulled the van out of the parking space and shot down the line of parked cars towards the exit. The sound of rubber screeching on the garage floor was almost deafening in the enclosed space. Within moments the van was out of John’s sight and he could do no more.
Looking to where the woman had dropped her bag beside the parked van John could see some things still on the floor. He moved over to find out what the woman had left. As he crouched down he noticed she had dropped, or left, four things: a bright red lipstick,
A matchbook, an IKEA pencil and, perhaps most important of all, a small notepad. She had clearly been in a great hurry to get away from John. John hoped that in these four things there might be a clue as to what had happened to Karen.