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The Founder

The Retreat (RPG)

35 posts in this topic

<p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/zombies12-Copy-1.jpg"></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><u>STORY</u></strong></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;">A private retreat at Shadowfalls Forest Hotel is a popular place for people that want to get away from civilization. It&amp;#39;s a quiet place in the country where people can hide from the rest of the world. The hotel is infamous for being located miles away from Sharpsburg, Maryland; the sight for the bloodiest single-day battle in the American Civil War. But it is more infamous for the claim that the hotel is <strong><em>haunted</em></strong>. The hotel, formerly a mansion built in 1822 by slaves, has seen mysterious grisly murders for the various occupants that stayed there. For a while, the hotel served as a sort of novelty that people were obsessed and mystified by. However, post-World War II, the novelty slowly wore off and no one cared about the hotel anymore. It was mostly used by people to seclude themselves due to the fact the hotel was almost always empty. However, there is a dark secret that lurks beneath. A group of occupants will find that on these grounds the dead...rise again...</p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><u><strong>SHADOWFALLS FOREST HOTEL</strong></u></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/ResidentEvilMansion-1_zps1565a7a6.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Hotel-1</a>; <a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Mainhall12.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Hotel-2</a>; <a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/011.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Hotel-3</a>; <a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/022.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Hotel-4</a>; <a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/024.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Hotel-5</a></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;">An old hotel that was formerly a mansion built in the 19th century. The owners were rich aristocrats who were religulously pious in public, but were obsessed with the occult in private. Strange sightings occured on their lands, but were often inexplainable. Mysterious murders were common sight, but due to their vast wealth and political influence, no family member was ever arrested. Death is attracted to the location both inside and out as the hotel was close to one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. Soldiers from both sides would bring their wounded to take shelter at the mansion and all the soldiers would vanish mysteriously. It wasn&amp;#39;t until the 20th century that the mansion became converted to a hotel, starting off as more of a private bed and breakfast. Strange sightings of walking dead caused the hotel to become famous until eventually there were no sightings. Despite the fearsome look, the hotel became a joke around town and no one &amp;quot;believed&amp;quot; anymore. The sightings are dismissed as hoaxes created by the owners to make money. Now, the hotel is used only for retreats for those rich enough to stay.</p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><u><strong>CHARACTERS</strong></u></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><u><strong>HOTEL GUESTS</strong></u></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Mort_zps6ebbb539.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Seth Dreyfuss</a> (Played by <strong>The Founder</strong>)</p>

<p style="text-align: center;">Reserved for <strong>DATA2007</strong></p>

<p style="text-align: center;">Reserved for <strong>Nerys</strong></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span>Oliver Lehane</span></strong></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span><span>Rosemary Kingston</span></span></strong></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>RESERVED FOR Ziona Rae Andreas</strong></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/357599_large_zps147d4507.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Charles Oslo</a> (Played by <strong>The Founder</strong>)</p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><u><strong>HOTEL STAFF (ALL NPC)</strong></u></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Cook_zps3a0f927b.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Nadine Jackson</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/maid_zps03c1c730.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Dee Carter</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/heroes-volume-ii-episodio-1-bob-bishop-stephen-tobolowsky-sara-amico-o-nemico-50299_zps94f00d8a.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Arthur Gordon</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/walking_dead_t2_1920x1200_shane_zps5f201099.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Gavin Calhoun</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/cook2_zps1a6cb600.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Jean Nerteaux</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/25te10kk7ea515t2.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Edgar Brooks</a></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><u><strong>MISCELLANEOUS (ALL NPC)</strong></u></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/oldman_zps4eabff9f.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Mr. Wills</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/monroe_zpsaa74a045.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Victor</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/guy-pearce-prometheus.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Alan White</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Cowboy2_zps3a690ce0.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Dallas</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Cowboy1_zps87849389.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Houston</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/cowboy4_zps5c8601d5.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Austin</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Merleportrait.jpg" rel="nofollow external">San An</a></p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><a class="bbc_url" title="External link" href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/Founder/Darylportrait.jpg" rel="nofollow external">Paso</a></p>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><u><strong>RULES</strong></u></p>

<p style="text-align: center;">No godmodding.</p>

<p style="text-align: center;">No controlling other people&amp;#39;s characters without their permission. Nor killing their characters.</p>

<p style="text-align: center;">Adult language is ok, but keep it somewhat under control.</p>

<p style="text-align: center;">I encourage people to explore their own stories, but try and stay within the frame of this story. It&amp;#39;s a zombie story. So going out on your own to look for your lost father may not fit well.</p>

<p style="text-align: center;">Have fun!</p>

Edited by The Founder

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God, I am a terrible writer.

The worst actually.

A sci-fi writer looking for inspiration and the only thing I can think to do is cheap Star Trek knock-off. It's no wonder I can't sell any of my work. I personally thought a space-station orbitting the first human colony in outer space would be a big seller. Who knew sci-fi doesn't sell anymore? When I was a kid I promised myself I'd be the next Asimov, Bradbury, Roddenbery, Adams, or Lucas. Apparently my work is so derivative that it wouldn't even sell as a children's book. So, I went back to the drawing board and got....nothing. No eureka(!) moment. Nada. Zip. Zilch. My mind keeps going back to my space station idea. Anything else I make I just give up on it halfway through. What's the point when the inspiration isn't there anymore?

"You're out of your element, maybe. Try something else." I'm told. My closest friend suggests jumping into another genre, but what? I don't know anything outside of science-fiction. I only know UFOs, Martians, and ray-guns. I've been engaged 5 times and broken it off each time. I'd be a terrible romance writer. Comedy? I'm not particularly funny. I still don't get why people think Zombieland is even remotely funny. Action-Adventure? The entire time I'd be figuring out ways to rewrite an Indiana Jones part 4...this time without nuking the fridge.

My friend suggested that I write a horror story. Horror sells...even if it sucks. I present you the Paranormal movies. Case in point. I'm not big on horror, but I'm about to be evicted and I don't think I have enough money to fly back to Virginia. I'm truly screwed...there is absolutely...no doubt. If I can't figure out a story to sell I'll be living off the streets. I wonder if any homeless people would read my story? Starbase Guardian at the Edge of the Universe? I'm sure they'd find use for it. I mean, everyone needs toilet paper right?

I can't think at home. Too much going on. Ex-fiance keeps calling for a second chance or maybe she left something at my place-I don't know, my publisher and his dead lines, my mom complaining I never call her, and my noisy neighbor with 12 kids. Geez lady, it's a uterus not a water slide. I needed to get away. So very far away, but I didn't have the money to go to some nice retreat in the Cayman Islands. But I did find an alternative nearby. Shadowfalls, Maryland. A retreat that was largely unknown by most people, but a select few writers did know of the place. A place where they could get away from everything and not be bothered. An old hotel called Shadowfalls Forest was tucked away in the country side. It used to be some...plantation or something. I don't know. I knew when the taxi pulled up to the dirt road that I was in a vortex of civilization. It was quiet, peaceful. But absolutely dead. There was virtually no one around. Apparently no gardner either with how unkept the grounds looked. The smell was foul and I felt like I was inhaling a corpse's body odor. The cab driver practically threw my duffle bag on the ground before speeding off. He claimed this place was haunted. Riiiiiight. Aren't they all? I researched the place on the internet, but there was virtually no information there. I spoke to my fellow writers who stayed here before and they say it's quiet...but...odd. They said everything about the place was creepy and it was a good source of inspiration for a horror story. I see what they meant. Maybe this will help me? I need to immerse myslef in my material before I write about it. That's why I watched every season of Babylon 5 within two weeks to get geared up for my station story that turned out to be crap. Lovely. But at least I got my Babylon 5 fix!

Still. There is something about this place that is daunting. There is so much history here and I feel like I can experience it as I walk by. I can see the slaves building the steps, I can see people dressed in 19th century clothing, I can see where soldiers from the Civil War poured their blood, sweat and tears. I don't know why, but I always find this old time stuff to be inherently creepy. The hotel had more of a bed and breakfast look to it but the outside appeared to be an old Victorian mansion. I stop in front of the large doors and stare for the longest time. Wooden. Cracked. Old statues of naked people locked into one post at the edge of the porch. I see a broken fountain filled with dirty water and dead fish. Lovely. And to think...my friend said this place, for some odd reason, doesn't get a lot of customers. I wonder why. I understand they're going for the haunted creepy look, but can we keep it sanitary people?

I wonder if I could do a haunted space-ship story? Blends sci-fi with the stupid slash horror movie that the common idiot watches. I wonder. No. No. No. No sci-fi. I need to see if I can push other ideas through. Focus, Seth, focus.

The building looks dilapadated. I walk in, not expecting to be greeted but lo and behold there are some people inside....not many guests....just minimal staff. Let's get this nightmare over with. Hopefully if the dead do rise here, as they claim they do, one of them will be a writer who will teach me how to sell stories. If only.

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Night one begins and day one slowly ends. The silence is deafening. No atmospheric music in the main hall. No maids running back and forth shouting "house keeping!" and ignoring your please to not walk in your room while your pants aren't on. No parents chasing after their kids in the hallways. Actually, I don't think I saw any kids. Although, what parent would bring their child to a haunted mansion instead of Disneyland? Hmmmmmmmm. The only "maid", I guess if she could be called that, is a young woman named Dee. She isn't even dressed in a uniform, but just her own clothes. Her presence implies that she desperately needed a job while in school. Ah. I remember those days. Dee, like the cab driver, threw my bags on the ground and muttered that this was my room. She's definitly employee of the month. My room isn't so bad. One of those spacious, old room with a bed that is ten feet off the ground and covered in a dozen pillows. Creepy dolls line up an entire wall and no doubt will stare at me all night. Ugh. Hmmm....idea number 1. Killer dolls that come back from the dead? Ah nice, Seth. Rip off Chucky the Doll as your first foray into the horror genre. Damnit.

No T.V. No phone. A cuboard they call a closet. And a closet they call a bathroom. I'd have to be a contortionist to take a crap. Wow. How did I get so lucky? C'mon. It's just one weekend. You can do this. Get in the mood here. Horror. Think scary.

I have a room in the East Wing of the "hotel" on the second floor. I have a nice view of a field...of nothing. Just grass that has grown too long and an empty swimming pool. Scary. Scary....let's see. Garden Gnomes that come to life? What!? What the hell is wrong with you? Stop thinking little evil things. Ugh.... I need to walk around....

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I find one other guest. A young guy and his rather good-looking girlfriend or wife. I don't say much to them, though. What the hell do I say? "Hi, I'm a guest here. Let's be friends?" They could be other writers. This place isn't such a secret to the community of authors ... even globally. Apparently some Belgian writer came here and made his greatest work from his time here. Could that be me? I doubt it. For one I'm not even Belgian.

There is something about the guy that is familiar, though. He might have been a celebrity of some sort. I wanna say an athelete. Possibly A football player? Who knows? Who cares? Solitude is what I need. Thankfully, there is a lot of that there with the minimal staff. An older woman named Nadine runs the hotel in the absence of the family that owns it. Nadine tried talking my head off, but I was in my head at the time. Which...I kind of...always am in. She is a nice woman, though. Very kind and welcoming. She tells me the history of the hotel. Many mysterious deaths. She says my room once had an oil tycoon from the early 20th century stay there. He shot himself in the mouth with a pistol when he claimed he wouldn't get out of that hotel alive. The dead wouldn't let him. It's a tragic story, but the sick side of me wondered if I could make a story out of that...

At the front desk was a portly fellow named Arthur. Nice guy, but he spent most of his time reading a book instead of tending to me. I gave him money and he slapped a key in front of me. That was mostly the extent of my conversation. Although, as a reader, I asked him if he'd be interested in reading my sci-fi story. I always keep a draft handy. What? Writers have egos too. I need to hear my story is good. He claimed he'd look at it later before unceremoniously tossing it aside. Prick.

The cook, some Frenchman named Jean, made some rather disgusting slop he called "dinner". Ok. Again. I don't know if they're going for a creepy Hills Have Eyes living in a House on Haunted Hill feel to this, but...please...sanitary? I did have company when I ate. The man with the Boston accent and his girlfriend ate with me. I asked if he played soccer and it was clarified to me, in their lovely accents, that it was baseball that he had played. Like me, he's a writer now too. Another person that ate with us with an old man named Mr. Wills. He looked to be homeless and like the rest of the occupants at the table...down on his luck. Dee implied, in a hushed whisper to the guest, that Mr. Wills would stay at the hotel often. Out of pity, Nadine let him stay for free due to the fact he was a homeless, wandering drunk. Sad story actually.

I politely ate the "soup" and feigned that I was tired. I went back to my room and overheard an interesting conversation. Unfortunately, nothing horror related. Nadine was arguing with a man named Alan White who claimed to represent the family that owned the hotel. He informed her the place would soon be shut down due to not making any money. Nadine begged for the place to stay open. Well, if begging entailed she'd rather shove White's head up his ass before letting anyone shut the place down. She's a regular Shakespeare. If the place did shut down...so much for a writer's "retreat".

I go upstairs into my room to lay down. The sun is gone and an awkwardly quiet night fills the landscape. I wanted to go outside to sneak a smoke but I didn't want to run into that jerk. Charles Oslo was a rich entrepenuer who owned dozens of theme parks. He hoped to buy the property and build one of his haunted theme parks on the ground to cash in on the history of the land. Clever idea, but that didn't stop Oslo from being a douche. He ordered other around while fuming out his cigar smoke in people's face. He was "too good" to sit and eat with the commoners at dinner. Again. Prick. He and his butler, Victor, would often be off on their own. Oslo spent most of the time surveying the property...so he could tear it apart in the future. The man's introduction to me was to take his bags up to his room. I guess my scruffy look made me look...house keeperish? I don't know. I'd rather just avoid him.

Nadine informed me that half a mile down the road is one of the largest cemetaries built after the Civil War. I'm hoping that I can check it out tomorrow, but I'm too tired now. Day one? Over. Night one? Just beginning.

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Seth steps outside into the cold, October night air. He couldn't help but sneak in a cigeratte while he could. Smoking cleared his mind but he had quit for fiance number 4. In his eyes, definitly a mistake. He wasn't able to finish one story idea the entire time. That fiance had to go. A chill ran up his spine as he sat down on the steps and looked around. The statues were frozen in place, but he felt like their eyes were watching him. He lit the cigeratte with his small, cheap lighter and inhaled deeply. The smoke was destroying his lungs, but for the moment it felt nice. The warmth of smoking against the cold air was just what he needed. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling that this place was creepy. He rationalized it as the "feel" of the haunted hotel, but... it felt like more to him. But what?

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"So, whaddya think of the place?" Brian asked through the bathroom door. Kelly was brushing her teeth on the other side.

He already knew the answer to his question. It was obvious almost from the moment they stepped out of the cab in front of Shadowfalls Forest Hotel's dilapidated doors. All he had to do was look at Kelly's face when she saw the garden. Even calling it a garden was an affront to Martha Stewart and flower-lovers everywhere. This garden looked like it was being tended to by Seymour from The Little Shop of Horrors. Get too close and Audrey Jr. might pop out of the bush and eat you whole.

"I ******* hate it," she replied, her words garbled by the toothbrush.

Brian nodded. He was expecting this. This was the first time Kelly ever left the 617, otherwise known as Boston, Massachusetts. And, after staying a night at a cobweb-infested plantation-turned-hotel, it might be the last time she leaves Boston.

"C'mon, it's not that bad. Any place that leaves a mint on the pillow can't be terrible." He plucked the mint off its pillow and examined it. The red and white striped candy looked like it'd been trapped inside that wrapper since Lyndon Johnson was in office.

While Brian was wondering if mints mold, the bathroom door opened. Kelly stood in the doorway, toothbrush in hand. She wore an over-sized Garciaparra Red Sox jersey as a nightie.

"Yes, it is that bad," she said. "It's like I'm staying in The Amityville fuckin' Horror."

"I can't understand you with that dick in your mouth," Brian joked, pointing to the toothbrush. He chuckled as a slipper was thrown at him. It bounced harmlessly off his shoulder and fell onto the velvet carpet.

"I'm being serious," Kelly told him, and spat into the sink. "Can't you find some place else to write your memoir? Some place where gothic Mona Lisa isn't watching me sleep?"

She gestured to an oil painting of a raven-haired woman with sallow skin and sunken eyes hanging on the wall above their queen bed.

"Hey, you don't know her. She could've been a very nice woman."

"Yeah, or Lizzie Borden," Kelly retorted.

Seeing that his attempts at humor weren't doing much to diffuse the situation, Brian shifted gears. Maybe affection would succeed where levity had failed. He got up off the bed and took Kelly in his arms. He started to kiss her along the pale white flesh of her neck. She looked down at him, clearly unaffected.

"You're crazy if you think we're doing it in this Scooby Doo house," she explained flatly.

Brian gave up the Casanova routine.

"I need this, Kelly," he pleaded, earnestly now. "I can't write in the city."

"What's wrong with Boston?" Kelly asked, feisty. When it comes to Kelly, three things--and only three things--are sacred: God, Boston, and the Red Sox. Say a bad word about any of them and she'll show you where redheads get their bulldog reputations. "That city's taken care of us since we were both in diapers!"

"I can't take a piss in that town without the old man at the urinal next to me asking if I was the boy who passed up Harvard to hit under the Mendoza line in the Grapefruit League!" Brian snapped defensively. Then, a little gentler. "Out here, to these yokels, I'm just another guy with a Yawkey accent. If anybody gives me a second look, it's to check out my smokin' hot girlfriend."

Kelly gave Brian an 'oh, stop' look and allowed a smile.

"Just give it the weekend," Brian offered with a smile of his own. "If this place is still giving you the heebie jeebies come Monday, we'll be on the first plane back to Logan." He leaned down and planted a loving kiss on her forehead. "You keep gettin' ready for bed. I'm gonna step out for a smoke."

Kelly groaned the groan every non-smoker gives to a loved one who says they're going out for a smoke.

"Y'know, if it weren't for that shit filling your lungs up with soot all these years, maybe you woulda been able to steal a base without getting tired halfway through," she teased. To anyone else, her words might come across as disdainful, but, to Brian and Kelly, who had been together since their junior year of high school, it was just how they talked to one another.They were always busting each others' balls. If Kelly was being nice to Brian, or vice versa, then that was how they knew something was wrong.

Brian, pulling on his coat, flipped her the bird on the way out the door. Kelly returned the favor--affectionately, of course.

Brian gone turning his lungs the color of the Charles River, Kelly glanced up at the portrait of the pale woman.

"Who're you lookin' at?" she asked, knowing oil paintings couldn't talk back. "Go **** yourself."

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Stepping outside, Brian pulled a Winston from behind his ear like a magician might a rabbit. He lit it and took a drag. Pure ecstasy. He'd gotten hooked on the things in his minor league days, but back then it was chew. Kelly was a very happy woman when he finally made the switch to "death sticks," as she called them.

He stood there on the mansion's small porch under the shelter of a tall marble pillar, holding himself tight to brace against the cold October night. Looking over, he noticed Seth, the shaggy-haired, bespectacled man who shared the dinner table with Kelly and him earlier that evening. He remembered him saying something about being a sci-fi writer and that Brian should read his latest novel after the man at the front desk was through with it.

"Didn't peg you as a fellow addict," Brian said, coming up behind Seth. "What's your weapon of choice? I'm a Winston man myself."

Edited by Nerys

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Seth practically jumped out of his skin when the man, Brian, spoke behind him. He was so engrossed in his imagination, thinking about a possible story involving a non-corporeal alien possessing his captain character's wife that he didn't hear the old doors open. Brian was smoking a cigarette and a plume of smoke flew out of his mouth and into the cold air. Seth squinted from behind his glasses, thinking for a moment before he realized the man asked him a question. He looked down at his own cigarette tucked between his index and middle finger before holding it up.

"Oh...um...it's uh...um a brand you can only find in a convenience store near my home town." He explained, tapping the box of cigarettes in his pocket, "Coffin Nail is the name. Apt isn't it?"

He inhaled more smoke before standing up to stand alongside Brian. Seth realized he must have looked insane. Dressed in an ugly bathrobe and tennis shoes he slipped on, of course, untied. But he didn't expect anyone to be out there with him.

"So you're writing a what um....a...memoir your girlfriend said?" He asked, unsure of what to say.

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Brian took another drag and nodded.

"Yeah. About my time in the minors," he replied meekly. "I hate calling it a memoir. It sounds so... pretentious. Y'know? Like, 'I'm so interesting; read about me!'"

He idly kicked at the base of the pillar as he spoke. He imagined Seth judging his words. Seth was a real writer. He'd already written several novels. Brian had never written anything in his life that he didn't have to for English class. Talking about writing with a man who spent his life dedicated to the craft made him feel like what he suspected Kelly and everyone else he told about his book already thought--that he was an imposter.

Edited by Nerys

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Seth looked at Brian for a long moment and thought about what he said. The man, to Seth, had an odd Boston accent and he almost came off as a blockhead to the nerdy Seth. Brian reminded him of the type of guys that would have beaten his ass back in high school. However, the way he spoke with such sincere honest gave Seth pause. Both were writers that seemed to feel hesitant about what they were writing on, albeit for different reasons. Seth tossed his cigarette to the ground and tapped on it to put it out. The last thing he needed was the Hotel from The Shining to go up in smokes and for the ghosts to haunt him for the rest of his life.

"Hey...look...I bet a lot of people will want to read your story." Seth said, trying to be sympathetic, "...I mean, that's interesting stuff and in this country sports sell. Including failed athetheletes."

He cringed realizing how utterly offensive his words were, "Wait, that came out wrong. Listen, I'm sorry. I meant...it's a good story. Look if it makes you feel better, your compeition will be my absolutely crap-tastic horror novel. I'm this close to saying 'screw it' and write a zombie story set in the Wild West. So trust me. Your memoirs will be good."

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Brian watched in amusement as Seth squirmed to rectify his gaffe.

"No, failed athlete is right," he told him, smiling. "The only future I have with a baseball bat is smashing pinatas."

Brian's self-deprecating attitude probably wasn't what Seth was expecting out of a former ball player, but Brian wasn't your average athlete. As a kid, his idols were Babe Ruth and Boba Fett--not exactly a peanut butter and jelly combo.

"And, hey, if you do write that zombie Western," Brian said, "I know at least one person who'll read it: my dad. He eats that cowboy shit up."

Edited by Nerys

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Seth smiled and was about to reply when he heard the sound of a truck's engines roaring loudly down the rock-filled pathway that connected to the main road. A Nissan Titan, a rather nice vehicle, drove towards the house at blinding speed. He could hear men hooping and hollering from the bed of the truck. Despite the darkness, the moon light over head cast enough light that Seth could see the truck moving in their direction and not slowing down for a moment.

"What the hell is this?" He asked Brian, despite the fact the man would no know either.

He backed away just as truck circled past the fountain in the center of the road and stopped right up to the two. Slamming on the brakes caused the truck to skid and smokey dirt to fly at Seth and Brian. The former hacked and cough as he waved his hand to move the smoke from his face.

"Damnit." Seth shouted in frustration.

His glasses were covered in the dirt and he quickly removed them wipe them down on his robes. He could hear the sound of car doors slamming loudly and boots stomping into the dirt and rocks. His eyes glanced upwards to see five rather poorly-clothed and dirty men approach him and Brian.

"Hiya, fellas." A man in a cowboy hat said with an accent of his own: Texan.

"What'chu boys doing out here this late at night in your nightgown?" Another said, mocking Seth's bathrobes.

"Did we interrupt any lovin'?" Another asked laughing hysterically.

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Anna Zarkova had been resting in her room on the top floor of the hotel, the lights in her room turned off. She preferred candlelight to the light of florescent bulbs. She had her fair share of eccentricities but this was one the hotel staff seemed prepared to give consent to as long as she didn't burn the place down. She paid enough each week to do as she pleased in her rooms anyway.

One of the first things she'd done is replace the flimsy blinds and curtains with thick, dark red velvet curtains that blocked nearly all the light coming form the outside. She preferred darkness. From the grounds of the hotel, no one could see into her rooms through the thick curtains giving her all the privacy she preferred. She occupied four rooms on the upper story of the hotel. All the rooms had walk out balconies that overlooked the grounds: prime rooms.

Tossing on her large, four-poster bed, Anna listened to the sound of a vehicle approaching very quickly and then the sound of voices coming from the ground floor. Her brow furrowed and she frowned to herself. Who was making such a racket?

Rising, she pushed aside the thick black velvet curtains around her bed and tread over towards the curtains enclosing French glass doors that led out to the balcony closest to the noise. With a pale hand, she pushed the curtains aside and peered through the old window pane. Down below, she could see the truck and five men standing in the moonlight yelling towards the hotel at, no doubt, other hotel guests standing under a nearby awning. She pursed her lips and shook her head.

Running a hand over her long, reddish-blonde hair and smoothing her hands over the cream silk dress she was wearing, she pushed through the curtains, opened the French glass doors and stepped out onto the balcony. Crossing the small landing, she leaned delicately on the rail of the balcony and peered down at the altercation going on below.

She saw two men standing there being confronted by the five men from the truck. She could smell the acrid smoke of cigarettes. She hesitated there on the balcony, leaning slightly over the railing, watching the situation.

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The group of men did not give Seth an opportunity to answer and shoved their way past past him and Brian. One of the men, a shorter, blonde-haired one looked at Seth with an angry look and continued onwards into the hotel. The writer frowned at the former Baseball player, realizing that they were potential future "guests". So much for getting quiet time to sit and write his horror novel. He tossed his cigerratte out and walked into the hotel to rush back to his room. The only peace and quiet he apparently would be getting would be in the inside of his room. The loud men, Texans judging by their accent, walked towards the front desk where the unsuspecting Arthur was sitting. They whooped and hollered, remarking at the size of the main hall when you enter. Nadine looked at the men with a wide-eyed expression and approached them quickly.

"Gentlemen, please." She urged, "Keep your voices down. Some of our guests are sleeping."

Her urging prompted the men to break out into raucous laughter. One of them, an older man, wrapped his arms around Nadine.

"Excuse me, ma'am," He said in a mocking tone, "But I buh-leave I lef' my boots undah yo bed."

Nadine slapped his face and shoved him off with an angry expression. She was a big woman and her no nonsense attitude showed in her face.

"That's enough." She demanded, "Now get the hell out of my establishment."

Seth slowly tried to slink his way up the stairs, narrowly avoiding the confrontation. He had no idea just what the hell was going on but he wanted no part in it. He had almost made it to the top of the steps when he heard a loud scream...

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Anna remained on the balcony, watching as the five newcomers and the two other male guests moved back into the hotel. She hesitated on the balcony, listening to the sound of the newcomers' raucous voices inside hotel. Their voices faded somewhat as the door to the porch closed. Anna headed back into her room, brushing through the thick curtains and shutting the heavy door behind her. She moved back to her bed and climbed through the thick curtains, settling back onto the plump pillows. She took a steady breath and relaxed, hoping to fall back to sleep quickly.

But before she could relax enough, she heard a scream from somewhere within the hotel. She startled awake, sitting bolt upright, her chest rising and falling in a rushed tempo.

Where had that scream come from?

She hadn't heard anything like that before. Sure, the hotel sometimes made strange noises by itself: doors seemed to open and close, windows blew open, strange creaking sounds in the night. But that went along with an old hotel that was lacking in some basic maintenance. But the scream sounded human and nearby.

Getting to her feet, she moved towards the door to her bedroom. She opened the door and moved through the outside sitting room, dark except for a sliver of moonlight coming through the curtains. She progressed through that room and into the next room, an outer chamber, also darkened with thick curtains. Hesitating before the door that opened into the hallway, Anna waited a moment, listening with strained ears for more noise but she heard nothing.

Opening the door slowly, she peered out into the darkened hallway. She could see the glow of lights from downstairs near the registration desk and could just make out the shadowy outline of someone else, close to the top of the stairs, halfway down the hall to her right. She quietly slipped from her room and made her way down the hall, stopping about halfway between her door and the stairway and peered down into the brightly lit entry way where she could see the five newcomers, Nadine, Arthur, and the other man she had seen on the porch. The second guest was almost to the top of the stairs and she could now make out his features from her place against the railing.

She peered down into the lobby and listened intently for another scream but heard nothing.

"What's going on?" She asked, her voice clear and steady despite her fear. She spoke in an accented voice, the accent somewhat suppressed from her years in the United States, but still hinting at her European heritage. "It's not like this place to be so... boisterous this time of night."

She peered down at the other guests and staff members, her long red-blonde hair falling in ringlets around her face, her hands resting against the dark wood banister of the railing. She turned her eyes from the man closest to her to Nadine and Arthur.

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The light emanating from the small lamp situated upon the old desk of the study in the Shadowfalls Forest Hotel was dim. In fact, it was so dim, that it barely lit anything up, not much beyond the shade itself and the fame pictures that were on the wall directly above the lamp. In short, it basically lit up enough merely to signal that it was on,,, and nothing else. But then of course, the lamp was old, likely far older then the oldest person currently within the confines of the hotel. The light bulb... probably not much further off, give or take a few years to allow it to still be reasonably in working condition.

Not that it made the rooms sole occupant, who cursed in frustration, feel any better, what with struggling to read the pages of text before him. Of course, being written in Sanskrit -- in a fashion -- the Devandiré Codex was difficult to read anyway. Add to that, a lamp that really didn't deserve the name, and you got a frustrated reader -- like there was now -- attempting to make use of it while reading pages upon pages of difficult text. There was consideration to simply use the flashlight to read the pages, but rejected as it was felt really, that'd just waste the batteries. There were more of course... but that was beside the point. No, the lamp would have to do. Unfortunately.

The Codex itself -- as it was informally called by some -- was something of an... unfavorable nature, at least in some circles, such as the one the original owners belonged to -- publicly at least. It would have been shocking at the time, to have found this and other titles of the library in the study, considering the devout stance the public image was. Of course, it had long since been revealed, the 'truth', as it was; that things were not as they seem when it came to the 'behind the scenes' aspect. Certainly not surprising, hypocrisy wasn't anything new in those days, not then... and certainly not now, likely not ever, particularly in the devout.

Of course, one Should also consider the fact that the era didn't really lend itself to being different then the social norms allowed. But then, that didn't really change the strange sightings that supposedly occurred around these parts, or some of the tragedy that went on here.

Still...

"Bloody hell" the frustrated, and weary reader exclaimed to himself.

A weary sigh, the flip of paper signaling the change of the page and the scribble of a pen on paper as a note was written was barely audible. Yet at the same time, it was almost a deafening set of sounds, being the only sounds that went on in the study, aside from the occasional creek. The later sound always getting attention, should it be accompanied by someone arriving to the study, be it another guest looking around or a staff member.

After such a noise, and a look up, attention was returned to the Codex, and eyes scanning over the visible pages in the dim light. With moments passing, nothing seemed to happened, the text laid on their respective pages, in their given arrangement and said... nothing. At least, nothing of importance from what could be fathomed, but then again, maybe it hadn't been the place to start.

With another weary sigh, he stood, gathering his pen and notebook out of habit, and taking the Codex to the shelf were it and other books of its... caliber, were kept. The library, as aforementioned, was somewhat of something to behold, considering some of the tiles in them, at least for something built at it's time. These days many of them, despite the age, would be found in well stocked libraries, along side modern contemporaries.

The Devandiré Codex, back on the shelf in it's slot -- which likely hadn't been moved in years until now -- was, as previously mentioned, something of a rarity. Not one in the sense that no one had ever heard of it, nor owned a copy, but in the sense that more people -- in certain circles -- had heard of it then actually owned it. Especially in the original Sanskrit, with most circulated and viewed copies and editions being either in English or a more modern derivative written language. In that sense, it hadn't been especially shocking to find it here, but at the same time it wasn't like it would have been found in the local bookstore, certainly not in that era...

Looking back over the titles on this section of shelf with the flashlight, the titles were rescanned mentally and reconsidered for viewing. While preferably, the selected book would be one not read before, really anyone could do, as their age, combined with the potentially for personal notes made them ideal. There was a new perspective, to be considered, what with the current location and the previous owners and their obsessions and the supposed sightings and occurrences.

The Magnus, a handbook of the sorts, Musaeum Hermeticum, a compendium, the Fassad's Guide, the De praestigiis daemonum with it's famous -- in come circles of course -- appendix, and the Black Chronicles were all items present. Also adorning the section of shelves was Das Kloster as it was better known, due to how... extensive it's full title was. Das Kloster was also spansive, covering twelve volumes, although from what could be determined... some were missing.

"Hmmm..." a thoughtful sound made somewhat out loud.

There was also Rhinehardt's Compendium, the Dictionnaire Infernal which, from what can be determined, was the 1863 edition, and Hebron's Almanac. Which lead into an assortment such as Key of Solomon, Hell's Offspring, the Scrolls of Aberjian in book form, and the Ildatch ancient text presumed lost through the eons of time.

With a weary sigh, a selection was about to be made when suddenly there was a loud, bloodcurdling scream coming from somewhere within the hotel. It had been sudden, quick and enough to cause a startled noise of his own before he came to his senses and realized what had happened. Considering the shelf for a moment, only a moment, the books were discarded as the commotion started to echo through. Quickly and as quietly as possible, the small, barely-existent lamp was turned off and the room vacated, the door being closed. Looking around in the darkened hallway for signs of distress, hesitation was made on whether or not to look for the scream, return to the rented room, or go to the reception area.

-----------------------------------------------

The hour had grown late, far later then one would have liked before getting to the final destination, or at least the final destination for the night. The trip was somewhat long, with using buses and cabs, but this final stretch seemed to be the worst. Perhaps it was the late hour. Or perhaps it was merely because it was dark out, and nothing could be seen, although the driver in control of the Cab made it sound like there wasn't much to see... Likely, it was a combination of all of the above, combined with being exhausted and the fact that there seemed to be no real end in sight to the ride.

Maybe I should have just stayed at the Holiday Inn...

With a soft groan and the rubbing of temples, Rosemary Kingston rubbed her temples and suppressed the yawn as best she could. It didn't help. Right now, all that mattered was reaching the end point of the night, checking in and laying down, and falling asleep. Hell, at this point, it had long been decided to discard the idea of dinner and just simply go to bed, thats how bad it was. Blinking away the blurry, weary vision, Rosemary was considering to ask how much longer it would be, and to find a way to fight falling asleep in the cab when she saw it,

Light.

It wasn't a light from the cab, no, it was the light coming from the porch light, such as it was, of the hotel.

Finally...

The light, from what could be seen, didn't reveal very much, mostly part of the door and the immediate wall that surrounded the mounting. Other sources of light were those escaping the windows from inside. As the cab came to a stop, Rosemary continued to stare at the building, now able to look out her own window on the right side of the cabs rear.

"What" Rosemary said, looking to the Cabbie, before realizing he was giving her a total, "oh, sorry."

Paying the man and then getting out, Rosemary collected her bags, having put them in the back with her. The door had no more been shut when the car suddenly lurched forward, taking off before Rosemary had a chance to move away a safe distance.

A fury filled her veins as she shouted into the night at the already barely visible taillights, "hey, asshole! How about making sure I'm clear of the cab next time!?"

Dick

Rosemary stared at the darkness of where the red lights of the cabs rear disappeared to, and sighed in tiredness, frustration and anger. Deciding that it wasn't worth an issue tonight, she picked up her bags and started up the steps. The creaking gave her pause, as the smell assaulted her nostrils and the dark shapes in the shadows looked intimidating.

Hell...

Looking around carefully, Rosemary took another step forward and put her hand on the doorknob, just as he heard a scream coming from within the house.

Letting out a yelp of her own, Rosemary let go of the knob and took a step back, staring at the door, wondering if she should go in. Looking back to the darkness behind her, Rosemary cursed to herself, realizing there wasn't much of a choice. It was that, or stay outside for the night...

With a deep breath, Rosemary stepped back up to the door, placed her hand on the knob, and turned it, pushing the door inward.

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Seth's long hair fell over his glasses, blurring his view of the beautiful woman standing before him. He quickly snapped his head back, causing the strands of hair to fly out of his face and back to the sides where it belonged. The woman had a distant Eastern-European, possibly Russian, accent. Although, her time spent in American slightly muddeled her Slavic roots. Seth had no idea who she was as she apparently kept to herself. Like Oslo, she was one of the wealthier occupants of the hotel and her money, foreign or not, was one of the reasons the hotel stayed open. It certainly wasn't the barrage of clientle that did not frequent the establishment...

"Um...what? Um...I don't know." He said to her.

He felt just as confused as her. What was going on? Seth looked back at the group of Texans and they too were confused and for a few moments...quiet. Seth descended a few steps and couldn't help but notice that another customer (potentially) was standing at the door looking in. He had no idea who she was or where she came from, but the source of the scream did not come from her or the front. No, it came from the back area. He looked back at Anna and his testostirone would not let him run back into his room. His mind, however, wanted nothing more than to do that.

You're such a pussy.

It was bad enough this looked like a haunted mansion, but frightening screams? He didn't sign up for this. He signed up for atmosphere, not literal terror.

"Wha-what's going on?" He said in a barely audible tone.

He looked back up at Anna and as he did so, he couldn't help but notice a man standing near the darkest area of the railing at the second floor. Seth, like the woman at the door, did not recognize him. Maybe there were more people holed up in this place than he thought?

A figure stumbled into the main hall prompting people to gasp in disgust, horror, and panic. Seth couldn't see him from his vantage point and he carefully took a few steps downwards to get a better view.

"Oh my god, Mr. Wills!" Nadine shouted as she saw him staggering towards her.

The elderly man who would be given free food thanks to the compassionate Nadine, grabbed his hands in pain. They were soaked in blood and he left a red trail behind him as he walked.

"My fingers." He said crying, "My ******* fingers."

Seth got closer and could see three of his digits on his right hand were gone...or rather...they looked like they had been bitten off.

What kind of guard dog do they have here?

One of the Texans grimaced at the sight, "Jeezus KRIST. What the hehl happen to you, ole man?"

Mr. Wills looked like he was moments away from passing out, "He bit my fingers. He bit my fingers. He just just just just ate them. My god... Hurts so much..."

Seth looked confused.

Did he say he bit my fingers?

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Hearing the moans of pain and seeing someone between the gaps of the men in front of her, Rosemary pushed her way though. As she started clearing her way, she saw the blood covering an elderly man's hands. His moans of fingers being bitten off rang into Rosemary's ears as she started to push for her.

"Move" Rosemary demanded to the men in front of her, "I'm a paramedic, move out of the way."

Reaching the man, Rosemary looked at his right hand as best she could as she reached out for his shoulder. The man pulled away, starting to sob as he cradled his hand.

"No, no, no" Rosemary said as she shook her head gently, "It's okay, I can help."

As Rosemary gently took his shoulder and guided him to a chair, she looked around the room quickly.

"Someone call him an ambulance, right now."

As Rosemary gently helped the man into a chair, she shushed gently, somewhat out of habit as she looked at him. Setting down her bags, she unzipped the backpack sized one. Within it were some bandages, examination gloves and other materials that might be found being carried by a medic. Rushing as quickly as she could as the man cried, Rosemary put on a pair of gloves and reached for his hand.

-----------

Watching the scene unfold, steps were taken from the darkness and further into the reception area. An older man who's name that wasn't known held his right hand, which was covered in blood. Three fingers were missing, and moans of pain and description of them being bitten off reached the ears. Watching as a young woman approached the elder man, calling herself a paramedic and demanding an ambulance, a look of concern and fear started to form.

It was like that with everyone, as people looked on with shock, horror and fear combined with fear. Taking steps toward the elderly man in the chair and the woman tending to him, he had crossed into her peripheral vision.

"Back off" she said looking up, "give me some room."

"Sorry" came the response.

Looking to the woman that ran the place, steps were then taken toward the area where the elderly man stumbled into the room. Carefully, the steps avoided tracking into the blood left behind as the man bled while staggering.

-----------

Looking over the gruesome mess as the elderly man cried, Rosemary tried to gather what happened. She removed some gauze from her bag and applied it to the mans wounds. Getting cries of pain from him, Rosemary shushed gently as she tried to soak up some of the blood and cleaned the wound.

"What happened" Rosemary asked.

-----------

As the young woman worked on the injured man, the flashlight was removed from it's small holster and activated. Looking on the floor, drops and smears of blood could be seen. With seem careful consideration, the light started to be moved around and another step forward was taken.

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Anna peered down into the foyer and shrank back at the sight of blood. She never did well with anything so grotesque. Pressing a pale hand to the base of her throat, she felt her pulse hammering at the base of her throat. If she could have paled more than her almost translucent complexion, she would have. Leaning on the rail, Anna watched hesitantly as another woman rushed forward and started helping the injured man.

"He said he bit my fingers." Anna spoke, her voice slightly shrill with an edge of panic. "Shouldn't someone go find this... person?"

She hesitated on the top of the stairs, trying to decide what to do. She stepped a few steps down the stairs. Anna descended half the stairs before stopping again, her nose wrinkling at the smell of blood.

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(Ok, sorry all. The opening post has some errors I need to correct. I apologize for that.)

The old man's color was beginning to fade from his face as he slowly slipped into shock to cope with the immense pain of having his fingers torn off. He was being held up mostly by Nadine untiil Rosemary brought him to an old antique chair and sat him down. She demanded an ambulance be called immediately, obviously not having the total means to help the elderly fellow. Mr. Wills grimaced in pain as she tried, as gently as possible, to take his hand.

"Answer her." A voice demanded from the back of the group.

Several of the others looked to see the shady lawyer-looking Alan White staring at the events unfolding below. The old man kept choking back sobs and groaning in pain, but he tried to get his story out.

"I was out back in the gardens." He said in a mix of mumbles and tears, "I....I...I...was taking a piss into...into...into...the flowers when something reached out for my Jimmy Dean Sausage. I..I jumped back on the grass and something...someone grabbed....gra-...my hand! It tore off my ******* fingers with a single bite... There was a monster in the garden. He looked...half man, half...half...monster."

A collective set of groans erupted from the group of Texans who began to see this story as bullshit. Seth found himself almost in agreement. He looked back at the beautiful artistocrat who wanted to clarify if Wills had said "he" bit me. It would appear that he did. The skeptic in Seth, a rather militant atheist, began to wonder if this was some type of "show" the hotel patrons were putting on. After all, that is what these "haunted" hotel types do don't they? He had heard that Ghost Hunters nearly did a story on this hotel, but decided against it as it wasn't "scary enough". Maybe the hotel was making up for that? After all, that really had to hurt their haunted cred. Then again...would a civilian like Mr. Wills be a part of this? If he was a civilian. The old man could just be a hired actor.

"You sure this isn't a show?" Seth whispered to Anna.

He looked back at the exchange down below as the Texans argued that this was bullshit.

"Let's get outta here." The man with the hat argued, "We shoulda stayed at the motel a few miles back."

"No one is going anywhere." A stern voice shouted.

All eyes, except for Rosemary helping Mr. Wills, turned to look at the source of the voice. Seth looked to see Gavin Calhoun shoving the unsuspecting Brian into the main hall and sealing the doors shut. Gavin was as close to "security" as this hotel had. He was a private security that could be hired to the highest bidder of sorts. Gavin was a very large and imposing hick and Seth was frightened of him. Gavin was mostly seen walking around the grounds, but he didn't really bother the guests. He was wielding a massive shotgun slung and a very disturbed look.

"What you doing, man?" The smaller Texan with the blonde hair demanded, "Our truck is out there. Get-"

"Shut your mouth, boy." Gavin shouted, "Wills ain't lying. I saw one of the fuckers out front."

Nadine looked around, "What the hell is going on?"

"I don't know, Nadine." Gavin replied as he sealed the front doors, "I think it could be some assholes dressed up in costumes."

"A halloween prank?" White asked in a skeptic tone.

"Maybe." Gavin said, "But it ain't much of a prank if they're attacking our guests. We need to seal this bitch down and call for help. I see a group of people in the distance coming towards the hotel."

Seth finally found that he had some balls somwhere under his robe and stepped forward, "Then call the police and his ambulance!"

Arthur snapped out of his terror and replied, "There is only one main line built on the premises and it's in a nearby shed out back."

"What!?" One of the Texans groaned.

"This building was built before phones and we never put any because of the...." Arthur looked embarassed, "...the solitude of the hotel. We had an image to maintain."

Seth sighed and reached for his cellular phone when he realized he didn't have it on him. He left it in his duffel bag because he didn't want to be interrupted by calls on his retreat. Seth immediately ran upstairs to go grab it before he stopped at the strange man at the top of the stairs.

"Um...you...uh...sir?" He asked nervously, "Do you have a cell phone? We could...um....um...call....you know....people....?"

The man was an enigma to Seth. He hadn't seen him before and the look on his face showed that he knew something was going on and it wasn't a halloween prank...

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As Rosemary worked on the man's fingers, sopping away the blood, she listened to the various exchanges, trying to get a look at the wounds. Whatever it was that had bitten the fingers off, from what Rosemary could tell, had indeed, done so... 'cleanly' and not sawed, or gnawed, or whatever. Then again, injuries wasn't necessarily her area of expertise, or rather how fine they are and what caused them, her expertise was treating them. Whatever it was that had done this though, was clearly something dangerous, and posed a threat to the very safety of the hotel guests.

Just as she was about to stress the need for an ambulance, someone new walked into the area and informed the gathered guests they were there to stay. Instead of looking to the man, Rosemary listened to what he was saying, preparing the wounds to splash rubbing alcohol on them, to try and clean chances of infection. What he said though, and scared her, that there were a group of people heading toward the hotel, and one of them had already arrived and attacked this poor man.

"Wherever it is" Rosemary said, piping in on the subject of the landline, "We need an ambulance here now, and if we have deranged people outside? Law enforcement of some kind would be good too."

Rosemary allowed herself a quick look around, and stopped at someone, a man whose name she did not know, standing near her and the man she was treating.

"Hey, you" Rosemary said, getting the man's attention. "I need you to reach into my bag and get out the rubbing alcohol."

---------------

The conversation had been listened to as the back area quickly looked around, and the back door closed and locked. There hadn't been anything seen... but that didn't mean there wasn't something, after all... some poor fools blood was all over the place. Carefully, steps were taken back into the reception area to avoid the blood as people debated on what was going on, and what to do. Walking up the stairs, seemingly invisible, Then again, it wasn't like people were paying attention to someone on a flight of stairs, as there were more... pressing concerns.

At the top of the stairs though, there had been people gathered, someone demanding to know what was going on, and someone else simply standing there, listening. When it was mentioned that the only landline was outback, beyond the now closed door, one of the other guest figited while some protested.

"No, sorry" came the response after the query on the cell phone.

Truly, there had been one, but there was no reception here, something that most had figured out by now. This area was after all, very... secluded, but then again, no cell phone reception was getting somewhat rarer and rarer.

Looking over to the railing at the young woman treated the injured man, the concern was what was happening to him, and not what was going on outside. Well, not entirely true, there was a deep concern as to what was going on outside, but right now inside was more pressing...

"How close" came the question to the man with the shotgun, a Vanden Berg Custom. A quick glance was taken to the old man, as he continued to moan about it hurting while the young woman, was looking his wounds over and directing someone to get something out of her bag.

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Seth sighed in frustration and charged into the dark hall way leading towards the room he was staying in. It was possible, despite the bad signal, that he could possibly get his cell phone to make a call out. Possible.

One of the Texans, a man dressed in a leather jacket, looked at the medic as she ordered him to grab something from his bag. He scoffed at her with an annoyed look at being ordered around to do anything.

"I don't take orders from you, b*tch." He snapped at her.

Nadine shoved the guy aside and quickly grabbed the rubbing alchohal for the woman trying to help the old man. By this point, Wills had slipped into total delirium and was mumbling nonsense over and over. His skin was chalk-white and his eyes kept glazing over.

The mysterious man, after having answered Seth, spoke to Gavin and asked how close the figures in the distance were.

"Not far," He replied, "Down the dirt path. Clearly some of them are out back. I'm gonna have to go out there if we're gonna get to the phone."

Nadine looked at the others, "Anyone gonna help him?"

She shot a dirty look to the group of Texans that turned away, not wanting to volunteer.

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Rosemary ignored the request for volunteers, obviously occupied as she opened the bottle of rubbing alcohol. Looking to the man sympathetically, Rosemary then turned the bottle over, splashing the liquid on the man's bloodied stumps. A scream filled the room as the man's eyes snapped open and he tried to pull his hand away, but finding little strength to do so. Rosemary screwed the cap back on and set the bottle down, and asked the woman that helped her before for new gauze. Watching the man's movements as she continued to quick as quickly as she could, she made notes of the color of his skin.

---------

Looking down at the gathered guest, the men who had been protesting the loudest hadn't offered to help... with anything. One of them spoke rather violently to the woman assisting the injured man, which seemed to spur the ire of the lady that operated the place. Carefully considering the injured man as thoughts ran through the mind, he cleared his throat.

I'll need something from my room before we can go outside" Turning toward the hall, "give me a moment."

Taking a brisk place down the hall and into his room, the door was opened and quickly closed behind upon entering. Then a reach was made for behind, and under the leather jacket being worn and out came a small pistol. A SIG Sauer P229R DAK, which of course, had the safety on while tucked into it's holster under the jacket. The magazine was removed and a quick count revealed that all of the bullets were in it, as it should be. Still... it hadn't hurt to look, in fact it was proper safety to always check...

After the magazine was slapped back into the grip, the slide was slightly pulled back for a brass check, just to be sure. Then, the slide was pulled completely back, cambering a bullet. A check for the safety was made, and it was found to still be on with the weapon then put back into it's holster.

Then came the contents on the desk, hidden under a sheet that was found in the closet. The sheet came off, and a trio of shotguns, plus extra ammunition for them all was neatly arranged. The shotguns themselves were all set so that the barrels were aiming toward the outer wall, even though the weapons were empty. Picking up the USAS-12 Shotgun, the weapon was inspected and the drum laying the the desk retrieved.

The drum was put into place, the weapon now ready to fire. Considering the other shotguns for a moment, ti was decided now wasn't the time. The risk was great, but the time to answer questions and explain things wasn't this moment. That phone needed to be reached, perhaps reinforcements could come along...

In any case, escape needed to happen, and happen now.

Moving out of the room, a brisk pace was made for the flight of stars and stopping just at the top. All eyes looked upward as the large USAS-12 was griped slightly. Considering everything for a moment, the stairs were descended and a look was shared with the woman who operated the hotel.

"Does the hotel have any weapons of it's own" came the question, a necessity as this information was useful, even right now. They could be retrieved during the attempt to the phone, if it was close enough... There was an urge to ask about transportation, but it was unlikely there was enough for everyone, not right now... not with this many.

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Anna watched silently as the events unfolded. She would be nearly useless: she had no way to reach the outside world and she couldn't help the group heading for the only phone on the premises. She hugged her arms around her, chaffing her hands against her thin arms to restore some of the warmth. It suddenly felt cold to her and she paced a few times near the railing, looking down towards the injured man on the floor.

A sudden thought occurred and she turned, heading back into her rooms for a small pill case she kept on her night stand. She returned to the banister and called down to the woman assisting the injured man.

"Have him take one of these," she called to her before tossing the pill bottle down to them. Nadine caught it carefully. "They should take some of the pain away and help him relax. It's the least we can do for now."

She watched to see that the man was going to get the medicine before turning and disappearing into her rooms again, leaving the doors slightly ajar so that she could hear anything going on. Pacing slowly towards the nearby window, she carefully parted the blind with a finger and peered out into the darkness. She couldn't see anything outside, though she half expected to see something shambling around the lawn. She shivered again and shut the curtain quickly.

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Gavin looked at the young heiress handing off meds to the medic as she helped the elderly homeless man. The man was slowly going into shock and minimizing the pain he felt would help him from slipping into unconciousness. The nerdy writer ran upstairs to his room to grab his cell phone, but it was doubtful any signal could be reached out here. Even Gavin knew that. Part of the "appeal" to this place was that no one could find you. He looked over to the mysterious figure who wielded a massive weapon, prompting stares from several of the others. Nadine glared at Gavin as if to say "you let that in my hotel?" Clearly, a new policy inspecting luggage had to be made considering this insane man brought a weapon of that calibur inside. The man asked if there were any other weapons inside the hotel.

"Clearly...you've brought enough." Gavin said in an irritated tone.

Nadine piped forward, "No, there are not. Where the hell did you get that gun?"

A scream from the back of the hotel prompted Gavin and the mysterious man to charge forward without answering Nadine's question. Gavin gripped his own shotgun, not quite as impressive as the one the other man wielded. Still, it would get the job done if these Halloween pranksters were getting violent. He rounded a corner that led towards the dining hall, but everything looked empty.

"Come on." Gavin urged, trusting the man to not shoot him the back.

He didn't reveal too much, but it seemed like the man knew more than he let on. Gavin didn't know what it was, but he got a suspicious feeling at the pit of his stomach. He entered into the small kitchen to find the chef, imported from France, trying to run away from the door. It was open and led to the outside where the chef could toss left overs to the cats. The chef was babbling hysterically in French, prompting an annoyed Gavin to reply.

"Speak 'merican!" He demanded.

The chef pointed to the door, "...they're killing her. Killing her!"

Gavin shoved the chef aside and slowly approached the open door. The long, steel stoves covered the ground-area of the door so Gavin couldn't see anything below them until he moved around them. He pressed the end of the shotgun tightly against his shoulder and lifted the sight even with his eyes. His mouth gapped open when he saw a frightening sight. The young Bostan girl and girlriend to Brian, Kelly, was laying in a massive pool of blood. Her limbs had been ripped apart and patches of her face were torn off. But that was not the most horrific thing. Decaying creatures squatted over her body and ate away at her flesh. The only part of her that looked normal was her arm next to her body. It clutched a lit cigeratte that she was smoking outside in the back. Her eyes was glazed over.

"Dear Jesus..." Gavin said in an hysterical tone.

His voice caused the walking dead to look in his direction...

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Seconds behind the armed man, and clearing the large, steel stoves, the horrific sight quickly came into view. It was as bad as the hysterical men were making it seem, a young woman, one not recognized was on the porch. In pieces. Worst still, chunks, literally, chunks of this woman were held by the very creatures now staring back at the two armed men. The still lit cigarette in the woman's hand indicated that this had happenend suddenly, or that she hadn't seen them approching. Or simply hadn't understood.

Racking a shell into the chamber, the hysterical men were cleared as the USAS-12 was raised to eye level for aiming. Before any of the men could react, a shot was taken to the nearest individual, who wore the tattered remains of what was once a very nice suit. As the empty shell ejected from the weapon automatically, and another full shell racked into the chamber, the shot creature seized. The head snapped back and the body fell to the deck of the porch in a dull thud.

A groan escaped one of the others as they started to lumber forward, prompting another quick shot, striking directly in the forehead as before. Then a third shot was taken toward the next closest creature, striking in the face due to the wavier of the arm.

Shit

===

Back in the reception area, Rosemary felt herself nearly leap into the air despite the fact she was still crouching. The weapons fire had been quite loud and certainly unexpected, even if two men had gone into the back with shotguns Looking toward the area where the man disappeared, Rosemary was certain she heard someone exclaim the son's name in vain.

Quickly recovering and looking back to the weakened man she was treating, Rosemary looked to his face for a moment then down to what was left of his hand. The clean bandage was almost completely on now, no thanks to the asshole in the hat. Thankfully, someone else had offered to help, a woman who seemed to be commanding some sort of respect or charge. Whoever she was, she was doing the most in terms of helping, followed by someone on the upper level who dropped a bottle of pills that could potentially help with the mans pain. Holding onto the gauze and bandages tightly, Rosemary applied the medical tape she had the other woman prepare.

"There" Rosemary said, looking to the man "that will help keep it in place."

Rosemary looked around the group and then back to the woman, "what the hell is going on around here?"

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Seth charged into the main hall when he had heard the very loud gun fire in the distance. He looked around in panic, thinking the worst. However, the gun fire was not occuring right there but in the kitchen on the side of the building. He looked at Anna as if she would have an explanation for him, but she looked just as confused. Were they really killing Halloween pranksters? What kind of teenagers were these? He had his cell phone in his head, but the tiny little bars were completely gone as there was no signal in that area. Seth had the biggest urge to run, but where to? He had no car. He was dropped off by a cab. However, the Texans were not so handicapped. Their truck was parked right outside near the door. None of them had offered their names so Seth had taken to giving them stereotypical Texas names. Dallas, Austin, San An, Paso, and Houston.

"Screw this! I'm going for my truck!" Austin shouted.

He charged through the doors, barreling into poor Brian and knocking him to the ground. The other Texans looked hesitant and confused on what to do. The Texan in the leather jacket, Dallas, shouted for his friend to come back. The figures inside of the hall looked to see a horde of staggering walkers in the field approaching...

--------------------------------------------------------

At first Gavin was surprised the man opened fire. He didn't expect him to kill so brazenly, but Gavin snapped out of his shock. These weren't people. These were monsters. One of the walkers the man shot fell to the ground with a hole in his chest, but he was slowly getting back up.

"How?" Gavin breathed in confusion.

The gun fire was loud, especially standing next to the shotgun going off. Gavin shoved the door close, causing the remaining body parts of the woman to slosh into the ground outside. Her blood left a trail from where the door was to where it was closed.

"What the hell are those things!?" He screamed in terror.

He suddenly felt someone pushing against the door...

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Anna felt panic rising in her chest and she screamed down into the foyer.

"Closed the damned door!" She yelled at the Texans who were dithering on the entryway, trying to decide if they should leave or not. "Everyone upstairs." She said, pointing back towards her suite of rooms. "My suite will offer some shelter for now. We can bar the door and escape off the roof if need be."

She glanced over at Seth, then down into the foyer again. It was the only plan she had.

The balconies surrounding her room would offer some escape if they got trapped there. And they could hole up in her rooms for now, barring each door progressively until they got to the inner room: her bedchamber. She had nothing else in the room that could assist them except for a small revolver that she kept for self protection: no substantial weapons or food or other supplies but from the sounds of the gunshots towards of the back of the hotel and the appearance of more creatures out the front of the hotel, perhaps it would be their only option.

"Well?" She asked, her voice somewhat high-pitched with fear, but she tried to keep it somewhat level, somewhat calm.

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Seth looked just as panicked, going back and forth, before looking at Anna heading upstairs.

"Which one is your room?" He shouted at her.

A part of him felt a sense of guilt for yelling at her, but he was terrified and her yelling caused a sense of panic to choke his emotions.

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As mass confusion occured from opening the door, most did not notice that Mr. Wills had completely passed out. His skin color was chalk white and green veins began to promulgate all over his face and hands. His wound, while clean thanks to the healing touche of the random medic, started to fester and turn him into something else...

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