Chapter 9

Sleep easy 

   James parked the Suburban a few spaces down from where his room was at the Sleep-EZ motel, a run down "No-tell Motel" type of shit hole, but it was good enough for now. He turned off the truck and went around to the passengers door and grabbed the sleeping Amber. He held her motionless for a moment and looked at her a little more carefully than he could in the dreary darkness of The Man's warehouse. He wiped off some of the mascara that had dried and clumped together on her face. She was very attractive, and he felt something inside, he wasn't quite sure what, but it was something. He shook off the small trance and walked over to his door. It was red and the paint was flaking off in random proportions across the whole cheap piece of wood it was made of. He entered, and placed Amber on his unmade bed. He left the lights off. and returned outside. He closed but didn't lock the door.

    He knew there was a small laundry alcove about thirty feet down, just past the last room. He saw a woman leave, probably one of the door-to-door whores. He went in and rummaged through the dryers, there weren't many of them, but they were large. He found a few articles of womans clothing and picked them out, jeans, a t-shirt with a Japanese-style cartoon cat's face on the front, and socks. They looked like they would fit.

    He walked to the back of his suburban and lifted the hatch, he knew he had a pair of shoes his wife Jane had left in there, they would fit Amber.

    Back in the room, James put Amber in the stand up shower. It was a cramped style bathroom with a tiny sink, regular toilet and dirty mirror. He had removed her dirty clothes, and left her in her underwear, which had seen better days, but wasn't as filthy as her old clothes. He turned on the shower, and her reaction was immediate and abrupt. She yelped loudly, "What the fuck!" It wasn't a surprise. 

"Get cleaned up, after you're done, I'll dress the abrasions and small cuts you have. I have clean clothes for you too." 

"What the fuck.." she said again.

 "I'm not going to hurt you Amber, just relax, I got you away from that psycho, remember?" 

"Who are you again?" She asked him. 

"I'm James, don't you remember? Never mind that for now, I have some food and a bottle of water out here if you're hungry, once you're finished."

    He closed the bathroom door behind him. He picked up some of his clothes and folded them and put them in a gym bag, then zipped it up and threw it beside the door. He laid down for a moment.

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               He drifted off into the abyss of nothing, a vacuous anti-world of pure non-existence,  the same dream as before, but one he hadn't had in months. The same soundless void, the same disgusting repugnant odor, And the sputtering candle light in the distance. The guttural laughing came again, and reverberated endlessly back and forth through the vortex of nothingness until it bounced circles inside his mind and made the pain return. The pain relented for now, and he floated towards the flickering candle light, and behind the light he saw the eyes, those elliptical eyes. The eyes of some demon antiquity of stories long past, of horrors told in old tomes. It growled, and the white teeth protruded outward, such a large mouth.

    James opened his eyes, Amber was shaking him. "Wake up James" she said softly. He rubbed his eyes, and noticed how different she looked. Her hair was spiked up a bit, because of it's short length, which made her face shine in the light. Her green eyes stared into him and when she smiled, it nearly blinded him. 

"You found the clothes I see, do they fit alright?" 

 "They're a bit tight, but I'm sure I'll manage, you like Hello Kitty or something?"  

"Um, I found them in the dryer, didn't have much of a choice, there's a pair of trainers I think will fit you over by the door."   "Did those belong to your wife?" 

"Yeah" he said, and sunk his head.   

"I don't think we can stay here much longer, I have a bad feeling,"   "About what?" she asked. "That this isn't anywhere far from over."