Saturday, February 22, 2014

Birds of prey, shadows of death(accidentally deleted first four chapters)

  That night, once Anne is off to sleep, I decide to head downstairs, see what I can find. This whole thing just smacks of strange, the more I learn the less it makes sense. If the NSA or whoever can potentially listen in to all our communications, shouldn't they have some idea of this place, even if they don't know we are here, you would think they would do a sweep of sorts. An even the Beth thing as well, why would she say they met when we booked the room, but Anne say they didn't. I realize there are a lot of people coming in an out, but supposedly she doesn't even do any of that at all. Maybe I should see if I can have a short chat with Beth if possible, see what she says about it.
"Excuse me, but its Bryan right." The front desk woman asks." Yes, uh! Ella is it." I say, finally noticing her name tag on her right breast.
"Is everything okay, you look a little
"Oh yeah, its been a weird few days you know."
"That's too bad, anything I can help you with?"
"No, its fine thanks, nothing that a few drinks can't help anyways."
"Well I am off right now, so.." she asks." Do you mind if I join you."
"Yeah, of course, of course." I say, taken a back. We head into the bar, located in the back and to the right inside of the restaurant. An after we grab a few beers, we take a seat just against the wall.
"So, did you ever find those keys." She smirks.
"Oh yeah." I say awkwardly." We found them, thanks."
"Yeah!" She tells me." Where did you find them anyways."
"They were underneath the bed you know, she must have dropped them when putting stuff away. Always the last place huh!"
"Yeah, apparently." I am beginning to think she knows that I was lying, but to what end, what does she think is my reason for doing so. I just hope she doesn't think I was trying to come on to her, that would be an awkward conversation, with her an Anne by the way.
"So.." she says." How long do you think you will stay?"
"I am not sure really, its still up in the air."
"Yeah don't want to head home to early, better to stay here to be safe, isn't that right."
"To be safe, how do you mean exactly."
"Oh you know, its just that.." she says, before being cut off by Beth.
"Hey you two, getting a little chummy I see. Hopefully Anne isn't the jealous type huh!" She tells me, chuckling." Do you two mind if I join you, drinks are on me!" She tells us, sitting down next to Ella. As she sits down, she removes her blazer, revealing the white buttoned up shirt underneath, that seems to almost struggle to keep her in check. Its like a car accident, when you see it you just have to slow down to take a look.
"So what are you two talking about."
"Not much." Ella says." Just the day we had, that's all."
"Well its always nice to get things off your chest after a long day."
"Yeah, definitely." I chime in." Definitely."
After a few minutes, Ella gives off a subtle sigh and begins." Well I should get going, I have an early day tomorrow, I will see you two later."
"Yeah no problem." Says Beth, as she lets her out of the Booth.
"More fun for us, huh Bryan!"
"Uh, yeah!" I say awkwardly.
"It was really nice talking to you Bryan." She says before leaving." Hopefully we get to do it again sometime."
"Yeah." I say." I would like that." I am not quite sure what exactly Ella is looking for in all this, but it almost seemed as if she knew about everything, at least the keys anyhow.
"So Bryan, a little hot in here isn't it." She says, slightly unbuttoning her shirt.
"No, it seems okay."
"So where is Anne tonight?"
"Upstairs sleeping actually."
"Oh! I see, kind of strange that she wouldn't come down with you, are you two okay."
"Yeah, everything is good, she just doesn't know I am down here, that's all."
"Oh, interesting.. I guess its a good thing I showed up than huh!"
"Yeah, don't know what I would have done you know." I say sarcastically.
"So about that dinner we were talking about earlier, maybe tomorrow, what do you think."
"Oh right, I forgot about that, Anne never really gave mean answer. She seemed to like you though, she was telling me about your conversation you two had when we came
"I don't remember talking to her than."
"That is not what you said earlier."
"Yeah, sorry, I must have been thinking of Jess up in room 312. That is my mistake."
"Oh I see, I must have misheard than." I say." So you two didn't know each other previously than."
"Oh God no, why would you think that."
"I don't know, I just assumed I guess."
   We haven't been here for that long, and already the pitcher of beer is basically empty, with only about a quarter glass left, in which Beth quickly takes for herself. I never figured she would drink like this, she only had two glasses but she pounded them back quite readily. So if that is the case, maybe its the beer coming on to me, and not actually her. Come to think of it, I did see a drink in her hand at various intervals throughout the day, the weird thing is, is that its quite hard to tell, she must do this on a fairly regular basis I would guess, I mean, she is the owner. Its hard not to drink when the drinks are free.
"So Beth." I say, trying to change the subject.
"Do you think I can ask you something."
"Yeah, of course, ask away."
"Well not to be rude or anything, but how is it that a woman of your... caliber." I say, trying not to return the favor, with the whole flirting thing." Owns a place like this.. especially in the middle of nowhere."
"Well that's easy, my father used to bring me here when I was a kid, so there are so many memories here of that time, especially after he passed a few years ago. So when I heard that this place was going on the chopping block, I thought it was the perfect time to start fresh you know, a whole new life in a sense."
"So they were going to tear this place down, I thought it was just for sale."
"No, no, no. The old owners lost it to the banks actually, and they were gonna sell it to some company that wanted to tear the place down, build some sort of mall or townhouses, or something to that effect."
  Beth has now served herself a few orders of beer, an has now seemingly gotten to that point of drunkenness, when the truth usually begins spilling out. Its at about this time that she sputters her final words of the night." I should probably get going to bed, if I stay down here any longer I may not be able to make it to bed, you know what I mean."
"Yeah." I say." Its probably a good idea to do so." As she gets up, she slightly stumbles her way to the table just across from us, trying to keep herself from falling over.
"Is everything okay, do you need some
"No.. I should be fine, thanks."
   Upstairs, back in the room, I find Anne sleeping silently away, just like I left her, almost as if she hasn't moved at all. But try as I might to get into bed without waking her, she eventually gets up, teary eyed and half asleep.
"Bryan?" She says sleepily." Is that you? Were did you go?"
"I couldn't sleep, so I went downstairs for a beer, that's all."
"Oh!.." she says, before falling asleep once more." That's nice."
While I lay in bed, staring off into the blackness, I can't help but wonder.. if what Beth said was true, an it seems as it is, than that would mean that Anne was lying to me than, but to what end. Maybe this whole thing is just to confuse me for some reason, or maybe I am just tired and buzzed. Maybe tomorrow I will have a clearer head.
   When I get up the next morning, to a slight headache, I find Anne no longer sleeping beside me. An as I get ready, searching the room, I still find her no where in sight. I imagine she got a head start with the continental breakfast, so she is probably downstairs waiting for me already. 
"Hey Bryan." Ella says, as I enter the lobby.
"Why hello Ella!." I answer." Say, have you seen Anne pass by at all today. She wasn't in the room when I awoke?."
"I saw her about an hour ago, she should be in getting breakfast."
"Okay.. thanks Ella! I appreciate that."
"Bryan!." She calls out." I need to talk to you about something."
"Oh, what is it exactly."
"I can't here, but maybe you can get away around noon, its something you might want to know.. if you don't mind."
"Umm! Yeah, I can probably make some time." I say, a little weirded out.
"Okay, thanks Bryan."
"Yeah.. yeah, no problem." Inside the restaurant I find Anne sitting alone in the back, with a half empty plate of food standing still in front of her. She has her hands upon her head as if something is stressing  her out. The whole on the run thing must be getting to her, as she has been acting slightly strange this whole time.
"Hey! Is everything alright."
"Yeah." She mutters." Its fine, its.. I don't know Bryan, I don't know what to do anymore."
"How do you mean?"
"Its just."  She sighs." This whole thing has made me realize, that I can't keep lying to you anymore."
"Keep lying to me." I repeat." About what.. is this about the whole Beth thing."
"Beth thing.. what Beth thing?" She asks.
"You know, you say you talked to her, she says she didn't."
"That was just a mistake on my part, I thought Ella was the owner."
"Why would you think that?"
"I just asked her about the previous owners, the ones I knew, and she told me the whole story, I just figured she was the owner."
"But what about when we saw her afterwards, we saw Beth, the actual Beth, and than you said you two met."
"No I didn't, I just said that she was the woman who owned the place, Ella cleared things up when I came down to meet you."
"So this whole thing was a big misunderstanding."
"Seems like it, yeah!"
"Oh! Well that's a lot simpler explanation than I originally figured."
"Well you do have an active imagination at times.. so tell me than, were you running around these past few days trying to figure this out." She laughs.
"Well". I shrug." Not the whole time."
After breakfast, back in our room, I sit in the living room with the t.v on, while she is in the bedroom packing our stuff.
"Are you sure we have to go so soon?" I ask. "Yeah.." she answers, I don't think this place is safe anymore."
"How do you know?"
"Just call it a hunch, that's all, but anyhow it might be best we head out anyway, don't worry about the front desk either, I got it all covered."
"Okay, sounds good. Oh!" I call out." What was it you wanted to tell me earlier, you know the whole lying thing, it sounded important. I am sorry, but it completely slipped my mind."
"That's okay Bryan, it was nothing, its just this whole situation is quite stressful, that's all." As she says this, from the other room, I am somehow reminded of the meeting I was supposed to have with Ella. I am not sure what it could possibly be about, but it sounded like she needed an ear, I just hope she doesn't have a thing for me, but I have never been good at reading those type of things. I turn off the t.v and walk over to her in the other room, as she is leaning over the bed packing the suitcases.
"I just have to head downstairs for a minute. I will be right back, I think I forgot something down in the restaurant."
"Yeah.. no problem, just be quick, I wanna get out of here as soon as possible."
"I will just be a flash." Down in the lobby, I find Ella still standing behind the desk, as elegant as possible in a blue suit and dress, that is coupled nicely with a plain white shirt.
"Hey.. so you wanted to talk to me."
"Yeah, I did, I have something you need to know."
"Okay well it has to be quick, Anne wants to leave right away."
"Just wait.. she is leaving now?"
"Yeah, she just told me she wants to get out of here. You look distressed, is everything okay?"
"She must know somehow, but how." She mumbles to herself.
"She must know what exactly, what is going on."
"Here Bryan, come into Beth's office for a minute." Beth's office looks like any other you would see, the only difference being is the couch on the other end, with a small table, all set up like someones living room.
Across from that is a wall spanning bookcase, full of books that look like they have never been read.
"So than.." I say, sitting beside her on the couch." What is this all about."
"Okay Bryan, what I am about to tell you may sound crazy, but you got to listen to
"Okay." I say, wearily.
"Your wife, Anne.. is not who she says she is. The whole back story about her father, is a lie. She has been lying to you Bryan, your whole life, stringing you along for her own pleasure."
Okay?" I smirk." Your saying Anne, which isn't my wife by the way. Is not really Anne at all, but somebody else completely."
"I know how crazy this sounds, but I am telling the truth Bryan."
"Say that this is true, just for a second. How exactly, would a woman working at this hotel, or any hotel, know this."
"I don't really work here, well I do, in a sense. I am a part of the FBI, I was sent here to look over things. We didn't know that Anne was the one we were looking for, which is why I am here, we just had certain assumptions, I guess, that it was her."
"So if what you say is in fact real, which quite honestly I have my doubts, what happens exactly.. to her you know."
"We have to take her in, she has manipulated the system."
"An I will never see her again."
"Well no.. but you have to understand.." she pauses, and sighs.
"Understand what exactly? What else is there?"
"Okay!" She exasperates." Okay, I wasn't going to tell you this, cause it sounds insane, but here is the truth. Have you ever seen that old movie, called inception I believe."
"Yeah, where they are in some kind of dream world, what about it?"
"Well to put it bluntly.. you're in it."
"What are you talking about, are you seriously saying that I am dreaming right now."
"In a sense, yes! You remember the car accident you were in a few years back."
"Yeah I got beat up pretty bad."
"Well that was the start of it. After the accident, in the hospital, you slipped into a coma, that you just wouldn't come out of. So we decided to try this experimental procedure. It basically activates the brain, an makes sense of all the noise, an pieces it together like a puzzle, which is what you see before you. It was built to push you out of it, we thought that if you rejected this world, you would come back to the real one, like when you fall or trip and get jolted awake. An it worked for some time, but this time, well this time was different. Somehow Anne, has fallen for you, like really fallen. She somehow rewritten the system, hiding you and herself."
"But wouldn't she be a computer program, how did she fall in the first place?"
"We aren't sure really, but that doesn't really matter now.. does it."
"No, no I guess not." I say in confusion." Okay but, this story you concocted is pretty wild, you have to admit. How am I supposed to believe something like that.. its
"That is fine Bryan, I thought it would come to this. You want proof?"
"It would be nice."
Okay than, just watch." Ella backs up a few feet, and continues to stand before me with her hands held out. An after a few seconds of her like this, a funny thing begins to happen, as if she is slowly becomes out of focus, almost pixelated. Until the person standing in front of me is no longer Ella, but Beth.
"Oh my God..!" I say in shock." How did you do that." I ask, reaching out my hand to make sure she is in fact real.
"I told you, this isn't real, I can be anybody, can be anywhere."
"This is crazy, absolutely crazy. Are you saying there wasn't any Beth at all. It was you the whole time?"
"In a certain sense! there really is a Beth, but it wasn't always her."
"Okay! So than.. why didn't you just go after Anne in the first place, why all this secretive in the shadows shit?"
"As I have already said Bryan, she hacked the system somehow. Every person in here, has a sort of tracker, so no matter where they go, we can always find them. But somehow she jammed the signal, and yours as well. Hell she doesn't even look the same as she did beforehand Bryan, she is playing a trick on you, all of us. You see that don't you."
"So she kept me here, against my will."
"Yes, yes she did, I am sorry Bryan. We never thought anything like this could happen, it is partially our fault. I am not supposed to said that, but I am sorry. Now you know why we need to take her in. I got back up coming as we speak, they should be here any second."
"Okay, okay.. just let me hold her off until they get here, that way I can say goodbye as well."
"That's fine Bryan, you go do that."
   Walking upstairs, I can hear the whole conversation back again, as if all at once, like the life that passes you by right before you hit the ground. The whole thing seems, unbelievable, doesn't it. It is like I am being pulled apart in multiple directions.
"Bryan!" Anne calls out." What took you so long."
"Oh.." I tell her." I just got a little side tracked."
"Side tracked?" She asks in a hurry." How so."
"Just by Ella, at the front desk, it was.. it was nothing."
"Well what did she say to you?" She asks, now standing attention.
"Just.." I pause, and sigh." Just that she hopes we come back someday."
"Is that all, that was a long time just for
"Yeah, I guess it was. But we got to go, an now, I think we have trouble brewing."
"How do you know?"
"Just a hunch, that's all."
Okay.." she says, wrapping her arms around me, in a quick embrace.
"Lets do this."

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