He had less than a week to complete the final draft of his twentieth novel. Sleep wasn’t something that he’s considered in days. The penthouse of the Tulip Gardens Hotel Downtown was scattered with scrunched up paper, pizza boxes and empty bottles. That was the life of a bestselling author of nineteen books, half of which were adapted to movies. The royalties on his work alone were enough for him to retire quite comfortably, very comfortably. The thought of waking up ant not writing was pure hell. He kept on typing. Words finally poured out of him. Another couple of caffeine and adrenaline fuelled nights and he would have fulfilled his multi-million-dollar deal. His imagination was directly connected to the keyboard of his old laptop.
As he continued punching away word after word, he heard the hotel room door open behind him. He typed and concentrated harder. Suddenly, he heard the door slam open hitting the wall. He snapped his head back to scream at who ever was there. No one. The weary writer quickly got up and slammed the door shut, locking it. He walked back to his desk and continued working. He was down to his last ten thousand words. He was close to completing the novel and emailing it to his editor when the door opened again. Again, he turned around, agitated. This time he picked up the phone to blast the poor reception staff downstairs, who was doing the graveyard shift. No one answered. He tried again, the phone kept on ringing, but no answer. He swiftly got up and put on his slippers to storm downstairs.
The lift seemed to take forever to reach the foyer. The elevator door finally opened. He powerwalked towards the reception. He was not a complaining type but he figured, someone needed to hear his annoyance. No one were at the desk. After waiting for exactly two seconds, he rang the bell loudly. No one came. “Hello! Anyone back there!” He yelled.
His annoyance turned into anger as he yelled again “Hello!”, not one soul.
Few minutes had gone by, and he calmed himself down and slowly looked around. he knew it was late in the night but it was odd to see no one in the lobby. It was as if everyone just got up and left at the same time. Still, not thinking much of it, he decided to go for a walk around the block to cool off.
Despite being middle of summer, he found the night air quite cold. He thought about going back up to his room to grab a jacket but decided to carry on walking. The peculiarity continued out here. Downtown was usually packed with people on Saturday nights but not one person was to be seen. He was stating to notice that something wasn’t right. He must have walked half a block when he turned around to see how far he was from his hotel. A heavy blanket of fog made it difficult to for him to see where he was.
He continued walking.
Everything had a weird vibe. Whilst he couldn’t see anyone, he could hear feint voices. At first, he couldn’t make out what they were saying but eventually he could hear voices saying, “What’s that?” and “I’m scared”. He thought that he must have fallen asleep and he was dreaming. He slapped his face firmly hoping that he would wake up maybe. He only walked about a block from his hotel when he realised that he was lost. The entire building had disappeared. Still, he didn’t think much of it and kept on walking. One thing that he noticed was that it was getting quite cold.
He increased his paced hoping that would warm him up. Thick fog lifted for a second across the road revealing a bar. He didn’t have his glassed on but could see people inside. So, he swiftly crossed the street. He saw at least a dozen people inside. he could use a drink and a bite to eat.
He was starting to think that something was very wrong. When he opened the door, the bar was completely empty of people. All he heard was unintelligible whispering and creepy wind noise that could pass for a voice. It was equally cold in here. He sat at a table hoping that someone would come out and give him some answers. Like back at the hotel, the lights were on but no one were to be seen. He couldn’t tell how long he’s been sitting here when he saw hundreds of figures walking back and forth outside in the street through the dusty window. He quickly got up went outside.
Not one person. He was staring to get a little worried and scared. He prayed to God that he was dreaming and slapped himself hard. He was still in the middle of the creepy, cold and foggy street without having seen one person for as long as he could remember. His breath became laboured and heart beat like a jack hammer. He clenched his eyes shut and tried to back track what had happened in the last hour. He remembered coming down to the foyer in the lift then coming out to the streets. He couldn’t quite remember it’s been minutes or years. He couldn’t get the bearing of where he was. The heavy fog covered the entire city and all he could make out was feint lights from buildings and silhouettes or shadows of hundreds of people walking in all directions.
Not knowing what to do, he went back into the bar where he could hear the whispers of invisible people. He sat down at a table hoping that he will wake up any moment. The voices became louder as the furniture seemed to be moved back and forth by invisible forces.