"Man, this place is..."
"Couldn't we have just stayed at a Holiday Inn or something?" The slightly irritated girl sighed up at the small hotel that she and her older brother were booked into, pressing the bud of her earphones a little deeper into her right ear while the other dangled free.
"Don't be a brat," her older brother snapped, "It'll be nice. Getting you out of the hotel is what I was going for. I mean, this place is cool. Maybe you'll find a bookstore with a bunch of those old books you love so much."
Alexandra Lindon couldn't help but grin - her brother Joshua, bumbling as he was, couldn't be mean for very long. Relenting, she motioned extravagantly to the front door. "After you, then."
Together, they walked through the modest front door of the hotel.
Alice was irritated, which was to be expected when faced with 3 guests checking in to the hotel after a month of dead-time with at least another 2 months to go before the usual cheap tourists poured in with their ripped and smudged traveler's checks and canceled credit cards.
She'd never forgive her father for saddling her with this hell hole. Just as she launched into a mental rant about how she was going to sell the whole place for firewood and get a real job frying burgers, her party of 2 walked in the door. They looked young, which was never an inspiring sight. Thankfully, they looked related as well. At least the possibility of young lovers on the run was out. Alice fixed on her best (or "least grimace-like) smile to greet them. "How will you be paying for this stay?" ("Shit. Smooth")
Joshua walked forward to the counter, giving Alice a charming smile, completely unfazed by her somewhat noticeable irritation. Brushing a hand back through his hair in a manner he had always thought suave, he reached for his wallet, and said simply, "Credit card."
Watching this display from a few steps behind him, Alex held back a snicker and shifted the backpack on her shoulder. Could he be more of a ham?
Still, she wasn't sure why she was here. Joshua had a paper to write, and she had tagged along because her parents had insisted. ("Ridiculous," she had thought, "I'm seventeen, why should I be treated like a child?") But, things were what they were. The thought of old dusty bookstores did appeal to her, after all.
The possibility of young lovers was out, for sure. The girl accompanying the overly-outward man in front of her was beyond bored, and beyond distracted. Really, she looked like she'd rather be shoveling shit in hell then be anywhere near this guy. "Sister?" she ventured the guess out loud, but regretted it. She attempted to cover the mistake by running it directly into the next sentence, "SisterrrID please?" She smiled again, with a slight head tilt. She may as well match the game of showing off play for play with this guy.
Alex looked up at the mention of 'sister', and sent a small grin and a thumbs-up at the woman behind the counter. Joshua, on the other hand, gave a glance back to the younger girl before returning his attention to Alice, not deflated in the least.
"Yes, she is my little sister. We do look alike, don't we? Ah, yes, my ID..." Taking the driver's license from its pocket in the wallet, he held it out to her between two fingers. Had just recently turned 21 and looked it - fresh-faced, somewhat full of himself, and ready for adventure.
The names matched up, and everything ran through as it should. It really was a shame. This guy had started out irritating, and things were slipping downhill. She returned the cards, and passed a small receipt across the counter. "You'll be taking room 106. We'll only have 1 other guest, hopefully, but you'll still have to keep things down. If you want breakfast, it's another 2 dollars a day. Served at 9:00 out here in the lobby. That should be everything." She pulled the key out of a small locked drawer, and passed it along as well. Just as she began to wish the guests an ever-fond farewell, the doors to the hotel slammed themselves open. With a wince, Alice saw that the other guest had arrived.
He was a tall-ish guy, and also young. Everything about him reeked of cheap, right down to the reek of cologne. He looked crazed. There was no other way to describe him. His hair was thrown in all directions, as though he'd just woken up in a corn field and his clothes were in no better condition. He'd tried to "dress up" but the hems of his pants were torn and his jacket sleeves too short. He pushed his way to the counter (somehow making an obstacle of 2 people) and dropped his luggage with a huff (as though an oversized computer bag was a burden). "Reservation for Kissel, please. Derek Kissel." He pulled a credit card out of his pocket and tapped it in the counter. It seemed to be a self-important mannerism, but the way his eyes shifted over the room revealed it to be a nervous tick trying to cover itself up.
"E-excuse me--" Joshua started, a little perturbed by the new arrival, though he wasn't sure exactly how to say that he'd just been extremely rude. Instinctively, he put himself between the man and his sister, to which she rolled her eyes and took a step to the side to look over the scene a little better.
Somehow, the grunge rock that flowed from her mp3 player to her ear reminded her of the man who now stood in front of them - wild, dirty, with a flagrant disregard for the norm and a touch of egotism. She couldn't help but smile a little at the thought. Maybe this would turn out to be interesting after all. After all, what was so important in an old little resort town that this man was so rushed?
Derek jumped, he'd just realized he was actually standing next to someone. "Derek!" he thrust out his hand and threw up a new smile, "I..I'm Derek. Nice to meet you! Are you from Silent Hill?" He looked around, nervous again.
Alice grabbed the card from the man's hand. He didn't seem to notice, he was too busy threatening Joshua with his impressive canines, or something. Since it was near impossible to believe anyone would pretend to be anyone this deranged, or that the awkward pile of person in front of her had the mental capacity to commit fraud, she simply charged the card and piled it back onto the counter with a slightly crumpled receipt. She scrawled "108" onto the slip of paper and dug for the key.
Joshua was made more than just a little nervous by the sudden change in the man's demeanor, but, not being one to be rude, he extended his hand and took Derek's, giving it a firm shake. "I'm Joshua. No, I'm not from Silent Hill, I'm...from out of town."
It was obvious that he had no intention of introducing Alex, so she walked up next to him and offered her hand as well. "I'm Alex. Actually, we're from D.C., so this wasn't too far a drive. How about you, where are you from?" Whether or not she was being more friendly to Derek simply to spite her brother was up for debate, but at the very least, she wasn't opposed to meeting new people.