Wakeup Call (5-8-18)

[WP] After checking into an inn and waking up the next day, the scenery out the window is pitch black. The inn’s manager insists that no one goes outside. [Link to post.]

My eyes fluttered open after the first ring, but I didn’t move another muscle until the sixth ring. At that point I figured whomever it was would not stop bothering me until I told them they had the wrong number. I reached for the old style green rotary phone and manage to lift it off the receiver as the seventh ring started.

“Hello?” I answered, then noticed it was still dark outside. They’d better have a good reason for bothering me in the middle of the night, I thought to myself. 

“Good morning! I’m Tim , the manager. I’m sorry to bother you so early but unfortunately we’ve had a bit of a mix-up,” the manager said. He sounded concerned. 

“Okay,” I said, unsure how it affected me. 

“It’s too late to do anything about it right now, but I plan to make it up to you when we get back.” Tim said. “In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you don’t go outside.” I looked out the window again, but saw only darkness.

“Nah, I’m not planning to go outside till the sun’s out at least,” I said. “I’m gonna go back to sleep, thanks for checking in.” I still felt tired from the road trip and needed more rest. I moved to hang up the phone but Tim’s voice stopped me.

“The sun won’t be coming out for a while. If you’re curious about the time though, it’s 11:00a.m.” he said. I stared out the window. For a second I thought I saw the darkness moving, flowing. 

“What?” I asked, now afraid to take my eyes off the darkness. 

“You shouldn’t have been able to check-in last night, unfortunately my nephew is an idiot,” Tim said. I vaguely recalled a 20something stoned stoner with a purple mohawk and tattoos checking me in at midnight. “This Inn has a sort of tradition. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say if you want to stay alive, don’t go outside.” The darkness outside the window moved again. I lifted my shoulder to trap the phone against my ear then turned to move my feet off the bed and onto the brown carpeted floor. 

“It can’t be 11, it’s pitch black out.” I told Tim while I stepped into my jeans and pulled them up. 

“Yeah, about that. It’ll be a good 100 years or so before you see sunlight again. In the meantime just stay in your room, the TVs interesting.” he said. 

“100 years? What am I gonna do in here for a 100 years.” I asked while I put my socks and shoes on. It was not until after I was completely dressed that I realized what I was doing. 

“Staying inside,” Tim said. “Don’t worry about food or anything, we’ve got a system worked out.”

“What’s outside?” I asked Tim. “Where are we?”

“If you leave your room, I can’t protect you. That’s all you need to know,” Tim said. His voice took on a hard edge. “Don’t leave you room.” I watched the darkness flow outside of the window. The movements followed a predictable pattern, the darkness breathed. In and out. 

“I’ve gotta go look outside,” I said. I had no idea why I felt the need to tell Tim, but after I stated my intentions I hung the phone up, then stood from the bed to move towards the door. The phone began ringing again the moment I touched the handle. Outside the darkness breathed faster. I watched the black current undulate through the window one last time before I opened the door and stepped out into the darkness. 

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