The Benson:Experiment in Terror 2.5(9)By: Karina Halle
“Cold feet?” I repeat, my voice hard. “You’re the one who is showing up all icy on my infrared.”
He studies me for a second, sucking slowly on his full lower lip, trying to read me. I hate it when he does that. But instead of looking away as I often do, I hold his gaze, challenging him.
“OK, kiddo. Glad to see you’re still up for the challenge,” he finally says.
“I deal with you every weekend, don’t I? Anything after that is a piece of cake.”
He flashes me a quick smile and opens the door. I follow him into the hallway, take in a deep breath and try to calm my nerves, which are firing all over the place and causing me to shake internally. My bluff worked. Now all I need to do is keep up appearances.
As we walk down the hallway to the freight elevator, I already know where Dex is planning on taking us: the laundry room. I don’t want to think about the horrors that might lie there, so I ask him, “You told me you saw something, before I turned on the infrared… what was it?”
We stop in front of the elevator and Dex inserts the key, giving it a turn and pressing the down button. The elevator purrs loudly, as if it hasn’t been turned on in decades. I’m reminded of The Shining for a brief instance and hope a river of blood doesn’t come flowing out of it.
“Just some really weird lights dancing around. You know how you can get those orbs on screen, like the ones we saw at the lighthouse? Same kind of thing but they were jumping up and down, like balls in a lotto machine or something.”
The elevator button light goes off, and with a loud metallic groan, the doors slide open to expose a larger than average elevator behind them.
“Ladies first,” Dex says, but I shove him forward. Not this time.
We get in and press the button for the laundry level, which is marked, thankfully. It’s also below the first floor and the first two parking levels, which is a slight cause for concern. Just how far down are we going?
I give Dex a nervous smile, which he returns with a mischievous one. An agonizing minute later, we lurch to a stop on the laundry level.
The doors shudder slightly, then open as if being pried by invisible hands. In front of us lies a long hallway, poorly lit by buzzing overhead lights, casting shadows on the few doors that lie along the way. Not the most welcoming place.
Dex steps out first. He grabs my hand, his grasp on mine firm and warm, and I let myself feel the momentary wash of comfort that only he can provide for me. I let him lead me into the hallway. The elevator doors remain open and waiting for the next passenger, only on this empty, quiet floor, there is none to be found.
Dex hoists the camera onto his shoulder again and motions for me to turn on the infrared.
“Might as well start filming this now.”
“Where is everyone?” I ask. “I mean, the hotel runs around the clock, doesn’t it?”
“But which clock?” he answers in a statement, not a question.
I sigh and flip on the infrared again. My body glows a vibrant red but when I aim it over at Dex, he only comes up orange.
“What?” he asks as I purse my lips, thinking.
“Seems I’m a lot more hot-blooded than you are,” I say and quickly show him the screen, placing his hand in front of the lens.
He chews on his lip briefly and then places his hand against my forehead. It feels cool.
“Well you’re not hot…”
I shoot him a wry look.
“I mean, not internally hot. Outside is another matter.” He winks at me.
“Are you flirting with me again, Mr. Foray?”
“Again? Whatever do you–”
He’s interrupted by a wall of sound as all doors down the hallway suddenly swing open and bang against their walls. Simultaneously, the elevator behind us powers up with a thunderous whir, the doors closing quickly.
“It’s go time,” he says and we’re off down the hallway to the first door.
Dex is just about to enter the room when the door slams shut in his face, almost smashing his nose back into his skull. He gives me a scared look I don’t see on him too often. Probably the thought of having to get a nose job.