*clicks the office window in the beginning of Rise From The Ashes*
Look's like it's cleaning day again at the hotel across the way. I hear they're opening a second branch. Egads! The bellboy is looking right at me! ... as he does every waking hour.
I try not to look, but I catch myself glancing. I don't know how he does it, but his eyes meet mine every time. What's worse is that he never blinks. Never tires. Never moves unless I do. When I close the shades, I can still feel him there. This didn't start until I got curious and parted the shades. Then he waved as he sometimes did, with that blank expression on his face. As if you had to remind him to show an emotion.
I asked to see their manager, once. I had met some previous managers while running errands for Mia, but to my surprise- the bellboy had gotten promoted. He gently asked me what I was wrong, in sickeningly soothing voice that dripped with the foreknowledge of my visit. It was like the measured kindness of every boy who expected "more" from you.
"Um, so I was thinking of making a reservation", I lied through my teeth, "what day is cleaning day?" The desk attendant looked at the bellboy as if I had asked him what color the sky was in a cloudless afternoon.
"Why, every day, Mr. Wright."
With barely a nod in response, I quickly moved for the door. My joints were stiff; sweat ran down my temples. Everything felt mechanical, but I had to keep reassuring myself that I looked normal before I turned the blind corner past the door and bolted for the only safe haven I could go: the office.
Or at least, my old office, now the entrance. Beyond the now closed door might as well have been a desert for the searing gaze of the bellboy. Charley was there. The books are there. Everything I need to do my job is there, except for the appointment book and the bathroom. And that's when my stomach turned-
I realized there was a window in my old office. And he was there, in the next room. Staring. Now with some knowing grin, though it wasn't as if I was subtle in any way with our earlier encounter.
Stumbling out of the office building, I was now in some sort of blind panic. I made turns down sidewalks I barely knew, hoping that the stare would go away- even though the office and hotel were now blocks behind me. It wasn't until I had hit some other building under construction. I figured that was enough to hide me.
Gulping each breath like a desperately thirsty man in a desert, it took everything I had to regain any semblance of composure. The trembling of my fingers slowed to slight shaking, and eventually subsided entirely. A final breath in, then out, and I finally felt safe.
"Oh, Mr. Wright, fancy seeing you here at our new location. You must really love The Gatewater."
Nothing else would move except my neck, which craned to my side to find him there- staring. I was now in his shadow, which blanketed my terror-twisted face from the view of the other construction workers.
And that's when it happened. My body moved on its own as my sight when white.
It wouldn't be until that evening in the detention center where I finally came to, Detective Gumshoe relating the events to me. I hadn't killed him, thankfully, but the bellboy had several injuries. He wasn't pressing charges, so the police are only going to keep me overnight until bail goes through.
My suit was filthy, covered in dirt, sweat, sawdust, sick, and blood. Yet even that was a comfort compared to these last two months. The relentless staring was finally over. The bellboy must be at some clinic somewhere, and I'm in jail.
"Lights out!" exclaimed an officer, turning them off as unceremoniously as he announced it. That's when he exited, followed by the hefty sound of the door he went through. Solid. Sturdy. Safe.
There weren't any clocks, but the day had worn on me several fold. I could see the moonlight cast a shadow with the bars of my cell. I was lucky enough to get a cell with a window.
Or at least, I thought I was when the room suddenly became darker. My fatigued muscles ached as I turned in my bed to see what had caused it- and suddenly I was again met with a familiar blank stare. The darkness became suffocating- my stomach churned by the sight. All I could see was the slight reflection off of his dead eyes pressed against the window.
I froze. I could only lock my eyes with his. Never blinking. Never tiring. Only moving when he does.