The third part in the tale of two sisters:
The Sisters Van Helsing
The entire hall was filled with music as if it were coming from the hotel walls themselves. It could easily have been coming from any one of the rooms on the fourteenth floor. Or even another floor. I couldn't be sure.
I may have been affected by the cold or by the fact that I was in serious need of sleep but I inadvertently blurted, "Jiminy Christmas its friggin cold in here," and immediately wished I hadn't said that aloud.
Whatever was residing in these rooms, I knew I would be better off if it wasn't aware of my presence just yet.
I took a few tentative steps across the hall and carefully pressed my hand on the door. I wasn't exactly positive of what I was expecting but the door felt, well, like a door. Nothing special, it wasn't even particularly chilly which was odd seeing how cold it was in the hallway.
When you are exhausted things seem funny that really shouldn't and, "This isn't the door you are looking for," flashed through my mind nearly setting off a fit of giggles in spite of it all.
"May the force be with me," came next and I continued my search down the hall.
I tried the next three doors and found them all to be relatively normal save one that looked newer than all the other doors in the hotel. I pondered for just a second what might have transpired in that room as to cause such a remodeling.
Then I decided maybe it was best not to know.
The next to the last door on the right held some promise I thought. I knew there was serious cold emanating from the inside as the metal door knob was completely frosted over.
"It looks like we have a winner," I whispered softly and knocked.
I am not sure what I expected to open the door, a ghastly spirit or a nasty demon but I am quite sure I wasn't expecting Mitch Ryder.
Oh, just for clarity, not that Mitch Ryder.
He was a tall drink of water as my mother would say, at least six foot four to my estimate as I stood there in the doorway. Due to the fact that I am vertically challenged, I had to strain my neck up to see his face properly. He stood there looking at me, expecting me to say something as I was the one who knocked, but I was so captivated by his looks that for once, I was at a loss for words.
Thankfully he wasn't.
"Can I help you?"
This was a good looking guy. Well sort of, except for that whole pale, terrified, haunted thing he had going on. His pale blue eyes were slightly glossed over, his black hair was somewhat disheveled, and he appeared to not have showered in a while, but other than that, he was gorgeous.
It was possible that he was a drunk or even an addict considering where he was staying but since I had the distinct impression that the music was coming from his room, I guessed it was something else.
Okay, so I couldn't think while I was staring into those satiny eyes and was suddenly more concerned about whether or not my makeup had failed me hours ago.
He looked at me expectantly so I thought I had best say something.
"The music... it's just a little loud. That's all."
His eyes suddenly grew and he practically dragged me into his room.
"You can hear it?"
"Of course I can hear it. I just said it was a little loud."
"Can you see her?"
He pointed into the room behind him and lying on the bed was a woman.
I use that term loosely however.
It was a woman. Or had been. At one time.
Now it was more like a ghastly reflection of one. Even so, I was jealous.
"You have company. Sorry."
His eyes cleared up suddenly and instead of a dazed look now they had more of a glare of annoyance. They were still stunning.
"What??? No! I do not have company! She doesn't belong here!"
Okay, so I needed to do something. The music was still blaring.
I found the source of the blasting music inside his room as I had suspected. Lori was right, it was an old Victrola playing. Except it didn't appear to be quite as solid as one might imagine it should.
"Is that your record player?" I wasn't sure what else to say, I was pretty sure it wasn't his.
"No, it just showed up when she did."
Sentimental Reasons started over again, all on its own I might add.
Terrific, a ghostly Victrola on top of everything else. How the hell do you shut it off?
I walked towards the figure on the bed. She should have been able to see me but she was too wrapped up in smoking her cigarette which was no more corporeal than she was. Did they bring everything from the other side with them?
I attempted to get her attention. "Miss? Can you turn the music down?"
Now the guy was looking at me as if I had lost my mind. To be fair, he really didn't know who I was at the time, so I forgave him. I can forgive just about any man that looks like that.
Regardless, the woman ignored me and went on smoking what appeared to be a Pall Mall.
I took a better look at her and from what I could ascertain from the remains of what appeared to be a lateral dissection, it was Elizabeth Short. Or a kind of "repaired" version of her.
I had seen photos of the Black Dahlia of course, but truth be known, I wouldn't know her from the Blue Dahlia. The injuries are what clued me in to who she was and that 1940's hairdo which I have to admit, she carried off pretty well.
Elizabeth Short had been cut in half at the midsection and while I could plainly see that she was pretty much still in two separate pieces, the edges of the wounds had been softened and blended to the point you almost couldn't tell what happened at all.
Apparently they can Photoshop you once you are dead. I must admit, that bit of information gave me no small amount of comfort. I could now look forward to an afterlife sans cellulite.
Then she spoke.
"Mitch, honey. Get rid of this broad. We have things to do."
I didn't really want to think about what they had to do, even for me that sounded pretty obscene and I accept an awful lot on faith. But what concerned me more was that the glazed and dazed look had returned to Mitch's eyes.
"Sure babe. I'll get rid of her." His voice had a tone of resolution and something else I couldn't quite put my finger on.
"You need to go."
It was just about then that I noticed the window in the room was wide open and I had a sinking feeling of what good old Liz had planned for Mitch.
"Yeah, okay. Well, just keep the music down and have a nice night."
Mitch didn't hear me or if he did he didn't answer. He was back under the spell of the Black Dahlia.
And I needed help if I was going to save him.
He shut the door in my face and I decided that it was time for Lori to get up. She wouldn't be happy about it but I wasn't happy thinking about tall, dark, and handsome being splattered all over Main Street either.
I reluctantly gave Mitch and Liz some privacy and turned around to return to my room.
The hallway was still freezing as when I first entered it but I wasn't alone in it any longer.
About half way down the narrow hallway and between me and my hotel room door, stood Richard Ramirez.
He was slashing at a woman with what appeared to be a machete although I had never actually seen a machete before and I was just guessing that was what it was.
Thankfully, for me at least, the woman was already dead and had been for the last thirty years or so.
I couldn't hear them for some reason and I might have even had time to consider why that was so, if it wasn't for the fact that Richie had stopped his attack on the woman and had turned his attention towards me.
Like my sister, I can swear on occasion.