Cliche

I made this topic and I don't know what to say. I think we might be doing away with this weekly topic thing.

Ummm.

How about a scary snippet? Ooo, very scary. It has cliches in it.. :thinks desperately: Okay running up the stairs is totally cliche. :throws the snippet and runs:


Karina knocked on the door gently. "Come on, Jacob. Let other kids have a turn."

"Almost done."

At the end of the hallway an older man frowned. Heavily muscled, with a face like a bulldog, he planted himself as if he were about to be overran by rioters. He watched her with open malice. The kids sensed it too and clustered around her. She didn't blame them – that was one scary guy. The woman who had opened the door to them wasn't much better: hard, thin, eyes like a rattlesnake, no compassion, no kindness, no anger. Nothing at all. If it wasn't for the kids crying to go potty, Karina would have turned around, got in to the van, and gotten right out of there.

But preschoolers and long car trips didn't mix, and here they were. Stuck at the end of a long dim hallway, in a small motel on a country road, sweating under the scrutiny of an over-muscled Arnold wannabe.

"Jacob, we need to go."

She heard the toilet flush. Finally. When she had volunteered to chaperon the kids on the school trip, she had no idea she would end chauffeuring five six year olds. But half the designated parent-drivers didn't show up and she didn't have any good reasons to say no. All in all, it wasn't a bad trip. They got to see an old tymie village, the day was beautiful, the kids had fun. Now they just needed to get back to civilization.

Jacob emerged from the bathroom. "I washed my hands," he informed her. "Do you want to smell them?"

"No. Does anybody else need to go?"

They shook their heads. Emily hugged her leg. "I want to go home, mom."

"Excellent idea." Karina led them down the hallway. "Thank you for letting us use the facilities."

The man jerked his hand to the right. "Door's this way."

Charming. She sighed.

The wood exploded. Shards peppered the hallway, knocking the man back. Stunned, Karina stared through the gap into the lobby of the hotel. The woman with snake eyes spun toward her, her face twisted into a grotesque mask. Her left arm terminated in a bloody stump and as she turned, red gushed, staining the counter with wet spray.

Something hit her from behind, arresting her in mid step. The woman's mouth gaped open in a terrified silent scream. Huge dark limbs clutched her and ripped her in a half like a paper doll. Bloody entrails spilled as the two halves came apart, torn apart by monstrous strength, and through the gap between them Karina saw a thing. Huge, dark, inhuman, it stared back at her with malevolent eyes, its very existence so at odds with everything Karina knew, that her mind simply refused to believe it was real.

The thing tossed the body aside. An odd odor reached Karina, like copper warmed by the sun.

The thing stepped over the woman, its gaze fixed on Karina.

The kids.

"Run!" Karina turned on her foot and dashed down the hallway, herding the children before her. As they ran past the man, he rose slowly, pulled a wooden shard out of his eye, tossed it aside, and with a deep below charged into the lobby.

A snarl answered him, a promise of pain and death. It whipped Karina into frenzy. She swiped the smallest child off the floor and ran faster to the where a heavy door barred the stairs. She jerked it open. "Up the stairs, go, go!"

They ran, whimpering and sobbing. They should've been screaming but the same terrible fear that drove her chased them up the stairs. Instinctually they knew that to stop was to die.

Karina slammed the door closed, looked for something to bar it, but the stairway was empty. She ran after the kids. The boy in her arms was stone-heavy.

A hard thud echoed from below. They reached the top of the staircase and crowded on the landing.

Door clanged. Here it was again, the scent of hot metal burning her.

Karina wrenched the door open. They burst into the hallway. She scanned rows of doors, hit the nearest one, but it was locked.

Another - locked too.

Third – locked.

A vicious snarl came from behind the door. Emily screamed, a high pitched shriek that would've broken glass. Karina grabbed her by the hand and dragged her down the hall, to the single window. "Follow me!"

They reached the window. Below lay the narrow metal platform of the fire escape. She set the boy down, let go of her daughter, and rattled the window. Locked. From the outside. Who locks windows from the outside? She smashed the window with her elbow. Glass fell in a glittering cascade. Karina reached through the broken panel. A shard sliced her fingers, but she barely noticed. She grasped the latch. Her bloody fingers slipped.

Door thumped. Kids screamed, and she knew the thing had made it into the hallway.
The latch clicked open. Karina kicked the wooden frame. It flew open with a snap. She grabbed the nearest kid and hurled him onto the fire escape, then the next, and the next. Little feet thudded, running down the metal stairs. Emily was last. Karina clutched her daughter to her and climbed out on the stairs.

A black van waited below. Several men stood by the van. They had the children. They stood there silently, watching her, while the children screamed, and suddenly she knew that they and the thing inside were allies.

A growl washed over her.

The world gained crystal clarity, everything painfully vivid and sharp. Slowly Karina turned. Her daughter hugged her, her breath a tiny warm cloud on her neck. The metal rail of the fire escape dug into her back. The thudding of her heart sounded so loud, like a sledge hammer. Each breath was a gift.

She saw the thing emerge from darkness. Slow, it solidified from the gloom, one gargantuan paw on the windowsill, then another. Enormous claws scratched the wood. It climbed onto the windowsill and perched there, mere foot from her. She stared into its eyes, inhaled its scent, and knew with absolute certainty that she was going to die.

The thing opened its maw, revealing huge fangs. Its deep voice issued forth in a single mangled word, "Donor."

"Are you sure?" asked a male voice from below.

The thing picked up a bloody shard with its claws, sniffed it, and snarled. Karina snapped back, shielding Emily with her hands.

"My lady?" said the voice from below.

Karina turned and saw a man looking at her from the stairs. His face was preternaturally beautiful.

"I have a proposition for you, my lady..."

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