Witch Hunt – Ch. 13


“Can ya get snacks by room service?”

“A snack for you is a meal for normal people, so I don’t see a problem. Now here,” JD stuck the power supply in Dillon’s hand. “Take this back to 3126 and plug it into the camera. Make sure the battery charge indicator comes on before you leave though.”

“The signal any better on AC power, dude?”

JD went to the writing desk where the laptop was set up, and tapped the keyboard to wake the sleeping LCD. It flashed and the pictures from the cameras came up.

“No,” he said, disappointed. “But at least we won’t lose the pictures.”

“When ya gonna record?”

JD shrugged. “Tonight, I guess, but … I have no idea how to do that. I’m not sure what I’m recording, or for how long, or when. I guess I’ll just record as much as I can.” He got the power supply out of the third travel case.

“How big’s the hard drive in that dawg?”

“Couple hundred gig. But maybe I can borrow a VCR.”

“From who?”

JD shrugged again. “I’d have to ask around. Go get that hooked up. Hank says you still have the key.”

“Oh, I do? An’ dude, why dintcha gimme this when I was down there b’fore?”

“I like seeing you walk.”

“You starin’ at my ass, dude?”

“Who can resist? Get going.”

“Where you goin’, butt-watcher?”

“Downstairs to the second floor room to plug that one in.”

Dillon sighed heavy and loud. “Dude, I didn’t come here t’exercise. Jeez.”

JD ignored him and went to the elevator. He paused as Dillon shuffled away, then turned around and went toward the stairs.

He turned the power supply over in his hand, staring without seeing, wondering if another bout of fear would seize him. Stealthy movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention.

Something moved near the stairwell.

He looked up in time to see a form slither through the door as it closed.

JD couldn’t make out details. But someone went into the stairs.

He sprinted. He wasn’t sure why.

He caught the door with his shoulder before it shut completely and slammed it open. He sailed on momentum to the landing handrail, and looked up, but saw no movement above him. He looked down and a hurried swish of something – clothing, or hair perhaps – betrayed someone heading down the second flight.

JD launched himself to the intermediate landing and crashed into the wall before springing forward to the head of the second flight. The second floor stairway door was drifting closed.

He leaped down the stairs in three steps, and grabbed the door before it shut. He tore it open and burst through.

The hallway was empty in front of him. A considerable distance spanned to the elevator bank. To his left was a good thirty yards before another corridor adjoined. To his right, the hall was maybe five or six yards deep before ending.

There was no one there.

His brows laced over his eyes, and he panted from exertion. He’d been no more than a couple of seconds behind. How could anyone cover the distances to evade him? Even if they knew he was chasing them, who could move fast enough to leave him staring at empty halls? Not even a professional athlete was that fast. He’d have seen someone.

But he was alone in the corridor, listening to the busy lobby noise drift from the balcony across from the elevator bank.

He moved toward the balcony and watched for any movement — a body, a door closing … anything. He really didn’t see whoever it was. He couldn’t even say whether it was male or female, or guess at height and build. He only saw the form, caught the movement. Nothing definitive.

Whoever it was was just … vanished.

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