Dancing in the dark, p.1

  Dancing In The Dark, p.1

Dancing In The Dark
 

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Dancing In The Dark
Dancing In The Dark

  Mike Herman

  Copyright 2013 Mike Herman

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. Please do not give this ebook to others. Tell them where to find it, so they can download it and give me a review of their feelings of it. After you have read this ebook, would you please go back to the book page, scroll down to the lower left corner and leave a review of what you felt about the story? Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author

  Dancing in the Dark

  Walking through the door, Jayna was beginning to get quite nervous. Oh, my gosh what have I done? When I started this I was firmly convinced it was the only way to go. Now I don’t know. If it all blows up in my face everything I have is gone. What have I done?

  Jayna is in her late thirties, quite tall, nicely built, with long red hair, deep green eyes, and porcelain skin forming a beautiful face.

  “You look like a deer caught in the headlights, Jayna. Are you all right?”

  “Yeah, I think so, Tim. I’m just a little nervous. I think the enormity of what I did is just beginning to sink in.”

  “It’s, too, late to get cold feet, because you’ve signed on the dotted line, and you’re in it for the long haul now.”

  “I think that’s what’s so scary. But, you’re right I’m in hook line and sinker, and I knew the risks going in.”

  “I don’t know where you got the idea to do this, but it was a stroke of genius.”

  “What I have left after it’s all finished will determine just how much genius is involved. Everything I own, or hope to earn in the next 10 years is on the line.”

  “But, you got this for pennies on the dollar.”

  “That was the easy part. Making the changes is what’s really going to be costly; not only in money, but also in sweat equity.”

  “I hate to press you to leave, but I’ve got to pick my daughter up from her music lessons, so before we go, here are the keys. It’s all yours from this point on. I wish you the best of luck, and I’m looking forward to the modernization.”

  “Thanks, Tim. I’ll see you when you get back.”

  “Aren’t you leaving now?”

  “No. I just want to walk around a little bit.”

  “You’ve seen everything there is to see here, many times”

  “I know, but that was when it belonged to somebody else. Now, I get to see it for the first time as mine. Everywhere I go here, and everything I touch is mine. I want to experience that right now, all by myself.”

  “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be here alone. You don’t have the electricity turned on and the sun’s going to set soon. ”

  “I’ll be alright. I’m not going to be here long. Besides, I’ve got my flashlight and gun with me.”

  “Do you know how to use it?”

  “Of course. Just push this button and the light comes on.”

  “Damn it, I meant the gun.”

  “I know, I’m just jerking your chain. Yes I know how to use my gun. I had to take a course on it before I could get my license”

  “OK. Just get out of here before dark.”

  “Oh, I will, don’t worry.”

  Tim’s in his early forties, medium height with short brown hair and a face that makes him look like he’s half that age. He has been a good friend to Jayna as well as a great real estate agent. If he hadn’t been married, she would have wanted him to be more than a friend.

  Tim locked the entry way door on his way out.

  ***

  Without thinking, she headed for the elevator and then remembered there was no electricity, so she’d have to walk to the top floor. Even though the sun was still bright, the stairwell was dark and she had to use her flashlight. Climbing the stairs she began to get a little unnerved. The steps were made of wood and most of them creaked when she walked on them, plus the echoing of her footsteps made it sound as though someone was walking with her.

  “I don’t remember these stairs being so noisy. Maybe I should have listened to Tim. Oh, crap! What’s the matter with me? There’s nothing in here to be afraid of, and I’ve been up and down these stairs many times…but, it’s a different feeling when you’re doing it alone.”

  Once she reached the top floor, she casually strolled through the penthouse making mental notes on what she was going to change, and how much better it would look when it was done, with all that ugly carved woodwork gone and replaced with new, modern windows, doors and baseboard.

  “The huge four poster bed in the master bedroom is the first thing that’s going. And, those bathrooms, oh my god, I’ve never seen anything as horrible as the marble tile and porcelain fixtures. I can’t imagine anyone ever liking that ugly gingerbread trim all over this place. I don’t understand the attraction to it, and I can’t wait to get rid of it. When I get that done I’m going to enjoy living up here. This penthouse alone is bigger than my whole house.”

  ***

  Looking around, she was reminded of the day she spotted this place. The minute she walked around the corner, and saw it, she knew she had to have it. As long as she could remember, she felt something was out there waiting for her, something that would be the thing she would do for the rest of her life. There it was, right in front of her. She wasn’t sure it was for sale, because there wasn’t a sign visible anywhere around the building. As she was about to leave, she noticed a small note on the entry door giving a name and number to call if a person was interested in purchasing the building. She obviously called and the rest is history.

  With some serious investigation, she discovered this old hotel was built in 1900, and it ceased to function as a hotel in 1955. After that it was converted into an apartment building and remained that for thirty years. By the time she saw it, it had been empty and abandoned for a lot of years.

  ***

  She stopped, and stood still for a moment, cocking her head as if to be listening to something, “Boy! Someone out there is playing their music really loud.”

  She went to the nearest window, opening it, she couldn’t hear any music so she shut it, and in doing so, she heard the music again. Walking to the other side of the building she opened another window and listened.

  Nothing. Upon shutting that window she heard the music once more.

  “That’s weird. It sounds like it’s coming from the stairwell now. It can’t be though, the locks have all been changed, and Tim made sure the door was locked when he left, so there’s no way anyone could be in here.”

  After making one more trip around the penthouse, she went into the stairwell. “I can’t tell what kind of music it is, because all I hear is a line or two, then nothing. As she went down to the fourth floor it seemed to be getting louder, but she still couldn’t make out what kind of music it was. When she reached the third floor, she walked through all the hallways, and although she could still hear the music, she wasn’t able to determine the source. She repeated the procedure on each of the lower floors with the same results.

  Finally reaching the lobby, she realized the sun had set and it was almost dark. “Wow, this is really getting weird, because I still hear the music and can’t find the source.”

  She headed for the double doors that lead into what had been the restaurant and ballroom. Just as she touched the door and started to push it open, she stopped. For the first time since she got involved in this place she was spooked. Afraid to turn around, she eased backward until the entry way door was against her back and prevented her from going any farther.

  She slowly reached into her purse and pulled out her keys; bringing her gun with them.

  It’s time for me to get out of here so I can get my wits about
me.

  Without turning her back on the ballroom doors, she reached behind her and unlocked the entry door, just by feel, and very quietly opened it, then stepped outside, and slowly closed and relocked it. Standing still for a moment, she breathed out a long sigh of relief.

  Then, running to her car, she jumped in, started the engine and smoked the tires getting away from there.

  Once she got home, she bolted in to the house. Locking all the doors and closing the drapes, she then ran into the bathroom, and upon turning the shower on, stepped into it clothes and all. Only after she was soaked from head to foot, did she strip to the skin. She washed her self, and just then stood there letting the shower water cascade over her body until it was no longer hot. After drying off she slipped into the bed and slept soundly for ten hours.

  ***

  “What the hell happened? Why did I get spooked last night? I’ve never been so rattled in my life. What do I do now? This is Saturday, I’m just going to lie around and take it easy today. I’ll go back over early tomorrow. If Tim wasn’t out of town, I’d see if I could get him to meet me there.”

  ***

  She stopped to have breakfast Sunday morning on her way to the hotel, so by the time she got there it was almost 10:30. Pulling up in front, she started to get out, then decided against it and parked across the street. As she stepped out of the car a very handsome middle aged man approached her and said, “What happened to you Friday evening?”

  Being a little on edge to begin with she nervously reached into her purse, put her hand on her gun and responded, “I’m sorry but I don’t believe I know you. Were you speaking to me?”

  “Please accept my apologies. My Name is Gary…Gary Sellick. I live in the house behind me. I happened to be sitting on my porch Friday evening when you came out of the hotel and ran to your car, and smoked the tires getting away.”

  “I…I realized I was late for an appointment, that’s why I left in such a hurry.”

  “I haven’t seen anyone in there for several years. I thought it was all locked up.”

  “I’ve been through the building quite a few times with a real estate agent. If you live here I’m surprised you hadn’t seen us before.”

  “I’d been away for some time, and just got back about an hour before you left. You mentioned a real estate agent. Are you buying the place?”

  “As a matter of fact, I already have.”

  “Good luck on that. Well, I’ve got some things I have to do in the house, so I’ll let you go. I’m sorry to have held you up…uh.”

  She extended her right hand and said, “Now it’s my turn to apologize. I’m Jayna Parsons; it’s a pleasure to meet you Gary. If you’re going to be around I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of each other, because I’m having this old building renovated and modernized.”

  Shaking hands with her, he replied, “In that case you can bet we will.”

  ***

  Although she wasn’t totally comfortable, she couldn’t believe how strongly she was drawn to Gary. His eyes were so deep they were almost hypnotizing,

  Walking toward the hotel she tried to look confident and sure of her intent, just in case he was watching. She couldn’t believe how much she was shaking as she put the key in the door lock. Opening the door she slipped inside as quickly as possible, and stood, breathing slowly and deeply until she could muster up the courage to go through the doors leading to the ballroom. In an hour she went through the whole building, including the ballroom. Standing in the lobby area, she shook her head feeling really foolish for getting so upset Friday. “I think it must have been new buyer jitters.

  Smiling, she walked out, locked the door, and casually walked across the street toward her car. When she climbed in it, Gary came up to her and asked if everything was alright.

  “Oh yes, I’ll be back sometime this coming week to start taking measurements and drawing up some ideas.”

  “You seem a lot more relaxed than you were before.”

  “Yeah, I guess I was kind of nervous about this, because it’s all new territory for me.”

  “New ventures do tend to make people nervous sometimes. My first thought was that it was the music.”

  When Gary said that, she could feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck, and her arms were covered in goose bumps. Looking at him she stammered, “Wh…wh…di…did you say?”

  “I just thought you heard the music, but I guess I was wrong.”

  She started her car and said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Then, once again she left in a big hurry.

  After driving three blocks she came upon a city park and pulled into the parking lot. Getting out of the car she spotted a bench under a large shade tree and sat on it.

  “Why did I get so rattled about the music? It’s like it scared me and yet at the same time it kept pulling me toward it. It was all I could do to resist.”

  In a little while she finally calmed down and decided to drive back past the hotel.

  “I certainly can’t avoid the place. I own it and my life is, now tied up in it.”

  As she passed the hotel she saw Gary sitting on his porch. Pulling over to the curb she took a picture and they waved to each other.

  Being otherwise occupied it was Wednesday before she was able to get back to the hotel. By the time she got there it was about 1/2 hour before sunset. Since Gary had mentioned the music, she planned on asking him to go inside with her. When she pulled up in front of his house he walked out to greet her.

  “Hi, Jayna, how are you today?”

  “I’m still a little nervous, but I’m doing ok. I was wondering if you’d like to go through the old hotel with me.”

  “I’d love to see the inside, but why me?”

  “The other day you mentioned something about music.”

  “Yeah, I hear it every night. I thought you did too, that’s why I said it.”

  “Are you ready to go with me?”

  “Sure, let’s go.”

  In order not to show her nervousness, she let him unlock the door, and open it, as he did, she asked, “Do you hear any music?”

  “No, not yet. Do you?”

  “No. Well, if we’re going to see the whole place let’s start at the top. We’ll have to walk up though, because I don’t have the electric turned on yet, and it’s kind of dark in the stairwell so I brought my flashlight.”

  She didn’t tell him she also had her gun.

  It was a different feeling walking up the steps with another person.

  “This is the penthouse.”

  “Holy cow! This is amazingly beautiful.”

  “You like all this gingerbread?”

  “Oh, yeah, do you realize the craftsmanship and talent it took to put all this together? To get this today you’d pay millions.”

  “You’re right, I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

  “Do you hear that?”

  “H…Hear what?”

  “Don’t you hear that music?”

  “N…No”

  “That’s interesting, I’d thought you would.”

  “Let’s go back down. It’ll be dark soon.”

  “Ok. Are we going to look at the other floors?”

  “There’s really nothing to see, just hallways with rooms on each side.”

  By the time they reached the lobby it was almost dark outside, and she started toward the entry way door.

  “What’s on the other side of those double doors behind us?”

  “Oh, it’s just the restaurant.”

  He touched her arm, and when she turned to face him. He looked deeply into her eyes and said, “I knew it. You do hear the music don’t you.”

  She tried to look away, but couldn’t, and hesitantly replied, “Yes.”

  “Why does that bother you?”

  “I don’t know. Something just seems unnatural about it.”

  “It sounds like it’s coming from the other side of th
ose doors. Let’s go see.”

  “I don’t think we should.”

  “Let’s go in together.”

  He took her hand and instantly she could feel the warmth and calming affect it had on her.

  They stepped through the doors, and could hear the music, but couldn’t see the source… till the doors closed behind them. Then the lights came on. There was a ten piece band on the stage playing the type of music she used to hear her grandparents play when she was a little girl. She looked around the room, and people were sitting at the tables smiling and listening to the music. The men were all in suits and ties, and the women had long flowing evening gowns and high heels. Some of them had drinks in their hands and some were just watching the band.

  Jayna was speechless. She turned around and opened the doors to look back into the lobby. The lights were on and people were sitting in overstuffed chairs all around the lobby. Some were reading magazines and others were reading newspapers.

  Gary pulled her back into the restaurant and said, “Come on let’s dance.”

  “I don’t know how.”

  “Sure you do, it’s easy, just follow my lead.”

  He led her to the dance floor, and before she knew it they were gliding across the floor to the music as though they’d been doing it for years.

  Song after song, she felt like she could dance forever.

  At one point between songs they stopped in the middle of the floor, and he held her against him, and asked, “Is this what you were afraid of?”

  “I don’t know what scared me.”

  He leaned forward and very warmly and tenderly kissed her, and she responded in kind.

  “Are you still afraid?”

  “Not as long as I’m with you.”

  At that point the band played “Dancing in The Dark”, and they danced and danced, long into the night.

  ***

  “Listen, Detective, it’s my sister and I know her very well. Her name is Jayna Parsons. I haven’t heard from her in two weeks. We’ve never been out of touch that long in our lives.”

  “But, what you’re trying to tell me can not be!”

  “Oh, yes it can. She bought that old hotel, so she could modernize it and reopen it”

  “I’m telling you, Jennifer, that’s impossible.”

  “No it isn’t. She sent me the pictures to prove it.”

  “What was that address again?”

 
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