Escape the Majestic

This is a story about a young adult who finds himself waiting in the Majestic hotel for a date with a girl he had met a few days prior. As he tries to shake his nerves loose from meeting her in the hotel's restaurant, the world is suddenly askew as he finds himself stranded in the hotel without any access to the world. Struggling to find the girl amidst the events of the void, Hendrick tries to overcome his depression from a break up alongside the problems faced in his new reality. This is a sto

The most striking detail of the hotel was the luminous M that hung just above the doors of the building, its glow manufactured by a thousand tiny orbs working harmoniously to illuminate the giant letter. It belonged to the Majestic Hotel, a pale building in a skyline of the lighted signs belonging to successful corporations, and it stood as a symbol of luxury among the bustling city of prosperity. The tall shaft of the hotel was decorated with ornate strips gold that tapered down the building in thin bands, resembling the crest of a mountain that blocked the sun partially so that rays of radiance poured over the mountain’s cascading shape. The Majestic Hotel had been in operation for five decades, serving the rich of the city since the rise of bourgeoisie and through the boom of the entertainment industry. At the steep price only afforded by the wealthiest of the city, the Majestic housed business executives and celebrities alike throughout the course of the city’s lifespan. The elegant letters of the hotel’s name shot across the face of the white building with the same sign it wore fifty years ago, lit up with brilliant bulbs of white that emanated a godly glow.

Hendrick looked up at the Majestic Hotel with a deep fascination with the aweing beauty of the building, startled by how it immediately drew his attention from the sidewalk. He felt out of place standing in front of a hotel he could never afford to stay at, barely able to afford the lunch date he was about to attend. He had to remind himself that this was the reality his life had come to, that he somehow happened upon a beautiful girl that showed an interest in him. It was unfathomable as to how the girl could afford the steep pricing of the Majestic, causing beads of sweat to form on his palms as the thought crossed his mind;she’s too good for me.A pang of pain pierced his chest as he remembered the love of another life, the girl he had spent a lifetime with who broke his heart two weeks prior. It felt wrong to be chasing after another girl in such a short span of torment, but Hendrick felt as if he deserved happiness after what had happened.

The glass entrance opened to greet Hendrick as a doorman pushed the door open to allow him passage. He noticed the features of the doorman, a tall elderly figure with distinguished wrinkles that etched across the man’s forehead. He stood with a strong posture earned through labor of the body, evident in the calloused hand that gripped the handle of the glass door. The man’s oak-brown eyes were steadily focused onto Hendrick, but carefully disarmed by the slight smile the man wore. Hendrick walked into the lobby, experiencing the magnificence of a roman setting in the confines of a modern city. The floor was a glossy marble that reflected the hotel’s guests that shuffled through the lobby; in the center was a rendition of a black sun that mirrored the golden chandelier that hung above it. Roman pillars held the ceiling from collapsing onto the lobby and black granite statues of crouched men graced the walls as stone soldiers awaiting orders from an ancient general. Tall windows poured sunlight into the lobby, bathing the inhabitants in a yellow glow that warmed the interior of the building and created a lighthearted bliss. Hendrick glanced over to the long hallway that bore a sign of the Shining Beacon, indicating that the hallway would lead straight to it. The thin mask of confidence Hendrick had been wearing shattered in the luxury of the lobby, causing him to run to the elevator and flee to the upper levels of the building.

On a floor several stories above the lobby, he rolled up the sleeves of his bleached formal shirt, taking care to fold the sleeves without wrinkling the shirt. His suspenders hung loose over one of his shoulders and he toyed with the metal fastener to tighten the strip tighter against his body. Hendrick wondered whether the girl he was waiting for would like his clothes, fearing she expected him to dress casual. He shifted his gaze to the window and stared down onto the street below, watching the cars pass by the front of the hotel. He felt as if something was wrong with the world, as if something had shifted in the background without him noticing. The Majestic Hotel had stood as it did when he walked in, solemnly firm against the shining sun pouring onto the sheet glass windows. He swept his hand through the meticulously groomed blonde hair, seizing it between his fingers with a frantic grasp, believing that his hair felt as if he spread grease through it. The black-rimmed glasses resting on his nose magnified the eyes that darted up and down his clothes, inspecting every piece for flaws. He told himself he was ready for another relationship, that he was through with Sarah, but a creeping doubt remained in the back of his head.

Hendrick contemplated what he would say to the girl when he went down to the Shining Beacon, the name of the first floor restaurant in the hotel, while he nervously checked the time on his watch. The silent clock face told him in the manner of a mindful assistant that he had eight minutes until he should go to the restaurant. He looked at the elevator at the end of the hallway and started towards it with an even pace when he lost his footing and fell onto the floor. The building began to rumble, keeping him fastened to the floor with his hands grabbing for the carpeting. Earthquake was the first thought that crossed his mind, but something eerie was occurring behind the scenes. He felt as if he were riding a rollercoaster, not sure when the next drop will occur but knowing that it lies on the track ahead. Suddenly the floor let out a thunderous crack beneath his back as splinters flew out from underneath. Broken juts of wooden floorboards broke free of the hotel like an earthworm reemerging from the earth. A wooden plank jutted out between Hendrick’s legs and he scurried backwards to avoid instant dismemberment. He scrambled to his feet as a thin crack split the sides of the hallway and climbed up the walls, meeting in the middle of the ceiling. The stretch of hallway shifted with a steadily increasing angle, like a ship beginning to capsize. The ceiling tore open, stretching the wires like sinews of a torn arm as the building pulled apart. It tore in half and Hendrick started to slip on the incline, noting that he was on the side that was falling off the hotel. Anxiety began to take hold of him and he panicked, wondering why his death would be the one to question the structural integrity of the Majestic. A plaster statue shaped to the likeness of a cherub tipped over and slid on its face down the sloping half of the hallway only to shatter against the doorframe furthest from Hendrick. A copper pipe snapped as he jumped in the same instance, spewing steam into the air as his hand caught the edge of the floor. He winced as the splinters of broken floorboards dug into his palm, but he held its place steady with full awareness that letting go meant death. Holding on firmly, he glanced across the hallway to just in time to watch the chunk of building descend towards the street below. His mind raced for explanation of what he saw, for the building stopped midair without any logical reasoning. But what baffled Hendrick further was the disappearance of the world around the hotel. The only thing left of the city was a large strip of road that hung in the air like the road of the future. It was as if the Majestic were thrown against a white backdrop in a world without gravity. If Hendrick were inclined to emerge from his shell of fear and speak, he would have said “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Hendrick pulled himself onto the torn planks of the battered hallway, tightening his fingers around the wounded palm, thinking to himself,this can’t be happening, this is… I must be dreaming, as he glanced out of the gaping hole in the hotel. The vast expanse of his surrounding gave off the impression of a blizzard; Hendrick couldn’t see anything out in the far distance except for the shining white of emptiness. Closer to the hotel Hendrick saw the side of the building with alarming clarity, viewing the carnage doled out by an unknown force of terror. Chunks of stone torn out from the walls lay helpless in space, fragments of the function they used to serve as support for the building. The thin wiring that sourced electricity through the individual rooms splayed from the openings in the walls like the tentacles of an octopus, stretching its body in the weightless density of the sea. Splintered beams and concrete chips were tossed from motion of the building tearing apart, made motionless by the strange parameters of the foreign world.This doesn’t seem possible; there is no logic that could hold this calamity parallel with reality. A window to his left had been shattered from the hotel’s shiver moments before the hallway split apart, its panes of glass stood as shards bursting from the window frame in a violent effort to escape from the premise before the world shifted.

The End

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