It's been long enough since last time, I think, so let us revisit the Random CD Prompt. Go find a song as randomly as you like and then borrow its first line. Use it as your opening and then take things from there.
Managed to get caught up to 2016 on the comments this morning. Being only a week behind feels, sadly enough, like an accomplishment at this point.
High Hopes by Kodaline
Broken bottles in the hotel lobby should have been enough of a warning for me to turn right back around as soon as I walked through the entrance. Sent me running back to my car, really. Hit the gas and don't let up until the next town came into view.
But I didn't have a car. There wasn't even a bag over my shoulder. So I stepped, barefoot, around the shards of glass and approached the unmanned front desk. My hand was halfway to the counter before I realized there wasn't a bell waiting for me there.
"Hello?" I called out, my voice hoarse from the recent onset of dehydration.
"You need a room?" The speaker was hidden in an office to my left. Other than her voice the only indication of her presence was the soft glow of a computer monitor in an otherwise darkened room.
"Here you go." I saw a pale hand appear for less than a heartbeat before I needed to focus on the key flying in my direction. I caught it by its red plastic tag. I don't know how, but I did. "Second floor, almost all the way to the end of the hall. Take the stairs - the elevator stopped working two weeks ago."
"Thanks," I said, feeling a little stunned. "Uh, don't I need to sign in or something?"
"Why?" She stuck her head around the corner to look me up and down. I placed her in her early twenties, but I'm terrible with that sort of thing. Curly black hair framed a pale face with an expression that combined boredom with irritation. "You a crook or something?"
"No, nothing like that," I assured her. "I just... I dunno. Isn't that fairly standard?"
"We don't worry about that sort of thing here," she said, returning to her computer. "Just pay when you're ready to leave. Trust me, you don't want to pull a runner."
"No, I wouldn't... why?" Something about the way she'd offered that warning concerned me.
"Anybody who tries that? We sick the dogs on 'em."
"The what now?"
"And those mean little bastards always find their man." She leaned just enough to the side for me to see one cold, blue eye. "You sleep tight now, all right?"