After spending the summer as a recluse due to a bad break-up, Nicole Saunders agrees to go to The Heat Wave Festival with her best friends, Kacey and Tyler.
Along with three other friends they plan to take a shortcut through the small town of Silver Creek; the last thing any of them expected was to become lost and end up pulling in to a motel for the night.
The Creek Motel is isolated and the last place Nicole wants to be, especially after meeting the glacial owner, but her discomfort is soon forgot as she finally gives in to her feelings and asks Kacey and Tyler to spend the night with her.
A decision she quickly regrets when she discovers that their friend has mysteriously disappeared from her locked room in the middle of the night. Worried, Nicole presumes the worst, but quickly discovers that Jayne's disappearance is more disturbing than any of them could have guessed.
Friday, September 12th, 2014
We had lost the sun about two hours ago, the helpful lights of the other cars and the freeway about an hour after that.
We had all agreed to cut through the small town of Silver Creek in order to knock an hour off our journey—a decision I was beginning to regret.
My face had been practically glued to the window for the last half an hour as I tried to figure out where the night sky ended and the ground began. It was pitch black out there. Not the kind of night painted in a mixture of dark hues with the added color jumping out once in a while. This was total and complete darkness, the type that seemed to move with us. The half moon and clear blanket of stars above had become our only indication that we hadn't just driven into a tunnel with no end.
The headlights of Kacey's green camper van continued to guide us along the narrow road and further toward Silver Creek, which I still wasn't sure if we had arrived in or not.
In the dim orange glow of the overhead light, I turned to look at Kacey. The blood had drained from his knuckles due to the grip he had on the steering wheel, and his plump lips were set in a firm line. He was pissed. I would even say livid. Which meant only one thing, we had gotten lost.
"Kay?" I said softly. "You might as well pull over."
His eyes narrowed to slits. His focus stuck to the ongoing road. "No."
"It’s pitch black. There are no lights anywhere. No sign of life. Pull over, and let's all spend the night in the van. We can set off early tomorrow, when we can actually see, and figure out where the hell we are exactly."
He may have been a mechanic, but puncturing a tire or crashing into a tree was the last thing any of us needed.
"There's a Motel."
I looked at the surrounding darkness with wide eyes. "I don't see one."
He turned the GPS we had attached to the dashboard toward me, and pointed at a small blue square. "It should be here somewhere."
I stared at the small screen and then back out the front window. Who the hell would put a motel out here? Then again, I suppose if it’s a small trade town, and people did cut through like we’re doing….
"There's the fucker." Kacey declared and put his foot on the gas.
The van jolted as we went over a bump in the road, and a groan came from the back. "What the hell, Kay?" I turned to see Tyler rubbing the back of his head, and looking at us through hooded lids. "Are we there yet?"
I shook my head. "We're lost."
"We're not lost." Kacey stated sharply. "I came down the right route. It's just fucking taking forever because I have to go at a tortoise pace because some stupid asshole didn't think about putting up lights on this shitty back road."
Tyler yawned. "So, we're lost?"
Kacey growled. "We'll stop here and set off in the morning."
I looked back out at the road and watched the speck of light that had suddenly emerged from nowhere, growing bigger and bigger, and finally forming in to a readable size and shape.
The tall sign to the "Creek Motel" flickered in the on-going darkness. The faulty light to the isolated establishment appeared to be the only indication that actual people lived in the area. After an hour of nothing but darkness, the sight caused a pop of relief to tickle my stomach.
Kacey slowed and turned the van in to the small parking lot.
Apart from the two cars sitting along the front of the L-shaped building, the only other sign that the motel operated came from the dull light seeping through the curtains of a few rooms. The van filled with soft groans as Tyler woke up the others and Kacey maneuvered into a free space.
"Are you kidding me?" Disgust leaked in to Jayne's sleep-filled voice.
Kacey scrubbed his hands down his face. "What did you expect, the Hilton?"
"I expected to be in a packed parking lot with tons of people, and lights and loud music." She yawned. "Where are we?"
He cut the engine, and slid out of his seatbelt. "We're stopping here for the night."
"Where is here?"
"We're in Silver Creek."
"Yeah, which is just another name for we're in the middle of fucking nowhere."
Kacey twisted in his seat. "Look, it's too dark. So we're stopping here. We'll set off in the morning and be at the festival in no time. Deal with it."
Dry laughter scraped her throat. "You're so grumpy. Jesus. It's not my fault we had to set off at half past five. We should have set off tomorrow morning."
Kacey popped his jaw, and slid a look at me. "I'll go get us signed in, shall I?"
"I'll come with you." I pushed the door open, and climbed out of the van.
I pulled my jacket tightly around me as we made our way across the rough gravel ground toward the entrance. In the silence, I could hear each small gust of wind whipping around the solitary building.
I followed Kacey through the open doorway in to the dingy, snug reception, which had bare brick walls with old photographs lining them and a heavily worn and scratched wooden floor. Kacey hit the small brass bell sitting on the reception desk and we both stood looking at the closed office door.