The keys on my belt jangled – not jingled, mind you. Jingling is the bright, cheery sound of fluttering fairies and ice cream trucks. The dozens of heavy steel keys that swayed from my obnoxiously large keyring had a unique sound, akin to tin cans being blown down an alleyway. Or perhaps the rusty blades of an old weather vane turning slowly in the wind – whatever the sound, it was definitely not cheerful.
As I turned the corner and approached room 18 my pace slowed as my pulse quickened. The door to room 18 looked no different than that to room 16 or room 20 on either side. Yet I knew the truth, that behind the door lay the smallest seed of evil. A single seed, by itself no more menacing than the telephone that sit next to it or the tattered envelope that contained it.
It took many of us to contain the seed within that envelope. Several were killed in the process, but each knew the risks when they signed on. Only I remained to keep a watchful eye on the seed and the motel room that it held hostage.