“Holy crap, dudes. It’s a freakin’ ghost hat.”
“And a ghost’s business card. But how’d it get in here?” JD glanced around the room.
The wall with the entrance ran a few feet farther away from the jamb before angling outward to a wall with two doors, each slightly ajar. The left one was dark, the area beyond a thin black rectangle. The door on the right opened to what looked like a bathroom. JD could see a tiled floor and part of a wall fixture, and a glint of light from what looked like a mirror.
He went around the bed, watching the hat as if it might run away. He opened the second door, revealing a short hallway fading into darkness. He scanned the wall and flipped a light switch, bathing the opulent decor in crisp light. Another set of doors stood near the end of the hall on the right side. A sconce fixture glowed at the terminus wall.
JD opened the first door down the hall. A gargantuan closet, outfitted with wire shelving and wall-hung drawers and wardrobe fixtures, gleamed varnished cherry wood. He stepped to the second door and found another closet, a bit larger, this one adorned with a huge drawer-packed island squatting at its center.
He returned to the bedroom, and peaked into the door beside the hallway. It was a bathroom, but much larger than he anticipated. It was deep, and wrapped at an angle around the door to the right. The wall over the sink was mirrored, clear vanity bulbs blasting like spotlights around the off-white tile, textured wall paper, and gleaming brass fixtures. A greenish glass wall ran around a stand-alone shower stall set beside a walk-in tub outfitted with water jet spouts. It was spacious, bright and clean in design without being sterile and antiseptic.
He turned off the lights and pulled the door shut, sighing. “Nothing. Just a bathroom and a couple of closets. Beyond that hall is the outside corridor. The only way into this room seems to be through that door.”
“An’ that one, dude. What’re you, stupid?”
JD followed Dillon’s gesture to a door opposite the bathroom. He also noted for the first time the two tall, narrow windows jutting ten feet up the wall, swagged on either side by a single thick drapery panel of hunter green patterned over with orange, rust and ocher.
He moved from the bathroom door to the first window, behind a night stand. Parting the curtain, he examined the pane. It seemed thick. Touching his hand to the glass, it was relatively warm. The night outside made the window a black monolith in the clean white wall. He found no locking mechanism, and saw no way of opening the window. It was a solid pane inset to its frame.
He went to the door at the far side of the room, and opened it. Another picture window of solid panes with no opening mechanism stared back at him. The hall between the door and window ran to his right, and vanished into dimness.
He tucked back into the room, shutting the door behind him.
“Another hallway. I don’t know where it goes, though.”
“Should we see?” Wendy still had her hands clasped in front of her, as if chilled. “I mean, is that … is it important?”
JD stared into the middle distance between them, lightly chewing on his lip. “Maybe. I don’t know. I’m just thinking … is there any other way in or out of this room?”
“Why’s that important, hon?” Wendy’s voice was still tight.
“Well … something made the Kileys leave this room, never to return according to them. I don’t know what that could be unless it was a threat of some kind. This hat … must represent that. Since they didn’t feel safe enough to stay here, there must have been something … someone must have gotten in here. That’s what made them feel they had to leave. Right?”
“We could ask ’em, dude. Why guess?”
“I will, but I want to be sure I’ve seen everything they wanted me to see here before I go back out. I don’t have a key, you know.”
“That Feeb chick does, dude.”
JD scowled. “Phoebe, Dillon, not ‘Feeb’. Please — you said you’d be professional.”
“I am a pro, dude. I been on one o’ these already, right? So I ain’t a noob or nuthin’.”
JD shut his eyes and sighed. “Just … let’s just make sure we’ve been thorough before we leave, so we don’t have to ask them to keep coming back to a place they’re afraid of.”
Wendy glanced around. “You’ve checked everything in this room, JD. The only thing we can do now is go down that hallway out there. I don’t know how comfortable I am looking around in here.”
“The hat … the card … there’s just — I don’t know how to explain it. Seeing that card in the hat just creeped me out. I can see why Hank and Phoebe don’t want to come back in here. There’s something … spooky about it.”
“Someone was specifically trying to scare them, though.”
“Dude, don’tcha ever jus’ say ‘okay’ an’ get on with shit, man? She’s creeped. You should be too.”
“‘Cause, dude, it’s a frickin’ ghost hat!”