Episode A5

Episode A5: "WHILE I LAY DREAMING"

Beginning Quote: Arthur Conan Doyle, Taking Pains.
Stranger lets Agatha into his room. It is the middle of the night.
Agatha and the Stranger share an awkward moment. He thought she was someone else.
"Sorry, thought you were someone else."
"That's all right. I am."
"You're the laundry girl, right?"
"My name's Agatha. Delivering laundry is just one of the menial tasks I do in the hotel."
"What can you tell me about the Guy Behind The Desk, Room 273, Mr. Arkadin and what's going on around here?"
"Well… The Guy Behind The Desk is my boss in the hotel although I actually got the job by conning Mr. Arkadin. Indirectly at least."
"How did you con him? Did you meet him?"
"No I've never met Mr. Arkadin. I found a commencement letter delivered to my housemate and took her place here."
"Didn't she ever complain or raise the alarm?"
"She never came back from holiday. As far as I know she's in Jamaica to this very day."
"I see."
"I'm glad you do, I don't!"
"What about Room 273? The room the murdered girl was in?"
"I wasn't here when she was around as far as I can tell. Room 273 is in the Eastern Wing, which is the Wing closest to Arkadin's private suites. All the rooms there are kept locked and I don't know where the keys are kept. I would suspect they're in my boss' filing cabinet, he keeps everything there."
"So you never met Arkadin. That's pretty strange."
"Strange is par for the course on Manatee Mountain. Surely you know that."
"True. Very true."
"What about you, stranger? What brought you to the hotel?"
"I don't know. I suspect that Arkadin is mixed up in it somehow. There are massive gaps in my memory. Enormous holes. I can remember very little about before I was here. I think maybe I was drugged. But then what keeps me here? Other than how remote this place is. I feel it's essential for me to solve the mysteries of this place. If only for the sake of my own sanity!"
"Well for me, it started as an adventure. Now I am fairly certain that I'm trapped here."
"Trapped? How so?"
"Try getting to Crayfish Creek sometime. See how far you actually get."
"Do you know anything about Nova Holland?"
"No. I heard her mentioned occasionally. She seems to have appeared and disappeared fairly suddenly. It's possible she was some kind of investigator- like from the EPA or FBI or something. There's a lot of toxic stuff kept at The Dig and even as remote as this place is, sooner or later all hell is going to break loose down there over what's kept in the mine."
"I'll bet. I just read part of the most amazing book… Full of horrifying mystical stuff. But it names Arkadin! Or his ancestor it must be I guess. There's a history of bad stuff happening around here that goes back centuries."
"Bit like Point Pleasant West Virginia, huh? Like the Mothman stuff?"
"I guess."
"I'm exhausted. Do you mind if I sit down?"
"Not at all! I was going to have a shower if that's all right?"
"It's your room, stranger…"
Stranger has shower.
Agatha lies down on bed and is soon asleep.
Stranger comes out and sits down in chair.
Agatha wakes and stands up.
"You should use the bed, it's your room! I should be going anyway. I haven't found any high tech surveillance or anything in the hotel but I bet there's some way for them to watch over the staff."
"Are there a lot of guests and staff?"
"I don't really know. This place is enormous and divided into Wings and Levels. The stairs go down into a sublevel that is virtually on the same elevation as the upper mine workings and there are hotel rooms down there too. I try and avoid anywhere that isn't brightly lit… This place gives me the creeps big time."
"Understandable."
"So what's our next move?"
"OUR next move? I want to solve the mystery of the murder of Nova Holland."
"I want to get the hell out of here and never come back."
"I want that too, but only after the mysteries are solved. It's important to me."
"Fine. I have a feeling that until we find out more about what's going on around here I'm trapped anyway. Shall we team up?"
Stranger smiles and they shake hands.
"Team up."
Elsewhere, the Guy Behind The Desk is once more talking on the phone.
"Yes sir. Yes Mr. Arkadin. I understand. At once sir. Yes. I had no idea he'd been out in the Hedge Maze. I'll see he's kept more occupied. Yes sir. No. Not as far as I know. Absolutely. Yes sir."
We see the Fake Spook creeping through corridors of the hotel…
The Fake Spook eavesdrops on Stranger and Agatha and we hear the end of their conversation again, muffled this time…
Agatha leaves the Stranger's room, and is followed by the fake spook
He keeps following her, closing in for … the kill?
End Quote: Neil Gaiman, You can know anything.

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