I guess I will go clean up this lobby room. It is still in turmoil from last night's wedding reception. Where are the housekeepers? I guess they found their husbands and their happily ever after because I haven't seen them since. Future reference for self. Hire employees with work experience. As I was gathering up empty wine bottles, beer cans, and plates of left-over refreshments. I heard someone coming down the steps. It was a little early though check out time is normally 11:00 a.m. and it was only 7:00 a.m. I walked over to the steps to greet my extended-stay guest, only to my surprise it was a little girl who couldn't have been any older than 8 years old. She looked lost and disoriented. She asked me, “Have you seen my mom?” I replied no, and motioned for her to come with me to the front desk. I took my seat and opened up the room bookings to see the roster of the guests and see who had a child accompanying them. Blankenship Family. 2 adults, and 1 child. Room 100.
I called up to the room and it just rang, no answer. I called again and to no avail my call was still unanswered. I turned to the little girl and reassured her everything was okay and told her to go sit by the fire to warm up and I would bring her some cocoa. What happened last night? Where are my housekeepers?
I went and got the extra key and hurried to Room 100. I unlocked the door and went in, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The beds were unraveled meaning someone slept in them. I called out “Blankenships” and my call was unanswered. I walked back downstairs and this time I heard laughter. Before I reached the desk there were the Blankenships sitting by the fireplace with their little girl. I went over and asked them if there was anything wrong? I told them about their daughter coming downstairs and asking me about their whereabouts. Mr. Blankenship said they had gone out for a brisk walk down the trails behind the inn. Yeah okay, I thought. That is weird.
Surprisingly, the front door opens and here comes all three of my housekeepers. They seemed to be in a blissful mood, hurriedly rushing to get to their scheduled itinerary. I asked them to come to my office to explain the lack of absence this morning. All spoke at once explaining that they had heard a loud crash earlier this morning and went outside to see what the noise was and stumbled upon the Blankenships coming from the trail carrying skis. The Blankenships pointed towards the mountain and that's when they saw a gulf of fire that poured smoke from the sides encircling the peak. They said they stood behind the inn for hours looking to see if it was a plane accident or was it actually a volcano that had just erupted. A volcano!! In all my years in being the manager of this inn I have never heard of a volcano being anywhere around this area. So how was this possible? I ran behind the inn and looked up the incline and long behold smoke had engulfed the top of the mountain. I immediately called the park rangers and the police.
It didn't take them as long as I thought it was going to take. This inn was miles from the main road. I went and announced to my other sleeping guests what had occurred right behind us. I didn't want a panic or a stir of fear because that only creates chaos. I needed to evacuate in a safe but timely fashion.
I thought it would be best to start from the floors and evacuate that way so I wouldn't have all the guests piled in the front lobby. All of a sudden, another loud explosion, and everything went dark. The flood lights came on thank God! But the sounds of chaos were piercing. The police came inside the inn to help me try and get some order amongst the guests. Sirens sounded! The emergency caution that informs residents of imminent danger.
What was I going to do to protect us from danger? How was I going to get everyone to safety? Instructing the residents to evacuate by floors was totally out of the question now. Some guests had already packed their vehicles and gone. I announced to those remaining guests to just get their belongings what they could grab and get out of here! My housekeepers had gone on hiatus again this time I think they were gone for good. The police announced lava was starting to come down the mountain straight towards the inn. Evacuate! I couldn't leave until all my guests had gone. Hurriedly, trying to push the guests out the door the Blankenships came to me anxiously informing me their daughter was missing. Not now I thought not now! Smoke covered as a fog impairing visibility. The Blankenships went outside to their car and there their daughter was sitting in the backseat. I guess she knew better than all of us what evacuate actually meant.
Soon with the help of the police I got all the guests evacuated which gave me a sigh of relief now I can get my belongings and get out of here! Another tumultuous boom!! I looked outside and I could now see the inn was surrounded by lava so much that the foundation was starting to sink on its sides. The police had already started to gather in their cars and motioned for me to join them immediately. Somehow I felt too much of a connection to this place and its calm and serene spirit which was now being encompassed with chaos and darkness. I motioned the police to go on and told them I was leaving right behind them but I never actually made that choice. I went back into the inn and sat behind the front desk counter. I looked out the window and it all went black.