Why couldn’t I summon my inner tough guy?

I’m plodding on with my latest Radwinter story, and at last I’m on the home straight, although as usual I’m writing too many words which will have to be sheared once it’s finished. Here is an extract – Thomas Radwinter and his friend David are in an abandoned hotel at night, looking for answers in the mystery of a man who disappeared one night a dozen or so years ago. It’s too complicated to explain what they are looking for exactly (in fact they don’t really know!) but they want to find out more about a character called Phil who maybe squatting in the empty place:

I touched David’s arm and asked him in the quietest whisper I could whisper what should we do. He pointed at the nearest door. No, I didn’t want to push it open and venture down a long dark corridor, or worse, a corridor with side corridors. He moved to the door and put his face near to it, and  I realised of course it had a glass panel.
He didn’t open it but silently went round the reception to the other door and peered through. He beckoned me, well I guess he did, it was so gloomy, but I saw him wave his arm to me.
I looked through the panel and couldn’t see what I was meant to see  – and then I did; there was a shimmer of light across the carpet about halfway down – a light was on in one of the rooms and showing beneath the door.
“What do you reckon?” David whispered. “Knock on the door and say it’s room service?”
I nearly had a dreadful attack of the nervous giggles – why couldn’t I summon my inner tough guy at times like this? It only seemed to happen when I was confronted by an aggressive but basically harmless individual, or when I was unexpectedly face to face with my own reflection?
Suddenly the shimmer of light magnified into brightness as the door  opened. David shoved me and I went behind the reception area onto my hands and knees and under the desk.
A door banged open and there was a transitory glimmer and then darkness again. There were footsteps across the wooden flooring, the sound of feet on the staircase, then silence. Where was David?
He was suddenly beside me and I crept out. I whispered that we should go, I was very spooked, and somehow with David I felt less brave rather than more so. There was the sound of a car starting and then it drove away.
“No, we’ve come this far!” he sounded excited in a low-key David sort of way.
All my instincts told me to leave but I followed him through the swing door and along the carpeted corridor to where there was still a glimmer of light from under the door. Supposing there was someone else still inside, supposing it was someone armed, supposing David flung open the door and a shot was fired? My imagination was working overtime.
David stood at the door, listening. He’s a big bloke and he seemed massive, like a great black bear. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as he pushed the door and unbelievably it opened and he stepped inside.

Maybe I’ll share the next part of this episode tomorrow!

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