Regan Strehl

United States of America

The Hotel Room

December 7, 2018


A bleached, polished, and febreezed hotel room has been lived in for little over a week. The lavish and pristine setting that the hotel prides itself on has all but vanished.
The small metal waste bin is overflowing with snotty tissues and empty beer cans. The microwave has angry red splatters covering every surface within. The counter has been layered with seven days of crumbs, and something else dark and sticky. The beds are unmade. One has clearly been slept in, the other is covered with soiled clothing. A forest green suitcase lay gaping open in the corner.
The cleaning woman, Sera, unlocks the door then calls out into the room. No one answers. This is not unusual to Sera. Plenty of people had abandoned whole suitcases full of things before. And the mess is a given.
After half an hour of scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, the main room was returned to its former glory. Sera sighs as she moved towards the bathroom. Who knew what horrors would await her there?
Sera opens the heavy wooden door, fully expecting to see toothpaste smeared across the counter. There is, but that is not all. The mirror is splintered into a thousand spiderwebbed shards. She freezes. After a moment, Edna’s focus shifts from the broken glass, to the distorted image it reflects. Someone is lying on the floor.
No one answers. Sera takes a deep breath and pushes the door open entirely.
A man lay face down on the floor. A trail of dried blood leads to his head. Fearing the worst, Edna reaches down and puts two of her fingers up against his neck, looking for a pulse. Suddenly his hand reaches up to entrap her own. Edna shrieks.
“Woah woah lady, it’s way too early for any of that.” The man rolls himself over to reveal a thin face and a broken nose. Edna gasps in relief. The man just frowns.
“Hey lady, who are you? Where is my brother?”
“Ah, I’m the maid. I don’t think anyone else is here.” The man slowly sits up, brushing his ragged hair out of his face. He pauses, lost in thought for a moment. He touches his tender nose and wonders why it hurts. Suddenly his eyes widen as a formerly faded memory brightens with the clarity of consciousness. After a moment he sighs and lays back down on the floor.
“Sir, are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine. My brother and I just got into a quarrel is all.”
“One that left you with a broken nose?”
“Yes, but I’m lucky. I deserve so much worse.”



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