The Management Kindly Requests...

By Joe Blevins

Ah, good, sir. You're awake.

No, no, Mr. Risling. You don't have to get out of bed. This won't take but a moment. You will forgive me for entering your room like this, sir, but you didn't answer your phone, and the management wanted me to pass along a few items of interest to you.

You gave us quite a scare last night, of course. What, sir? You don't remember? Certainly, you will remember some of it. Nothing, really? Hmm. You are Mr. Erik J. Risling, correct?

Eh? What's that? You don't even know where you are or how you got here? You are kidding, I trust. No? Well, you could start by looking around the room. That should jog some memories. You, sir, are in room 316 of the Applewood Motor Cove. You see that shattered window and those slashed drapes, sir? Yes, those. You did that, sir. And the bloody footprints on the carpet, too, which Rosa is now diligently attempting to remove. Of course, you will be paying for the replacement and cleaning of these items. Your credit card has already been billed, Mr. Risling. No need to fret.

Oh, yes. Quite sure. You were the only person in this room last night. You checked in just before sunset and gave explicit instructions to the night clerk to padlock your door from the outside. You see the padlock here. You must have made quite an impression on him, sir. The clerk, I mean. Apparently, you were rather dramatic in making this request, and Maurer -- that's our night man -- was quite apprehensive and even considered denying you a room, thinking you to be intoxicated or involved in some criminal business. Fortunately, sir, you chose to stay at an establishment which prides itself on complying with unusual customer requests such as yours. Not for nothing did it receive three out of five apples in the Applewood $mart $hoppers Guide. Perhaps you saw our ad there? No? Oh, well, you chose wisely anyway, sir. You can be sure of that. Had you tried the Happy Apple Inn down the street, your experience would have been quite different, rest assured. You can never tell how you will be received in a place like that.

What's that, you say? Well, to hear Maurer tell it -- again, Maurer, is our night man, you understand -- you came to the front desk, sweating profusely, and said you needed a room for the night. You went on to say that the full moon would be out soon and that you were not feeling well and did not wish to be disturbed. You said that you had a medical condition which might cause you to make some noises in your sleep. You apologized for this and asked if it would be possible to have a room away from the other guests. That is why you are in 316, sir. You are the only guest staying on the third floor. Your fellow guests are all on 1 and 2. You were quite insistent about the padlock on the door as well. Once your credit card had cleared, your requests were cheerfully followed to the letter.

Are you starting to remember now? Good. Oh, one more thing, sir. You gave Mr. Maurer these.

Yes, sir, they are indeed bullets. Solid silver, I'd say. You told Maurer to keep these behind the desk and to use them if necessary. What you meant by that is unclear, but evidently Maurer assumed you wanted us to hold them for safekeeping during your stay. You can have them back now, of course. You see that they've been kept in perfect condition.

Well, sir, you were correct in informing us that you would be making some noises while you slept. You did not, however, properly estimate the volume, frequency, and sheer intensity of these noises. Despite your relative distance from the other guests, you still managed to unnerve them quite a bit with what they described as a howling sound. You kept poor Maurer quite busy last night, what with guests calling down to the front desk to lodge formal complaints. That is, of course, until approximately 12:30. You apparently shattered the window and left the motor cove for several hours at that point, returning some time around dawn. Maurer's a bit fuzzy on the details.

Now, sir? A few minutes past noon. You will remember, I trust, that checkout time at the Applewood Motor Cove is 11:00 a.m., so you will be paying for an additional day, in addition to the other expenses you have incurred here. Unfortunately, you chose not to answer your phone when Musgrove -- that's our day man -- called to discuss this very matter. You are still entitled to your free continental breakfast, Mr. Risling, though I'm afraid the croissant is a bit stale at this point, and the coffee has grown cold. No? Well, should you change your mind, you'll find it over there on the dresser.

Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Risling. There is a Detective Cuthbert waiting to see you in the lobby. He didn't supply any details, but he said he would like to speak to you at your earliest convenience about your activities last night. Apparently, there were some unpleasant goings on about a mile from here. An entire family killed, throats slashed by some large animal. Ghastly stuff! You can read all about it in the Applewood Morning Bee.

It's over there, sir, on the dresser.

Next to your continental breakfast.


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I really, really like the way you handled the obstruction in this one. The inference of a dialogue is great and it adds another dimension to the story. It makes the reader's imagination even more of player in the story-telling process than usual. Also, I really like the way the narrator is trying to pawn off the continental breakfast. Great ending.

Hi, Chris.

Thanks for the nice comments. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this story. I had fun writing it. I've wanted to write something like this for a while now. Fun Fact: I once lived in a small town roadside motel for about a year. The town was small, but the motel was actually kind of sprawling -- dating back to the 1950s glory days of seeing the USA in your Chevrolet. They had some small apartments on the back of the property, but the place was mainly a motel. This story is somewhat based on that experience.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Blevins published on October 9, 2008 2:22 PM.

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