Life at Hotel No. 9 went like this: breakfast was served at eight o'clock, featuring Wake Up Waffles, Let's Go Eggs, and a few dozen pots of Super Extra Coffee; afterward there never failed to be at least one fist fight in the lobby, but by the time peace was made and gauze was wrapped, the reason for it had been forgotten. The pool opened at ten o'clock, but fresh towels rarely made it up from Laundry before ten thirty, and the city children had to be chased out of the deep end anyway. At noon, lunch was only eaten by those who had nothing better to do with their day; most Hotel No. 9 residents slathered on their SPF 500 and grabbed a bottle of filtered water from their mini fridge and headed into city, because for those four hours each day it never rained and the shops were open and happiness, in general, was agreed upon.
Buses took everyone back to the hotel in late afternoon. Each was equipped with a small child who plodded up and down the aisle, demanding in a quiet hiss, "Tickets to Amsterdam, tickets to New York! Only three left, and then they'll be gone forever." You had witnessed a sly exchange between one of these young scalpers and a man who, later, you realized lived down the hallway from you. After he left, no one ever saw or heard from him again. Maybe that was a good thing, but nobody else wanted to find out.
At Hotel No. 9, dinner almost always featured Sleepy Spaghetti, and sometimes Relax Me Now Soup, and once in a while an Everything's Okay Salad Bar. After dinner there were never any fist fights. There was only the slow shuffling of residents back to their rooms, and doors clicking open and shut, and television sets crackling on. Yours tended to stay off. Each night you simply said a prayer, tucked yourself into bed, and watched the moon rise through your big oval window.
Fiction Friday is an outlet for experimentation while I slowly work on becoming a novelist. Read the rest of the stories here...