Snake Oil Stain
The room was cheap in all that word implies. The prints on the walls were of landscapes unremarkable, in frames mediocre.
The numerous clandestine rendezvous would be as interesting as it gets, if, as they say, the mattress could talk.
The string of salesmen passing through town were the majority of its residents. The stains in the carpeting a mosaic of coffee, soda, beer and really inexpensive champagne.
Startled awake from the crash, he sat bolt upright in bed. It was dark in the room except for lights from the parking lot barely visible through the curtains which were swaying slightly from the wind.
He put together that something had broken the window. It was silent. Slowly he slid out of bed. Grabbing his pants from the chair, he put them on and walked over to the window, peeking out the edge of the curtains. His car was parked right outside, with a couple other cars down the row of rooms. Nothing was moving.
He looked at the clock by the bed — 1:23 a.m.. He switched on the light. The curtains were thick so the object was lying just below the bottom edge. He cautiously walked over, picking it up from amidst the pieces of glass. An egg-sized rock with string holding a piece of paper. “Welcome back Jimbo”.
Crushingly exhausted from the ten hour drive, he turned off the lights. He sat in the bed listening for any sounds, thinking about what else he could do, and dozed off.
He showered, gathered his belongings, threw them in the car and went to settle the bill and report the incident. The Kit Cat clock behind the desk was wagging its tail. It was almost nine a.m..
Oh no, said the man behind the desk, looking at the note. Why would they think he’d ever show his face around these part again? I wonder . . . you wouldn’t be driving a bright red Mustang would you?
Oh dear, that’s certainly it. I am so sorry. The guy sold elixirs, y’know fake medicines. Here, here’s one on the shelf, he said, pointing to a bottle with an elaborately decorated label: Ernest Jimbo’s Nerve Syrup. Stayed here for a couple months, paid on time. Everything was basically as up and up as this kind of thing could be. Away much of the time, selling his wares in neighboring towns; all quite innocent. And then a few weeks ago they found a load of his empty jugs on a hillside in town, a teens’ Lovers Lane kinda place. People got angry because the teens had figured out it was nothing but alcohol and herbs so the guy suddenly had a steady stream of clientele. Lucky he didn’t get jail time, the police drove his red Mustang’d ass out of town. I am so sorry you got caught in our little bit of unfortunate history, sir. Next place you go you might check if he’s been through. Me, I got a window to fix.
Thirty of thirty-one stories — 500 words or less, written one-per-day during December 2018 — The Hunt & Peck Parables PatchWord Quilt™©.
© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.