Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Unknown - Chapter 4 - by nova

I checked into my room. The clerk, probably the owner, was a white male in his early 50's who was sitting in an old metal folding chair outside the office. He wasn't reading or talking to anyone. He was just staring off in to yesterday probably and waiting for something to happen or the day to end. Instead he got me.

Check in was easy. No questions asked by either of us other than wanting to know how long I wanted to pay for and how much. He was curious but not curious enough to ask which was not that unusual.

Our conversation was brief.

"How much?"

"You want deluxe?"

"What do I get?"

"Stove works probably, well, one burner does...sometimes. You can come by and use my Internet if it's working. If we have power, which we do sometimes, your room a/c might work."

" A lot of mights and maybes in there for paying extra."

He shrugged. "Not going to lie. Everything we got was already old before Powerdown. It runs or it doesn't. The special gets you the room where last time I checked everything ran."

"I'll take it.

"Yes sir!"

Manners had improved greatly since PowerDown. Not surprising as the survivors included a fair amount of angry, armed, and usually traumatized people who were as stable as old school dynamite was. I would like to think I added to that as I believed manners was a borderline capitol crime depending on who was involved and what my mood was like that day.

The room was a room. It had the original kitchen appliances from the renovation done 50 years ago. The refrigerator had been duct taped shut 20 years ago at least and someone had scrawled "Don't open!" with a black marker on the door. Of course someone had opened it as the tape had been nicely slit. I couldn't smell dead refrigerator so it had to have been awhile.

The bed was lumpy. If I came down with bedbugs I was going to be very unhappy. So would the man who checked me in.


  1. nova, you have not lost your touch for local color! I am really enjoying this!

  2. "Manners had improved greatly since PowerDown."

    Well, at least we have this to look forward to. :)

    Very much enjoying this one, Nova. Keep up the momentum!

  3. Rottenclam,

    Yeah...I was wondering if I was spending to much time on the backstory

  4. Armed societies have a pronounced tendency to be polite and respectful. Have you visited the firing line of a gun club lately?

  5. Heheh. Good point, Anon.

    How about the manners in a gun store vs. say, manners at a Walgreens?

    Nova, no worries on 'too much time on the backstory'. Hell, Herman Melville spent half his books talking about the backstories, and they teach him in schools.