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Thread: The Intruder

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    San Diego Calif.
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    The Intruder

    The Intruder

    Katherine and Molly’s room adjoins ours, but with two doors back to back, which is a good thing when Elizabeth went off one day.

    I’m reading the room-service menu, and all of a sudden, a scream from the bathroom.

    “What is that thing?”

    “Ahhhhh, it’s coming over here!!!”

    I look up and I can’t see anything, but imagine that if I interpret what I’ve heard correctly, we have a problem, Huston, because the audio is Liz’s voice, and it’s coming from the bathroom, and my algorithms have figured that from the modulation and tone she’s in panic mode, and it’s probably because she’s on the toilet and can’t dash to safety from whatever it is.

    “Is that thing a cockroach?? AHHHHHH!!”

    “Here I come, Honey. Don’t move!”

    “Who’s moving?”

    And that’s where she is and this thing is large. I mean thick and large and ugly.

    “I think it’s a water bug, Honey, that’s why it’s so big.”

    “I don’t care what it is, get it out of here!”

    I grab one of those water glasses they have near the coffee, and I chase it around the tiles for a while. It is a water bug, an alert water bug the size of a Panzer tank and hard to corral. I finally capture him, but in the process he loses a leg. I feel sad for the sucker. I’d feel worse if he’d cried out. Lucky for me he didn’t, it would have broken my heart, but in a minor insect unfeeling sort of way.

    I get my trusty Nikon out, make adjustments for a close up, and take his portrait. His leg has hairs and spikey spurs on it, and right now it’s about an inch away from his body. I can still get his body and leg in the same picture, so let’s go for a close up.

    “Sorry, guy,” I’m thinking, “But you scared the woman I love, and in the process of kicking you out of here, you got a little mussed up. ( I like how I’m using the phrase ‘mussed up” instead of “tearing off one of your six feet, probably the one you eat with, so now you’re going to starve to death”, it shows I’m ready to distance myself from the guilt of causing the accidental death of an insect) So we’re calling the concierge and kicking you out.

    By now, Liz out of the bathroom, lying on the bed with seven down pillows, and on the phone.

    “No, I can’t take another room. My daughter and granddaughter are in the next room. We have to be together. Keep looking.”

    “What are you doing?” she hoots my way, when she sees the flash go off in a mirror.

    “I’m taking a picture.”

    “He’s taking a picture,” she relates to whoever it is on the phone. “He’s caught it for you! Yes. Yes. It’s under a glass.”

    She covers the receiver with her hand when I get back to her side.

    “What is this, she whispers. “The Ritz, or Hotel Eight?"

    “I know. This is crazy. When I went to Rosarito Beach one time we stayed in a cheap hotel where they hadn’t changed the bed linens. Little curly hairs and sand appeared when I turned down the sheets.”

    “That’s disgusting.”

    She went back to the phone.

    “No, we can’t do that. Is there a tub in the bath there? We can’t do that either, I need a tub. We came all the way from California, arrived on the redeye, drove for an hour through a blinding snowstorm, and now I can’t sleep. This ruins our whole vacation.”

    She looks up at me and winks, covers the mouthpiece and whispers, “I want the room for free.”

    The manager of housekeeping shows up at the door. He’s tall, well-dressed, and full of apologies. When he takes the five-footed insect away, he backs out the door while looking at Liz, as if he’d just had an audience with the Queen. Royal protocol requires you to never turn your back on a monarch. These hospitality guys are well trained. Working with Liz is working with someone important. You have to be diplomatic.

    “Now stay in touch,” Elizabeth tells him. “Don’t make me fetch you.”

    “You’ll hear from me, I promise.”

    Liz goes to sleep with a smile on her face, and I’m pleased the whole thing is over.

    The next morning the room phone rang. It was the manager of housekeeping. For the remaining three days we were to have sixty dollars per day in room service for free.

    Thank you, Your Majesty, for bestowing upon us this gift.

    Work it, Your Majesty; work it until you get everything you want.

    ©StevenHunley2018 Everything She Wants (Remastered)
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 12-24-2018 at 05:52 PM. Reason: changes

  2. #2
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    The Prairies, Canada
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    Very well told, great descriptions.
    Enjoyed very much, Steven.
    Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
    ~Albert Einstein

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