Things to do at the Motel (550 words)

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Joseph Schmol

shaken & stirred
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
282
Reaction score
66
Location
Texas
All forthright opinions will be valued. Thank you.




The swarthy man acted surprised we had the same model laptop. "They are the same!" Maybe that's why he persisted in getting me connected to the internet, and with sweat beads dripping from his scalp to the carpet, long after I would've quit. Or maybe it was professional pride -- the sign on his office window did say: FREE INTERNET, as did the marquee. Probably it was because he had his little girl tagging along and he wanted to set a good example. They'd arrived hand in hand at my door. "Her mother is at the store." Before they left she deftly palmed two quarters off the dresser. She seemed very well-practiced.

Once the internet was up it wasn't long until Roxie, the Backpage rub and tug girl, was toweling herself off and getting dressed. She must have checked herself in the mirror fifty times before moving her pouty lips counter-clockwise with a final satisfied smack. "Bye, hun." Once she'd snatched her cash and left, I drew open the curtains. I shuffled some cards and settled in for a game of solitaire. While I played I half watched the asphalt parking lot and the swimming pool on the other side of it. Nothing interesting happened. Just a lot of kids jumping and splashing and yelling nonsense.

I shuffled and played until eventually faces showed outside my window. The walls are so thin these fools could hear me shuffling. Then more greedy leering faces showed, which produced excited knocks on my door. One man brought a table and chairs from his room. I sent a boy for whiskey and donuts. He thought he should play instead. My instinct was to laugh in the kid's face, maybe give him a crack for his ignorance, but I did not. "Kid, you get ten bucks for the errand. Believe me when I tell you, you're getting the best of it. Believe me. Now run along."

Sam from 104 had like ten pockets and seemed to pull cash from all of them. His face was grave and he gambled like he looked -- lifeless, mechanical, run off and out at the first hint of danger, but then quickly pulling out more cash for the next hand. "I raise," said Morris, who had a great low voice that almost rumbled. "I raise. I raise. Again. Again." And again and again and again, Morris the aggressive player with the voice of a small god. A god who liked hearing his own voice almost as much as I did. I'd listen to Morris read obituaries. "You've got pocket two's," I told him the time he pushed all-in. "You've got shit," I told him. "Pay to see what I have," Morris said the time his voice didn't rumble. "Yes, I will pay."

After the last of them left and I had gone to bed, there came a knock. The boy had sneaked out, so I let him in. We turned on the HBO so he could see some titties while we played gin rummy. He drank some of the whiskey and smoked a few of my cigarettes. Before going back to bed I took all of the kid's money, plus he left owing thirty more he promised to steal from his mother's purse. Then he can come back.
 

Gunpowder Nash

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
108
Reaction score
20
Location
Maryland
I like how you set the scene, and how familiar the characters seem to each other. From what I gather, the men were in town for a meeting/convention of some sort, and all stayed at the sawm cheap motel. The MC seems like the class of the lot, and I guess the others knew not to bug him until Roxie left in the morning.
I was wondering about the last line. Did he come back with the money, or with a gun?
 

Joseph Schmol

shaken & stirred
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
282
Reaction score
66
Location
Texas
Hey, Nash. Thanks for reading.

I'm guessing the kid came back with the money, more than once.
 

TexasPoet

When Is It Dark Enough?
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
11,478
Reaction score
931
Website
www.TerryJudeMiller.com
I like the poetics and connectivity between the hooker and the guy who can't play cards.

The kid is the protagonist when he was young.

Good story.

tp
 

Joseph Schmol

shaken & stirred
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
282
Reaction score
66
Location
Texas
I like the poetics and connectivity between the hooker and the guy who can't play cards.

The kid is the protagonist when he was young.

Good story.

tp

Thank you for your comments, TP.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away