Hyde Road - Enter the motel reception

From Create Your Own Story

You open your door and climb out the car, the cold wind once again causing you to shiver. You glance over at the figure standing under the awning, he is still staring in your direction, you lock your car, clutching your bag and you head inside. His eyes track you as you walk quickly to get out of the swirling snow. As you pass him he winks at you and gives you a small smile, his cigarette hanging limply from his lips as the smoke rushes around him with the wind, the strong smell of the tobacco irritating your nose. The incident makes you feel dirty, and you look the other way as you pass him. You push through a pair of glass doors into the motels reception area. The doors close behind you, it's not much warmer in here, but at least you can no longer smell the cigarette smoke, and the wind is mostly quiet while inside apart from the unmistakable droning whistle. There is some background music playing, which only adds to your discomfort. It's not a song you are familiar with but it's the kind of thing you would expect to hear in an eighties porno.

The floor is covered in cheap glazed blue and green tiles. They haven't worn well and you can clearly see the discoloured wear from the front door up to a little window on the other side of the room. The walls are painted salmon and there are some tacky prints hanging in mismatched frames on the walls. There is a dark blue couch up against a wall to your left it looks worn out and is sagging in the middle, covered in a vinyl faux leather, the fabric cracked and flaking. Through the window in front of you there is a woman, you aren't too sure of her age, you would guess in her fifties. She has a large wild bush of her on her head that must be the result of a perm, the colour clearly layered from various failed attempts to try add some life to the dying mop, her graying roots betraying her. She has caked on her makeup, it doesn't do a very good job of concealing her leathery face, deep cheek lines accentuating the frown on her face which tells a story of a life of general unhappiness, her eye shadow is an emerald green and far to dark and broad. Thick eye liner only serving to highlight her wrinkles. She has two stripes painted onto her forehead where her eyebrows should be. There is an ash tray on the counter in front of her, filled to the brim. There is a cigarettes burning it. A thick pain of glass separates you from her. She looks at you up and down as you approach, you can't help but feel you are being judged, the hypocrisy of her sanctimoniousness does not escape you.

"Yes?" She says as you stop in front of the small glass window.

"I am looking for a room for tonight." You hear the words coming out of your mouth, secretly you are hoping there is nothing available.

"Yes, cash up front." Her voice is dreary and drawn out. She taps a piece of paper taped to the glass displaying the rates.

You take off one of your gloves and pull your purse out of your bag, producing the money, which you slip under a narrow slit at the bottom of the glass. She picks up the notes and counts them out checking it twice before she is satisfied. She opens a cash register and deposits the cash before turning around and grabbing a key hanging on the wall.

She dumps the key into a box just to the side of the window from which you pick it up. "Check out before 11," she says, looking down and ignoring you as you halfheartedly mumble a thank you. You aren't exactly sure what hospitality you should expect from an establishment such as this, but this service does strike you as lacking. You examine the key you are now holding, it is attached to a little metal tag with the number 7A stamped into it, that must be your room.

"Room 7A?" you ask through the window. You get no response. You slip your glove back on and exit through the door you had just come through. The man standing under the awning is still there and he looks up as you walk back out into the blustering wind and snow. You put your hand on your head to making sure your scarf is still fixed properly. He drops what is left of his cigarette to the floor and steps on it with a heavy black boot. He nods his head at you, either unaware of your obvious disdain or he simply doesn't care. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of cigarettes and taps out one.

"Smoke, Sugar?" He offers you one. You don't smoke, it's a disgusting habit, but you wouldn't have accepted it from him regardless.

"No thank you." You hold up your hand pushing it away. "I'm good."

As you pass him he puts the cigarette to lips. "I bet you are, Sweet Cheeks, I bet you are." You stop and glare at him. He just smiles back, the cigarette hanging from under his bushy mustache. He flicks the lid of his lighter open and lights up. You look out into the snow at the room doors facing the parking lot. You walk past the first few before working out that your room must be on the first floor.

Your bag is still in your car, you think about going back and fetching it, that would mean you would have to get in earshot of the man standing under the awning again. Perhaps if you go to your room, you might be able to come and fetch it later. You pause at the bottom of the stairwell for a moment.

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