The sliver of light from under the hotel room door
seemed to dance. The sound of the two people outside was muffled, but
their shadows waltzed across the foot of the doorway and changed the entire
shape of the room within from one second to the next. Finally, the sound
of the key entering its intended slot rang true and the door swung open.
A solid block of light shone through the darkness, casting a crooked rectangle
upon the floor, bed, desk, and assorted luggage therein. Silhouetted brilliantly
by this cascade of fluorescence were two laughing figures.
Veronica finished carrying John into the room and plopped him down onto
the floor, herself landing on top of him.
"Oh, come, now!" he teased.
"I made it past the threshold," she said, "That was all
I promised!" After a moment of silence she tumbled over him as they
erupted into giggles and guffaws once more. She knocked the door shut
with her foot and shuffled on her hands and knees to the light switch,
illuminating the room once more.
As she attempted to rise, he grabbed her leg, causing her to spill onto
the ground again. He jumped to his feet and gave a triumphant "Ha!" followed
by an awkward stumble as he attempted to keep his newly gained balance.
He leaned up against one of the massive bedposts.
"Oo!" she said, scampering over to him and to her feet. "Look," she
said, "look at this bed!"
"What about it?" said John.
"You haven’t even looked yet! Look! It’s good," Veronica
It was a massive bed, king sized, the top of the mattress was four feet
off the ground. A little stepping stool stood by the side. Four large
posts carved out of wood stood at the four corners and the headboard,
ornate to say the least, was carved of the same wood.
"What is that, oak?" he said.
"I don’t know…" she said, her eyes betraying her
confusion, "I think it’s… foreign."
"Hm…" he replied. "Yes. It’s good. So, have
any more wine?"
"Indudiblely!" she said. Over to the room’s tiny fridge
she ventured, opening it to find exactly what she had requested. She was
about to pour two glasses when she thought the better of it.
"I think you’d better pour, John," she said. "We
don’t want a repeat of before with the… you know, shaking
and… splashing and… mess."
"Right," he said, nodding and relieving her of the bottle. "I
understand." He took the liberty of choosing two plastic cups of
the two that were on top of the refrigerator and filled them, trying to
give both Veronica and himself more wine than the other.
"Here you go, darling," he said, handing her the cup he’d
"Mmm… yes," she said, immediately drinking. After a moment
she giggled and said "Where are my manners? I am the hostess. I have
to give you a tour. This," she gestured all around her, "is
the bedroom, that," she said, spilling her glass towards a door on
her left, "is the bathroom, and… that’s it, I suppose.
Stay a while, make yourself at home, sit wherever you like."
John looked about for a moment.
"Oh," said Veronica, "I lent the chairs to my neighbors.
Playing cards I think, earlier…"
John plopped himself back onto the floor and finished the last of his
wine. "I rather like it down here," he said. Then he abruptly
lay on his back. "I can see up your skirt from here."
"Wicked!" she shouted, kicking off her high heels and falling
to the floor next to him.
"Fancy knickers, those," he said staring at the ceiling.
"Not really," she said, "I have nicer." Her head
was next to his waist, and his hers, the two of them independently looking
through the 10 higher floors of the hotel and into space.
"What do you think?" she asked.
"About what?" he replied.
"I don’t know," she said.
They lay there in silence for a moment.
"I suppose life. You know, the whole thing, as a whole," she
"That’s a tough one," he said. "I guess I just think
of it that life is like anything else. You just do what you do, and then
you’ve done it."
"Oh," she said. "Is that it then?"
"No," he said, "I don’t suppose it is, but what
do I know anyway, you know?"
"Hmm…" she said.
He looked out the window but he couldn’t remember what for. All
that he saw there was another building.
"Yes," she said, "I think you’re right… It
all seems rather simple when you put it like that."
"Well, it is," he said.
"What time is it?" she asked.
He looked down his side and then along the length of his arm until he
finally reached his watch. "Its two," he said at last.
"It’s time for bed," she said. "Up we go!"
She wobbled to her feet and boarded the bed by way of the stool. Her
shirt shortly flew from somewhere unseen to John and landed on his face.
This seemed to be incentive enough for him to follow her. Once he too
had mounted the bed more clothes followed to the floor until the bed seemed
to have been overtaken by a nudist police state. Then the sex began.
Awkwardly at first, but gaining speed with time, the two humped away,
she moaning more than he did, him trying to think of something else. He
eventually remembered that he was having sex and came, but fortunately,
not before she did. As they lay back from the sex they both smiled.
She reached for the wine now on the night table next to them, but he
grabbed it before she could and refilled them first.
"Good," she said, "good thinking. Don’t let me handle
things that have… other things."
"I’d have to be crazy," he laughed.
Once the two of them had had a few more sips she looked over and started
to snicker. He didn’t really know why.
"Oh my…" she said, trying to calm herself.
"What are you on about now?" he said.
"Oh nothing," she said, "Nothing. I have to work, you
know… tomorrow. At seven!" He looked at her and again she was
consumed with the laughter. "No! No, I really do."
"All right," he said.
She snorted. "No!" she said, "Sorry, no! I do. I do."
"All right," he said. "I don’t."
"So, you know…" she said, "We should probably, probably
go to sleep."
"Ok," he said.
"Ok," she said.
She chuckled a bit as she pulled the blankets up to cover her body. He
curled into a ball next to her. She rolled over. She rolled over again.
She rolled over once more. It was then some time later and Veronica was
fast asleep. John was not.
He crawled out of the bed and went into the bathroom. Once there, he
peed, and flushed. As he was about to walk back into the bedroom he accidentally
caught sight of the mirror. He saw himself and was captivated. He began
to investigate every inch of his face. He studied his eyes until he could
see them when they were closed, then his nose, then his mouth, then the
placement of his acne. Then he popped a zit on his left cheek.
He looked around the bathroom and saw nothing unusual, and this upset
him. He looked at the bathtub for a long while. He grabbed the towels
hanging over the toilet and laid them at one end of the tub. Then he climbed
in and rested his head on them.
It wasn’t incredibly comfortable, he kept scraping his legs on
the faucet, but eventually he got to sleep. He dreamed the dream with
the big pink thing.
He awoke some hours later, seeing the sun through the window through
the open bathroom door. He blinked for a while. Then he listened. Then
he arose. He looked on the bed for Veronica, under the sheets, on the
floor in his clothes, but she was nowhere to be found. So he decided to
He dressed and then he grabbed the plastic cup from the bedside. He took
out his lighter and lit it beneath the cup. The plastic began to warp
and melt and he took a deep whiff as it dripped to the floor. He used
up almost the entire first cup before the thought had come to him. He
piled onto the bed everything plastic he could find in the room, toothbrush,
hanger, shampoo bottle… then he went to the foot and chose one of
the bedposts. He chose the one on the right. He lit the lighter and held
it to the wood as it turned a bit black and eventually caught fire.
From there the fire spread to the bedspread and the other posts, the
head of the bed, and of course all the plastics. He was enjoying the air
enormously when he noticed how large the fire had grown. Then he decided
to beat a hasty retreat.
He opened the door and looked both ways. Seeing no one, he slipped out
of the room and into the fine hallway, quickly disappearing around the
corner. From out in the hall, the sliver of light from under the hotel
room door seemed to dance.