Byron inserted the key card into the slot, getting a blinking red light for his efforts. Frowning, he tried again with the same result. Then he paused at the hotel room door, fished the mall paper folder that had held the card from his shirt pocket and checked the room number. He was in front of 228 and he was staying in 233.
With a sheepish sigh, he turned to the correct door, earning a solid green light and a click when he slid his card in. Room 228 was last night - no, two nights ago. Last night was five hundred and something. Well, at least he went to the right floor today.
Wheeling his suitcase in, he set it against the wall and eased his laptop bag from his shoulder onto the room's desk table. Then he used the bathroom and as he was washing his hands, he couldn't help to see himself in the mirror.
He was definitely a road warrior. Not the leather and chain mail-clad, muscle-bound guys with green Mohawks and scary tattoos that roamed freely across the landscape in post-apocalyptic movies. No, the mark of his ilk was the somewhat rumpled dress shirt and wrinkled slacks showing the hours of battle in office furniture. His middle was armored with a slowly spreading girth that would no longer see the inside of 44 inches in circumference and his hair was too thin on top to sport a Mohawk of any color.
Byron had a noon flight tomorrow out of the city across the river and the hotel he was staying was a usual for him when he was in the area. He was twenty miles down the Interstate from the river and could have stayed in the city overnight for convenience, but he liked the familiar comforts of this place. The chain hotel was clean and well-kept and there were several nearby restaurants that delivered.
And up the highway at the last exit before crossing the river were other familiar comforts.
None of the girls recognized the car, which wasn't unusual since Byron had a rental. As he arrived, another car was parked there and a little red-haired girl in what looked like a school uniform got out and walked a little awkwardly up to where some of the girls were clustered. Judging from her gait, she must have kept her customer busy and happy.
When Byron took the other car's place, he saw the blonde-haired vixen who often greeted the drivers, Sandy or something like that, peer into his window before she turned and called to another girl. Byron nodded his thanks as the blonde knew him by sight and knew who he wanted. Another girl's pleasant, round face framed by lush brown curls leaned in through the passenger side window and Byron grinned at her.
"Hello, Chyna," he said.
"Hello," she replied sweetly. "I guess you're flying out tomorrow morning?"
"Not 'til noon, actually. So I was wondering if your uncle was out of town..."
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Wednesday, June 29, 2016