This weeks flash fiction challenge was to write about Hell. Details here.
And this was my take on it.
Sal stumbled through the pristine white lobby, gazing round in confusion, as he headed for reception.
‘Hey, buddy’ he said to the man behind the desk.
The man continued tapping the keyboard, before looking up.
‘Yes sir, how may I help?’
Sal looked him over, before speaking in his thick New York accent.
‘Listen buddy, I’m not sure how I got here, but since I’m here can I get a room, because I’m beat’
‘One moment sir’ replied the receptionist whose name tag read: Michael.
He pressed a few keys and said
Michael tapped away at the keyboard again ‘I’m afraid you don’t have a reservation sir’
‘Okay, well can I get a room anyway’
‘Afraid not sir’
‘Why not?’ said Sal, offended.
‘We don’t let just anyone stay here sir.’
‘My money not good enough for you’ he reached into his pocket; he found nothing. Sal checked his other pocket, and then tapped his vest.
‘I’m afraid bad language is prohibited here sir’ said Michael
‘Hey, fuck you’ said Sal
‘You may find the establishment across the street is more to your liking’ said Michael unfazed.
This receptionist was a sultry young blonde. Sal already liked this place; despite its gaudy décor.
‘Welcome to Hotel Hades, how may I help?’ she asked.
Sal fell in to her eyes like the deep mossy green pools they resembled. Her voice was like the dirtiest mutterings of his favourite pornstar; he could feel the blood rushing to a specific area.
‘Hey sweetie’ he said trying to play it cool ‘I need a room’
he reached into his pocket; to his surprise, Sal grasped a thick wad of cash. He pulled it out and unrolled it in front of her; each note was a hundred dollar bill. Good, he thought, women go weaker at the knees for money than anything else; love to a girl like this is cold hard cash, a hard dick doesn’t buy handbags.
‘Certainly sir’ she said ‘your name please?’
‘One moment Sal’ her cheekiness riling Sal junior
‘Ah, here you are’ she said looking at the computer ‘we’ve been expecting you’
Sal smiled; he didn’t wonder why, he didn’t care, all that concerned him was the receptionist, her name tag read: Scarlet. Scarlet reached beneath the counter and pulled out a key.
‘You’re in room triple-six’ she said with a smile
‘Thank you Scarlet’ he said returning her smile ‘and what time will you be joining me?’ ‘You’re here a while Sal, we’ll get time’ she pressed the bell on the desk and a bell boy seemed to appear out of thin air.
‘Bell, show Sal to his room’
‘This way Sal’ said Bell walking toward the elevator.
The elevator stopped at the sixth floor. Walking down the hall, Sal noticed all the room numbers were the same: 666.
‘Here you are Sal’ said Bell stopping outside room number triple-six. Bell opened the door. Sal reached into his pocket.
‘Your money’s no good here.’
Sal looked down; staring up at him was a man in a top hat, wearing a moustache and a monocle; each note was bright orange. He put it back in his pocket and decided he needed sleep.
‘Thanks’ he said to Bell, and he walked into his room.
Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door. Sal opened it in frustration; standing on the threshold was a tall man.
‘Hello sir’ he said ‘may I come in for a quick chat?’
‘And who are you’ asked Sal
The man pointed to his name-tag and said ‘I’m Lou: the manager’
Sal shrugged and said ‘sure’
Sal sat on the end of the bed, and Lou stood; his hands behind his back, though clearly holding nothing but each other.
‘Are you enjoying your stay so far?’ he asked
Sal shrugged ‘I guess’
‘tut-tut-tut’ said Lou ‘that’ll not do’
Tired and irritable, and wanting to see the back of the manager Sal said
‘No its great, I’m having a great stay’
‘tut-tut-tut’ said Lou ‘that’s even worse’
‘huh?’ said Sal
‘What’s the last thing you remember Sal?’
Sal frowned ‘what do you mean?’
‘The last thing you remember before walking across a hotel lobby’
Sal thought for a minute, searching his mind for the memory.
‘I was pumping away at this broad’ he said ‘can’t remember her name’
‘professional lady was she?’
‘Hey, you don’t fucking judge me pal’ said Sal
‘You’re right Sal’ said Lou ‘what you do is up to you’
‘Damn straight’ said Sal
‘after all, if you weren’t a sinner, you wouldn’t be here’
‘Where do you get off?’
‘How did you get here again?’
‘Let me help you Sal’ said Lou ‘as the proprietor it is my duty to make sure you’re aware of your environment’
Sal listened to him talk.
‘You went from sleeping with a hooker, to walking across bright-white, flawless marble, correct?’
Sal nodded, annoyed to be agreeing with this asshole.
‘The plush, clean, spotless hotel, with its pure, pleasant receptionist said they didn’t have you down’
Sal nodded again, feeling he’d been spied on, or that the manager was some sort of FBI profiler
‘So you were sent here, to my, seedy and yet alluring establishment; where you see the lust inducing receptionist and, suddenly, your home’
Sal smiled, he did feel remarkably at home, though if it were his home, he’d kick this pompous prick in the crotch and tumble him outside.
‘You died Sal’
‘Heart failure; greasy, fatty food, high blood pressure, and some sinful cardiovascular’ ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’
‘This’ said Lou ‘is where you’ll reside for eternity’
Sal looked round the room, and said ‘Look, I’m not sure if you’re really the manager, or your some kook who’s going round pretending to be the manager so you can talk shit while people listen. Either way, right now, I couldn’t give a fuck; I just want you out of my room, so I can get some sleep – capeesh?’
Lou smiled; his k9 teeth were elongated. He nodded, and headed for the door.
Sal picked up the remote and turned on the Television.
‘Hey’ he said as Lou reached the door ‘What gives?’
Lou raised an eyebrow in retort.
‘There’s only two channels; the news, and the shopping channel’
Lou smiled ‘welcome to Hell’ and he left.
Sal flicked frantically between channels; the shopping, and the news. As he flicked back and forth, Lou’s last words sunk deeper and deeper into his mind.