Hotel Nowhere

by Joshua Blanc

There we were, somewhere in Woogedy Woods, with no civilization in sight, and darkness falling all around us. All we had to keep us from freezing to death -- or worse -- were a bottle of bacon bits and a sofa cushion. And it was an old and beat-up sofa cushion, to boot.

"Why didn't you pack some essentials," I said to my companion, Flip.

"Bacon bits are essentials, man. And when you're stranded in the woods with no upholstered furniture to sit on, what better to have with you than a nice comfy sofa cushion?"

"Some sleeping bags would be good, and what's this stupid fascination you seem to have with bacon bits? They won't keep you from starving like real food."

I calmed myself. The first thing we had to do was find somewhere to camp for the night, preferably with cable. Luckily, just a few metres away, I spotted a three star hotel growing among some great oaks.

"Hey, what are the chances of that?"

We made haste to the front door, and burst into the deserted lobby -- hungry for a warm bed and good night's sleep.

"Uh, hello," I called. "We'd like a room please."

No one appeared, or answered my call. I looked for a bell or buzzer, but there wasn't one. There was just a small houseplant, some kind of begonia, which had a sign on it: 'ring for service.'

"Do you think we should, uh, ring the plant?" said Flip.

"It looks like our only option."

So I rang the plant. It made a sound not unlike a moose's mating call. A moment later a section of panelled wall behind the desk slid open and out stepped an old woman. She was the size and shape of a fire-hydrant. Stepping onto a stool brought her to the height of the desktop, and she said:

"Yesh? What c'na dooya fer?"

"We'd like a room for the night, please. Our inflatable raft sank and we're stranded here."

The woman gave us both a look up and down (at least, as far down as she could see from behind the desk).

"Okey doker," she said. "I'll need payment in advanshe."

"I'm afraid all we have are a bottle of emergency baconbits and a beat-up sofa cushion."

"I'll tayke the shofa cushion. You'll need the baconbitsh fer George, he's our resident monshter."

"Monster? Uh, well we'll just sleep outside if it's all the same to you!"

With that we quit the establishment to take our chances in the out-of-doors, with the mushy laughter of the old woman ringing in our ears as we fled.

The End.