Survivors of the Z’s- Rhonda Gedling, Motel Liz, outside Colorado
The man didn’t answer me. He just stared. Making me feel awkward. I was frozen. Scared for a short amount of time.
“Eddie,” Ricky said
He didn’t answer. His smile sinister.
“Eddie, what’re you doing in here?”
“Who’s she?” He asked
“It doesn’t matter, you shouldn’t be in here little bro, come on”
He guided him out
And walked toward me
“Sorry about that,” he said
“It’s ok,” I said, “is he alright?”
I could tell he didn’t want to answer the question. It was none of my business. I knew that.
And that was that. No more was said about his mysterious little brother. He laid down on the bed with me and huffed. We tried not to wake Elaine. The mood was low all of a sudden.
I could tell
I could see it in his eyes
“What’s the matter?” I asked
“Nothing,” he said, “I’m fine”
“If you don’t tell me I won’t be able to help you, this might be the last time you see me”
“You leaving today?”
He sat up and came toward me. He didn’t want me to leave. He wanted me to stay. Deep down I wanted too, but somewhere inside I missed my little kingdom.
“I need to go at some point”
“You can stay, I’ve never met anyone like you before”
“Come on, a man like you, of course you have, plus you’re charging me per night, I will leave at some point”
“You can stay for free”
“You can’t do that”
“I can, it’s my motel”
“I’m not a free loader, it’s your business, you need the money”
“Not from you,” he told
“You don’t even know me”
“I’ll get to know you”
He lent in
Stared into my eyes and kissed me. The kiss felt different. Like he was trying to convince me.
“It’s not going to work”
“I feel alone,” he said, “I haven’t got anybody”
“You’ve got your family”
“My brother has no emotion, he’s like a fucking branch, he doesn’t say a word, I can’t have a conversation with him and my mom…”
He stopped talking. That was that.
An ending to something that didn’t have an answer. It got me wondering.
“What about your mom?” I asked
“I’ve just met you, I’m not going to tell you”
“Sorry for asking”
He looked at me, sighed and laid back down. Looking up at me.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “I’ve been here for years, just me and my brother”
“Haven’t you ever gone anywhere?”
“I don’t know, on a vacation, anywhere?”
He shook his head. I then felt something. Something that he was probably trying to make me feel from the start. He was trying to convince me to stay.
Trying to convince me to not leave him
Trying to convince me to never walk out the door
He sighed again. A deeper exhale.
“Could never afford it, I’ve been here since I can remember, my mom once ran this place, then…”
There it was again.
What was it about his mom that he didn’t want to reveal?
What was it that he didn’t want to tell?
I grew concerned, but I didn’t ask. I just let him be.
“My mom got ill and I had to take over,” he said
I laid next to him.
“I’m sorry, is she ok?”
“No, she passed away”
“Don’t say sorry, it isn’t your fault, it’s not any bodies fault, I should’ve done something, but I didn’t, I should’ve got her to the hospital, but I didn’t, I just watched her suffer and I…”
He got up and walked away. He shook his head in anger. Like he felt ashamed
He was angry for telling me
“Listen, if you want to leave I don’t blame you, just say goodbye when you do”
He just changed. Once a soft tone then a strong- angry- tone. I didn’t say a word. I just let him walk out and close the door. Leaving me with nothing but puzzles.
Puzzles of him
Puzzles of what he’d just said
“I know you’re awake,” I said
“I can’t help it when you’re kissing next to me”
Mom suddenly stirred and faced me from the couch. She smiled and giggled.
“He’s a hotty I’ll give you that,” she said
“Don’t start,” I said
They both started to laugh. I got up and walked toward the door.
“Was he big?” Mom asked
She showed a curious face and so did my sister.
Both wanted to know
Both wanted to imagine
“What?” I asked
“Come on, don’t play stupid, we know what you were up to, I tried to get in but the door was locked”
“I might not have wanted to be disturbed”
Mom tilted her head, “I saw him come out the room”
She knew what was up. It was like she had looked into my mind and turned a page like a comic book.
My sister also
“You were either masturbating, or… he was making you a little wider”
I cringed, “you’re disgusting”
Having a laugh and a joke with mom wasn’t one of my priorities, so I walked out and introduced myself to the new day. A few people were lining up at the desk. Ricky looked over and looked back to serve the customer. He gave her the key and she took a young girl with her. The next customer was a large man. Ricky cracked a joke with him about his height and he gave him the key to his room. The customer laughed and walked to his room. I looked up at him as he walked. He was huge.
He watched me walking over, “sorry about earlier”
“It’s fine, don’t worry about it”
He then looked over at a room and scurried over.
The door was open
Like it wasn’t meant to be
A sign saying cleaning in progress was plastered on the door. His brother came walking out.
“I told you not to go in there,” he said
I looked in and saw an elderly woman chained to the far side radiator.
Trying to get to us with her hands stretched out. Her mouth was masked, but you could still here the cries. But, she wasn’t any old elderly woman. She was infected.
“What the hell,” I said
Fear was rammed down my throat. He then grabbed me and stared into my eyes. Another stare that meant something else…
“Don’t say a word… please”