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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)

TITLE: Hell-A-Day Inn
By Scott Hesch


Hell-A-Day Inn
A place where people come and go
And only fools call home

Walking down the Hotel hall, John spotted the breakfast room. It was deserted with the exception of a couple occupants sitting at a table in the corner of the room. After much thought (as much thought as one can have in the few seconds it took to finish his journey down the hall), John decided to join them.

“Hey you, new guy, come and sit with us,” slurred a man whose name John later found out was Maxx.

John went to take a seat next to an Indian man (not a Native American, but a real live Indian man from India). He was sitting cross-legged on his chair with his hands in the air in deep meditation, opening his eyes only to converse. Just before his seat was firmly planted in his chair, the Indian man cautioned, “You must sit properly, if you don’t sit properly, you’ll be in violation of a Hotel Rule.

“That’s not true and you know it,” stated a man who introduced himself as Eli.

“Help yourself to some grub, man,” said a scrawny little thing of a man with a black mop of hair on his head. “My name’s Robert, you have one?”

“The names John”

“My name is Mathew Smith,” said the man who had obviously had too much to drink the night before, and who, by the smell of it, had helped himself to some more hard liquor this morning too, “but you can call me Maxx!”

Wondering if he was sitting “properly”, John helped himself to some tea and a pastry.

“Where exactly on the Hotel Rules Plaque is that rule of yours Ghandi?” asked Eli.

“Well, uh,” stammered Ghandi, “its not on The Plaque, but it is somewhere,” muttered Ghandi, looking embarrassed. Still in his state of meditation, Ghandi ignored Eli altogether.

The Hotel Rules Plaque was where the Owner (it’s rumored that He made the Hotel with his own hands too), had personally written down the Ten Most Important Rules of the Hotel. Of course a rule so silly stating that you must sit “properly” was non-existent, except in the imagination of some.

John, after finishing his pastry, was about to sip his tea when another comment from Ghandi stalled him.

“If you lift your pinkie, young man, while sipping your tea, your chances of having a high status in the Great Beyond when you leave the Hotel will increase.”

“By ‘Great Beyond’ I assume you’re talking about Eternity?” asked Eli inquisitively.

“Indeed I am,” replied Ghandi coolly

“And by ‘high status’, you’re talking about Heaven?”

“Well, yes and no, I believe that everyone will be heaven, just in different levels of bliss when they leave the Hotel,” answered Ghandi, warming up to the subject.

Mr. Smith (Maxx), who had been quietly staring at his shoes until this point, chose this time to add his two-cents to the conversation. The liquor, at this point, was doing a number on him. “Thers no Havin or ‘ell. Thers only ‘ere and now!” exclaimed Maxx, violently slamming his hand on the table. A few seconds later, with an entirely different countenance, Maxx spontaneously shouted, “I love my brother!” After a brief pause, “I love my car too! Do you want to see my car? ‘ere is a picture of ‘er. Ain’t she a beaut?” asked Mr. Smith lovingly. But just as fast as he had appeared attentive and alert, he zoned back out into his own little world.

The man who had introduced himself as Robert turned to look at John and said, “Ghandi here, is some kind of Guru, and Eli is a Christian. When these two get on the topic, well, we have some holy wars in this Hotel,” joked Robert, “And Maxx, well, he just adds his little comments and drunken insights every now and then. Them two,” gesturing toward Eli and Ghandi, “are religious.”

“I’ve told you before Rob,”said Eli, “it’s not a religion, I have a personal relationship with the Owner. He not only made and owns this Hotel, He made and loves us. Life in this Hotel is temporary, it is not forever. It is not worth investing your life into. After you die (leave the Hotel), you’ll be either in Heaven or Hell, forever. Read your Biblh (basic instructions before leaving Hotel), and see what the Owner has to say about eternal matters.”

“Another beautiful day at the Hell-A-Day Inn,” said Robert

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/19/05
I presume the Owner is God, so I'm not clear on what the Hell-A-Day in is supposed to be in this allegory. This world? I dunno, the parallels break down for me. Your characters are very compelling, though, and fully realized. Your drunk is especially well-written.
Anita Neuman09/20/05
This is an intriguing allegory - great concept! You have the beginnings of a really great piece - perhaps a peer editor could help you tidy up a few details. Good start, though, and creative take on the topic.
B Brenton09/22/05
Good work. I'd be applauding if I was more nutters than I actually am.
I like the way you worked this. It's different and you obviously have a great talent. Love to know who this is so I can read your other stuff (If I haven't already).
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/24/05
This has great potential! Good job.
Shari Armstrong 09/24/05
A very nice parable type story! This could be expanded into a longer piece.
Val Clark09/24/05
Well done for tackling something really difficult here. You are most of the way to nailing this. Without being obscure you shouldn’t have to explain allegory to the reader. For example ‘After you die (leave the Hotel)’ can be simply left as ‘after you leave the hotel’ and ‘Read your Bible (basic instructions before leaving Hotel)’ can be simply ‘read the basic…’ I like that you show different world views and their flaws in a very concrete way. You could save yourself lots of words by not repeating yourself: ‘The man who had introduced himself as Robert turned’ can be reduced to Robert (who we’ve already met so no more introductions needed) turned to John. Looking forward to reading more of your work. Yeggy