Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)
TITLE: Lucius Satanas: Hotel-Owner Extraordinaire
By J. C. Lamont
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The doors opened and floor one revealed a host of malevolent villains. Lucius didn’t need to leave the elevator; everything on this floor was intact.
Onto floor two. Here dwelt the intellectuals. Huddled together, they discussed the plausibility of Hotel Erets construction without an architect.
Now for the third floor. Here the bitter and hurt resided. It pleased Lucius that many of their scars stemmed from insensitive encounters with wandering 7th floor occupants.
Raucous music floated into the elevator from the fourth floor before the doors even opened. Scantily dressed girls and intoxicated men danced under flashing florescent lights. Lucius chuckled, noticing a few 7th floor occupants also enjoying the festivities.
Floor five. The spiritual seekers. In one corner, a group absorbed in deep meditation; in another, a pleasant discussion on becoming one with the divine.
The sixth floor occupants, intrigued with the 7th floor, were always just one step away from joining them.
Lucius shook his head. “If only it wasn’t so intolerant,” he said sympathetically. Many nodded in agreement.
Confined to the elevator, Lucius scoped out the 7th floor inhabitants. Many were sleeping, some were busy with their lives, and others were engaged in heated arguments.
Satisfied with his tour, Lucius grinned, until a twenty-something girl entered the elevator, a backpack casually slung over her shoulder.
“Go back where you belong, Jordan,” Lucius hissed. “Your past is too blemished.”
“My past is just that,” she said lazily as she pressed button “6”. “In the past.”
“Your Uncle is here,” Lucius taunted as the doors opened. “Give up. He never listens anyway.”
Jordan left the elevator briefly and placed a Christian novel on top of her Uncle’s copy of the Da Vinci code.
She stepped back in and pressed button “5”.
“You’re wasting your time here, you know that,” Lucius said as the doors opened on the spiritual seekers.
“David,” she yelled to a young man who smiled and waved. “Catch!” She tossed him a Christian CD from her backpack.
“Thanks!” he said.
She leaned forward to press button “3” but Lucius stepped in the way. “You don’t want to forget a floor, do you, my dear?”
The doors opened to the fourth four and Jordan caught a glimpse of a young man sitting at the bar, alone.
“Look, there is the one you love,” Lucius said. “The one whose voice makes your heart flutter. Why live without him? Why forsake love? Why serve a merciless Master who withholds that which you need the most—”
“That’s where you wrong!” she retorted, but not before brushing away a tear. “It’s only your lies that tell me that is what I need. It’s my fault I let my heart wander, not His.”
Lucius laughed as the doors opened again. “And what do you possibly think you can accomplish here? You, yourself, resided here, among the hurt and bitter, for over a decade.”
Pushing past him, Jordan poured some water into a battered, chipped cup. “If you are truly thirsty,” she said gently, “you will drink from an imperfect cup.”
A few thanked her, sipping from the cup, and Jordan told them there was more on the 7th floor. Though most blew her off, a few muttered a quiet, “maybe next time”.
She entered the elevator again. Lucius didn’t even bother to comment. She was out of her league amongst the intellectuals. But he scowled as she pulled a handful of seeds from her backpack and tossed them into the air.
“Since you have finally reached the conclusion that it is improbable for this hotel to have built itself,” she said, “have you ever considered believing in the One who claims to be its Architect?”
The elevator doors opened to the first floor.
“Oh, please,” Lucius rolled his eyes. “These lowlifes won’t even let you off the elevator.”
Withdrawing her last item, she blew prayers into the air. As they floated throughout the floor, like an evanescent array of bubbles, she knew it was time to go back. She needed refreshment.
“You have failed,” Lucius gloated. “Not one person has followed you!”
“That is not my job,” she said. As they reached the 7th floor, she smiled sweetly. “Goodbye, Lucius. See you tomorrow.”
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