Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CHECKING IN OR OUT (hotel/motel on vacation) (08/27/15)
TITLE: Rewarding Time Away
By Rachel Rudd
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"Didn't you say that this was a four star hotel?"
"Yes, that's what the hotel recommendation said." Her husband Jack answered. "Maybe they were taking about the four stars on that ragged curtain over there."
Sarah didn't laugh at his joke so he grabbed her hand and kissed it. "Well, let's make the best of us. What's important is that we are together and we have a whole weekend in front of us."
The lobby inside was covered in plain wallpaper and housed a tacky couch and an eclectic collection of ceramic cups. An aging man dressed in a blue jump suit manned the check in counter. "Welcome to Hotel Cuppa. So how can I help you? "
Jack and Sarah set their bags down and took out their reservations. "We booked a room for the weekend."
He glanced down at the paper, "Hmm, you have booked the room overlooking the most interesting quarter. I don’t think you’ll regret that choice.” He turned around and started rummaging through drawers along the back wall, muttering to himself, "I know I have that key in here somewhere."
Jack and Sarah eyed each other as a young man, sporting a backwards cap and a leather jacket came through the back door. "Hey, Peter, where do you want these letters from the prison?"
Peter stopped looking for the key and looked up, "I think room 24 asked to take care of those today. Can you bring them up while I help this couple?"
Sarah put his hand nervously over Jack's and whispered to him, "I'm not sure we should be staying here. What if there's some kind of criminal activity going on here?"
Jack stroked his chin. "Well, I don't know what we would do if we don't stay here. Let's at least see the room first."
"Ok, folks. I've got your room key here." The man called Peter looked up. "You can just go on up. It's on the second floor, second door on the right."
Sarah took the key and they grabbed their bags. The stairs and hallway resembled an average hotel although the carpet was quite threadbare in places. The room was clean with a double bed and a cheery looking comforter. Sarah walked over to the window as Jack put the bags down.
"Well, maybe this place won't be so bad." She opened the curtains and gasped, "Jack come and see. There are hundreds of homeless people down there. I want out of here now. Let's check out of here before we get robbed."
She grabbed her purse and stormed down the stairs. Peter was just shutting the bulging drawer when she slammed the key on the counter.
"Listen here, Mister, I don't know what kind of place you're running here but we want to check out now. You'll probably have the police busting down the door in a minute with all the crazy mess gong on around here. I'm at least going to call the better business bureau on you."
Jack caught up to her and took her arm, "Sarah, honey, wait just a minute. You missed something. When I looked out of the window there were the homeless people, yes, but you didn't wait to see the people coming out of the hotel and passing out cups of soup to them."
"So"?" She asked
"Hotel Cuppa? Don't you get it? This is an outreach hotel."
"People actually pay to come and pass out soup?"
Peter smiled from behind the check out counter, "Yes, and enjoy every minute of it. We can't change the whole world, but even one cup in the name of Jesus can make a difference. Care to join them?"
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