Thriller Noir for the Halloween Season

shady-lane-mot-lHere’s a little piece I wrote to post on a website entitled “Pen Ten”, where you tell a story in 10 sentences or less (check out the site, lots of kool, short reads there, excellent authors). It’s very short, a slice of life at a run-down motel on a rural highway. The place is so out of shape that the ‘e’ is missing off the sign. Year? Use your imagination. Could be 50s, could be 70s, could be today. Nice little kicker at the end. If you’re hip to it, leave a comment. I like comments and they don’t cost you a red cent.


Room Six, a man down on his luck sleeps off the remnants of his last bottle of Jack; sweaty and sloppy he missed the bed and landed on the floor.

Room Nine, two teenagers with a case of beer, noisy, laughing, living it up at first, then quiet except for the occasional bang of the headboard against the thin wood-panel wall.

Room Fourteen, at the very end, the traveling salesman on his last night in town, nervously talking to the hooker at his door, hoping she ain’t a cop; she flashes her (****) and he lets her

Room One, right next to the office, the two college girls on their way to spring break in Fort Lauderdale, young, hot, sexy and nice, locked in the room for the night watching TV and eating junk food.

Room Eight, vacant, always vacant, no one will stay in it, strange noises they say, strange lights hovering over the bed, strange feelings in the night; used for storing towels, linens, and miscellaneous parts now.

Room Eleven, end of the first row, family traveling from Idaho to Disney World, Dad, Mom and three kids shoved into the 12×12 space, TV blaring, sounds of kids playing, white station-wagon loaded to the hilt parked in front of the door.

Room Thirteen, lesbian couple from Key West traveling to Baltimore, very quiet, sitting on the old metal chairs in front of their room reading and drinking Seven-Up from the soda machine, not bothered by the flashing neon glow of the motel sign directly in front of them, not affected by the moans of the hooker coming from the next room.

Rooms Three and Four, the rock band, lead singer arguing with his girlfriend, doors open; bass player, guitarist and drummer standing in front smoking and drinking cheap beer, commenting on the singer’s uselessness and how they should ditch him before the next gig.

Under the buzzing neon light I’m in the office watching it all, wondering what the lesbians are reading, wondering what the hooker looks like naked, wondering what games the kids are playing, wondering if the girls in the next room would like to go down to the rib joint up the street for a bite with me. I watch them all, lamenting that I never get to have any fun…then I pick up the axe…

If you dig this, check out this little short story, ‘The Last Reed”, or check out some snippets of my soon to be famous (ha ha) murder mystery ghost story, ‘Behind The Closet Door” on my Stardust Mysteries website.

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