Saturday 28 May 2022

The Hotel, the Phone and a Bunch of Flowers

The Old Hotel at the top of the hill is for sale again.

A man is leaning against the barrier on the central reservation of the motorway, he is checking his phone messages.

Bundles of bright yellow rock plants bloom along the verges.

There is no connection between these three things, except a car that passes.


At the Hotel, the gates are shut; the agent’s sign hangs on the lock and the grass around the fountain is getting long.

No one has stayed at the hotel for many years, the last owner to rent a room sits across the street on the terrace of her maisonette, watching.

She has forgotten how many other owners followed her, but she is certain that none of them rented a room for the night.

The people with the hot air balloons maybe, but that was more than a decade ago.

The ones who ran the supper nights, no. They were always too busy.

The guy with the dogs? No. No one would go near the place out of fear of being attacked.

And the couple who followed them, unlikely.

No one wants to stay in a hotel in this place any more.

The roof leaks, the west wall is falling down and the glass is missing in more than one of the upstairs’ rooms.

The last person who stayed the night was The German, his name unknown but his title has become a legend.

He stayed as an adventure; his friend living down the hill had offered him a room for the night but he chose instead the top of the hill and The Hotel.

He hasn’t been seen since.


At the barrier, the man checking his phone finally finds what he is looking for and turns to join his colleagues who are waiting for the sun to fade a little before continuing their work.

The yellow rocks plants are unconcerned by any of this.

The car passes on.

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