Monday 23 July 2018

Round 30.


The hotel is unoccupied – long abandoned to ruin and rot, the walls are crumbling, the corridors are thick with dust - but the room is not.

On the side table an old-fashioned black handbag, silver clasp, closed.

I open it; there is a lot of money and a pack of cards; only a gambler would leave something so tempting.

In the corner of the room someone has placed an archery target, and metal models of vintage planes. 

It is an attempt to decorate something that cannot be; the adjoining room is a disorganised pile of broken furniture.

Only the fabric is worth taking.

As I place the folded notes into my pocket the guest enters; she does not seem surprised and I calmly replace the money into her bag and close it; I thought I was taking from the ghosts.

She opens a bottle of wine and we toast each other, marvelling at the view of the lake from her open window. The afternoon sun sets a sparkle on the still surface.

She is from Sweden and though she lives in London her English is clumsy, little better than my German.

Why is she here?

She doesn’t say.

We play cards instead.

As gamblers will.

She is an unlikely visitor.

To reach this room you must chance your luck on the precipice, then crawl through an old gutter valve.

The hotel is unoccupied, log abandoned to ruin and rot.

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