Title: Pricks & Thumbs-11
Fandom: Fear Mythos
Characters: Rich Providence
Rating: G (L0 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Notes: Fish vs. the hotel. We’ve learned the dream can have other endings, but still not the one he’s looking for.
This time, I went straight to the hotel. Behind the counter, I found drawers and drawers of faded paper, bits of plastic, forgotten things. I think some of the paper was supposed to have been brochures. It felt glossy, even if it was too dirty to reflect light. I couldn’t read them, because the words had faded away, but the pictures looked like parts of the hotel.
I asked Miss Nancy what she remembered about hotels. Said I read about them in a book, and now I was having dreams. She told me all about her honeymoon in the Bahamas, back
before the Fall before everything changed. Then she asked me about my hotel. It’s funny, I guess I have started to think of it as my hotel, my city. I told her it wasn’t anything like hers. There was no beach, no tiki bar by the swimming pool. After I told her about the black glass and the square look of everything, she said she thought it might be a business hotel, and not one people went to for vacations. It’s in the middle of a city, so I guess that makes sense.
Miss Nancy also thought it was strange that I was dreaming of a city, but I told her it was just because I’ve been reading a lot of historical books, and they’ve gotten into my head. She said I should go back a little further, and maybe I’d get exotic desert palaces filled with wine, gold, and beautiful women. I laughed and told her Unmarked girls were funny looking, anyway, and I’d rather have kumis than wine, any day of the week. She blamed the New World, told me a handsome young man like me would have been all about wine and women, in the Old World. I like women just fine, as long as they’ve got wings! I said if we still had grapes, I might like wine, but candy plums didn’t make a good drink, and she had to give me that point. I promised her a bottle of apple brandy, next time, even if I do have to go see the Dryads for it.
But, the hotel. Little, flat rectangles of plastic, in all the drawers. I was sure they’d had a use, once, but I figured I could slip a few of the cheaper locks with them. Weird electronic components I’d never seen before, and none of them worked, so I really don’t know what they were for. And then, a key. It was too small for any of the doors I’d seen, but maybe it was for a desk drawer or a cabinet or a box? I took it.
There’s a swimming pool, or at least something that was one, in a cut-out in the middle of the building. When I first saw it, I thought it was outside, but as soon as I opened the door, I could tell I was wrong. There must have been glass somewhere higher up, because the air was heavy and wet, and it hurt to breathe, but the pool was empty. It looked like everything had rotted away, which was weird, because that was the first and only sign of life I’d seen in the whole city. No plants, no bugs, no running water… except this weird dank and mouldy pocket in the middle of this hotel. Was there something I could have used, in there? Maybe, but I didn’t stick around to find out. Something really bothered me about that room. It felt infectious, and I really didn’t want to know if it was catching.
I finally found an office that was open, after I spent some time rattling doors. No sign on the door or anything, but it looked like there had been one, once. It was past the bar in what looked like a restaurant, at the end of some side hallway. This building is almost like a town, in itself. Rooms for hundreds of people, a restaurant, a door marked like some sort of medical office (but I couldn’t get into that)… It’s almost like you could come here and not have to see the city at all, which seems strange.
In the office, I finally found keys. I also found what I think was food, but there were no words on the label. It was just a foil-wrapped block of something with a picture of nuts and a glass of milk. I almost tried to take it with me, but it wouldn’t have come out of the dream. I wonder if I’ll have to find the keys again, next time. It was strange… I didn’t have time to use them. The clock in the tower rang, and the bell shook everything… and then I was in bed. I didn’t see her at all, this time. Next time, I know where the keys are. I’ll get a ladder or a rope or… something.