Mash, Irate, Light

3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320
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it was a rerun. The episode where radar does something or other but that’s not the point. What really stands out was the person trying to open my hotel room door multiple times throughout the night.

His feet disrupted the clean line of yellow light that bordered the bottom of the room door.

In Spanish, I asked who it was and what they needed. No reply. Then I tried in English. This time a nervous, out-of-breath voice said, “Your alarm sir.”

He spoke as if scrambling to figure out what to say. He had a thick Italian accent. He never answered my question.

Maybe 15 minutes later, I could hear someone trying to open my door. I pictured my knife on the bedside table, over 1,000 miles away. Searching the room for some sort of weapon, I settled for the desk lamp. Unplugging it from the wall, I held it over my head and asked again who it was.

This time I saw the shadows of the feet disappear but the sound of his presence lingered a couple of feet outside my room. As if he wanted me to open the door in order to find out.

“I’ll bash you head in.” I said. Now I was thinking of my wife lying in the bed behind me, with nothing but a solid wall behind her. Trapped.

I tried to drown my fear by working myself into a frenzy of anger. Why was this man trying to come in? What fucking alarm? Why couldn’t I bring a knife with me?

Now I was irate.

“What do you want?”

He shuffled his feet. I wanted to throw open the door to see a tired worker raise his arms with fright and me lower the lamp in relief. We could laugh at the misunderstanding.

The other part of me wanted to keep the door shut.

He eventually left.

It’s been two hours and I’m terrified to leave the room. I have the desk lamp. We can order room service. I’ve seen pictures of Italy, I get the idea.

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