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03 November 2013

Day 3 of NaNoWriMo

It's almost the end of day 3 of NaNoWriMo.

My word count is 9988 words and I'm still writing (just a short break to post this before I forget).

Money raised for the Night of Writing Dangerously Trip:
$260 for the ticket (check! - I only needed $250);
$50 for the travel expenses (I need $600 - ack!).


It was late afternoon when he made it into Bisbee proper. The street had the look of a battlefield in mid-desertion. The crowds were bustling about, trying to finish errands and get out of the gritty wind. He kept his eyes to himself and tried to look casual, but only managed to feel conspicuously foreign. A harker called out beside him, something about a fire. The boy’s shrill voice startled him into looking, but the sign behind the boy caught his attention: The Grande Hotel.
Yes, he thought, a bed. A bed and a bath. His eyes quickly searched out the door and his feet veered toward it drunkenly.
On the other side of the door, a raucous crowd caroused between him and his bed. A moment of confusion faltered his steps. Then he made his way to the bar and flagged down the barkeep, a milk-skinned man with thick white hair braided down his back.
“We got those. Bath?”
“How long?”
“A week.” He thought he’d probably sleep that long.
“One hundred, up front. We don’t do credit.”
It seemed steep, but then, he had no idea what hotel rooms ran these days. He cast his eyes about but didn’t see anyone else looking his way, so he slipped his wallet out of the pocket in his vest. Choosing carefully, he laid a hundred-dollar bill on the barkeep’s palm, meeting the man’s raised eyebrow with a cold stare.
“All righty then,” the barkeep cleared his throat. “Well, let’s get you situated. Name?”
“What’s your name? For my records.”
“Abraham. Abraham Archer.” How strange, to give his first name like that. It felt clumsy, not giving his military rank. Just another change to get used to, he supposed.
The man pulled a woman out of the crowd, handed her a key, and sent Abraham and the woman through the crowd to the stairs in the back of the bar.
Abraham followed her up the stairs, momentarily recalling how long it had been since he’d had a woman, but it was a passing thought, without conviction. He would not have made it up the stairs if he hadn’t known there was a bed up there waiting for him.
“This is it, sir.” The woman spoke softly around the edge of his awareness, but when she gestured, Abraham’s eyes went straight for the doorknob.
“I’ll have a bath, too,” he said, stepping into the room. The deep red walls gave the room an oddly pleasing atmosphere; no doubt his eyes were longing for the deep red of closed eyelids.
“There’s a bathroom, sir. Hot water and all.” A note of pride raised her voice.
He turned to stare. A bath-room? He blinked, but didn’t speak. He couldn’t quite process what she’d said. Her green eyes blinked.
“For your bath, sir.” She blushed, and he noticed the dark freckles across the bridge of her nose. They blended prettily with the deep brown of her skin. “Shall I show you?”
He just nodded, trying to project something that wasn’t ignorance, and followed her through the room. On the other side of the bed was another door, leading to a smaller room. This one had a tub, which he recognized, but there were pipes and levers on one end of the tub that confused him. She was talking about hot water and cold water and the tub; he just watched her, mute. Then he looked back over his shoulder, to the bed in the other room. Her voice, soft with kindness, caught him as he started to turn – “Sir, how about I just draw the water for you. You’ll want to get that dirt off before you get in that nice clean bed, won’t you? I know I would. Here, I’ll show you how this works tomorrow. You’re here all week, right? So I’ll just show you later. It’s no problem.”
He didn’t know how it happened, but she did something with her hands and steaming water was pouring into that tub from one of the pipes.
“If you’ll just wait one moment, I’ll get this tub filled then leave you to your bath. Would you like me to check on you a little later?”
He could hear the concern lacing through her voice. That was something he understood. “Yes, yes ma’am. That’d be good.”
“Alrighty hon, you just don’t worry about a thing. I’ll take good care of you.”
He turned his back on the noisily pouring contraption and the woman. In the bedroom, as he supposed he ought to call it, he found a coat rack for his duster. He sat on the edge of the bed and began unlacing his boots. Snippets of dreams seemed to interrupt the task, and he lost track of time.
The woman’s voice snapped his head back into the present. “Now, I’ll come back and check on you in a little bit, hon. I put your room key right there on that night stand, ok? We have another if you lose it, but that’ll cost ya, so try not to, ok?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“Look at you. Poor thing. You just get in there and enjoy the hot water, ok?”
“Yes ma’am.”
She slipped out the door, leaving him staring, one boot off and the other half laced. Had she laughed as she left? He couldn’t remember. The other boot came off. He found the lock on the door and secured it. Then he unsecured it. She was coming to check on him. But she had another key. He locked the door.

He finished undressing, then sank into the tub. The water browned instantly, but his eyes were already closed. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the details. How she reacts at the fact that he gives his first name... so, James Bond, but backwards ;-)