Art and the philosophy of life

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Hotel 5…

“How much?”

“A hundred for an hour and I’m worth every penny.  If you want me longer, even an extra fifteen minutes, that’s another hundred.  I’m very good at what I do.”

“I don’t like the look of this place and I’ll tell you how good you are when we’re finished.”

His chuckle was low and rough.  “It’s close and you said you were in a hurry.”

“I noticed the hotel last night.  It appeared out of nowhere.”

“So?  Do you want me, or not?” he said, smiling.

She looked him up and down, then sighed.  “I suppose you’ll do.”

“Way to make a guy feel wanted.”

“What’s your specialty?”

“You’ll find out soon enough,” he said.

“Have you ever done this before? she asked, frowning.

“It’s how I make my living,” he said, staring at her.

“I don’t know.  It just feels wrong.”

“Look,” he said.  “I’m going in.  You can follow me, or not, but I don’t want to stand in the rain, while you make up your mind.”

She nodded, and watched him pull his wand out of his coat.  “Wish me luck,” he said, winking at her.

She gave a signal and three more wizards moved in behind her.

“He’s crazy,” whispered a man with a short beard and neat mustache.  “I can feel the weirdness from here.”

“He’s special forces,” she whispered, raising her gun.  “You just take care of the magick and I’ll take care of the shooting.”

“He’s a dead man.”

The hotel door opened and soft jazz suddenly filled the air.  She saw him start to lower his wand.

“CASS,” she shouted.  “Wand up.”

“Whatever it is,” said the man on her left, “they already have him.”

Cass turned toward her, his eyes wide, his mouth open, and then he was sucked inside.

Two minutes later his shoes hit the street with a thud, followed by his wand.  The door closed and the music stopped.

“This is bigger than we are,” said one of the men.

A tabby cat appeared at the other end of the street.  She saw them and started to walk their way.

“Go back,” they shouted, waving at her.  “GO BACK.”

The cat strolled forward, stopping only to sniff the wand.  She sat down in front of the door and hissed.  the door disappeared, as did the sign and the awing.  She hissed again and it stopped raining.

“That’s what happens when your the number one predator on the planet,” she whispered, to the men behind her.

The cat licked her shoulder, then started walking.  She came to them and meowed.  Everyone tried to pet her at the same time.  She arched her back and rubbed against them.  Then she sat down and stared down the alley.  “It will open again in a few hours,” said the cat.  “You’re gonna need a lot more help. A LOT more.”  Then she got up and left.

One of the men rubbed his face and snorted.  “It’s time for me to retire.”

 

 

 

Hotel 4…

the little girl started at the hotel sign
and wondered why it was raining on that street
when it wasn’t raining anywhere else
she looked around
hoping to get a second opinion
but she was alone
someone in the hotel was yelling
FREE LOLLIPOPS
but she knew hotels
weren’t candy stores
she picked up a stone
and threw it down the street
as hard as she could
it never hit the ground
time warp she wondered
alternate reality perhaps
the shouting voice yelled
FREE TELESCOPES
the little girl started laughing
GO BACK WHERE YOU BELONG
she yelled
everything went still
WHAT DO YOU WANT ANYWAY
she asked
no one answered her
ARE YOU HUNGRY
yes
said a soft voice
YOU CAN’T BE HERE
SO GO HOME
who are you
asked the voice
IF YOU DON’T GO OF YOUR OWN ACCORD
I’LL MAKE YOU GO
you can’t do that
said the soft voice
the little girl grinned
a bright green fireball in her hand
WANNA BET
she said
we’ll move
whispered the voice
DO IT NOW
shouted the girl
THIS IS WHERE I HUNT
YOU’RE IN MY TERRITORY
SO MOVE OR DIE
the hotel folded its awing
pulled in it’s sign
sucked up the street
and moved to a different part of town
the little girl smiled
pulled a piece of chalk out of the paper bag
she was carrying
and drew a hopscotch on the sidewalk
along with a few unusual symbols
DON’T COME BACK HERE
she yelled into the night
then she took off
flew over the rooftops
and went back to her nest

Hotel 3…

the black lab was sniffing the edge of the curb
when he came to a bit of a street bathed in golden light
he saw the hotel
and the fur along his back stood up
he growled and showed his teeth
a man walked out of the hotel door
and put two bowls on the ground
then he went back inside
the lab held his nose in the air
and smelled his favorite dog food
and water
he sat down and stared at the sign
the door opened again
and a red ball came bouncing toward him
he leapt into the air and caught it on the fly
he laid down again
the ball between his paws
he waited
his stomach growled
he’d been on the street for months
ever since his friend stopped waking up
he left the cardboard box they lived in
after people came and took his friend away
he was hungry
the door opened and another man stepped out
Billy
the man called
you gonna stay out there all night
Billy stood up
picked up the ball
and cautiously walked toward his friend
I’ve missed you
said the man
I know you’ve missed me too
you can come with me now
and you don’t have to be afraid
the dog picked up the ball
and walked sadly away
Billy
called the man
but Billy kept walking
he knew that the man wasn’t his friend
he didn’t sound
or smell the same
at the end of the street
he turned around
the hotel was gone
and so was the man
the dog food was still there
but Billy was a tough street dog
smart and brave
so he kept going
minutes later
he heard the movement of a dog
hiding in the shadows
his body tensed
he was ready for whatever happened next
the dog showed herself
and stood perfectly still
she was a mixed breed
almost as tall as he was
she was mostly black
with blue eyes
he went to her
and felt a sudden sense of peace
he leaned into her
she leaned back
they shook the rain from their coats
and together
they walked into the night
the red ball
left behind
immediately disappeared

Hotel 2…

the street was deserted
but the red awning caught her eye
she remembered the awnings
that shaded her back porch
when she was a child
the way they cooled the room
and made the light more beautiful
but this wasn’t her back porch
still
it was a lovely awaning
and she didn’t have a place to stay
she shoved her hand into her pocket
and came up with twenty-five dollars
and change
she walked back and forth
in front of the entrance to the alley
arguing with herself
then she stopped
took one more look at the awning
pushed her wet hair behind her ears
turned and walked away
when she was out of sight
the hotel light went out
and the awning disappeared

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