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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bed and Breakfast.


As promised, this blog is nothing but story! Well, there is this, of course, but you can always skip forward and ignore my ramblings!
I started writing this section this morning and have just finished now. This was probably the quickest section to write so far, and I'm quite pleased with the result.
It was going to be longer and include a dream sequence, but I thought that'd make it too long. In addition, I think the dream sequence should stand alone as I'm hoping it will be a good, possibly shocking read. I'm looking forward to writing it.
Until then, there is this scene. I hope you enjoy it.


*
                We arrived at a bed and breakfast as the sun crept higher into the sky. It was early morning with the promise of a brilliant day ahead. Weather-wise, at least.
                The B&B wasn’t remarkable in any respect. Its walls were plain and off white. Its welcome sign hung noticeably crooked. There were no flowers, no signs of any effort being put into its presentation and first impression appeal. It was simply a B&B. This didn’t matter to me, of course. I’ve always preferred functionality over style.
                As if reading my thoughts, Kristian commented with,
                ‘It does its job well enough. Looks aren’t everything, and you won’t be here long enough to get fed up with the visual side of things. So, let’s go.’
                He opened the car door and slammed it shut. I followed suit. We made our way through the door and underneath the crooked sign to find ourselves in a hallway as unimpressive as the outside. The walls were the same off white, the carpet brown with an outdated pattern and the sparse amount of furniture had seen better days. Yet, despite this, the room was immaculately clean. This could all easily be explained by the owner, who presently walked in to greet us.
                ‘Why hello there my doves! And how may I be of service to you today? Would you like two rooms, or would you like to share? We do a traditional breakfast in the morning, or, if you have a particular fancy, I am sure we can cook you up a treat!’
                The woman, from all appearances, was a friendly motherly figure. She was mid height, with pleasantly rounded features. Her smile was broad and welcoming, and by her side she held both polish and a portable vacuum.
                Kristian grinned charmingly in return, and said,
                ‘Thank you very much for your offer of hospitality, yet I won’t be staying. You will only have this guest to burden you in the morning with particular fancies!’
                They both laughed meaninglessly. After she had recovered, the woman offered,
                ‘Oh, come now! Surely I can tempt you to stay for breakfast? I do the finest eggs in the area, and it feels wrong that your friend will only be able to tell you of how fine they are without your experiencing it too!’
                Kristian grinned again, saying that he’d be more than delighted. She smiled her motherly smile and led us through to a dining area. She set our places with cutlery that shone with cleanliness, then left the room without another word. Cooking sounds could be heard from what must have been the kitchen almost instantaneously.
                We weren’t alone. A couple sat a few tables away from our own, seemingly toying with what little remained of their breakfast whilst looking anywhere but at each other. The conversation must have run dry a long time ago. The young woman’s eyes met mine. She smiled a desperate smile before turning to her partner, saying something noncommittal and applying herself to her drink. I turned away from the pitiful scene and returned to my own. Maybe she was thinking the same of myself and Kristian. Neither of us had said a word since we’d sat down.
                The silence was broken by the swift return of our host. She swept in front of us, placing on our table a jug of orange juice and two glasses.
                ‘Here you go my doves. Everything that tastes wonderful must be washed down with something that does you good, that’s my motto!’
                ‘That’s a good motto to stand by, Miss...?’
                ‘Mrs Reid. But please, call me Barbara. Just give us a shout if you need anything and I’ll come running!’
                She scuttled away to attend to the couple, who, after awkwardly sharing pleasantries and having their plates cleared away, abruptly left the room. The young woman ignored my eye contact.
                After everyone had left, Kristian decided to make conversation:
                ‘She isn’t lying about her eggs. I’ve heard good things about this place. That’s not the only reason why I’ve decided to stay, of course, but it is the main one.’
                I grunted in acknowledgement and made an attempt at a smile. To hear him converse normally was, in one word, bizarre. I didn’t know how to respond.
                ‘That’s not to say they may not be lying. But, we’re the tasters now, so let’s make the most of it!’
                I nodded in agreement and further surveyed the room. Unlike the hall and outside, this room was painted in a clean white washed with a pale green. Leaf stencils were situated on the walls at equal intervals, and a complementing border ran its way around the room. The flooring was laminate wood, unsurprisingly immaculately clean. Although the room wasn’t necessarily modern, it was definitely far superior to what I had seen before. It was clear that all the money had gone into this room’s presentation to enhance the dining experience, giving the renowned eggs a befitting location to be eaten in.
                The smell of cooked foods wafted through into the room, greeting me pleasantly. It wasn’t long until the smell became reality. Barbara entered, carrying plates piled high until almost overfull with everything a proper breakfast should contain. When it was placed down in front of me, the aroma was invigorating. It was then I realised just how hungry I was.
                ‘Eat up my dears! I’ll be back when you’ve finished, so in the mean time, please do enjoy!’
                She left, we ate. Speaking for myself, there was simply no time to talk. I’m sure Kristian must have felt the same. Not a moment more was spent on idle chat. We greedily consumed all on our plates, drank the majority of the juice, then had our plates cleared away and were left to bask in full contentment.
                After this mutual laziness, Kristian made a move as if he was going to get up and go. But, before he did, he said,
                ‘Now, this is the deal. You stay here today, get a good sleep. You’re going to need it. I’ll be back at 11 p.m. sharp. The car will be parked up out back, find me.’
                He grabbed the back of my head, leaning in so that he was speaking directly into my ear,
                ‘And if you leave, you’ll live to regret it. Don’t think I’m kiddin’ ya, ‘cause I’m dead serious. I’ll pay the bill, but you gotta do right by me, understood? Otherwise, believe me, you’ll be sorry.’
                He let go, leaning back and stretching his arms in a relaxed manner.
                ‘So, I’ll see you later, okay? You take care now.’
                With this, he got up, patted me on the back in a show of camaraderie, then left. I heard him talking to Barbara: something about the eggs, before he left the building.
                When he’d left for good, I covered my face with my hands and laughed silently to myself. He hadn’t learnt a thing.
                But, he had left a wad of money on the table. It wasn’t as big an amount as the one I had received from Allan, but it was big enough. I took it from the table, paid my hostess for the food and the night, then made my way up to my room. It was under furnished and poorly decorated. I was greeted with outdated carpet once more and paint that had yellowed with age. I opened the dreary curtains. My window overlooked what I assumed was ‘out back’. It wasn’t much of a car park, but I didn’t doubt it’d do the job.
                I sat down on my bed. I had near enough a whole day to kill before I was to finally find out what Kristian needed me for. I sat, and I waited.
*

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