Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Guest Writer: Callan

Checking Out

I was checking out of the motel I had spent a restless night in. No one was at the front desk. I waited for some time. I glanced out the window at the rain, and when I turned back towards the desk, a women was there, I had not heard her approach. She said nothing, just stood watching me with vacant green eyes. I found her unsettling. I said nothing and handed her my room key. She took it without a word. I turned away and headed for the door.
“Sir,” she called out. I turned around. “Do you find me attractive?”
The room seemed to have grown smaller. She kept her empty eyes fixed on me. Inexplicably the desk was inching its way closer and closer to me. Till it pressed against me, pushing its hard angles into my weak flesh. I found myself face to face with the spooky green-eyed woman.
She kissed me. My back was against the door. Reaching behind me I felt for the door handle. Despite myself, I felt myself getting aroused. I did not want to be aroused by a spooky green-eyed woman with supernatural motel powers, but I was. The situation was hopeless. I could not find the door handle, and every moment I failed to escape I was becoming more and more drawn in. Soon there would be no escape. The kiss went on for an unnaturally long time. It was uncomfortable. My neck became stiff; my lips were tender. Her lips were course and dry. The kiss went on and on. At long last, she pulled away. I sighed. For a moment she looked deep into my eyes; they were not vacant now, but filled with the basest lust and desperation. The intensity of her gaze made me feel naked within. In her gaze was an unflattering reflection of my own unfulfilled needs. When it seemed that all was lost, my hand grasped the handle of the door.
Running through the pouring rain, I located my car and climbed inside. The green-eyed front-desk clerk was waiting patiently for me. I began driving quickly from the motel. My plan was to act as though there was nothing strange about her being in my car. Nothing strange about how she was able to beat me to my car, through the rain, without getting wet. Nothing strange about the fact she was able to get inside my car without keys; nothing strange about the small childish suitcase she was grasping to her chest. No, there was nothing strange about this at all.
What else could I do?
“I am all packed,” she informed me.
“Good, I hope you brought a bathing suit,” I said.
“No, I did not. Why would I?”
“So we can go swimming, of course.” My voice came out cheerful, full of anticipation of good times.
“This rain will never end,” she told me.
I looked over at her in the dim twilight of the car. Her voice was so sad. I saw that she was crying. I was invaded by her sorrow. I pulled the car over and parked. We were on a bluff overlooking a river surrounded by ragged mountains, ghostly gray shapes in the rain.
I attempted to remove the tiny suitcase from her grasp, but she struggled. She put up a fight. I was furious that she should resist me. With great violence, I wrested the small plastic case from her; the hard plastic edges bruising the tender flesh of her upper arms. She whimpered and then gave up. Her arms went limp, and she struggled no more.
I opened it, inside was a baffling mixture of things. A doll’s dress, a dildo, a ratchet set, a certificate proclaiming her satisfactory completion of a two-year hotel management program, loose change, mini-blinds, comprehensive instructions on maintaining your very own square-foot garden, a gold ring. The clothing was the wardrobe of a young girl, all cheerful pastels. I searched for a swim suit. There was none. “You should have packed a swim suit.” I told her. “Now the rain will never end.”
She turned to me and I could see she had shrunk. She was now a little girl. I watched her as she turned the key in the ignition and put the car in drive. “I apologize, usually check out is less traumatic,” she told me.
“I see,” I replied. By now the car was in freefall and I knew soon it would crash into the river below.

© Callan 2010

Callan left Orange County, Ca. in 2007 and moved to the country to focus full time on her writing her work is featured at Six Sentences and her blog


  1. This happens all the time when you travel a lot. Seriously great write Callan, the use of detail as the story reveals its meaning and the personal sense of uncanny mirroring.

  2. Great story. Very strange circumstances.

  3. A good story told with the right dose of suspense to keep us holding on! I enjoyed it.

  4. Awesome work Callen. Suspenseful and Chilly! Cant wait to read another story by you.

  5. I really liked the dream-like sense of this piece....there was a lot of serious detail and I found myself lost in the story. I particularly liked the "unflattering reflection of my own unfulfilled needs" being "in her gaze"...very nice work. Having read some of your more recent pieces, I can see now how your work has progressed, Good job. love you, Jazz Hands Jess.

  6. Callan, you hit all three meanings of checking out in a great magical hallucination of a story. Great show of imagination and craft. Nothing like a spooky green eyed woman with supernatural motel powers to capture the attentiom of this reader. Well done.

  7. Yikes! Great detail and strong imagination. By the way I'm a green eyed gal.

  8. Such a creepy and disturbing tale. Well done.
    Adam B

  9. You are consistantly original Callan! I really liked this line," I did not want to be aroused by a spooky green-eyed woman with supernatural motel powers" :) and I really like your work.

  10. I was drawn in from the first sentence. You have a special gift, look forward to reading more of our stories.

  11. Wow... Your imagination is amazing. This was completely original. Very impressive story. Well done, girl.

  12. I like the pace a lot. Why was the protagonist so cooperative in the car? I'm sure I missed the allegory in this peice, but I didn't miss the expert way it was told. Great Job.

  13. As Sandra said, this is surreal. The story was way cool, delicious in fact, and you turned some wonderful phrases. What you lack in the mechanics of writing is overshadowed by your storytelling. With an editor, you could go far. Don't stop.

  14. awesome work cuz. This is the best story i have read of yours "so far" keep it up you will go somewhere with this. Love ya

  15. Loved it! You have such a distinctive voice, and your imagery is so vivid. I'm excited that more people are finally getting a chance to read your work. Use the momentum from this experience to dig a new tunnel in your burrow :-)

  16. In a word: brilliant. I found this piece to be both engaging and haunting. The eerie, surreal feeling that this story gave me lead me to read some of your other work on your blog. You are a truly talented writer who may have created her own genre of story telling. I cannot wait to see what you write next.

  17. Love the plain talking style in which this story is told. The questions and dead pan responses occurring in the car just before, well, you know...are priceless. I'd really like to see a prequel to this, or if at all possible, a follow up, though that might be tough to pull off. I favor strange hotel stories, always have, and this one is terrific.


MDJB at GoodReads

Michael D. Brown's books on Goodreads Bastille Day reviews: 2 ratings: 3 (avg rating 5.00...