Daily prompt time.
If this computer ever cooperates….
This prompt asked me to ask a friend or something for an article, an adjective, and a noun and use that as the title. I turned to my friends at Neoseeker for help. My friend uraniumoreo answered first. Anyone that answered after him will be included, if I’m still writing this. So far, I have another entry from Ciel Phantomhive.
It doesn’t really say how to write this post, so I’m going in the more short-story direction even though I suck at writing anything creatively.
Here we go!
The Rusty Doorknob
In the back of an unkempt hallway in an equally unkempt hotel, there lay sideways door. Years ago, the maintenance placed the door in the hallway along with a sign reading “men at work.” As time went by, the sign and the door were in the same spot where the only thing that changed was the dust around them. Eventually, the sign fell over, yet the door still sat unprecedented by age. The door itself was a beautiful mahogany, heavy as the tree that was slain for its creation. The craftsmanship of its ornate carvings showed great precision in its curves and edges.
Yes, The Ugly Duckling hotel was once a place of valor and showmanship. Tourists would flock to see the Great Dunes in the south and the Whispering Mountains in the north. The location was perfect as it was right on the border of the extreme heat from the Dune Dessert and the crippling cold of the Neverrealm.
The name of the hotel, though odd or off-putting, was important to the late owner, Jude Faints. Faints was the youngest of six sons. His brothers were always outdoing him in academia and physical contest, hence he was the Ugly Duckling of the family. He had achieved great wealth during the good times of the hotel. Now, he sits awaiting a lost traveler or a tourist looking for nostalgia.
The Great Dunes were not what they once were. The years of erosion mad swept away their fantastic arid art form. The Whispering Mountains, constantly pressured by the extreme heat of the south, melted which destroyed any hope of the beautiful twinkling icicles returning as forced the great game of mountains to relocate.
Faints believed that one day this could change; that the game would return and the wind would create beautiful art again. With this spark of enthusiasm, The Ugly Duckling remained open, yet a shell of its past glory.
Today, Faints decided to inspect the empty halls of his hotel. With each step on the faded carpet, he remembered the people that used to occupy the floors and how they complained or complimented their service. When turning down one hall, he happily remembered the new addition he had ordered in hopes that people would come to visit a newly renovated hotel. Unfortunately, the hall was never finished. The walls were half painted, many rooms had no doors, and most of the lighting was incomplete. At the end of the hallway, Faints spotted the sideways door. The sun’s light created a small beam from a crack on the partly covered window that perfectly enhanced the beauty of its craftsmanship.
Interested in his find, Faints quickened his pace to inspect the door. Upon arrival, Faints took a delicate finger to the door’s carvings as if to check for dust. Surprisingly, its dust came right off and left no mark of age. It was as if the door preserved itself perfectly. Delighted, Faints examined the door closer. The age had not affected the door in the slightest. Perhaps this was well worth the money he had spent years ago, though he could not understand why it sat at the end of the hallway. The other doors in the unfinished hallway were cheap sawdust shapings. Why was this one, beautiful door here?
Faints had snapped back into reality when he noticed something that caught his eye. The doorknob to the door threw off his delight. The doorknob was old and rusted. It was an odd choice to have such a beautiful door, yet a cheap, rusted doorknob. Carefully, he touched the doorknob to see if the rust would come off as easily as the dust on the preserved door.
Upon touching the doorknob, he heard the front desk bell. At first, Faints did not comprehend the sound. Upon a second, albeit annoyed-sounding ring, Faints realized that someone had arrived at his hotel. With haste, he hustled back to the desk.
In the parlor stood a stocky, hulking man and a slender woman. It was the woman that rang the bell as she stood closer to the desk, while the man’s hands gripped the handles of two large trunks. Faints had made his way to the desk and affixed his trademark fez.
“Yes? Do you have a reservation?” Faints asked the woman politely. Of course, he knew they didn’t.
“Yes. It should be under Notts for two nights,” the woman answered, opening her clutch to search for something. Faints, surprised by her answer, pulled out an old book which had the log of reservations. He opened it to the last page, yet did not see a “Notts” on it. He flipped through a few more pages, but his search found nothing. Eventually, he had turned to the first page and on the top of it was the name “Notts” and in the column for length of stay, it read “two nights.” Usually after a reservation had been fulfilled, he would mark it with a red check, but there was nothing next to the Notts’ reservation. Faints looked back up and gave a questioning grin.
“Very well, I will show you to your room. Do you have a preference?” He asked.
“Yes, we’d like to stay in the Maritime Suite,” the woman answered coolly. The name did not register in Faint’s mind. He had no such suite named that.
“I’m sorry, I believe you are mistaken. We do not have a Maritime Suite? Do you mean the Monsieur De Laet Suite?” Faints countered.
“No,” the man answered with a dark gaze.
“Oh no, it is not that. I thought it was on the first floor where that old ballroom used to be?” the woman’s statement came off more as a question. With that, Faints vaguely remembered what she was referencing, but was puzzled how the “first” guest would know of the place.
“I’m sorry, but that suite was never finished. The hotel was supposed to finish that addition years ago, but we haven’t,” Faints explained.
“No,” the man bellowed again.
“Oh, I think you are mistaken! That is the most popular suite! I believe you are new here?” again, her statement sounded more like a question.” The man started to head in the direction of the unfinished hall. The woman looked at Faints quizzically.
“No, I am the owner of this hotel. I would know if the suite was completed.” The woman gave an offended look. The man was already out of the lobby area and in the hall. Alarmed, Faints went after the man.
“Excuse me!” the woman boomed.
“I’m sorry! You cannot go back there, sir!” Faints asserted.
“No,” the man boomed again, this time taking his time to pronounce the sound of each letter. His large stride brought him to the end of the hallway quickly. He then dropped his two large trunks, which Faints though shook the ground. The man stared at the wall behind the sideways door for a moment. He then approached it slowly and reached out for a non-existent doorknob. The woman had now caught up with the two.
With a slight pant, she managed to bark out “I have the key now. Don’t try and open that door, Frankie.” The woman walked up to the wall behind the sideways door. Faints, who was slightly offended that this woman went behind the counter to find a key that he didn’t know existed, watched as she pressed the key into the wall. As if the wall was actually a door, the key went into a lock. Frankie, now clutching the trucks again, walked into the wall as if it was open, where he disappeared. The woman turned her head in disgust towards Faints.
“The owner you say? I don’t believe that at all. When I get done talking with the real owner, you will be fired, boy.” She gawked her head back in the direction of the wall and scurried into it, disappearing.
Faints rushed to the wall and felt for anything. He could only feel the smoothness of the drywall. There was no bump for a doorknob or anything. The only thing in that area was the sideways door. Faints stood for a moment longer looking at the wall until his eyes drifted to the sideways door. To his surprise, the door had a scuff mark at the bottom of it. He also noticed that the doorknob was no longer rusted. He hunched down to take a better look at it. Again, he decided to touch the doorknob like he did when the two arrived.
Immediately after touching it, he heard the front desk bill ring. Surprised, he got up and hurried to the lobby. Before leaving, he looked at the door. The doorknob was covered in rust again.
While making his way up to the lobby, Faints was filled with awe. The lobby looked just like it did many years ago when the hotel was filled with tourist. There, in the lobby, stood guests being waited on and others sitting on the furniture. There were even figures at the front desk. Faints halted at opening for the hallway. He thought he had seen people, but it was only clothing. The clothing moved and acted as if they were being worn by people, but he saw nothing. They made no noise other than whatever they were interacting with at the time.
Faints was only shaken from his gaze as he heard his name.
“Mr. Faints? Sir?” an apparition in a nice suit seemed to have said.
“Uh, yes? Hello?” Faints answered in a polite state of fear.
“The guests in the Maritime Suite would like to speak with you. They have a complaint about one of our bell boys. I bet it is that Bruce kid again,” the apparition said reported.
“Very well, I’ll head there right now,” Faints hesitantly answered. Faints turned around and headed back to the sideways door. When he arrived, the door was upright and on the wall where the man and woman entered. The doorknob looked as if it was new. Faints touched the doorknob again, and as soon as he did, the door swung open.
“Ah! There you are! The owner! Your bell boy was very rude to my husband Frankie. He was screaming at him and telling him that this suite wasn’t ready! The nerve! I hope you discipline him well!” the slender woman huffed.
“I apologize, I’ll check on this issue right away. I’ll have the kitchen send you complimentary campaign,” Faints said more confidently. The man and women were just as he recalled. Frankie, the man, now sat on the bed, reading a book. The woman stood near the doorway, nodding.
“Thank you, Mr. Faints. You have a real class place here, minus that boy.” With that, Faints grabbed the doorknob, which was rusty again, and headed back to the lobby.
When he arrived, the apparitions were no longer there. The clothing vanished and the lobby returned to its new normal state of wear. Faints went back to the front desk. The reservation book still sat on it, opened to the first page. He looked at where the reservation for Notts was, but saw a different name instead. Cautiously, he flipped through the book and saw no evidence of “Notts” anywhere. With superstition, Faints headed back down the unfinished hallway to see where the sideways door once sat.
Upon arrival, the door was completely gone from both the wall and where it once laid. Faints chuckled and closed his eyes. This was the hospitality business after all.
Well, that’s it. I’m pretty sure this makes no sense. Oh well. I hope it was slightly enjoyable.