There’s Always a Vacancy


Brenda stopped outside the office door.

“I am not staying here, honey.”

“You heard the mechanic. The car won’t be fixed until tomorrow. And this is the only motel in town. Where else are we going to stay?” asked Calvin.

Brenda frowned but opened the door.

The clean cut man behind the desk smiled.

“Welcome! Will you be staying with us tonight?”

Calvin glanced at the man’s name tag. “Yes… Norman. Just one night please.”

“Wonderful,” replied Norman. “It’s so nice to have guests. We’re a bit off the beaten path and mother and I don’t get too many visitors.”

“Mother?” asked Brenda.

“Oh, my mother owns the motel. But she’s elderly and I run it now.”

Brenda gave an angry glance at her husband. He returned a sheepish smile.

As they exited the small office, Norman called to them.

“Feel free to shower as long as you like. We have lots of hot water.”

Later that night as they prepared for bed, Brenda complained again.

“Seriously? Norman? Mother owns the motel?” This is not good.”

Calvin laughed. “You watch way too many horror movies. Now come to bed. You’ll feel better in the morning.”

Norman fidgeted nervously with the long knife. Mother would be upset. He was about to be naughty again.

[This is my entry into the Flash Fiction Challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner by Roger Shipp. Write a story based on a photo prompt and introductory sentence in 200 words or less. I went over this week, so my apologies.]




19 thoughts on “There’s Always a Vacancy

    1. Two for the price of one! What a bargain. I can’t say I would have stayed there, given the circumstances but then, what choice did she have? I hope she at least had a nice, relaxing shower first. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahhh this was so good. It read just like a murder mystery novel, one of those novels where the perspective switches back and forth from the murderer to the detectives as they try to solve the case and the reader is wringing their hands because COME ON DETECTIVES THE PERP IS RIGHT THERE but also NO DON’T CATCH THE PERP DON’T CATCH HIM, or is that just me? Okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol. I love how you just went for it. This sign screams Bate’s motel. And I really love how Norman said exactly the worst things he could say, and I thought nope, they’re gonna leave, but the couple didn’t and well, Norman’s back. Great write. Immensely enjoyed the irony of the whole story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very chilling end! They should have left while they still had the chance. I don’t think Brenda watched too many horror movies… Just about the right amount to get the basic signs right! Great writing πŸ™‚


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