The Odd Pot

The last night

As an April moon shone on the thick forest of oaks outside the wooden window, and Atahualpa Yupanqui sang La Pastorcita Perdida from the next room, she looked toward his eyes.

Lying naked atop him in the dim light of a candle, her long black hair hung on either side of her barely visible face like theater curtains poised in the final act.

Sadness covered the bedroom walls like misplaced raindrops.

She didn’t see the tears on his cheek as she said, We could make such beautiful babies together.

But they never would, and he knew that.

The Odd Pot

Wolf’s death

For three days the old wolf sat at the cave entrance. Now and then he would wander off and eat a rodent.  Then he would return to the cave, sitting  just outside.  He felt very alone.

His mate lay dead inside, and that was the end of it. There were no ceremonies, no neighbors to bring cakes and Cokes and covered dishes.  No sympathy from anybody or anything.  They were wolves.

Finally, he decided what he would do. The following morning, he stepped inside and looked at her one last time.   Goodbye, my love.  Then he trotted down the mountainside, gaining speed.

Though he was old, he ran faster and faster past conifers and bushes and stones and streams and ravines and memories and tears and happy times and pups and hunger and anger and love.

He catapulted toward the world of Homo erectus. He had a plan based on a grudge gripped in the genes of  Canis Lupus. Finally, he had a target.

He jumped at its throat and ripped it.

At that same second, an obsidian-pointed spear pierced his heart, but he felt nothing.  He  had left his dead heart days back inside the cavern.

He fell at the foot of a tree.

* * * *

The old wolf  earlier at the overlook.

The Odd Pot

Close call

As Maurice prowled the hall, he noticed a familiar smell, faintly.  A meth lab. Stranger things had happened at the Marbol.

He turned one way, then another. Which room?  He knocked first on 426. The door cracked and a sweaty, shirtless man stared out.

Whatcha doing in there, sport?  Maurice fingered the door open a little farther and saw a human form hiding beneath the bedsheet.

Smell of sweat, not meth.

Excuse the intrusion, sir.  Maurice pulled the door shut and turned toward Room 428 on the opposite side. Yes, far stronger there, the aroma of dope.

Shouldn’t have disturbed the lovers, he told himself.

The Hall Prowler patted his pistol and thought:  Probably be better to just phone the police.  He did, and five narcs came with guns and a warrant.

Three hours and lots of noise across the hall later, Myron Blade and Kristanabel stepped down the stairs and out to the sidewalk, passing Lenny Slick at the front desk.  He admired the shape of their skulls.

They had arrived as father and daughter on vacation from Topeka, but Lenny knew better.  Hanky-panky registering as respectability was common at the Marbol Hotel.

It had been a mighty close call for Myron, and he was still breathing heavily, not entirely from fear.

Kristanabel smiled salaciously and swung her hips a few steps ahead.

An hour later, Maria opened their room door, rolled in her cart and looked around. It was dank  and musky . . .

. . . and sin stuck to the floral wallpaper like flies on fresh dung.

* * * *

(One of a series titled The Marbol Hotel.)