Fritz and Ida go to bed early, arise refreshed, eat good breakfast, and then grit teeth before driving east to enter Mojave Desert where dry death and hot existence always depress, but they can’t afford flight to Las Vegas for NBA summer league. Thankfully, they’ve reserved good motel, for three nights at fifty bucks per, where stayed last two trips.
At registration counter woman who could star in thriller said new owner requires hundred dollar deposit since they’ve had rough guests who trashed place. Fritz and Ida ask when they’ll get deposit back. Three, four, or five business days after you leave and call bank, villainess says.
Entering room Fritz and Ida step on large carpet stain that may be red wine or blood. Moving forward they behold fist-size hole in lampshade which points to drape tears fried by Vegas sun. Fritz grabs phone, dials 0, and puts receiver dead to ear. He dials few more times before realizing cord has fallen out of phone. Ida emerges from bathroom, noting hole in wall about same fist-size as in lampshade.
They march to registration counter and write down damages as villainess types into system. I’m amazed, she says, looking up, housekeeping usually reports damage right away. Besides, your room is where owner has just been staying.
That night after basketball game Fred and Ida drive around hotel, note only three other cars, look at each other, and recall “Psycho.” Bravely, they walk to counter and tell villainess they’ll be checking out in morning. What hell happened, Fritz says, place was beautiful and used to have hundred guests. Don’t know, she says, I’ve only been here six months. Fred and Ida lock, bolt, and latch door before pushing table against it. In morning they’re still alive.