Friday, 17 January 2014

Hotel California

I hate living here.

I hate it because I know everyone’s business, but they know nothing about me.  So, I keep to myself; and that’s how I know all about them.  From the moment people move into this trailer park, I know stuff about them; from that very first trailer near the gate to the last one down near the trawlers, it’s downright creepy what I know about people around here.

But it’s a friggin’ conspiracy.

This place is a one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to hide from their life… or any life they don’t want to go back to.  Honestly, it is. 

Even though it’s got a cheery, pretty little exterior, it’s got it’s creepy shit going down every day of the week.  And I mean, Orson’s Creek isn’t your run of the mill fishing village where you’d drop in for lunch or stay here for a few weeks… it’s a tooty-fruity place where you slow down to look at it for a few moments, just to stick to the speed limit and then plant the damned foot and get the hell outa here before your car konks out!

And that’s happened before too… it really has.

I’ve seen it. 

It happened to me… this is why I’m here.

I can’t get out.

Every morning, I have a good look around this place and have a look at the residents.  There’s Merv who has a large fishing boat tripped out to the gills with everything on it you’d ever want to take it out onto the water… but he never goes.  Merv gets horribly sea sick and hasn’t been fishing since he arrived six years ago; and yet he complains his wife doesn’t let him go.  And all she does is read.

Anderson is a gardener – or so he says – and yet his trailer is surrounded by nothing but dead plants in planters.  He’ll go out to the nursery down the road and get more, but then he lets them die within weeks of getting them.

My neighbour, Melissa, loves to cook… and yet burns her dinner each and every night, without fail.  She sets off her smoke alarm in her trailer at 6pm on the dot (yeah, you can set your watch by her). 

But today, somebody new arrived.  I could feel them before sunrise simply walk into the trailer park. 

Yes, they were new… different.

Unusual and…

I’m not sure what they were doing here.

In the predawn light, I found them by the water with their luggage sitting by them.  They watched the polluted water of the creek flow by waiting for the rundown kiosk to open when they saw me approach.

“Hi.” She said.

A witch.

“Hi.” I said, “You’re a witch.”

Smiling she nodded, “You’re very good…what are you doing in this place?  It’s cursed.”

“My car broke down three years ago and it’s been in the shop since.” I said, “How did you get here?”

She rose to her feet effortlessly, “I go where I’m needed… and I’m needed here.” She put her hand out, “I’m Lucy.”

The moment I touched her hand, I knew everything about her,  “Hi…” looking up at her, I knew we were totally screwed!

She grinned, “I shouldn’t have touched you.”

“You’re not needed here.” I tried to pull away.

She yanked me toward her, “Oh, but I need a sacrifice to keep this place exactly the way it is…”

I shook my head gritting, “No…”

“Oh… but yes.” She pulled a knife swiftly and stabbed my palm straight through, “No screaming now.” And at her command, my throated locked up, but my expression of agony stretched my face down as tears blurred my vision, “I just need your blood.”

“Stop it, Lucy!” a voice shouted to my right, “Not hers.”

She looked up, “Why not?”

“She’s a psychic… it’s wrong… and you’ll make her go crazy.”

I looked over and saw Merv standing there.  My voice unlocked itself as the let my hand go, and I managed to whisper his name, “What’s going on?”

He took my hand, ran his fingers over it muttering something under his breath and the bleeding stopped, “You are here for a reason… and we all are too.”

I stared at my hand, amazed that he healed it, then looked up at him, “What’s going on here?”

“My name isn’t Merv… It’s Merlin the Great Mage.” He smiled, “And everyone here in the trailer park come here to stay – to live – because it’s a haven, a last resort, to hide from the rest of the world.”

“Well, yes, I know.” I said, “I have seen this in them all… except you.” I said.

He smiled, “I didn’t want to freak you out with my true form.”

“Merv… Merlin… whoever you are… what’s the big conspiracy about this trailer park?” I asked, “Who is this Lucy who wanted to do a blood spell so strong it was going to kill me?”

He gazed over at her as she glanced bashfully as her feet, “We really should let her in on the secrets, right?”

“Yes, indeed.” He nodded smiling, “It’s been long enough. Orsons’s Creek isn’t a horrible place… it’s a hidden place for people of magicks to pass through, enjoy or live here.” He said, “However, if you don’t have magicks, it becomes a horrible place and it drives you insane.”

I look around, “But how come I can only see it as a dark place?”  

He touched my forehead with his index finger gently, “Because you weren’t ready for its true form yet; not until today.”

Blinking I saw the gorgeous sun break over the horizon in such a way as I’d never seen before here.  The creek was sparkling, clear and filled with life as birds flew over its surface! 

I turned to look at them, “Isn’t that gorgeous?”

The nurse looked up from her book as I spoke, “What, did you say something, Lucy?”

I smiled, “Look at that?”

She pulled out her phone, dialled a number, “Yes, doctor, she’s back with us again...” tears filled her eyes, “… after three years, Lucy has found her way back to us.”


  1. Hey :) I like the voice in this, and your description of the town intrigued me. the ending was a bit here and there for me - but that's very much a personal preference.

  2. Very interesting little twist there at the end. Nice hooks in there, and potential to expand on it more if you wished. Good usage of the challenge. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Enjoyed this. Liked the twist at the end and would love to read more! :-)

  4. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I wrote this late at night; and thought to put a big twist on Chuck's idea of what a trailer park is... ie: a mental institution. The psychic: a mental patient (or Lucy who has has her car (mind) in the shop (in the hands of doctors) for 3 years. And finally: the conspiracy, reveal... well, she comes out of her twin personality, by facing her internal demons face on; something that I've notice not a lot of people in our world do...

    As I was writing this, I found the hidden messages just pop out of it! :D