Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Daring Destiny ~ Part 34
Rainy nodded. It wasn’t just the colors or the fact there were broken lights over the entrance, holes in the doors, and shingles hanging on by single nails, the atmosphere of the entire neighborhood was heavy with melancholy.
“So how do we find out what room she’s in?” asked Rainy.
Hoyte let out a heavy breath. “I guess we go in and ask.”
“Do you think it’ll be that easy?” Rainy raised an eyebrow.
Hoyte shook his head. “Rainy, I don’t think anything comes easy in this neighborhood.”
Rainy and Hoyte entered the hotel lobby and Rainy had to fight the urge to wrinkle her nose as the smell of old cigarettes, mildew, and the overpowering smell of cheap rose scented perfume assaulted her nose.
The lobby was sparsely furnished with a couple of wooden chairs that looked as if they belonged under an old dining room table on its last legs. A fake peace lily sat in-between the two chairs and above them hung a bulletin board filled with ads highlighting everything from used cars to girls looking for sugar daddies to missing pets.
“Can I help you?” came a gritty voice from behind the desk, but Rainy couldn’t see anyone.
She looked at Hoyte and he shrugged, so they walked closer to the registration desk.
“Hello?” Rainy said tentatively.
“I’m down here,” came the voice with a hint of annoyance.
Rainy and Hoyte looked over the desk to see an older woman smoking a cigarette while lying on the floor.
“Do you need help?” asked Hoyte.
“No, honey,” said the woman as she gestured wildly with her cigarette, “I just like lying on this dingy floor. It really makes my day to slum it with the roaches and fleas.”
Hoyte shrugged at Rainy.
Rainy rolled her eyes. “She’s being sarcastic Hoyte. Help the lady up.”
Hoyte and Rainy hurried around the corner and gently helped the woman to a desk chair that sat behind a small desk covered in papers, junk mail, and overfull ash trays.
“Thank you,” said the woman. She rifled through the papers until she found a pack of cigarettes. She pulled one out and stuck it in her mouth. She looked up at Rainy and Hoyte and rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to light it. My lord, you two look like I’m about to detonate a bomb. Doc says I need to stop, but the feel of it calms me down. Now, what can I do you for? By the looks of your clothes you aren’t here for a room. Even if you are having an affair, you two look like you can at least afford the Holiday Inn for a game of hide the salami.”
Rainy felt her cheeks grow hot. “No, it’s not like that.”
The woman shrugged. “Don’t care. What I do care about is that you two kind folks helped me off the floor. Lord know none of the characters that live around here would have been so kind. So I ask again, what can I do you for?”
“We’re looking for a woman,” said Hoyte.
The woman leaned an elbow on the desk and smirked. “I’m not in that kind of business.”
“No,” Rainy said quickly, “we think she needs help. Let’s start over. I’m Rainy and this is Hoyte.”
Rainy stuck out her hand and the woman shook it.
“Rainy, huh? Maybe you are from the neighborhood. My name is Fancy.”
“It suites you,” said Hoyte.
“Better than Francine does,” said Fancy, with a wave of her hand. “Tell me about this woman who needs help.”
“Her name is Lindie Richards and we believe she checked into your hotel this morning,” said Hoyte.
“She did,” said Fancy, not volunteering any additional information.
“Could you tell us what room she’s in?” asked Rainy. “She called me and I think she’s in trouble.”
Fancy pulled the cigarette out from her lips, nestling it between two fingers. “You’re a friend of Lindie’s?”
“More like an acquaintance,” said Rainy, for some reason she knew lying to Fancy would be a short road over a cliff of no answers. “She called me for answers, but was interrupted. I just need to know she’s okay.”
“Why would you have the answers?” asked Fancy.
Rainy sighed. “Because I work for a psychic hotline.”