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All the rooms were empty in the motel because no one sleeps away during Easter. At least not in this scum dump. Even its name “The Trotter’s Motel” sounded like some incurable sex disease, flashing in a yellow neon sign on the highway to the city. No one notices if you’re alone on Easter either.
It’s not like Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New Year’s. Those are the heavy hitters when it comes to people feelin' bad for you. I’d walk around the motel come some wintery eve, cars lined up in front of their assigned doors as close as possible to both get out of the chill, and to shake that ache of paranoia by getting to their flea-infested rooms as fast as possible. On those nights, I’d go about my business, and some respectable looking family, who didn’t make reservations for the Hilton downtown, would look at me in my sorry state: disheveled hair, patchy stubble, jeans that haven’t been washed. They’d look at me, and they’d be sad, every one of them.
Of course they wouldn’t do shit about it. I was just another shady character after all. It’s only on those nights when, as a collective, we’re supposed to be with the ones we love, that’s when they feel bad.
“Oh, the poor guy.”
“I wonder if he has any family?”
“Mommy, why is that man alone?”
Same damn people, every fuckin' year. It would burn me if it didn’t happen all the time, but at least I had Easter.
I walked out of my room, and the air was crisp; smelled like heaven. My favorite time of year is Spring. It’s warm, but not warm enough to smell the rotting food in the restaurant’s garbage across the way. Not to mention the faint air of piss that always sticks around the place, and only gets stronger during the summer months.
No, Spring was good, a time for plantin', and growin'. Easter was lucky enough to come late this year, so the weather was perfect. I shuffled to the main office, not a car in sight. Joey was behind the counter, picking his nose like always. He only snapped to attention when I walked in.
“D-Duke’s got it all set up out back, sir,” he stammered out. Kid only worked at the motel a year, and was still terrified of me. I don’t know why. I’d been nothing but cordial. I nodded my head, grunted, and went past him to the back.
A shiny red SUV sat on four cement blocks. It was brand new and sparklin' amongst the weeds that crowd the godforsaken place, and had been growing fast since March. We’d been blessed with some good weather that spring, ripe for prosperity, yes sir.
Duke was settin' up the bonfire, throwin' in wood he found in the junkyard since I told him never to cut the trees if he knew what was good for him. He looked at me wearily when I told him to light it up. I stood on the outskirts of the bonfire as he soaked one of their shirts in kerosene, and tied it to a stick. One of the little ones whimpered, and pissed itself when it caught fire. And when he came closer, the whole damn brood started crying. Mother. Father. Sister. And two little brothers, tied close to the burning pit.
You see, there’s always a family. At least one. The hotels fill up fast around here, and Trotter’s is the only place left. There’s not as many families as the other holidays, not by a long shot, but there is always at least one. They park so close to the office, I think they’d park inside if they could. They’d get out, and see me like always, but they never look like they pity me. It’s different when it’s warm outside, and Christ has risen. That’s alright, they’re easier to overpower when they don’t look at you, or care.
Duke takes good care of me, and cooks them up real nice. This year’s family was large, parents plump and nice. They took longer to cook, of course, but I didn’t mind. The growing season would fare better because of it. It needs me to thrive. I took the sight in with relish, lickin' my dry lips when their skin started to crackle and fill the night air with the succulent scent of cooking meat, and their pitiful screams were the very notes of music that I needed to hear most. Thankfully, no one’s around much this time of year to hear them, especially during Easter.
Written by loseyourheart92