C-Jane and I realized we were true mates at the time of our first road trip. Then, we’d left Vegas nervously knowing that trip would either seal, or break our budding relationship. Our first stop on that trip was at a motel in the middle of nowhere, south of Bakersfield.
The night clerk at the motel kept his hair long, and greasy, tied behind his head. He smiled a lot, and was very friendly. As he wrote the number of our room, we saw the long unkempt nails. “Enjoy your evening,” he smiled, nearly sinister. The name-badge leaped out at us, ‘Viktor.’
Hurrying to our room, we entered and locked the door behind us. C-Jane asked, “Do you think Viktor is a vampire?”
Rubbing my chin in deep thought, I answered, “Could be. We should smear some garlic around all possible points of entry.”
C-Jane, always resourceful, pulled a couple cloves from her purse, saying, “You never know when garlic will come in handy.”
It was a good thing too, because that night there was a bumping at our door, then what sounded to be an ugly hiss and a scratching on the door. Then silence. “Was that him?” C-Jane asked softly.
Peeking out the window, the lot was empty. “If it was, he is gone now.” The next morning, we had our complimentary waffles and left, putting distance between us and nowhere.
More than three years later, C-Jane and I are on a road trip again, this time to meet Sister Calamity and her husband K-Dog in wine-country California. We’d left the Atomic Museum before dusk, and by 9:30, we were approaching nowhere.
“I’m going to be scared if we run into Viktor again,” Jane said.
“Balderdash!” I exclaimed, a common word in my vocabulary. “That night-crawler is long gone by now. We should stop at the same hotel to dismiss our silly fears.”
We did. This time we were met by a very friendly man with short hair. He wore a suit and a smile, “Have you ever been here before?” the man asked as I checked out his hands. His nails were trimmed.
Relieved, I replied, “Once, several years ago.”
“Many things have changed over the years.” Hypnotic eyes gaze upon me as C-Jane’s hands trembled while signing the registration bill. “Yours will be room 211.”
Rushing to the car, C-Jane informed, “It is him!”
“Are you sure?” I doubted while pulling suitcases out of the trunk.
“Didn’t you see the placard on the desk, it said manager Viktor!”
“He tricked me. His claws were retracted, and his hair was clean.” I realized it was all just a disguise. I patted my pockets with frantic hands, “Oh no, I ate all my garlic on the bus at the Test Site!”
“Don’t worry, I got breath mints and some holy water in my make-up bag.”
“But you don’t wear make-up,” I acknowledged, sounding a lot like Shaggy, “we are doomed.” C-Jane doesn’t wear make-up. Everyone says that make-up makes women look younger, but if that is true, C-Jane would look twelve. At thirty-two, C-Jane is always carded wherever we go drinking. If ‘make-up’ made C-Jane look any younger, I’d go to jail for pedophilia.
She replied with a wave of her hand, “I keep the bag to hold silver bullets, holy water, gypsy tears …you know, important stuff.”
It didn’t matter, Viktor never came. The next morning we met Viktor’s wife. She yelled at me for being retarded. It seems I broke their complimentary waffle-maker, and we barely escaped the wrath of Viktor’s harpy. No wonder he left us alone at night — she was really mean.
We had a long day of travel. My next post will be The Congress Created Dust Bowl.