Room Service

The voice on the radio told her to do it.  Told her to take the gun to the room on the second floor where the man with the plastic hand lived.  He’s an evil magician, the voice told her.  He does dark deeds in the dark of night.

She was a superstitious woman.  Her grandmother, a devout Catholic, had told her terrifying tales of the demons that inhabited living men.  Especially men like the man with the plastic hand.  Men who lived alone in cheap motels.  Men who drank alcohol straight out of the bottle.  Men who expected women to do their laundry.  Men who paid women to dance.  Men like her father.

It’s your duty, the voice said, to take action against filth.  So she let herself into his apartment.  She took her cleaning equipment straight into the bathroom.  The man with the plastic hand only allowed her to sanitise his nest once a week.  It always stank of stale cigarettes, unwashed laundry and rotting food.  She grabbed a cloth from her cleaning kit and wiped down the lone chair in the room.  Then she fetched the bible from the drawer next to the bed.  She sat down on the chair to wait for him, bible in one hand, gun in the other.

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27 thoughts on “Room Service

  1. Kay Camden

    I don’t know how I missed this one. And since I’m coming in late, everyone has already said it all. I think we’re all holding our breath, waiting for you to find your writer’s place. We’ll have to have a virtual arm wrestling match and/or cagefight to determine who of us will be your beta readers.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’ll be sure to be mailing you as soon as I have anything of substance that needs commenting and advising on.

      Reply
  2. valbrussell

    Ah, brutality, insanity and religion! Just like the old days, the current days and probably the future days! Yes scribbla, this is another ‘dirty good’ one from you. 🙂

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thanks for making time to pop by. I always appreciate your comments. Yes, another ‘dirty’ one. And that brutality, insanity and religion could fuel a thousand more stories…

      Reply
  3. Team Oyeniyi

    I’m wondering about the tax benefits/implications of selling yourself your own movie rights. Interesting concept.

    I was interested in your above comment, where you talk about writing from that “dark place”. I’ve deliberately forced myself to write about our experience in those darkest hours in the hope that I stand a better chance of capturing what it was really like. Once it passes, the writing can never be the same.

    I like this piece. I can see and feel the blind belief of the woman. The mixture of christian religion and traditional beliefs is very African and well captured here.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Forget the tax benefits. I’m think of how little it will cost – probably not enough to be taxed! Lol.

      Exploring those dark spaces when in a situation like yours is great therapy. Continue to do it. I also believe that it brings across a unique and authentic voice for others in similar situations to empathise with. Keep going.

      Reply
  4. ladynimue

    Your stories so well show the illness of minds in urban society ..
    Such convincing reasons to kill another human …
    who sayd devil is dead !!! he lives in all of us …
    Wonderful story again ..

    Reply
  5. jeremythurston

    This one made me stew. Stew, as we know is hot, and i, as you may not know, am hot-headed. I have a short temper. This reminds me of the movie see no evil. People claim to be Christians but are far from it. I am a Jehovahs Witness, and I grit my teeth at people like this, because they exist, and totally miss the point of the bible and Jesus’ teachings. You made this one personal scribbla. You inspired emotion in me, a feeling to act. That is awesome. I truly am mad at the character you have created, and I hope she gets whats coming. I can’t describe how personal this is. Great job.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      I’m really glad that I managed to stir something up in you. I take that as high praise. I didn’t write this as a criticism of the Christian religion, but rather as an exploration of a fanatical mind. It could be Christian, Jew, Muslim, businessman, sports fan… they all have a lot in common.

      Reply
  6. Evelyn

    you are writing a book or SOMETHING, right?
    Although I adore your short pieces, I really hunger for something a bit more chunky from you.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Hehe. Something?
      Please see my response to Indigo Spider, though I have been contemplating something of short story to novella length. Mmmmmmm.
      Thank you for your continued inspiration, both here and over at your amazing blog.

      Reply
      1. Evelyn

        Right back at you.
        I feel like a lot of my recent work has really been influenced by you as well as D over at SomethingNewPlease…

        Reply
        1. screen_scribbla Post author

          Isn’t the work over at SomethingNewPlease just something else? Amazing stuff that I’d recommend everyone to check out. That is one blog that makes me seriously jealous of the talent happening there.

          Reply
  7. Find an Outlet

    She probably considers it an honor killing, just as sick and useless as any of them. The only difference is this woman is disturbed by her own imagination, not by her culture. When she goes to prison she’ll fit right in with the rest of them who have found god and will probably amass a following.

    For the record, I would never shoot someone whose house I was cleaning even if they were vile—but I would take some other action if I saw any kind of abuse!

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Oh yeah, she’s a sick puppy. Just like he is. Only she can’t see it for her own righteousness. And the fools who give other fools permission to do bad things over the airwaves.

      I must admit that I thought of you for a moment when I was writing this! Not that I made any association between you and the lady in the story – God forbid. I was just listening to a Nick Cave album and this woman popped up. Halfway through writing it I remember that you cleaned houses and got to wondering what you’d think of it all. Hope I haven’t cast a bad light on your line of work here.

      Thanks for the read and commenting. I always enjoy your comments. (I am still thinking long and hard about the one you posted the other day before I respond. It has given me such wonderful food for thought and I just haven’t had a long enough stretch to sit down and give a proper written answer to it. I will though, I promise. It is, perhaps, the most important comment anyone has made on this blog yet.)

      Reply
  8. Indigo Spider

    Have you considered tying a few of these stories together? This one, Castles in the Sky and the previous story for Inspiration Monday all have this gritty, urban mystery feel to them.

    They are great snippets, I can see them tied together as some gritty urban fantasy novel/movie. For some reason the movie Blade Runner comes to mind when I read your pieces. Not that it is similar in plot but in feel, there is a darkness that is intriguing. Same with the short script you posted, sorry, forget the name, the one about working for the devil. They all seem as if they should be tied together.

    Just my two cents, hope you don’t mind.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      I really appreciate your input and opinion. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write it up here.

      I must confess that I have not considered tying up the different pieces. Right now I’m just trying my best to learn to write!

      No, wait. That’s not entirely true. I’m trying not just to write, but to write well. And to find where I should be writing from. The daily scribbles are my practice arena. They test my patience, they test my resolve to want to write (or call myself a writer!), my use of the elements of storytelling, character, dialogue, pacing… oh, God, there’s so much I often feel overwhelmed.

      Nonetheless, you are a most astute reader. I have been pushing myself in the last week and a bit to go to a particular place inside of myself. I believe it is the space I must inhabit and write from. It is a dark room right now, and I’m just feeling it out. That may explain why a lot of the stories have a similar feel. They are written from that place. I expect I’ll continue to write from there for a while yet. It does get exhausting though, so I may sprinkle some ‘lighter’ stuff in too, just to keep myself flexed and stretching.

      My goal for now is to keep scribbling. I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. That will be when I break the dam walls and allow, in 30 days and nights of hell, the story I’m teasing to tell itself. I hope that will be the start of my first novel. To which, I will of course, sell myself the movie rights 😉

      Thanks for your insightful comment. I really, really find this kind of feedback most useful as well as inspiring. Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Evelyn

        oh good. This is excellent news…
        get going on a book for us!
        I love short story collections, by the way, so he has a point about you joining some of the stories.

        Reply
            1. Indigo Spider

              No worries, it happens all the time. I suspect it is the ‘spider’ that sends the male vibe.

      2. Indigo Spider

        Do you mean the new summer camp NaNoWriMo? I’ve contemplated signing up as well. If you’re up for a “buddy” we could prod each other along.

        I can see the dark place you are investigating in the writings as of late and I do like the gritty feel. Separately they are interesting, atmospheric snippets which is why I thought maybe you should try to connect them together to create more of a story arc, with the separate characters telling a piece of the whole.

        You do have a good grasp of creating that atmospheric visual darkness. I always enjoy reading your pieces.

        Reply
        1. screen_scribbla Post author

          Errr… not sure if it’s the new summer camp NaNoWriMo. It’s the main event that takes place in November. Will check out the summer camp. And I’d really appreciate a writing buddy. I’m already scared as hell.

          Thanks for your words of encouragement. Let me know if you’re up for the NaNoWriMo.

          Reply
          1. Indigo Spider

            I am up for the NaNoWriMo, have done it several years in the past (never succesfully unfortunately) and had a lot of fun. I used a different name in the past, hoping this new one will be lucky! They just started offering it for any month of your choice, not just November anymore… or, they are gearing up for that. I think it will “officially” be any month starting in June. I’ve been getting emails.

            When you sign up feel free to add Indigo Spider to your buddy list. We can taunt each other for falling behind 😉

            Reply

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