It certainly is winter here right now. We've had snow on the ground since Sunday night! But I think we're supposed to get rain today. We'll see if we later end up with ice on everything.
I know, I know, you came back today hoping and expecting the next part of "Dr. Morgan." Well, I have some news for you. First, I have finished writing that book and am expecting to divide it into chapters today and get it to my test readers over the weekend. Second, that means you won't be reading any more parts of "Dr. Morgan" (now titled "Gift from the Storm") on this blog. :( So sorry, but I did warn you. But, . . . Lest you groan and sigh thinking you'll have to wait for months to read the rest of it, I have someone who is going to do the cover and she is even kind enough to work on the front of it first so you all can see it even before I get the rest of what goes on the back to her. Weren't we nice? ;) And I'm not expecting my test readers to take very long reading this story. So, all that said, just to let you know, I'm hoping for the beginning of April to have it done. I'm not promising because I know how busy things get sometimes when you least expect it, but you can pray things all come together. :)
And on another note, I just received the first 15 minutes of TCR-1 Audio! I can't wait to go listen to it!
This month has been a busy one for writing. In January I wrote 5k each week or more. I don't think I ever reached 6k, but this month I've written 8k each week. This week I've gotten a little more than 6k written so far. If I can get 2 thousand more words written between today and tomorrow, I'll have my 3rd 8k week.
Perhaps you are wondering what I've been writing since "Dr. Morgan" or "Gift from the Storm" has been finished. Well, I finished this story for one. I finished another short story the next night and last night I was working on a "Ria and the Gang" story. :) I'm trying to replenish my stock of stories to post before I start in on TCR-5.
This story is based on a true experience by a friend of ours. She told us the story herself and, before I wrote it, I asked her to tell it to me again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :) Names have been changed to protect the guilty. :P
Lost in the Hotel
It was early morning and Mrs. Blossom found herself wide awake. “This is odd,” she thought, after looking at the glowing numbers on the clock beside the bed. “I never wake up this early at a hotel.” Giving a sigh, she turned over and closed her eyes. The only sound to be heard was her husband’s soft snoring. It had been a long and busy last few days with traveling and meetings and more traveling and meetings. This was the only day Mr. and Mrs. Blossom had to relax before getting back on the road for a final few days of business before they at last reached home.
Finding herself wide awake, Mrs. Blossom turned over again and stared into the blackness in the direction of the ceiling. “I could get up,” she thought. “I could get some laundry going. . . . There is a park right across the parking lot and I’m sure it would be a lovely place to walk before breakfast. I could use a good walk after all the sitting I have been doing.”
Thoughts of all the things she could do if she got up flooded her mind, and the next minute she was slipping from her bed in an eagerness to get going.
Her husband was still sleeping when she tiptoed from the room and out into the silent hall.
“Everyone must still be sleeping,” she thought, gently closing her room door behind her. “Now, should I take the stairs or the elevator,” she mused. The elevator was all the way down the hall while the stairs were only two doors down. The Blossom’s room was on the seventh floor, but the thought of so many stairs didn’t bother Gen Blossom as long as she was going down.
“I’ll be good and take the stairs,” she decided, turning to her right. “Then I won’t feel guilty about a big breakfast.” Her footsteps made no sound on the thick, soft carpet. “I like it when business pays for us to stay at such luxurious hotels. And I’m sure breakfast will be delightful. A brisk walk will give me a good appetite and I’ll be able to enjoy the meal to the fullest.”
Upon reaching the stairway, Mrs. Blossom opened the door and saw a sign: No rooftop access. With a smile, she nodded. “That’s okay with me. I didn’t want to get to the roof anyway.”
Descending the stairs, she noticed that at each level there was a sign exactly like the one she had first read. “I still don’t want to go to the roof. I am seeking a lower level of exit,” she chuckled softly. The mental image of herself on the roof of the hotel was humorous.
Finally the first floor was reached and, giving a sigh of relief, Gen Blossom stepped over to the door and reached for the doorknob.
“Emergency Exit Only. Alarm Will Sound.”
The words of the sign on the door seemed to leap outward, and they startled Mrs. Blossom almost as much as an actual alarm would have done. Quickly she jerked her hand back. “What!” The exclamation came out loud and sounded strange in the silent stairwell as their echo bounced around. “This is the first floor, isn’t it? Yes. Then how am I supposed to reach the lobby or get outside?” Slowly Mrs. Blossom’s eyes traveled to the stairs. There were still more stairs going down. And then there were the stairs going up.
“What if all the doors on the other floors say the same thing? Surely they couldn’t because I went through one on the seventh floor.” Gen Blossom thought a moment. “But I think it was already open. Or did I open it?” The more she thought, the more confused she became. “Oh, I don’t know!” she almost wailed. “I can’t climb all those stairs to find out!”
That was when she decided that if the stairs went down, she would go down too. “Perhaps the hotel was built on a hill and this is the first floor but not the floor with the lobby,” she reasoned. “Maybe there is an exit, but it isn’t a main one so they marked it as emergency only. If that is the case, the lobby would be down one more floor.” With these hopeful thoughts in her mind, Mrs. Blossom started down. Her legs were tired of stairs, but she reached the bottom at last. There was a door, and there was no “Emergency Exit Only” sign. Instead a sign was posted which read, “Employees Only.”
“Well, of all things!” Gen Blossom exclaimed, folding her arms and almost glaring at the sign. “I’ve never heard of a hotel that won’t let people out!” She glanced back up at the stairway where hundreds of stairs seemed watching and laughing at her fix.
“I won’t do it. I just am not going to climb all those stairs. This sign doesn’t say anything about an alarm. And if they didn’t want me to go in, they should have provided a different way to get out or at least said there was no regular exit.” She reached out a hand. “I wonder if it is locked.”
The doorknob turned at her touch and she pushed the door open. Stepping in, she let the door close behind her and turned to gaze about. “Wow!”
She was in what appeared to be the basement. The floors were a cold cement, and up above were pipes running in every direction. Water heaters of immense sizes stood here and there, with pillars reaching up to the ceiling standing like giant pieces on a chess board. The lighting was dim and the shadows strange. Mrs. Blossom gave an involuntary shiver. This was certainly part of a hotel she had never been in before.
Timidly she stepped forward, her footsteps sounding loud to her ears. Creaks, groans, gurgling noises and strange sounds came from above her and timidly she looked up and then off into the shadowy corners. What might be lurking behind that water heater? Had something just moved? It felt as though she was the only one alive in this strange world of pipes, water heaters and shadows.
“There has got to be someone around,” she muttered, trying to keep up her courage. “I’ll soon find someone who will help me.”
Thoughts of all the mystery books she had read came flooding through her mind and her vivid imagination pictured escaped convicts behind the next water heater, thieves creeping up behind her, or stumbling suddenly upon a secret gathering of men in the underworld of crime.
To be concluded next week.
What do you think?
Have you ever experienced a situation like this?