Scratch And Art Of Hotel Management #writephoto

The weekly #writephoto prompt generated this…

Scratch, Fifteenth Parabolic Pedant, Lord of the Goblins, Superior Smugmaester of the Southern Solenoids and First of his Pelt stepped nervously out from under the portico. The sunshine was disappointing – you couldn’t trust summer any more. It used to howl a gale when he was a matted Goblette, sniffing around for trouble. This climate change with its balmy days, mizzly nights and a few afternoons when, frankly it was far too pleasant to be tolerated was grim, often beyond endurance.

He tugged at the velveteen lapels on his torn and despoiled frock coat and straightened his neck as far as his twisted spine would allow. Her Lady Scour had made it clear that he needed to be the perfect Mine Host and that meant a wash (seriously?), a brush through his mangy mane (now that was a total joke) and a smile (no, never, that was simply a gesture beyond credulity).

He knew the Halls of Despotic Decrepitude would have to be sold if they didn’t spend time and serious money undermining the foundations and decaying the furnishings but was this the answer?

As he continued to fight the urge to look on the bright side – that bloody sunshine, again – a blue car turned off the main road, hesitated by the gates before driving slowly around the stagnant and stinking pond to stop next to Scratch.

After a moment the two front doors opened. ‘Well, this is nice. Isn’t it Harold?’ The woman shuffled her bosoms and finding only jokers, pulled the fabric taught.

The driver – a man, Scratch noticed with something akin to despair – was short, vaguely rural with hints of suburbia and sporting the sort of moustache that encouraged lemmings to suicide. ‘It’s a bit… lived in.’

The Lady Scour’s final ‘Don’t fuck this up, Nobhead’ rang in Scratch’s ears as he stretched out a hand towards the woman. ‘Charmed.’

‘Is it? Now that would be seriously cool. We thought ghosts, maybe a poltergeist but charmed. You want to put that in the description. You’d get more people wanting to come. What’s it charmed with? Magic? Potions?’

Scratch let his eyes drop to the woman’s throat: how delightful would it be if he could…?’

‘Through here?’ The woman bustled past him and into the entrance hall. She stopped abruptly. ‘Oh. My. Actual. God. Are they real heads?’ She stared at the line of trophy shields that hung from each of the hall’s walls, each shield holding a Goblin’s head, each face on each head holding an expression of utter malevolence and fury. ‘They looked pretty pissed.’

The man, who Scratch assumed to be her husband moved to stand beside her. ‘They don’t look very pretty to me.’

Scratch took a deep breath. No, he thought, take another breath; he’d debowel them later. For now, he’d apply the lessons in service management that YouTube had yielded. Inform, engage, inspire. ‘We Goblins take pride in dying while raging. No going quietly.’ He added a chortle, or at least something as closely akin to a chortle as his gravelly voice box allowed. ‘Those are the previous incumbents of the Goblin lordships. They all died furiously. Well, not Posset. He fell off a stool while hanging mistletoe.’

The woman made a sympathetic face. ‘Oh how sad. Was he a romantic.’ She did something elliptical with her left eye. ‘Was he looking to kiss his beloved?’

Scratch tried hard not to sigh. ‘Mistle Toe was a violent psychopath who Posset captured and sentenced to death. As Lord it was his privilege to put the noose around his neck. He was smiling when he fell. It was very embarrassing for his family. They refused to have his death mask made.’

The silence expanded into a deep hollow nothing. Scratch clapped his hands. ‘Do you want to see your room? You said you wanted a suite so we’ve put you in the Keep.’

The woman who had been looking somewhat queasy, rallied. ‘The Keep? Was this a castle originally?’

‘No, not at all. It’s called the Keep because that’s what it does. It keeps you.’ Scratch led the way along a corridor and down some stairs, with the couple hurrying behind. He swung open a large oaken, studded door and stood back.

The man went in, looking around while the woman hesitated. ‘It keeps us?’

Scratch let the door swing shut after her. ‘If it likes you. If not…’ He listened. In moments the sound of a sash window going up and shortly after a scream fading into the distance. ‘… it turns you out. I’ll bring you some tea. And splints.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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16 Responses to Scratch And Art Of Hotel Management #writephoto

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Sounds just like my type of place 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gordon759 says:

    Sounds like a place recommended by Dickhead tours

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love it. Can you let me have the post code please? The thought of a woman shuffling her bosoms and finding only jokers is sublime!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. noelleg44 says:

    Now this is an open house I would visit!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jemima Pett says:

    I’m lost for words… I love the story, as always, but hate the hotel! Hotel California would be better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: #Writephoto Round-Up – Priory – New2Writing

  7. KL Caley says:

    Oh my! It would make for great dinner conversation (should one survive the night and not end up as the dinner). 🙂 Thanks for another great #writephoto entry. KL ❤


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