On our recent trip to Colorado we broke up the drive out by stopping overnight in Kansas, creepiest state in the US. Seriously, “the hills have eyes” minus “hills”. Everything that isn’t nailed down just blows into Missouri. Kansas blows.
I tried to be understanding. The Great Plains stretch on for days and at the right spot on top of a rolling hill the view is breathtaking. The cattle feedlots are breathtaking too.
But it was at a Best Western hotel that I held my breath voluntarily. The scene was set before we arrived by a pulsing thunderstorm on the horizon. High winds, torrential rain, and cloud to ground lightning hounded us all the way to the hotel lobby. Supermom had arranged reservations about an hour before we arrived and she ran inside to get our room key.
She returned with a baggage cart and a key card to room 229. I parked the car and ran through the rain to the safety of our hotel.
I know the hotel was safe because we checked Kansas state gun laws and found that personal carry is an unspoken requirement in Kansas. I think the actual law states “Persons entering any public or private place of business shall brandish hand powered weaponry to maintain public welfare and general order. Section 4d. Subsection 22.f.IV”
The night manager stared with a glazed look in our general direction and I couldn’t decide if she was looking at us or at a demonic spirit climbing on the ceiling behind us. It is hard to gage where people are looking when their eyes are red and twitchy. We chose to ignore and continued to the elevator with our three wheeled, rolling luggage rack. The silence of midnight and the large tiger picture on the elevator wall fit nicely with the 1980’s horror movie motif.
Room 229 was almost the furthest from the elevator except for Room 230. We swiped the key card and it didn’t work. We turned around and went back down to the lobby. The night manager wobbled out to the front desk and reprogrammed the key. We tried again. More luggage in the strange elevator. More walking down the haunted hallway. More swiping with no green light.
“Are you sure this is the right room?”
“She said 229.”
“I’ll go tell her.”
“Good, Im sitting right here in the hall. Call me if I need to go somewhere else.”
I make the journey solo back to the front desk.
I hand the car to the manager and huff, “Still doesn’t work.”
“What room was it again?”
“You said 229.”
She takes the card and stares at it for a minute. Her eyes roll around a bit searching for consciousness I think.
“Did you say room 228?”
“No… How about this. My reservation is under [Underdaddy] so just look me up in the computer and lets make sure.”
After a little typing on the computer she looks up at me, “They haven’t checked in yet.”
“Then why did you give me a card? I am them.”
She looks at the card and then back at the computer.
“Who checked you in?”
“You did, like three minutes ago.”
“Oh. I will just let you in the room. We can fix this in the morning.”
“Is 229 the room number? I don’t want to bust in on Yosemite Sam and get shot.”
She is on the computer again. “229 is [Underdaddy]”
“Sounds good Captain Obvious. Lets go open that door.”
We both went back to the elevator and I tried to make small talk to avoid her passing out or forgetting who I was.
“What is with the elevator and the weird holes in the frame?”
“We get all kinds of people out from under the elevator.”
WTF?!? I froze momentarily while that thought processed. Images of The Undead crawling through a crack under the elevator made me shiver.
“Keys. People lose their keys and phones so I have to get them.”
We walk silently down the hall and I am relieved to see that Supermom is still sitting on the luggage cart and not kidnapped by desert mutants who live in the walls. The keycard works and we thank the manager and hurry into the room.
Deadbolt. Lock. Towel over the crack at the bottom. Large furniture angled into the knob as a doorstop.
I check under the beds and in the closet before laying down for the night. I am keenly aware that screaming only makes other boogey men aware of fresh blood. I felt an eerie sense that we would die in our sleep. I slept like a soldier in a foxhole. A shallow foxhole called Kansas.
The next morning we awoke to sunlight and were surprisingly well rested. Off to Colorado to buy our wallaby. Stay tuned for more.
If you enjoy quality service at creepy motels then this post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.