Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Extraterrestrial Highway Motel, Rachel, Nevada

CARLOS was watching the late night comedians when the girl appeared at the motel desk. Her arrival gave him a jolt as he did not hear a car or the door bell tinkle when she came in.
            He looked over and she was there, young, tallish. She was comely in her late twenties with light brown hair streaked with honey, a broad forehead and high cheek bones, a long jaw, wide mouth, but most striking were her glittering green eyes. She banged the bell on the counter and Carlos jumped.
            The girl cocked her head and asked for a room, a single for the evening. Carlos said he had #13 available, which was next to the office. She preferred a room in the separate building to the left of the main Stagecoach Motel office.
            Carlos explained (lied), that the unit was closed as winter was near, that the girl was lucky #13 was available. She narrowed her eyes and pulled a moue, her lips together and pushed out in a pout.
            It was late and the girl paid in cash, including a deposit, not that she could damage anything in #13. She turned and marched out into the cold, pitch-black on the desolate, central Nevada desert. Carlos wondered what a girl like that was doing traveling alone on Highway 375 in the middle of the night.
            He shrugged, rubbed his hands together and went to the wall on the left side of the counter, where a large calendar featuring photos of Area 51 hung. It was October and the month featured a gaggle of scruffy protestors at the entrance gate to Area 51, a standoff with stern air police.
            Should he, or shouldn’t he?
            Carlos debated as he knew the owner before him had drilled a quarter inch spy hole into the room next door, #13. The unsavory cad had always reserved #13 for someone special. What was the harm? A little peek. How could he pass up the opportunity to sneak a look? She was worth a gander. Carlos got down on his knees and moved the calendar. He took a breath, his heart pumping and put his right eye up to the peephole.
To his astonishment, there was a vividly green eyeball staring back at him. Carlos squealed and fell back on his seat. He scrambled to his feet, ran to his desk, taking his revolver from a drawer, then dashed around to the front of the counter and hunkered down.
            Carlos was panting, his heart thumped wildly. Why was she looking at him? The hole was not noticeable, so how had she found it, and why spy on him? He sat there and thought this was a heaven-sent signal it was time for him to leave, get back to Vegas. He had taken the job to ingratiate himself with the Cartel, which had heard rumors there were rare earth minerals in the desolate Nevada hills, maybe molybdenum. The Cartel had bought the motel and surrounding land just in case the rumor was true, an investment. Carlos had been at the Stagecoach Motel for three years and the isolation was enough for Carols. Time to go.
            Cautiously, he rose up and looked to the peephole and then screamed. The green eye was slithering through the hole and weaving back and forth, searching for him. Carlos in a panic pointed his gun at the eye, but there was a sharp bang, like an iron fist pounding on the wall in the next room. Carols ducked down and crossed himself.
            “Carlos?” A lilting voice called out.
            He went cold, the hairs on his neck standing up, a sick feeling in his stomach.
            “Carlos?!” She called out again.
            Unwittingly, Carlos got up, put the gun on the counter and headed out the door. He walked obediently to the next room, #13, and entered. 
A few weeks later the Rachel Town Council visited the Stagecoach Motel to discuss a UFO symposium they were planning in the spring. As Stagecoach was the only motel within a hundred miles and would get most of the business, they hoped for a contribution. Rumor was that the Cartel owned the motel, so certainly they could put in a few hundred dollars.
            They parked and went to the office, the mayor Tubby Barnes taking the lead. To their surprise Tubby found a lovely young woman at the counter, who greeted them with a disarming smile and curious, vivid green eyes.
            Tubby and his team explained their UFO meeting idea and showed her a prospective flyer. The girl was enthusiastic and readily agreed to a donation. Instead of a check, she gave them a pouch of gold nuggets, easily a couple of ounces.
            Tubby was shocked and the town treasurer, Maude Perkins, quickly stepped forward and took charge of the gold.
            “There is something else.” The girl said, and she disappeared in the back returning with two large, frozen packets.
            “This is special. Keep it in the freezer and serve it at one of your food stands. It is a special sample of Mexican cuts. The crowd will just love it.” The girl enthused.
            Tubby and the team happily retreated to their van. The gold was worth over $3,000 and the meat would be a special treat.
            “I wonder whatever happened to Carols, “Tubby mused, as he pulled away from the motel. 
            “Too bad he can’t make a contribution.” Maude added. “Carlos loved the UFO gigs.”


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