“What’s he building in there,” the kids thought as they peeked through the dusty windows in the back. The old man stayed in the basement of the hotel for days on a row. Darkness engulfed his shadow even deeper as he paced back and forth. Strange noises, hammering sounds. The scar on his face, the tattoo on his arm, was he in jail? Every now and then he glanced at the windows and the kids cringed, wondering what he was building in there. They could swear they heard someone moaning the other day. Where is that poet who went missing…?
(Inspired by Tom Waits song “What’s He Building in There”)
100 Word Stories
In they walk. Rough faces. Unusual people. Provocative words. A reception and all that. Rooms and more rooms. 100, 211, floors all the way to the roof and they lived and they died. Breakfasts and lunches and dinners. And people with voices. Westwards in time. Eastwards in crime. Unique individuals. Talks and sounds. Out they go never again, into the inevitable public recognition. They struggle and they struggle. This is their haven. And here they will live and there they will die some more. Forever alone in a stifling crowd, they yearn to come back, because home is a thought.