Part 3Mature

“But it has to be that room, because that’s the room I told…” I pause, trying to think of what a man with Divinity’s job might call himself. “Samson I’d be in.”

“Oh!” The receptionist’s eyes light up, I think she finally believes me. “You hired Samson? Good choice! Doesn’t he just have the sexiest hair?”

“Yes, yes he does.” Once again, my joke turns out to be grounded in reality. “So are we in business?”

“Yeah, sorry about before. We’ve had lots of people try to get in that room for reasons we don’t like.”

“What, does it have special shampoo they wanna steal?” I find it ironic that suicide investigation is a ‘reason they don’t like’ when they usually rent rooms for drug-dealing and affair-having.

“Ha! Shampoo! Girl, you’re a riot. Be back in an hour, y’hear?” She dangles the keycard from one hand as the other awaits payment.

“You won’t wait if I don’t have to.” The trade is made, and I quickly turn for the exit. “See you in a bit.”

It’s rare for me to think things through. It doesn’t seem to make any difference on the outcome. I think that’s connected to my jokes becoming prophecies. I think such things make the anti-depressant necessary; my life seems to be moving along a rigid, boring track.

I hear noises from a couple of rooms as I walk past them, and all the sounds seem pretty bestial. Still, I’m certain there’s an actual goat with the people in the room next to mine.

I swipe the card and enter the place where Troy’s father[BR1]  died.

They’ve cleaned up well. It isn’t obvious that someone recently died here. It would suck if I came here and spent good money for nothing, but that’s never how it happens. So long as I look, I’ll find something.

From the son’s account, the cops said his father had been at the foot of the bed, facing the bathroom with his back to the door. The bullet would have hit above the headboard, so the police would have focused all their attention on the floor and that wall. Those are the places I can ignore.

It was odd that there were two huge mirrors in here. The one over the dresser didn’t seem unusual, but the one hanging on the wall shared between this room and the bathroom seemed a bit superfluous.

With difficulty, I manage to lift it from its mount and gently let it lean against the bed. The perfect circular hole it was obscuring tells me I’ve already found what I was looking for.

I lift the lamp from the nightstand, a light that clearly cost less than any potential effort to bolt it down, and use it to peer inside the wall. A high-end digital camera peers back at me, carefully secured in its hidden nook.

I glance through the back of the mirror. One-way glass. Daddy was recording stuff.

This wasn’t going to be easy for the son to stomach. Still, I should confirm what was being recorded before I bore the bad news.

I reach inside and begin to pull the camera out, but can only get a couple inches before its tethers stop me. I work my hand around to feel them out, and can immediately tell that one of them is a Category 5. It hadn’t occurred to me before; the data wasn’t being stored in the camera itself.

 Would the hotel be storing it on their system? I wouldn’t put it past them. Hell, maybe they’d been recording people without the customer’s knowledge. I could see them selling certain footage, or maybe even blackmailing important people. That might explain the suicide.

Still, I get the feeling it was the old man, setting it up beforehand with the motel’s permission. It’s never more than intuition, but intuition is more than enough reason for me to do anything.

I need to get the receptionist to leave for a few minutes, then I need to hope they’re sloppy enough to store their router’s username and password in the browser, but professional enough to monitor traffic and keep a history.

I suppose hope is superfluous. I’m sure I can assume it’s fated to happen that way, just like the goat was brought here to help me distract the receptionist.

It takes me a solid twenty minutes to get the mirror back on the wall and straight. Yeah, that thing was a bitch. At least it will seem less weird that I’m going back to the lobby already.

“So how was he?” The receptionist was far too eager to see me. “Come to think of it, you weren’t gone long.”

“He’s not coming,” I try to sound disappointed.

“Oh. Well, I can’t give you a refund.” She replied flatly.

“I figured.” I try to be nonchalant as I returned the keycard. “I was surprised to see you guys are pet friendly! It’s not often people travel with their goat. They must really love that thing…”

The receptionist rolls her eyes and grunts angrily. “No, we are not pet friendly in any way! Thanks hon, I better take care of that.”

I manage to wait until she’s gone before I slip behind the counter. I could give myself a refund, but I won’t; their computer should give me my money’s worth.

The End

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