Sally had insisted on taking the scenic route instead of the highway and now they were lost. Sue had feared this would happen, had tried to dissuade Sally but she did not listen. The night had descended and in the dull yellow beam of their headlights they could only see the trees casting strange shadows into an endless forest beyond.
Finally, faraway, a building and light emanating from its windows! Electricity!
As they parked the Toyota alongside the structure, they realized it was old and colonial but seemed newly constructed. Strange!
“Travelers lost on the scenic route, I presume?” the man behind the reception held a pipe in his hand as he welcomed them into what was a wayside hotel. He was young in an old fashioned way, clothes that did not belong anywhere in this era. The two girls smiled and nodded. “Happens often. A room for the night then? I could give you directions to the freeway but that’s about an hour and a half away. Wouldn’t drive through this forest after sunset, if I were you.” he smiled reassuringly as he spoke. The girls decided it was best to stay the night.
As they walked towards their room they passed a sitting area that had a huge painting on the wall, a party in the hell of a Roman kind, was the best way to describe it. Black men at the drums, white men wearing togas, women on harps and other women entwined in the arms of the powerful looking men, screaming!
The girls quickened their step and hastened past the painting, feeling an inexplicable dread.
They ate some sandwiches they had saved from lunch and chose to turn in early. “I wonder who comes to a hotel in the middle of nowhere?” Sue wondered as she switched the lights off. “People who like to party,” said a deep voice.
Sally screamed and Sue turned the light on.
They were in a huge hall with drummers, men in togas and some women on harps. Sally heard Sue scream as a man pulled her towards him, a grin on his face. And there, behind her, was a painting of a colonial house with a Toyota parked in front of it.