by Betty Mermelstein
A bed and breakfast brings
visions of a stately stone-honed building
offering cozy rooms and palatable early morning
cuisine, after having been greeted by your
My husband and I had these
anticipations in mind when we drove up to our B&B
when it's dark.
"The text message says
the key will be found by Cupid," my husband
"Keep the headlights
on," I pleaded, "it's pitch black out
We gingerly approached the
front door on foot, where living tendrils from a
nearby tree draped themselves over our shoulders,
becoming our only welcoming hosts.
My husband swatted at them
as he tripped over the front steps and landed
into Cupid's arms. The statue toppled, revealing
a key underneath.
"Found it!" I
As I opened the door, I
stopped like a horse on the edge of a cliff.
There to my left was a standing coffin, taking up
the entrance to a dimly lit living room.
"I hope that's not our
bed," my husband commented, still rubbing
his leg where Cupid had given him a left hook.
We maneuvered through the
clutter of the living room, dodging cougars
frozen in taxidermy, burlap covered lampshades,
and preserved insects under glass. This only made
us stumble faster down the narrow hallway.
"I think this is the
bedroom," I said, blindly waving my hands
through a dark cavity. After dropping our
suitcases on the floor and finding the light
switch, we only wanted to fall onto the bed.
"Maybe putting the
pillows under our backs will help," sighed
my husband, feeling the mattress that was as hard
as a baking pan.
I had a bigger concern.
"What's that smell?"
I set my alarm for six o'clock
in the morning: an hour before our allotted
breakfast offering. Plenty of time to put a new B
in B&B: Bolt and head for McDonalds.