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B&B Blues
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 congenial hosts.

My husband and I had these anticipations in mind when we drove up to our B&B after sunset…when it's dark.

"The text message says the key will be found by Cupid," my husband said.

"Keep the headlights on," I pleaded, "it's pitch black out here!"

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 announced triumphantly.

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.