When Miriam Chako walked back to the banquet hall with the delegation of the old ladies, those old ladies who also happened to be the wives of the owners of the hotel where she was staying, she had the strangest dread discharge from the center of her being. When that dread reached the edge of her body, time froze, the world went silent, and in that singular moment with a clear foreboding, Miriam Chako saw the sealed fate of the wives of the hotel owners. She knew they were all going to be dead within the next hour.
The hotel where Miriam Chako was staying at was located in that tiny pocket of space between civilization and isolation. Miss Chako could not, no matter how hard she tried, remember how she had woken up in room no. 418 of this particular hotel. All she knew was that she had been busy in an absurd amount of activity ever since she opened her eyes here.
They came to her room and bathed her, picked out her clothes for her and dressed her. Then they briefed her about the brunch with the troop of performers who were visiting the hotel. She was to step in as the host today, as the wives of the owners did not wake later till 1 pm.
“Why do I have to be the host?”, she asked.
The lady staff whose name tag said – Fiona, smiled. She tightened the corset around Miriam’s waist.
“Today the theme is the 1800s Madame”.
“Why do I have to be the host Fiona?”, she asked again, “Surely there has been a mistake”.
Miriam looked at Fiona. Fiona did not offer any kind of explanation. She just smiled and braided her hair, powdered her cheeks, sprayed some perfume and then left the room. Another one, whose name tag said – Philip, did the laces of her shoes and he too, then left the room. Yet another one, whose name tag read – Stephen, handed her the memo of the brunch, and then, he begged her leave.
Most peculiar, Miriam thought. a little like Alice in Wonderland, all of this is.
to be continued… i cannot wait for things to happen to Miriam…