You Can See the Mouth of Hell from the Front Porch

25 Apr


The Mojave Hotel is where you end up when you run out of places to hide.

The rooms are absurdly simple.  Single beds with mattresses as thin as a saltine.  Smoke-stained curtains cover the sandblasted windows.  TV is free.  Black and white – with bad reception.  Bad reception is their middle name here on the outskirts of hell.

The night clerk looks like his last job was tour guide on the River Styx. He has a face like refried dog-food.  He gives me the evil eye but I just keep my head down and staree at my fake name  in the register like it was the Mona Lisa.

It was ninety-six crisp degrees when I pulled in at two in the morning.  As I stepped out of my car, a breeze hit me like a dryer full of oil rags.  Now, it’s hotter.  Today, you’ll be able to fry an egg on the air conditioner.  But I can’t complain.  Not with the spray of dried blood on my jacket and a warm gun in my shaving kit.


5 Responses to “You Can See the Mouth of Hell from the Front Porch”

  1. kelseyblue April 25, 2011 at 8:49 AM #

    Loved your post. Made me laugh.

    • Bill Steinkellner April 25, 2011 at 8:57 AM #

      Thanks for reading. Noir is fun to write but something full length would be much more daunting to plot. I’ll check out your blog.

  2. Books are my Boyfriends April 25, 2011 at 4:11 PM #

    Dad, you’re effing Raymond Chandler!

    • Bill Steinkellner April 25, 2011 at 5:48 PM #

      Awww shucks. (Mandatory foot scuffling awkwardly in the dust.)

  3. Dean Larsen April 26, 2011 at 7:33 AM #

    Bill, you must, and I repeat, must buckle your seatbelt on your computer chair and keep writing this noir novel. A great start, and I want to read more. Please keep going. Please, please, please. Did I say “please”?

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