Queen, Bliss, Token

This is another one of those three word prompt writing exercises. Fun times.

Queen, Bliss, Token

“Madre de dios,” Carmen muttered the words. She’d given up on screaming about what she found after the first day. Buying the old motel off highway 14 had seemed like such a good idea when she saw the ad online. She held out hope that once the renovations were completed, it would seem like a good idea again. Right now, though, as she knelt in front of her fortieth too-disgusting-for-words toilet, that relief seemed very far away.

Her instinct when she saw the first bathroom was simply to replace every fixture in there. After she discussed it with her friend and contractor, Racine, she realized that if she took that approach, she would only make it through about 1/3 of the work before she went broke. She’d be lucky to afford a subway token as it was.

“How’s it going?” Racine poked her head into the bathroom and glanced around. “Not great, I see.”

“I don’t even know how this happens. How does a room get this disgusting? Did they close it up without cleaning anything?”

“It’s a giant piece of real estate, Carmen. It doesn’t take homeless people long to find a place like this.”

“Squatters?” The job in front of her became even more disgusting at the thought.

Racine dropped a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “You going to be okay?”

“I could use a big tub of Calgon right about now.” Carmen wasn’t sure how long it would be before she could look at a bathroom without the involuntary need to wretch, even with the promise that bath salt induced bliss waited for her inside. But still, she thought a long bath might help.

“Not yet, Queen Fourteen needs more work before you finish.”

Carmen wrinkled her nose. “No, definitely not. Can’t you suggest a normal name, just once?”

It seemed like every time they saw one another, Racine offered up a new name for the motel, each one just a little more absurd than the last.


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