THE MIDNIGHT SKULKER 40
West Des Moines, Iowa
Thursday, March 29, 1974
7:38 p.m. Central Standard Time
“Mitchie, it’s been a really long day, so why don’t we look for a motel, go and eat and make it a day.”
“Yeah,” Michael piped up. “I’m starving!”
Piping up also, “Yeah, mommy, I’m hungry and have to make sissy.”
Approaching the ‘West Des Moines exit’, “Okay.” The Mercury Station followed the cloverleaf road taking them into town.
Remaining on the street at the end of the cloverleaf, which also led them in the direction of the closest well-lite business area.
…Pointing over his father’s shoulder, “There’s one.” Michael said.
The large neon light seen from a block away: “NIGHTFALL MOTEL”
Pulling into the circular driveway of a rambling, two story motel, stopping before the double plate glass doorway, “Doesn’t look too bad.”
“Daddy, I got to make sissy bad!”
“Okay, honey, come on in with me.”
“Yes Sir,” the man behind the check-in counter asked, “can I help you?”
“Yes, we’d like a room with two double beds, please. And could my daughter here use your bathroom?”
“Sure, of course…” gesturing to an alcove to the left of the desk. “Bathroom’s right in there, sweetheart.”
Sliding the register across the Formica counter, “You and your daughter only?”
Neglecting to mention Sabra, signing the register, “No, no, there’s four of us; my wife and our son also,.”
“That’ll be thirty-five, fifty.”
“Taking the cash from his wallet, handing it to the man, “Anyplace decent to eat nearby? And also, my wife is a very light sleeper so I’m wondering,” nodding his head backward, “if you’ve any rooms available away from the boulevard here. ”
“Yes, sure, ‘Millie’s’ is about a block that way,” jerking his thumb to his left and a couple of pretty nice trucker's stops. Taking a key from the boxed rack behind the counter, “ ‘47A’ is around back,” jerking his thumb to the right, “that way… Also,” smiling, “your room faces a small field for your dog.”
Taking the key, blushing at being caught in a… omittence, “Thank you. We appreciate that.”
Driving to room’47A’, “The man said that there’s a field behind the motel, Mikey. So while your mother and I carry the bags in, why don’t you take Sabra for a walk.”
Coming in from outside, unhooking the leash, “She won’t make.”
Coming from the bathroom, wiping her hands on a towel, “Nothing?” Marsha asked.
“No,” Michael said, “No ‘poop’ or ‘piddle’.”
Somehow knowing they were talking about her, stepping onto one of the beds, her eyes followed the conversation regarding her bowel movement, Sabra lay with her head resting on her front paws.
“That’s not like her,” Marsha added. “She hasn’t made since we left the house this afternoon.”
Going into the bathroom, “Maybe with the excitement of the move and all,” Mitchell said from behind the closed door, “she doesn’t have to.”
Lying on the bed alongside the large dog, “Maybe Sabra is used to ‘making’ in the pen, and doesn’t want to make anyplace else, Mommy.”
Sitting next to her daughter, brushing Sherry’s cheek, “Know what, honey; I think you might be right.”
“I’m starving!” Michael said, “Let’s go eat!”
To be continued.
©November 28, 2011 / Mark M. Lichterman