Mirrors • 02
Missed Part 01? Read it here.
Trent waves his arms, trying to trigger the room lights. This is a different threat than he imagined moments earlier. Something’s off —
Even if it was that ol’ killer was moving toward him, crouched and small, Trent feels weak being one-upped by the hallway already. There he is: looking like a clown as the shadow closes in.
“Turn on, dammit!”
The lights finally activate, illuminating the silhouette —
It’s not human. Not even human-like. Creeping toward Trent is a stout, plastic unit made up of tiered trays and concealed wheels. On the top tray, a silver, domed plate cover perches. A red rose leans in a bud vase beside it.
It’s a robot server.
He scoffs. “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
All that wasted energy over a hunk of gears.
The robot comes to a stop. Its LCD screen turns on. Green dots flow across like voice waves. They spike as a warm woman’s voice emits from a speaker.
“Welcome to Highline Suites. I’m Mitty. Where would you like your arrival meal?”
Trent lets his detest rest against the door frame.
“What the fuck is this place?”
He opens the door and gestures for Mitty to roll out.
“Out. Don’t want you in here.”
Mitty rotates back into the suite. Trent stands there in defeat. A statue for long enough that the lights go off in the hall. He lets the door shut, the swoop of which flicks the bulbs back on.
Trent peers into the room, frustration building. Mitty is parked in the corner. The green dots spike.
“Your food will remain warm for t-minus two hours.”
Trent snatches the phone. His gaze doesn’t leave Mitty. A clipped, emotionless voice comes on the line.
“Highline Suites concierge. How may I help you, Mr. Bradley?”
“Why does my room have a- What even is it? Droid?”
“Our server robots are a standard amenity, Mr. Bradley.”
“Standard is too much for me. Come take it out of here. Now.”
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“I’m sorry, our robots are furnished in our B level suites. We could downgrade you to our C level. Except we’re fully booked.”
Trent pinches the bridge of his nose. Deep breath. In. Out.
“Please.” He ends it with a sugary inflection, remembering that you catch more flies with honey.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Bradley.”
“Fine. Is there a way to make it shut up then?”
“Certainly. I’ll activate her silent mode remotely. Is there anything else?”
Trent’s stare off with Mitty shifts from guarded to considering. As long as he’s stuck with her…
“Wait- What kind of food is under there?”
“We prepared your favorite. Seared ahi and french fries.”
“How’d you know that?”
“It’s noted from your previous stays at our network of global hotels. Enjoy your meal. Good night, Mr. Bradley.”
Trent bites his lip as temptation and the rumble in his stomach takes over.
The plate cover is capsized on the floor. On the foot of the bed, the dinner plate is smeared with the remains of sauce and food. Trent reclines next to it. He smacks food from his teeth with satisfaction.
Trent still has a cautious eye on Mitty. Make that: two weighted, sleepy eyes. He’s losing the battle to keep them open. He reaches for his service piece again. The ghost of it is comforting, even in the absence of danger.
Down in the hotel kitchen, a row of spices are side-by-side. Type-A organized in clear containers. Labeled. Alphabetized.
Allspice. Ancho chile. Anise. Arrowroot.
Wait, missed one.
Between allspice and ancho. It’s different from the others: Ambien. A fine powder packed in an orange prescription bottle. Talk about a secret spice.
Back in his room, Trent is out cold. Quiet beeps cut through the silence as Mitty wakes up. The whir of her motor grows. Revs like an engine and begins to shake. So violently, the bud vase tumbles off.
The plastic around the side cracks and spreads open. An arm extends through a flood of green light. The fingers flex. Crunch! The joints expand. Ahh!
The skin is strangely smooth like silly putty. Pink nails glisten with a trace of moisture. Mitty speeds to the bed. Her wheels grind the fallen rose into the carpet. She slows as —
Her hand touches down on the crisp duvet. Lifting to hover over Trent. Mitty traces his curves as she makes her way up. His thigh. Abs. Pecs. All the way to his throat.
She strokes the air around Trent’s jugular, almost with a tenderness. She relaxes and retreats for a moment, then —
The dots on the screen reactivate. Spiking.
“I’m the one who gets to shut you up now. Mr. Bradley.” The words come out in a growl. Now devoid of all warmth.
Mitty’s hand lunges forward. A claw ready for flesh.
To be continued…
Stay tuned for the next installment.