[Fiction] Family Vacation

It was the 30th day of my road trip across the United States, and I had reached California. It was about 2 am, I was tired and starting to run out of gas. When I heard the storm and when the rain began to fall, I knew that I had to stop somewhere. The nearest place was a creepy old motel with dilapidated windows and rotten wooden walls. I decided to stay there for the night since I couldn’t afford better, and all I wanted was a bed. A very old man who was half asleep checked me in; he was wearing a torn black suit which he probably bought fifty years before. I walked towards my room on the creaking hardwood floor between the spider webs and the extinguished sconces. When I tried to open the door, it was stuck. I tried to turn the key again and again, but it wouldn’t open. As I put my ear on the door, I could hear some noise, as if someone were listening to the radio. Trying to focus, it seems as a jazz song was being played. I called the old man again; he assured me that no one had booked this room for a few years. I was pretty sure of what I had heard, but I put this down to my tiredness. I tried again, and pushed the door as strongly as I could until I discovered that I was right: someone was sitting on the bed, listening to the radio. He didn’t even move when I entered as if he hadn’t even noticed me. This story could seem more or less normal without an important detail: the man, who had not recognized be, turned out to be my brother. Yet, there’s another important detail missing: my brother had died two years earlier.


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