12E. The room listed on the sheet. He folded the paper carefully, and slipped it back into his jacket. Then he knocked exactly twice.
He wasn’t familiar with this type of exercise machine. “I know it looks exactly like an iron maiden”, she said, “but you’ll find the fitness benefits are tremendous.”
“Once we’ve emptied the truck, your job will be to go to the front office and demand water. A single glass of water.” He jabbed at the blueprint with certainty and determination.
Susan opened the door with menacing, haughty abruptness. Something would have to be done about the inspection. Perhaps they would accept his golf clubs as a bribe.
Each desert character had a longer, wilder story than the last. “It’s the goddamn Canterbury Tales out here,” she said.
The day just boiled away. They took their souvenirs and neatly packed them into a half dozen suitcases. Then they dialed the embassy.
She fixated on the paper weight. It was the shape of a human heart. If she hit him with it, right in the temple, would it be enough to kill him? She hesitated.
There was a disquieting variation of light coming under the door. And a rippling sound. But the worst thing was the constant deja vu.
At midnight, looking over the statement in an office lit by a single lamp, he heard her approaching in the hall, shoes click-clacking with a lack of variation that felt threatening.
She handed him what he thought was a pack of cigarettes. Inside all he found were desiccated spiders.
Susan kicked a pile of snow over the exposed leg. “In spring it’ll be a surprise for someone, think of it that way. By then the Arabs will have fixed everything.”
Rain speckled the windshield. They changed out of jumpsuits and into formal wear as efficiently as they could.
“The cold, rational approach has been vilified–but if we’re going to save ourselves, passion is the last thing we should accept,” she said.
Blinky was told to make a rye and water, but he surreptitiously delivered a kōan that produced instant enlightenment.
“Men in power are dangerous,” she said, “their world view is built on violent penetration.”