‘He chose death rather than pain,’ Wilson thought. ‘He controlled his destiny.’
Wilson filled his tank with gas at the next town. He drove endlessly on lonely seldom traveled highways north towards Hecla. He passed through towns beyond sleepy, more like in a coma. The only signs of commerce were soft drink machines and newspaper racks.
“These town don’t even have a motel,” Wilson said. “I suppose they expect no one to stay. I can see why.”
Wilson finally saw a lonely motel, only eight rooms. “Vacancy” the sign read. He pulled into a stone parking lot. He steeped from the car and knocked on the office door.
An older lady came to the door and opened it. She was small a trim and wore mand jeans and a denim work shirt. “You need a room?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Wilson said.
“Step over to the counter and we’ll set you up,” she said. She stepped behind the small counter and pulled a registration book from beneath. “Just stayin’ on night,” she said.
“Yeah,” Wilson said.
Wilson finished the registration and paid in cash.
She handed him a key. “801,” she said.
“Thanks,” Wilson said and took the key.
“That was a joke,” she said.
“Huh,” Wilson said.
“801,” she said. “We only have one floor.”
Wilson smiled. “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’ve had a rough day.”
“I got some supper on the table and I could use the conversation,” she said.
“I’ll take you up on that,” Wilson said. “Do you mind if I shower first?”
“By all means,” she said.
Wilson grabbed a bag from the trunk and unlocked the door to the room. It was dated. “I be bet this room hasn’t changed in 30 years,” Wilson smiled.
It was clean and smelled fresh not at all what one might expect. He undressed and got into the shower. As he lathered and looked at the shower curtain he thought, “What if she is the older sister of Norman Bates?” He chuckled and finished the shower.
There was an arched doorway behind the counter of the motel’s office that led to a private residence. Just the other side of the doorway stood a small table tastefully set for a meal.
“Thanks for the invitation,” Wilson said as he entered the dinning room. “You have my name, but I don’t have yours.”
“I’ve always liked that name,” Wilson said and thought to himself, “Why would I say that? I don’t know anyone named Candice.”
“Have a seat, Mr. Gentry,” Candice said.
Still confused Wilson sat down.
“Help yourself,” Candice said. “It’s nothing fancy; pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and such. Watch how much you eat, I have dessert.”
Wilson filled his plate.
“They’re looking for you, ya know,” Candice said.
Wilson looked at her puzzled.
“Questioning,” Candice said, “but you don’t want to be questioned. And, by the way, the food ‘s not poisoned.”
“How do you know?” Wilson said.
“The state highway patrol was in here an hour ago,” Candice said. “While your food cools move your car into the garage behind.”
Wilson looked at her curiously. “I suppose if you wanted to, you could have called the law by now and if I get in my car and leave who knows. Ma’am, I did nothing wrong. I just want to get on my way.”
“I know,” Candice said and flung her hand. “You better move your car.”
Wilson drove the car into the garage and shut the garage door.