Mystery Hotel

Since Wil Wheaton is one of my writing inspirations, I figured I would take on one his writing challenges.  This is originally from Shane Nickerson’s Nickerblog.  The hardest part for me was getting it down to under 300 words.  My first draft had 450.  Enjoy!



Bill Reid had worked at St Joseph’s Legacy Hotel for over thirty years. He started as a bellhop and worked his way up to manager. It was the closest thing to an inheritance that he could leave his son.

Bill grew up during the Depression and always hoped to rise above the troubled lives of his parents. 

He worked hard, sometimes up to eighteen hours a day.

He finally saved up enough money to start his own business when he met Betsy. He knew that she would be his wife. The business would have to wait. He knew that it would foolish to pass by this opportunity. Betsy was attracted to Bill’s strong work ethic and hopeful attitude, and after a brief romance, they were married.

Bill and Betsy both got jobs at the Hotel. He was the Bellhop and she was the Housekeeper. Their son, Matthew, was born was born three years later. Six years after that, Betsy succumbed to Polio. Bill raised his son alone, he never looked at another woman. Eventually, he had to sell the family home to avoid falling into debt.

His only ambition was to make sure his son had a better life. He couldn’t afford to send him to college, but he could get him a job. His only fear was that his son would be never leave the hotel and fail to reach his full potential.

He wouldn’t have to worry for long, St. Joseph’s was closing it doors. Matthew would have to find his own way through life.

Even though no more guests would be checking in, Bill made sure that the lobby was clean and inviting.  He realized that, after thirty years, he had never had his picture taken in the place.

"Well, I guess it’s now or never."






One response to “Mystery Hotel”

  1. James Cooper Avatar

    Sad yet hopeful. Fascinating. Good entry.
    Hope you’ll give mine a glance too.

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