The Hotel with the Blue Windows

I

When she first came to the hotel, the window frames had been newly painted and the stench of fresh paint hung around, impossible to mask. Everything else was newly painted too. She was the first person to stay in that room, with its new springy bed, pure white bed linen, as yet unmarked with stains, and cheaply framed reproduction prints hanging on the walls.

It wasn’t perfect – the shower leaked, the bed was creaky, and the room was stuffy and airless. But she had stayed in worse places.

II

The paint on the windows is flaking now, peeling away as it faces the elements. She is still there. She never left. The cracks are showing – not only in the paint, but everywhere, for the hotel is worn and run down. There are no other guests these days.

The blue windowed hotel does not admit them anymore.

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