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The Inn & Out

The Inn & Out

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Published by Alia Volz
Edith Snivey runs a love motel on the dusty outskirts of town. Despised by her God-fearing community, she is the keeper of its darkest secrets.
Edith Snivey runs a love motel on the dusty outskirts of town. Despised by her God-fearing community, she is the keeper of its darkest secrets.

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Published by: Alia Volz on May 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/19/2012

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The Inn & Out
short fiction by Alia Volz
originally published in
 ZYZZYVA
winter issue,
 
2008
 
The Inn & OutEdith leaned into her cane and waited for the maid to quit ignoringher. The backs of Conchita’s thighs jiggled as she scrubbed. She bentdown into the pink tub and the hem of her dress rose, revealing a tinysmile of white cotton with a few black hairs curling around the sides.Edith struck a match and sucked a puff. Conchita jerked upright."Señora Edith!" She placed a hand on her chest, emphasizing the sheenof sweat on her bosom.Edith said, “I paid that Carlisle glutton $2,500 to lacquer the sinksand tubs. You’re scrubbing too hard.”Conchita held up the sponge, and ran a finger along its blueunderside. “This very soft,” she said. Dimples puckered her pudgycheeks. “No hay problema.”Just that morning, Edith had heard Conchita talking English toanother Mexican. If she could talk English to a Mexican, why did shetalk Mexican to Edith?One of her kids squatted in the corner, staring at Edith round-eyed.Edith disliked cats equally, and for the same reason.
 
"He ain’t got business in this place,” said Edith.Conchita turned the shower on and sloshed the water through thesoapy tub. “Juan Pablo, he’s my helper. ¿No cierto, Juanci?” Conchita peeked over her shoulder at the child and Edith saw a conspiratorialsmile slide between them.“He’ll break something and I won’t pay for it.
You’ll 
pay for it.You COM-PREN-DO?”“It’s OK,” said Conchita. “He help me.”The child put his dirty fingers in his mouth and drooled on them.Edith’s guts churned. On her way out of Room 6, she saw her reflection in the mirrored wall. She didn’t look directly: she was acurved line, a question mark, an ironed dress.“Just get your rugrat off my property,” Edith said in the doorway.“This sure as hell ain’t a daycare center.” She hobbled into the soupyglare outside.*Edith slurred, gimped and was plenty old. A stroke had knockedher left side out of order. She’d wrested back just enough control to drag

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