EPISODE 01: “Room”
(After the Storms, Part 1)
SUMMARY: In a near-future dystopia, two people check into a hotel room knowing only one will check out.
This story was first published in Devilfish Review (sadly, now defunct). It stands alone, but is the first part of a trilogy of stories called “After the Storms.”
A few years back I took a class taught by one of my favorite teachers, Richard Rayner. Each week we were tasked to write 400 words from a prompt provided by Richard. This one was:
A sick man and his younger wife check into a hotel room. He tells her a story and orders drinks which are brought by room service. The man has something to drink, says something, and then he dies.
I don’t remember what I turned in for my 400-word assignment, but it’s safe to guess that my constant and pervasive anxiety about climate change was already seeded in. The hotel room setting is inspired by The Hollywood Athletic Club, where, like Jerry and Beth, my husband and I took a weekend “staycation” one sweltering summer.
Greg Gordon Smith composes and sound designs for this and every episode. You can see more of what he does on his Vimeo page.
The cover art is by the talented and prolific Ted Giffin.