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“Excuse me?”

The receptionist twirled her hair around her finger, and carried on talking on the phone.

“Excuse me?!”

She rolled her eyes, muttered something and put the phone down. With exaggerated politeness, she turned to the man at the desk.

“What can I do for you, sir?”

He glowered at her. “I specifically asked for a room with a view,” he said.

“You don’t find the accommodation to your satisfaction?”

He slapped the counter. “No, dammit! I just told you, I asked for a room with a view! Not a window facing a bloody brick wall!”

“I’ll just see if we have something we can transfer you to,” she said, turning away before he could respond and tapping at the keyboard of her computer.

He drummed his fingers impatiently on the counter.

“Harry?” She called one of the porters over. “Could you take this guest up to room 505, please? Transfer from 215.”

She handed a key to the porter and picked up the phone without a second glance at the guest.

Harry saluted the guest smartly. “This way please, sir!”

The young lad was obviously efficient, and the guest felt a lot calmer as he rode up in the lift to the fifth floor.

“Here you go, sir, room 505. I hope this is to your satisfaction.”

The guest walked in. There was a large window, but the curtains were closed.

“Wait right there,” he said to the porter. He strode over to the window and pulled the curtains open.

He looked out upon a burning landscape of terror. Boiling lava flowed across the backs of screaming damned souls. Laughing demons tormented their charges with sharp pitchforks, and in the distance a man pushed a boulder up an everlasting mountain.

“Thank you, Harry,” the guest said. “That’s what I call a view.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Inspired by a line in the Eddie Izzard DVD “Dress to Kill”)