12 January 2007

Dream of the City Gates, Pt. 3

I walked down the ally that Sutiah had pointed out to me.

A little tense, truth be told. Alleys are always places where bad things happen in movies, on television and in actuality. They are places of garbage, odd smells and odder people. This alley was an exception. The walls were clean redbrick. The alley was smooth pavement. The lights above the various doorways actually glowed amber in the growing twilight. And it wasn't really a dead-end at all. Though it did end in an imposing wall, but there was an archway to the right that entered into a small courtyard.

"City Gate Hotel" read the small, well shined brass plaque on the wall. The door opened with a soft chime. The man at the Reception desk looked up at me with dark eyes and then back down to whatever small task he was engaged in. As I walked up to the desk, he held up a small pistol of unknown make, but it was not aimed at me.

"You'd be surprised who comes through that door sometimes," he said, now smiling.

"Yes, I probably would." I said. "Any examples."

"Well, just yesterday Tom Jones came in that door. But I didn't shoot him either." Again with a smile. "Rented him a room on the promise he not sing "She's A Lady" in the bar later after he's had too much to drink." He put the gun in the drawer to his left. "You are here for a room?"

"Actually I'm looking for the City Gate, " I stated plainly.

"This is the City Gate," he frowned, "you've found it."

"It doesn't look like a gate," I protested.

"Many things don't look like what they are. Please sign the register," he said, turning the large guest book around for me and holding up a pen.

Which I took.

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