Sep 18, 2010

The Hotel

Assignment: Write the opening chapter of a novel called 'The Hotel'. Introduce the reader to three different characters who do not know each other as yet but will do so later. In your writing you should try and establish differences between them and possible reasons why they might meet. 

By Dhiya Sumar

He stumbled through the glass doors, gasping as the cold air hit him. It smelt like coffee. And leather. And that undefinable, universal hotel smell. Catching his breath, Ali scanned the lobby for the elusive chrome lifts. His eyes had made it about three-fourths of the way around the room when he spotted a sight so bizarre, he silently wondered whether all the running had left minimal amounts of oxygen to be supplied to his brain. In front of him, swaying in AT LEAST five inch heels was a chandelier. One of those gaudy, shiny ones made of plastic. It took Ali a full ten seconds to realize that the chandelier was actually a woman covered almost completely in diamontees. It took him another ten seconds to realize she was heading to the lift, and if he didn't get a move on he would have to wait for the next one. Galvanized into action, Ali lurched forward, him eyes on the chandelier-woman. Hardly noticing the man he bumped into, Ali muttered a hurried apology and dashed past him.

Zahir reeled, the breath knocked out of him by an insolent man, who hardly stopped to say sorry. Muttering admonitions under his breath, Zahir pocketed his key card. Jerking his red wheeler around, he headed for the lift. He spotted that rude man again, dashing into the lift at the last moment, apologizing again.
"Uncouth idiot." huffed Zahir, twitching his mustache and giving his wheeler a hearty tug. " No manners"
Already out of breath, Zahir hoped the ignorant fool would have the courtesy to hold the lift for him. Zahir knew he had seen him. He could see the mans eyes darting to the numbers on the side of the lift, and then to Zahir. uncertain.  Quickening his pace, Zahir crossed the doors of the lift with a satisfied smile on his face, It was only then that he noticed the third occupant of the lift: A tall, extremely beautiful woman, who had an air of importance about her.

The little placard above her head said six people max, and Zoya quite thought the addition of the last man fulfilled that quota. His belly took up most of the space in the elevator so that she was squished into the corner with her back to the cold glass mirror, and the numbers on her right. 
"Uh... which floor?" She enquired, pressing the big bold number three for herself. The thin man, so jittery he couldn't stop moving, looked up and nodded at the illuminated number three. The lift started moving with a shudder. The big man took a moment to reposition his bulk so as to see the keys. 
"Third floor!" He declared, yanking his belly out of a tight spot between his wheeler and the elevator door. 
Zoya sighed quietly. It was just her luck, living on the same floor as these eccentric men. After an eternity the lift pinged, releasing her from her prison. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the thin man trying to maneuver around the fat one, eager to get into the hallway. Join the club, she thought, patiently waiting for the fat man to reposition his wheeler and get a move on. Finally emerging into the hallway Zoya slowed and eyed her key card, the thin man trotting past her. Room three-one-one. She looked up and spotted it to her left. But the thin man was already there. Confused, Zoya hurried on. He was opening her door- to be polite? But he didn't know her room number. Or key card, for that matter. Hearing the big man exclaim from behind her, it hit Zoya in an instant. She let out a string of un-ladylike curses, imagining the elevator ride back to the lobby.  


Lamia Fahim said...

'galvanised into action' and chandelier=woman=cool. :D
Were you going for a funny story? i actually want to know what happens next :)

Anonymous said...

I thought it was really well written :D


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