Muse # 23 – Spiraling…

Muse # 23 – Spiraling…

I just spent the last three days at a gardening conference. It was interesting, and while it wasn’t bad, let’s just say writing conferences are definitely more my thing. THOSE are where my people hang out. Seriously. (though I do love playing in the dirt. I live for the day I have a house with a yard I can garden in.)

Anyhoo, here’s my late muse that should have gone up yesterday. Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Vanessa Barger


I suppose it would be beautiful to everyone else. The hotel staff were polite, friendly, and accommodating. But they were full, and Naomi and I were going to have to stay in this room. Like it or not.


I definitely did not.

She smiled at me, tossing her shiny black corkscrew curls over one shoulder. “Come on, Izzy. You’re just being overly sensitive. Savannah is gorgeous and we’ve picked an awesome hotel. There’s nothing wrong with this room.”

I gave her a weak smile and nod. “Sorry. I’m just a bit paranoid, I guess.”

Naomi gives me a hug and grabbed her pristine, cherry red suitcase from the trunk of her equally red car. I slid my battered one from the back and closed the lid. The hotel had put us up in a ground floor room in a renovated mansion near the main hotel. I’d told the manager I was worried about two single girls on a ground floor room with outside doors. The truth was, I didn’t like the looks of the woman in the tattered shift who stood at the top of the wrought iron spiral staircase that stood behind the building like an old-fashioned spine.

She looked angry and very, very dead.

Naomi opened the outside gate next to our parking spot, revealing a tiny courtyard. A heavy iron café table and two chairs sat on a mossy porch, right where the stairs ended. A pond bubbled on the other side, filled with floating green algae and plants that looked like they were about to take over.

As we walked past there was a plop as a fat bullfrog leapt into the murky water to watch us pass by.

The room was lovely, with painted ceilings, and it was blissfully cool after the oppressive, wet heat of Savannah in July. The bathroom was decorated in green and gilt, with a huge tub and a mirror that took up one whole wall over the sink.

There were no mirrors in the room, thank  God. Naomi dropped her suitcase in a plush antique wing chair and flopped onto one of the two ornate twin beds. “This is fantastic. I mean, look at this!”

I smiled , put down my thigns, and sat on the bed. “Yup.”

My stomach growled, and Naomi laughed. “Let’s explore and get some food.”


I’d almost forgotten my earlier misgivings by the time we got back to the room. The grimacing ghost wasn’t there watching us, and I didn’t feel anything. Naomi showered first, and when she came out and flipped on the TV, I headed in myself.

I relaxed under the warm spray, convinced Naomi was right. We were fine. We’d stay here, explore, have a great couple of days, and continue to Disney after.

But when I climbed out of the shower and looked up into the ornate gilded mirror over thes ink, I knew we were fooling ourselves. There would be no Disney. I’d be lucky if I got out alive.

Because instead of seeing my reflection in the bathroom, I saw another place, with shadows that squirmed and a the unnaturally wide grin of something from my past I thought I could outrun.

I was wrong.

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