Renaissance – Chapter Two: Memories

February 23, 2007 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

Looking into the mirror, Ella took stock of what was reflected back before her. She grimaced as she traced the top of her head to her chin with a slender hand.

“I hate this color.” Speaking aloud to a non-existent audience, she played with the locks that entangled her fingers.

Once again, she had changed her hair. Normally, her preference was a long pretty blond mane with red highlights. The woman who stared back sported short dark auburn curls, which gave her features a tired and gaunt look.

She splashed water on her face, then looked for any other signs of change. As she accessed her memories, the scar above her temple registered as new. She smiled as she rubbed the shallow remnants of the injury and remembered her adventurous spirit as a child.

As with every 35th birthday, she found the closest chair and sat down as her world started to spin. She closed her eyes and saw year five. A small slender girl was climbing for the plate of cookies high upon the pantry shelf, each hand latching to the wood planks that would carry her to the tempting treat. The glass dish was in reach as her heart pounded with anticipation, her tiny fingers inching it forward with every care. As she stood upon her toes and brought one of the warm chocolate chip cookies to her mouth, her left foot lost its purchase and the sickening feeling of a plummet to the cold tile filled her stomach instead.

Reaching up to her temple, Ella felt the trickle of salty warmth that slid down the side of her face. She pulled her finger back into eye shot. There was a lot more blood than she had thought at the time, but then again, there always was in hindsight.

For what seemed an eternity, Ella sat in the worn hotel chair with her robe loosely fastened around her body. She did not notice the two hours that had passed by the time the familiar knock of house keeping jolted her from her external absence.

Coinciding with the knock, a double tone filled her room, signaling a message from the front desk.

“Mills-Room 1511.”

Ella responded to the chime with her voice code  as she secured her robe and simultaneously opened her door for the maid.

“Gracias.”

The older woman gave a tired smile and wheeled in her cleaning cart. As Ella waited for the audio message from the front desk to arrive, she watched the maid thoughtfully; glad that this hotel was still paying humans to do its dirty work. While a robot could have tightened the sheets a bit more taught at the end of the bed, it was the small touches that signaled a human was still taking care of her.

A crackle of an open audio channel filled the air, the only notice that someone could now hear what was happening in the room. “Ms. Mills, you have several messages from an ‘Adam Everett’. We understand that you have a do not disturb sign attached to your voice and incoming mail key, however we thought it prudent to inform you of the…” There was a slight pause as the concierge carefully structured his sentences. “…number of urgent messages.”

“Shit.” Ella thought a moment before responding to the open channel. “If you could please relay a message to Adam that I have misplaced my wecomm and will need to reschedule any meetings we had today?”

“Certainly Ms. Mills.”

Ella heard the room’s buzz go quiet and realized she was alone again with the housekeeper.

“Oh Adam.” She let out a saddened sigh. “I’m afraid we’ll probably have to reschedule those meetings indefinitely.” Her blue eyes glanced over to the wecomm on the desk that continued to impatiently vibrate against the mahogany wood. “I’m so sorry.” 

As the maid finished the bathroom, she flashed Ella another tired but courteous smile as she backed the cart out of the door. Upon a close inspection of the work, Ella noticed the uneven edges of the hanging towels and the apparent inadvertent knock down of a toiletry. “That would have never happened with a robot.”

Giving herself a faked smile in the streaky mirror, she laughed half-heartedly. “I guess I’ll never get over my penchant for imperfection.”

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Entry filed under: Writing Samples.

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