Author's Notes: This story has many inspirations that I would like to address before we get started. First off I'd like the say that this story wouldn't be here if it weren't for an excellent author that goes by SparkingDiamond. Obviously the song Hotel California had a lot to do with the writing and how it seems that there is much more there than what is said. I hope I do the song justice in writing this and above all else I hope that everyone enjoys reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
'This could be Heaven or this could be Hell'
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here
Chapter 1 Welcome
I walked for what had seemed like days on the same road without a sight of anything else. The desert road seemed to be completely abandoned with the exception of a few horny toads and your scattered cacti. I was grateful for the sun's exit as it started to make its decent towards the horizon. It brought the cool night with it and in my tight blue jeans it was exactly what I needed.
The blue shades of the sky were soon replaced by the monochromatic shade of black that had random assortments of stars scattered throughout. I rolled the sleeves up on my very thin, white collared shirt that I'd put on for the day. I had already undone the first two pearl snap buttons to give myself some air. My bag that I carried on my back with the straps on one shoulder seemed to grow heavier with each step that I took.
I knew that I needed to find a place to stay for the night but it appeared that it might not happen. I could feel my eyes start to grow heavy and my head start to slump down as I got too tired to keep going.
The smell of something pleasant invaded my nose and it hinted to me that something was near. I couldn't put my finger on the smell but it gave me something close to a high. I'd been hitchhiking for weeks and it was a welcome smell as opposed to the scent of stranger's cars.
I tried to keep my eyes up for just a little longer, hoping that it would be worth it. A light up ahead of me caught my attention and I wanted to sing with glee. I looked down at my aching feet and I was sure that they could use the rest. As I got closer to the building, and it was in fact a building, I came across a sign that read Hotel California.
I looked up at the sky and winked at the stars. "Thank you", I said to no one. I looked back down at the road and my legs picked up the pace just a bit. Hungry wasn't even the word that would describe how I felt. I hadn't eaten anything but beef jerky in over two weeks. My wallet felt tight against my buttocks as I stepped, due to the tight pants, and I reached into my back pocket and fetched it out. I opened it up to find that I had fifty-two dollars and sixty-three cents.
Almost like magic the hotel was just feet way from me when I looked back up. The building itself looked very old style yet new in its own way. The walls were an off white with a few cracks running down around the entrance. There was a fence that marked off the back lot and it was impossible to see what the chain link might have held behind it from where I stood. There was a sign up high that labeled the place as The Hotel California. Just below that there was a red neon sign that said "vacancy". Once again I thanked my lucky stars and then I headed for the entrance.
The doors looked like a heavy wood that was beautiful in its own way. They were large and painted red with large, gold doorknobs. I opened up the door to peak my head inside and the first thing that I saw was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen. She was wearing a very silky white gown that ran like a waterfall to her feet. It was a very modest outfit but it still did her justice. Her dark brown hair fell around her shoulders in a wavy display of perfection that nearly made my jaw drop open. Her big blue eyes stared me down as I walked in and a smile that could melt a man's heart formed on her lips.
"Hello", she said in a voice that sounded like the music of angel's.
I found it hard to say anything so I just brought the rest of my body in. My eyes did a quick scan up and down her body once more before my mouth literally dropped open. "Hi", I finally chocked out in nothing more than a whisper.
"Oh, you don't have to keep your voice down. Everyone is still awake. I assure you that no one has gone to sleep yet." Her smile stayed flawless on her face and two very cute dimples showed up on her cheeks.
Somewhere, I'm not sure where, a bell rang with vibrations that nearly shook the whole building. "What was that?" I asked in a puzzled voice. I could already tell that this was unlike any place that I'd ever been to. Looking at the pretty girl once more, I thought to myself, 'this could be Heaven or this could be Hell'. I almost laughed at the thought alone but didn't.
"Don't worry about the bell. It just lets us all know that the dance has begun." She looked deep into my soul with those blue eyes.
"Dance?" I looked around at my surroundings for the first time. I wasn't exactly sure that I wanted to stay here but I had no choice in the matter. There wouldn't be another hotel for miles. To my left there was the counter, but it wasn't manned by anyone. To my right there was a staircase that led up to somewhere.
"Would you like for me to show you to your room?" She asked in that pleasant voice that had already won me over.
"I haven't paid yet", I stated the obvious. I had a knack for doing that.
"Don't worry about that. You'll get your chance." She smiled and pointed up stairs with one hand as she grabbed a candle with the other. "You can stay in the upstairs rooms." She lit up a candle and started for the stairs with movements so gracefully they looked like they belonged to a cat. Her hips swayed back and forth in a tempting dance and I was almost positive that she knew that I was staring. I followed close enough behind her that I could smell her perfume. Oddly enough it was the exact smell that I'd encountered outside, one or two miles away. I shook the thought out of my head and looked up to see that at the top of the stairs there was a long hall way with countless doors on either side.
The candle that she held was the only source of light in the whole hall and I began to wonder what I'd gotten myself into. She showed me to a green door that was exactly the same as all the others. The only difference was that the golden numbers said 1122. She reached out and turned the knob.
"You don't lock the doors?" I asked as she walked into the room. She stopped and turned her head slightly, just enough for me to see a silhouette of her profile.
"We don't have to."
I thought about the comment and thought it better not to ask why, or why not rather. She led the way into the room and sat the candle down on a nightstand that was next to the bed. The room was modest enough. No television, one bed, one bath, one door, and no windows. There was a single clock that hung on the farthest wall from the door. It read eight thirty-two.
She flicked on a light that slowly came on. It was a very dim light and appeared to be the only one in the entire room. The room was done in all cool colors. The covers on the bed were a dark green that matched the walls and the nightstand was a dark blue.
I turned back around to her just in time to see her and the candle leaving the room. "Well, goodnight sir." She smiled.
"Wait, I didn't catch your name." I tried to put on my best smile but it seemed wasted. Her facial expressions didn't shift at all. She retained the heartbreaking smile.
"Tiffany. My name is Tiffany", she replied.
"Jack Tiller", I said without her asking. Still smiling, she closed the door with a soft thud. I could hear her footsteps through the very thin door until they were down the stairs.
I figured that I wouldn't even unpack my things. I was a traveler and wouldn't be staying for more than just one night. I went to turn the light out and as I got closer to the door I could hear something through the thin wood. Voices from outside sounded like whispers but I could still make them out. I pressed my ear to the door to see if I could hear them better.
"Welcome to the Hotel California." They said it in unison. It should have been creepy or frightening but it wasn't. In a very strange way it felt comforting, welcoming, and loving. I tried to shake the feeling away but it stuck with me and clung to my skin. I could feel it physically. It felt like there was something there that loved me. There was something there that cared. An awfully good feeling in the strangest place possible.
I clicked the light off and walked over to where the bed was. I fell into the mattress and it felt like it consumed my entire being. The feeling was so intense and real that I could have sworn that I was falling into nothing. The pillows, the covers, the sheets, and the mattress wrapped themselves around me as I went off into a deep sleep.
I couldn't have been asleep for more than an hour before a phone rang on my nightstand. I hadn't remembered the phone being there when I'd walked in. My eyes opened to see a blurry red phone on the nightstand. Another ring. My hand came up and wiped my eyes clean of the sleep that still clung to the corners and my night vision started to get better.
A bright red phone that hadn't been there before sat on the nightstand. It was an older style rotary phone that had a little wear and tear on it. It rang again. I answered the phone mostly out of curiosity.
"This is a wake-up call for Jack Tiller", a male's voice said on the phone.
"I didn't ask for a wake-up call." I said in a harsh voice and sat the phone back on back down. The clock read eleven thirty at night. I sat my head back down on the pillow and not minute later the phone rang again.
With much haste I reached for the phone and put the speaker to my ear. "Hello?"
"This is a wake-up call for Jack Tiller."
I kept the phone pressed to my ear but I just stared off into the darkness of my room. Was this a joke? I felt the pull of something that I couldn't explain. Something called out to me like a dinner bell to get dressed and to go downstairs.
"Welcome to the Hotel California", the voice said just before there was a click.