I handed her the key and said, “I’m givin’ you cabin 8. There’s parkin’ right in front and you’re pretty close to the pool. Make sure you lock the door and windows ‘fore midnight.”
“Thanks.” She took the key from my hand and turned to go. I flicked the switch to turn on the ‘No’ in the Vacancy sign and she stopped like she had forgotten something. She turned and stepped back to the counter, “Why did you say that?” she asked.
“Why did you say to lock the door and windows before midnight? What happens at midnight?”
“Oh, ha, prob’ly nothing.”
“OK what might happen at midnight?”
“Like I said, prob’ly nothin’ will happen but sometimes things do happen. ‘Specially in back of cabin 8.”
She leaned her elbows on the counter and looked at me expectantly. Waiting for me to explain.
Eventually I continued, “Well, I don’t wanna scare ya but cabin 8 backs up to the ol’ graveyard and sometimes there’s some carryin’ on back there. Never ‘fore midnight though. Look, I could give you another room but we’re full up.”
“What kind of carrying on?” she asked.
“I never seen it myself but I’ve heard it. Sounds like a party back there.”
“Ghosts?” she ventures.
“Some think so, might be just kids but, some thinks it’s spirits. Will ya be wantin’ a refund now? Are ya gonna be movin’ on? Goin’ south, the next town’s Tularosa. ‘Bout a hour’s drive. Lemme get you your money back. I unnerstand.” I switched off the ‘No’ in the sign.
“What time is checkout time?” she put her hands flat on the counter and stood up straight.
“Give me till three with no extra charge and I’ll stay.” She said with a gleam in her eye.
I switched the ‘No’ back on, “Deal.”
She went back out to her car and moved it in front of cabin 8, unloaded a small case and disappeared inside.
The next morning came and went. Her car was still parked where she had left it the night before. A little before 3:30 I went and knocked on the door of cabin 8. When I got no response I used my pass key and went in. Her small bag was set on the table in front of the window, car keys and purse right next to it. Looked like no one had slept in the bed. The bathroom window was open in the back of the cabin and the screen was ripped. No matter, I could fix that later. I took the $400.00 cash from her purse along with an ATM card. Her driver’s license said her name was Bonny Elizabeth Galloway from Akron Ohio. She had written Betsy Galloway in the register last night so that checked. Date of Birth was listed as December 23, 1979. Chances were that the PIN for the ATM was 1979. Folks were so predictable.
I scooped up her purse, car keys, and overnight case. I tossed the bags in the back of her car and slid in behind the wheel. I could sell this car to Lefty for another hundred bucks or so. He would scrap it and there would be no trace that Bonny Elizabeth Galloway had ever visited this town. There was no body, after all. Those spirits are so accommodating.