Rosa knocked lightly on 213.
There was no response, so she knocked louder.
Nothing. She inserted her keycard and let it snap back on the retractable cord. Dropping a wedge, she slid it under the door and walked inside.
The room smelled sour. Cigarette butts floated in the sink and beer cans littered every flat surface. Sickness spilled out of the toilet bowl and onto the floor. A pile of dirty towels was a testament to a quickly abandoned cleanup.
Rosa sighed. It was beautiful yesterday.
She rounded the corner and saw a small man with a big stomach asleep, naked on top of the sheets. His mouth wheezed and gasped as the muscles in his chest struggled against a gelatinous prison, which spilled over his hips and drowned his penis. He was an unfortunate man.
Backing out, she knocked over a stack of 11” x 17” foamcore boards featuring a leering woman promoting the usage of Herbal Essences Hydrolicious “Dangerously Straight” Shampoo.
The man stirred, lifted his swollen eyelids and spoke:
Rosa closed her eyes and whispered a prayer to Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of death. And he appeared before her, mighty and terrible.
Rotting flesh and exposed organs hung loosely off his blackened bones and the feathers on his owl head were clotted with dried blood. He opened his mouth and let out a silent scream that sucked the light from the room.
Without a sound, the god stepped towards the bed and plunged a clawed hand deep into the sleeping man’s chest. The fat man’s eyes went wide in shock, but he was too terrified to make a sound. Mictlantecuhtli lifted the heart and swallowed the bloody thing whole.
Licking his lips, he spoke a word and summoned fire. Unleashed, it devoured the body on the bed until all that remained of the small man with the big stomach was a pile of ash. Content, Mictlantecuhtli willed the fire and himself out of existence.
The room was quiet. Rosa opened her eyes and looked at the bed. She went to her cart and returned with a Dustbuster. Turning on the television, she switched it to Univision. “El Gordo Y La Flaca” was on.