SOLC 2019 Day 31: “We’ll Leave the Light on For You”

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March 2019 SOLC–Day 31
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

http://www.twowritingteachers.org

It had been a long satisfying day. I’d begun the day at sunrise at the river watching an incredible natural display of spring exuberance. Then, I’d come home to write and was thrilled by some unexpected new visitors at the bird feeder.

MOLLYCARD_WEB_SIZE.jpgAfter that, I spent three hours gallery sitting at the last day of an exhibit of my photos at a local art center. I returned home to finish off my blog post and pack, and then we were off to drive to Massachusetts for a celebratory dinner with my son and his fiancee and her family. Instead of trying to drive the 2+ hours back home, we’d decided to stay overnight.

After dinner, we were both more than ready to get to our motel, check in and settle into bed with our books. We left the restaurant with hugs and goodbyes, and headed toward our destination: a Motel 6 about 30 minutes away. On the way, we recalled Tom Bodett reciting their quaint welcoming slogan, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

I hunched over the wheel, working my way through the unaccustomed traffic, following the narrated GPS directions to the hotel, eager to arrive. As I merged across multiple lanes of traffic and made various quick stops and turns, I remembered how much I don’t like driving at night and in the city. Around us, to my country eyes, our surroundings looked increasingly ugly and somewhat sketchy.

Where was this hotel anyway?

Finally, we saw the Motel 6 sign up ahead.

“There it is!” Kurt said.

Ah, relief was at hand!

“Stay to the right, then make a sharp right onto Popes Lane,” the GPS voice directed.

In the midst of the unattractive suburban concrete sprawl, I turned as directed and then maneuvered into the motel parking lot.

“Go that way,” Kurt said, pointing.

“Slain,” the GPS voice suddenly announced as if she were a tour guide on some grisly sensational murder tour.

“What?” I asked, looking at Kurt. He looked as confused as I felt.

The voice continued, “to kill violently, wantonly, or in great numbers; broadly, to strike down, kill.”

We both turned and looked at the motel, trying to make sense of this unsolicited announcement. Why was the GPS suddenly narrating the definition of slain? To make things even odder, Kurt doesn’t even have voice activation on his phone, and this was simply the default GPS narrator.

“Well, that’s a bit alarming,” I finally said.

Kurt and I looked at each other and then again at the waiting motel. What!?!

As I moved the car forward and into a parking spot, we eyed the hotel with growing trepidation.

The helpful GPS voice then intoned, “You have arrived at your destination.”

We looked at each other and burst out laughing at the strangeness of it all. Then, we both glanced at the motel again. Suddenly, that famous Motel 6 slogan, “We’ll leave the light on for you”, seemed a bit less charming than it had before.

19 thoughts on “SOLC 2019 Day 31: “We’ll Leave the Light on For You”

  1. showgem says:

    I was cracking up at the GPS talking about the word slain. What a weird thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I hope you survived the night. That GPS announcement was creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. humbleswede says:

    Wow. I think I might have turned around. But then the gps might have said Elude…to escape from danger…Pursue…to follow intently…Ensnare…to capture…. and then ….You will never reach your destination. This seems like you might have been handed the plot to a horror screenplay. You may have no choice but to write it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my! That’s creepy. You’ve posted this, so I know you lived to see another day. Where was this is Mass?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Addie says:

    Oh my, so creepy!!!! Glad to know you made it through to write another day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda Potts says:

    Oh my! I’m laughing but in that weird nervous sort of way. What on earth?! Well… there’s your slice, but holy moly. Hope the rest of your stay was uneventful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gosh, that sounds inexplicable… for a moment I thought it was the name of the place you were staying….yes, hope your stay was completely uneventful and you got lots of reading done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It was an extremely odd experience. I’m especially glad that we both were there as no one would have believed me if I hadn’t had a witness! Not to mention, there’s no way I would have gone into the hotel on my own after that!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Danielle says:

    The Art of Slicing: A few things I’ve learned about myself and my writing in the month of March – in large part thanks to this community! https://paperbacked.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/slice-of-life-31-the-art-of-slicing/

    Like

  9. kd0602 says:

    Wow! I think this might be the beginning of the horror novel you are about to write! It definitely is not a ringing endorsement for either Motel 6 or for whoever your GPS voice is! Gives me creeps just thinking about it!

    Like

  10. Sonia says:

    This is a great slice, and you tell the story so suspensefully. You definitely have a little horror story to build on here. And I’m glad you had someone with you, for courage as well as to back up your story. And if it were me, I’d go to an Apple story (or whatever your GPS is on) and find out how it could suddenly start defining words for you. That was eerie.

    Like

  11. Fran Haley says:

    Fascinating and spooky – like something out of Hitchcock; I’d be half-afraid to find Norman Bates behind the reservation counter! I love the title and theme, though – leaving the light on. So hopeful, alluding to safety; a fitting end to a writing challenge. Let us all continue to leave the light on for one another. Congratulations on BOTH successful journeys!

    Like

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