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Mangy? Yes, yes I am. I’ve been called many things in my time here, but mangy is certainly my favorite though. I’ve employed myself to watch this motel and its occupants and take care of pests— mainly vermin and occasionally a song bird. It’s been an interesting time here; I've seen many characters come and go. Particularly interesting are the owners--a mother, son combination. One could say they have a rocky relationship at times.
Tonight a large storm was pouring over the local area. Now, I am not fond of water, whether stagnant or falling, so naturally a few minutes of yowling will get me inside the big house on the hill for the night. The young man will normally let me in for a night when the weather is bad. Norman, I believe his name is. “You mangy cat always crying to get in,” he gripes. This is met with a small chirp on my part as I make my way to my favorite counter in the kitchen. The bachelor will pour me a small dish of milk and leave me alone for a quiet night of warmth and solitude. Tonight is different though-the house was full of argument.
My eavesdropping on this argument was interrupted, unfortunately, as my attention was drawn towards the drive to the motel which had been filled with the shine of two bright headlights. A young woman walked out to find no one in the office of the motel. She returned to the car and started honking the horn. The argument upstairs stopped, and a door abruptly colsed. Norman walked down the stairs to welcome this night’s guest. I hopped down from the kitchen counter and poked my head around the corner to watch Norman walk out of the house down to the motel. Norman paused at the door and beckoned me out, the rain had subsided, so I followed with reluctancy. I trotted down the slick steps behind him. He met the young woman in the motel office. I entered a few seconds after their conversation had started. She spoke quickly, emitting a flustered aura. “Hello, are there any rooms available for a night?” she asked. Norman answered “We have 12 rooms and 12 vacancies” quickly, knowing there was not a single guest staying the night. He reached for the keys to Room 2 but stops. His hand hovered over the key but shifted to the keys to Room 1.
He looked back woman. “You’ll be closer to the office if you need anything this way”. I knew that wasn’t the reason he chose that room though. I’d seen him do this before. I took joy in knowing what the night held in store for me. Norman took her bags to the room; she followed closely behind. I followed suit and slinked into the cabin as well. Norman began his tour of the quaint room. He got to the bathroom and stuttered as usual.
“This poor girl” I couldn't help but feel guilty about Norman’s future actions. Norman had finished his humble tour and made towards the door. I trotted in front of him so I wasn’t locked in. The young woman stopped him to ask about food. Norman told her that the diner down the road was very run down. That is what he told most of them. He then invited her for a sandwich up in the house with him. She hesitated, then agreed. I left the motel quickly as to make it to the house before Norman to wait at the door. Once inside, I was quick to head to the small study where Norman typically met his guests if they were invited to the house. The room was small for the house and very oddly decorated. Stuffed birds littered the walls and shelves. I crawled under the yellow armchair. In preparation for the dinner service and entertainment, Norman rushed around the room tidying and fluffing pillows. He left and returned quickly with a simple cheese sandwich. Norman stopped abruptly, I knew exactly what was about to happen.
“Norman! What are you doing inviting a girl up to the house? What are your intentions? What are your perverted Intentions, Norman?” She spoke in a shrill voice.
“ Mother! It’s just dinner; I don’t want to do anything to her-”
“No son of mine will be a pervert.”
A knock at the door stopped the argument. “ She’s here; I have to go” Norman left the room to greet this night’s guest. He grabbed the door, pausing before pulling it open.
“I hope I'm not overstepping my welcome by coming in,” said the young woman.
“Oh no, you're fine. My mother doesn’t like visitors much,” Norman replied. He lead her into the prepared room for dinner. Upon walking in, I could see the woman’s eyes dart around the walls looking at all of stuffed birds. Norman sat down across from her.
“So what brings you down the old highway? We don’t get much traffic since the new one opened up.”
“I’m running away from my trap,” she replied.
“ A trap?” Norman asked, “What do you mean?”
“It’s my personal trap; everyone has one whether they realize it or not… What is yours, Norman?”
Norman paused I; could see the gears in his head turning. “It’s this place, I have been trapped here with my mother beating me down for my whole life, but a good boy’s best friend is his mother.”
“I’ve grown used to it. This is my life now. I don’t want to run away anymore,” He said quickly with a pained smile. They finished their sandwiches, and Norman started to clean up. The young woman thanked him and made her way to the door.
“Oh, let me walk you down, Miss”
“I’m alright, Thank you,” she answered quickly. He was already out the door waiting for her. I slipped past the young woman’s legs and walked down the stairs to meet them at the door of the motel office. Norman made it down a few steps before the guest and bid her a good night's sleep before slinking into the office’s back room. He moved aside a painting on the wall adjacent to cabin one. It was there that Norman had put a peephole. Norman looked in on the room for a while and then walked away briskly going up to the house. He had the familiar glazed look in his eye. I knew what was going to happen next. I hopped up on to the reception counter and waited. I saw Norman walk past the office door with a wig and gown on. I heard the door to cabin one open. There was a scream. The shower curtain rings hit the ground. A second scream rang out. Another metallic clatter. Then only the sound of the shower.