Wordcount: 904 words
Summary: In which Zee is annoyed and Stillwater is unimpressed.
Of Horses and Water
Much to Zee’s annoyance, there wasn’t a room to rent within Rockfall. No motels, no hotels, not even a bed and breakfast; nothing but cabins that rented out during the early spring and had long since shuttered their doors. The town was tourist friendly, but only so long as the bought things and left. Which, considering the reception he’d received so far, really wasn’t that much of a shock.
The restaurant owner helpfully directing him to the closet motel (back onto the highway and north seven miles), while not quite apologizing for his run in with the girl. Apparently the artists hereabouts were allowed a bit more leeway in what constituted acceptable eccentric behavior. But he’d gotten a name, Mira, and a confirmation that she did live within the town’s borders, which meant it shouldn’t be that hard to track her down again tomorrow.
If nothing else, he could ask them to tell her he was coming and just head towards the cursing.
The motel turned out to be relatively decent; for all that it looked like the set to a low budget horror flick. It had been a campground or a summer camp of some sort, before the current owner repurposed it and Zee found himself with the keys to an individual cabin instead of a basic motel room.
The cabin had the generic decoration of rental rooms, but with a rather rustic flair: two single beds on frames of thick branches, a wooden dresser that showed years of wear (most likely a castoff from the summer camp), and an end table that looked like the proprietor had simply grabbed the nearest tree stump and slapped a lamp on it.
Still, the beds looked comfortable and there was a phone and a television. It would do for now.
What there wasn’t was bed linens and towels, but the proprietor had promised to bring those by as soon as the dryer finished. Apparently this place saw about as much traffic as Rockfall. Since he had the time, Zee ambled back outside and took a walk around the grounds. As he’d suspected, he was the only recent guest; plus all but two of the cabins had been prepped for the winter ahead which meant the owner didn’t expect that to change.
He ran into the owner as he circled back to the cabin. Stillwater Lodge was a much less creative name than it appeared, as the sole proprietor of the establishment was Rudy Stillwater. The human desire to name things after themselves was something that had annoyed Zee for centuries. He’d have though they’d grow out of it, but apparently the desire to live in Me Land was instinctive.
Rudy was carrying a large mound of linens, but seemed to have no problems navigating the paths. Rudy was older, but sturdily built and with a rather placid personality. Zee still wasn’t sure if it that came from the fact that Stillwater lived alone for most of the year, or if he just didn’t have much to talk about.
“Get the door.” Rudy directed, when he got closer. “I’ve got enough here to last you the week, let me know if you plan on staying longer.”
For a moment Zee was tempted to just leave the man to get the door himself, he didn’t take orders from anyone but Donovan and that had come dangerously close to being a command instead of a request– but he needed the towels, so he settled for sarcasm instead. “What, no please?”
Rudy ignored him until he’d had a chance to deposit his armload on one of the beds. Then he turned to face Zee, who was still holding the door.
“I didn’t suppose you were much for pleasantries,” Rudy shrugged slightly as if the thought he’d offended Zee wasn’t worth the effort of a real response. “The TVs only going to get channels 3 and 9, I’ve been battling the satellite people, but they say its storm related. The phone works fine, long distance is extra though. I’ll just add it to the tab, but you’d better be ready to settle come Thursdays and Sundays,” he gave Zee a measuring look. “And if I were you, I’d mind what Mira told me. Not that you will, they never do.”
“As I remember Mira told me to get out of town,” Zee cocked his head, giving the old man one of his better ‘don’t make me eat you’ looks. He was rather proud of those looks, as they had cowed many a lesser foe. “I’m out of town.”
Rudy just looked at him.
“And?” Zee went from look to glare, as his tolerance for human interference reached its limit.
“And you should leave,” Rudy still hadn’t reacted, projecting the same stoic mood he’d had when Zee first arrived. “Go back to wherever you came from and get on with your life. There’s nothing here but dust and memories.” He gave the werewolf a tired look. “You should listen, sometimes, when people try to tell you things.”
“I’m not in the mood.” Zee stepped into the room, letting the screen door slam shut behind him. He stalked past Stillwater and started making up one of the beds.
“Then you’re not.” Rudy sighed, “Well, like I said, Thursdays and Sundays. Let me know if the cable ever kicks back in.”
Zee didn’t look up and after a moment Rudy turned and left.