Ex Occidente Lux: Part Two

Paul Fahrenheidt

Paul Fahrenheidt

Many a man thought himself wise, but what he wanted he did not know.

Ranger Hotel (4 Stars)

2026 Hours (CST)

The same Suit from before was no longer a suit, but adorned in a white short-sleeve button-up shirt and khaki slacks with a black belt. Cigar smoke filled his hotel room, present where light was absent. Indeed, the only source of light other than his Gran Tampico No. 6 was a red lamp atop the desk he was perched behind. The smell of Panamanian Tobacco miscegenated with the Chemicals below the Suit, as his tiny black squares came to life.

Holding a magnifying glass up to the one inch by one inch square, he studied the contents of the newly revealed negative.

“Ocean.” He said, discarding it in a nearby rubbish bin and picking up another. “Ocean.” he picked up another. “More fucking ocean.” he sighed and rubbed his temples. He closed his eyes as negatives of palm trees developed behind his forehead, the cigar smoke only enhancing the daydream. There he stayed for the moments he could focus on it, but sure enough his eyes were naked to the world once more.

What interest did the Reich have in this fairy tale? He dragged on his cigar again and realized it was a stub. Putting it out in his ashtray, he fumbled around the desk for his box. Securing it and opening the lid, a realization washed over his mind like high tide on the beach chair he’d been sleeping in. One lone cigar was all that remained in the box. Cursing in his native and his adopted tongue, the Suit resolved to request a retrieval immediately after this dead end bore no fruit. Just like the last twelve.

As he cut and lit the cigar, he heard a knock on his door. Taking a moment to enjoy the first few puffs of a fresh cigar, he turned his head to the source of the noise.

“Unless you’re the hooker I ordered, fuck off!” He said, puffing his cigar again. No response. Probably just some tourist who fucked up their room number. He went back to checking the diminishing black squares. There was another knock on the door. Grabbing his cigar, he yelled, “Are you blind to the do not fucking disturb sign, asshole?!?” A dread grabbed his gut like he grabbed a whore’s throat, and without thinking he reached for the Walther PPK he kept under his desk. The knocking had stopped. He released his grip on the pistol. At that moment, three rapid gunshots shattered his window and embedded themselves in the hotel room wall.

He grabbed the PPK and dove for cover behind his dresser, cigar still in hand and miraculously still lit. Light poured through the cracks in the drapes, enough to highlight the corners of the room with pale moonlight. No further gunshots were fired. The Suit decided it was time to leave Texas, and moved to gather his essentials. 

By the time his suitcase was half-packed, he heard another knock on his door. Gripping the PPK, he stormed to the door and opened it prepared to mag-dump into whomever was on the other side. The sight of black hair and soft flesh was all that stayed his trigger-finger. The creature on the other end opened her mouth to yelp, but the suit clamped his hand over her mouth and pulled her into the room before slamming the door shut.

“Are you the whore?” His question was pointed. Her mouth was covered so the woman nodded as tears welled up in her eyes. Noticing, the suit said, “You must be new.” Releasing his grip he went back to packing his suitcase. “Wait a moment darling, we’re changing scenery.” He said with his back turned as he finished packing his suitcase.

“You have another 45 minutes…” The whore muttered in the corner, wiping her eyes.

“I have as much as I please, darling.” The Suit said, snapping his suitcase shut and rushing over to her. “Hold this.” he said as he handed the suitcase to her. Reaching behind the T.V. stand, he grabbed a Jerry can. The whore’s eyes widened at the sight and smell of gasoline being poured around the room, cigar being puffed the entire time. When he was satisfied, the suit dropped the Jerry can and returned to the whore, motioning for his suitcase.

“30 minutes.” She said with a small voice, checking her watch as she handed him the suitcase. The Suit chuckled, and ushered her out of the room. Taking a big drag of his cigar, he flicked it onto the gasoline soaked carpet. The room burst into flames, starving heat exploding into the hallway followed shortly by flames. Grabbing the hooker by the waist, the Suit took a good look at her. 

She was Chicano, like he’d asked, and a good looking one at that. Her features resembled her Spanish ancestors far more than her Indio ones, likely from Castiza stock. How she ended up in the whorehouse was beyond him.

“Have you been to Panama?” The suit asked. She shook her head, either not hearing or not caring for the question. That or her mind was busy processing having a gun pointed at her before being manhandled by a client, then watching said client commit arson. Followed by him asking questions before they’d even left the soon-to-be-burning building.

The suit smiled. He’d like this one, and she’d grow to like Panama. Whether she would grow to like the SS was another story entirely.