In the downpour, I almost passed the Camp Knox motel. It didn’t look encouraging, but I didn’t have much choice. I couldn’t go back; they’d kill me. The office manager looked up from her tabloid when she saw me dripping all over the floor.

“Please tell me you have a room available.”

She stood up and waddled to the back wall. “Only one. It’s seventy-eight dollars,” she said.

“Seventy dollars for one night in this hole in the wall? Dammit.” I thought about sleeping in the car, but I desperately needed a shower. “Fine. I don’t have much choice, do I?”

The old woman just glared at me. “Sounds serious. It’s still seventy-eight for the room,” she repeated, emphasizing the ‘eight’.

I pulled out what I had and put it on the counter.

She counted out my seventy-four dollars and change. “Seventy-eight.” Her glare rivaled mine for intensity.

I wanted a room. She had a room. So I stomped back out into the rain and dug through the car until I found enough change.

“Seventy-eight.” I slammed down the dripping wet change and swiped the key from the old biddy’s hand. “Thank God for warm showers,” I muttered.

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