How to find your way at Joy Motel

To READ Joy Motel from the beginning
then follow the link at the bottom of each chapter.

To JUMP to any chapter,
use the list of chapter titles in the panel on the right side of every page.

Or use the SEARCH box after each chapter to find what you're looking for.

86 Rod Serling

Kindred comfortable here: not much has changed in 40 odd years. Same tired old carpet, same torn drapes. Musty molecules turgid in closets.

Dick Overtone long dead now, but his image is everywhere, webburned into the local datastream penetrating the consciousness of every guest.

He is like a sour smell that persists long after its source has been removed, disinfected, purged. His yellow teeth, his mustardstained tie.

Worse, his giggling laugh, mildly annoying when heard in person, but discombobulating when used as the ringtone for every bedside telephone.

DickO is the first thing you see imprinted on your retina when you awaken to dirty sunlight filtering through the skin of the windowglass.

He is the last thing you see when your brain shuts down after midnight, and your dreams of America when it was once mighty, flicker and die.

Psychdaddy, too, is no longer here, though Kindred sat alone in the doctor's room for an hour, waiting for him to emerge from the bathroom.

Docdad's notepads are still scattered across his bed, halfburied under crumpled and faded daisy-patterned pillowcases unwashed for decades.

Out in the hall, the Watcher's woodenchair is tipped back against his doorframe, a gumwrapper folded into the shape of Methane Man below it.

His door is open, the sound of his television playing an episode from the Twilight Zone, snarling Rod Serling biting off acerbic commentary.

Soundtrack fizzes and pops, mixing with running water and the insistent drone of a lazy vacuum cleaner with a full bag picking up nothing.

Kindred arrives in the restaurant of Joy Motel. Menu in pinkchalk on a greasy board, dripping slimesmoke of a thousand overcooked burgers.

Lala is bent over picking up a knife. Kindred automatically absorbs the sweep of her ass, jeanskinned taut denim, his greeneyes pokerflat.

K Tate is swaying at the window, his head angled, soaking up the datastream in the air, breathing it deeply, diving headlong back into 2012.

Methane Man, outside his room for the first time as far as Kindred is aware, is bobbing gently against the tile ceiling avoiding sharpedges.

Familiar diving bell helmet, pipes and tubes, spacesuit fraying, the gasball from Saturn explains why they made a forty-four year timejump.

They had reached the point in 1968 when Sharon Tate's foetus had become K Tate and there couldn't be two of him, even in fetal form.

K Tate's brainstream withered, dried apple on a dying branch, fell through the years. Lala rode it home, sylph duty of interpretation done.

Kindred? He was a problem. By grabbing K Tate's arm, he had joyhitched a wildskyride with his own son into a future beyond his own death.

To go back where he came from, he would have to endure a brainstream of his own. If he wanted to go back. A big if. But he had no option.

If he decided to stay here in 2012, Kindred would die. Wouldn't he? He had to. After all, he was already dead. Unless K Tate changed that.


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