Pounding. What was that awful racket?
“Monsieur? Êtes-vous bien? Monsieur?”
Someone was at the door. I opened my eyes. Oh god. Bad idea. My head was pounding and I rubbed at my temples. Who was knocking at the door? Where was I? I tried opening my eyes again.
The bedspread pattern was made of oranges and purples in some abstract floral blend and the painting on the wall was similarly abstract and ugly. The mattress beneath me was queen size—and hard as a rock. This was most definitely a hotel, but why was I in a hotel? How did I get here?
“Monsieur? Si vous ne me repondiez pendant cinq secondes, je serais telephoner la police!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” I swung my feet out of the bed and stood, fighting waves of nauseau and vertigo. I felt like I’d been run over by a truck.
“Monsieur…” the gentleman at my door trailed off suspiciously. I looked down. Damn, no clothes. I slammed the door. There were pants next to my bed, unfortunately they appeared to be covered in blood. Boxers were my next best option. I reopened the door.
“Monsieur,” the gentleman smiled, but then a pained expression contorted his face. “Why, if you please, is there blood making prints of the feet from l’entrance to here?” His words were overly enunciated and I could tell, from the look on his face, that speaking English to me caused him to want to gag.
I shifted my weight to peer out the doorway. The hotelier was correct; I chewed at my tongue a moment.
“I don’t entirely have an explanation right now. Maybe I could get back to you?”
A raised eyebrow and a snort in my direction informed me that this was not the best answer. I figured I couldn’t make things worse.
“By the way, uh, where am I?”
A perplexed look swept the hotelier’s face before he sniffed and resumed his airs, “You are at the [HOTEL NAME] in Lyons, France.”
I had really been hoping, up to this point, that I was in Lousiana, or some bizarre neo-We Love Europe hotel. My hopes were shattered. I sighed and went for the kill.
“And uh, I registered here…” the hotelier’s look told me not to ask too many more questions. How could I phrase this well? “Do you even know who I am?”
“Monsier Richard Bernard from the California State in the United States.” He paused and presumably mulled over the tone of my previous question. “No one celebrated if I am recalling correctly.”
Richard Bernard. Didn’t ring any bells. So I was a non-celebrity, normal person, with no idea why the hell I was in France. The blood was just icing on the cake.