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The door to the motel room slammed shut, shaking the walls. “Mother. Mother where are you? God damn it. You get out here right now. I’ve not finished with you yet mother!” Norman screamed. He stormed through the hotel room. “Come out come out where ever you are.” Norman lifted the cover on the edge of the bed, and ducked down to look under it. “Mother, I know you’re here somewhere. I’m going to find you!” In the bathroom Maude hid, cowering behind a shower curtain. With every one of her son’s shouts she curled tighter and tighter into a ball. She pulled the shower curtain all the way around the tub, in a vain attempt to hide. She had no idea why she chose the bathroom; she just ran straight in there. “Mommy dearest. Oh mommy.” Norman slowly opened the door to the bathroom. “One, two, Norman’s coming for you.” He walked over to the bath and slowly pulled back the shower curtain. “Hello mother. Why are you hiding? I’ve got something for you.” Maude whimpered with fear as the last rays of the sun glinted off the blade in Norman’s hand.

“You ok there mum?” Anthony asked. “I’m fine sweetheart. Now stop worrying about me and keep your eyes on the road.” Jane replied. “Want some music on mum?” Anthony inquired. “No darling. Let’s just talk. Tell me more about your fiance.” She said. “Well you’re going to love her. She’s funny, outgoing, compassionate, and beautiful. And I adore her. She makes me smile. She keeps me happy. I’ve never met anyone like her in my whole life.” He smiled as he talked. “She sounds great. So tell me how you two met.” “It’s strange actually. I saw her for the first time in the lift in our office building, but I never talked to her. Then it was my turn to fetch the sandwiches from the local shop. I gave my order and turned around to sit down. As I did I bumped into someone and said sorry. It was then I heard it, her voice. It’s like honey or silk. I looked up and there she was. We sat together waiting for our sandwiches. It turns out that her offices are on the floor above ours. We walked back together and I didnt want to say goodbye. We just clicked. I don’t know how else to describe it. As the lift approached my floor I decided to risk everything and ask her out on a date. She said yes and we’ve never looked back. She the one. I know it.” Jane smiled and said “In the end that’s how it was for your father and I. We just knew.

Alison sounds great. I’m sure I’ll love her and that we’ll get on very well. Unless you think I’m one of those frightening mother in law types?” they both laughed. Anthony and his mother shared a close relationship, although not in the oedipal sense, nor were they dependent upon one another. They just enjoyed each other’s company. They fought, but then who doesn’t fight with their parents? But Anthony and Jane’s fights were never vicious and never lasted long. Anthony was happy with his life. As he drove along he thought about how well everything was going. He couldn’t wait for his mother to meet Alison. Although he had talked to them both about the other they had never actually met in person. This was due to the fact that his mother had been abroad for the past year. They hadn’t even conversed much as due to constantly moving, Jane phone calls were infrequent and short, answered by Anthony. He was glad that his mother was home now and going to live near them. He’d missed her, but travelling was always something his mother had always wanted to do. He looked over at her and smiled. “Anthony, it’s getting late. Are we going to be driving all night or are we stopping somewhere?” Jane asked him. Anthony looked out at the road and thought deeply for a moment. “Well, by my reckoning,” he said, “we’ve got about another six hours to go.”

“Anthony, dear, it’s half ten already. Are you really going to keep on driving through the night?” “I did actually discuss this with Alison and we agreed that if it got to late it would be sensible of me to rest somewhere, so she knows not to expect me home. It’s really up to you I don’t mind.” He said. Jane considered the options, then yawned loudly. “I guess, if it’s really up to me I’d rather we stopped somewhere. It’s just that am rather tired. I think it’s jet-lag. Travelling is fun but it sure does knock you for six when you come home.””Ok, no problem. We’ll just head for the nearest B;B.” With that he too yawned, as if his body was in agreement with his decision. “Until we find somewhere, talk to me mum, keep me awake.” His mother smiled again and asked “So what story do you want this time?” Anthony pretended to be lost in thought and they laughed, but in reality it was a hard choice. His mother was a cornucopia of stories, each more fascinating and funny than the last. “Tell me about the first time you met dad and how you ended up marrying him. I like this one a lot.” “Ok. When I was younger I used to help out at the local youth club. One week the DJ brought a friend along – it was your father.””And when you saw him it was love at first sight?” Laughter filled the car.

“You know it wasn’t. Quite the opposite. I thought he was arrogant, opinionated and far too full of himself. But then one night he offered me a lift home. I hesitated for a while, I’d seen him drive, but then it was better than waiting for the bus, so I accepted. We started talking and I found that beneath that irritating faade lay a good man. Then I just knew. Your dad was the one for me all my life. I never once regret accepting that lift from him.” Jane’s eyes misted with tears. No matter how long it had been, it still hurt to remember that Will wasn’t there for her any more. Anthony reached out and held his mother’s hand. Even without seeing her he knew she was distressed. His mother squeezed his hand and smiled. “Ignore the tears of a sentimental old fool. Anyway where is this B;B of yours. I’ve bored myself rotten.””Not long now mum. The last sign said there’d be one not far ahead. Think you’ll last?””There’s life in the old gal yet you know!” she said.

I know mum. I know. They fell into a comfortable silence. Anthony concentrated on the road ahead. The streetlights flashed by in a constant swirl of orange. Anthony looked over at his mum, she was asleep. He reached over and turned on the radio, leaving the volume low. It was playing one of his favourite songs, Dire Straits Romeo and Juliet. He sang along to it quietly so as not to wake his mother. The song ended and the drone of the DJ became too much so he turned the radio back off. MOTEL 6 MILES the sign read. At last he thought, nearly there. He looked again at his sleeping mother and wondered whether to actually stop or just to keep driving. He yawned loudly and realised that if he was to make it safely home there really was no choice. He needed sleep. His mother stirred, sighed and settled again. Nearly there mum he promised. His speed increased again, until he was travelling at nearly eighty-five mile per hour. I just hope there arent any cameras round here, he thought, not wanting to get caught speeding and have to pay the fine. The signpost directed him to leave at the next junction; he complied, easing his speed. He followed the small hand painted signs until he reached a poorly lit hotel, sorry motel. Pulling into the car park he roused his mother. Mum were there. Come on well get to bed and you can have some real rest. Wait here while I book us a room. He left the car crossed the carpark until he reached reception. He smiled at the man behind the counter. Hi there. He said. Id like a room for the night, twin beds please, for my mother and I. The man behind the counter grunted. We only got one room left, its a single but I can give you sheets at an extra cost and you cam sleep on the sofa. Anthony thought about this for a moment. Weighing up his options he realised it might be some time before they discovered another place to stay. OK well take it. He reached for his wallet. Thatll be 52 pounds please. Anthony was about to argue, but he hadnt the strength. I take it you accept MasterCard? he inquired.

Yeah. The man mumbled and stretched out his hand. Handing over the card Anthony looked across at his car, making sure his mum was fine. He signed his bill, took his card and waited for the room key. Number thirteens all we got left. the man said and slapped the key on the counter. Tea and coffee machine just outside, along with one for chocolate and crisps. Have a good night. With that he turned around and went into the back office. What an unpleasant man thought Anthony as he walked back to the car. Mum were in room thirteen, just over there, come on lets get our stuff and go. Ok dear. She replied, climbing out the to aid her son. Together they walked over to the room. I cant believe theyve put us in room thirteen. I thought all hotels just went from twelve to fourteen, his mum said.

I know what you mean. Thirteen, unlucky for some. But not for us mum. I dont really believe in superstition do you? He asked.

Well not really. Its only folk tales isnt it? Unlucky! It actually quite amusing, us in room thirteen. Come on lets just go.

Ok mum. Youre right. Look at us worrying over some daft number. I mean after all it is only just a number! They laughed at their own foolishness.

Anthony, would you like a cup of coffee before we go in or perhaps a hot chocolate. They laughed. When Anthony was younger he would ask for a cup of hot chocolate every night before going to bed. He said it helped him to sleep, when really he was just procrastinating. I think thats a good idea, just for old times sake. He opened the door to the room and put their bags inside as mother bought two cups of coffee from the vending machine. He looked around; it wasnt bad he supposed. At least it was on suite. Opening the bathroom door he inspected the facilities; a bath, with shower attachment and privacy curtain; a toilet and a sink. It was all pretty clean. Here we are love, I brought us some biscuits too. The hot chocolate looks a bit watery, but Im sure itll be fine. She placed the two cups on the bedside table. Anthony walked over, picked up a cup and took a sip. Youre right, watery but acceptable. Not as good as home made though. Well its all thats here so just live with it. His mother snapped. Anthony was shocked. His mother had never snapped at him for no reason before, at least not since he was a boy. He looked down at his feet, feeling like a five-year-old whod just been chastised. Sorry mum. I just meant that yours was better. Im sorry too I dont know what came over me. His mother looked embarrassed, she had no idea why shed done it. It must just be because Im tired. She admitted.

Or maybe its senile dementia creeping in. Anthony sneered. It was his mothers turn to look shocked. Oh God, Im so sorry mum. I dont know what came over me. I know what did. Its because youre jealous of me. Youve always wanted to travel and you cant, not now, what with your job and Alison! he mother retorted.

Jealous. Ha! I was just glad you were out of the country for a whole year, all that time without you interfering in my life was great! Anthony yelled. They were becoming more and more heated. Without me interfering you go and move in with some no one. A common slut for all you know. His mother shouted.

A common slut. How dare you say things about my fiance. Shes better than that. Youre the one whos jealous now. Jealous of her and the time Ill spend with her, time away from you.

Jealous. ME? Of a piece of pick-me-up-in-a-lift garbage. I think not. Theres no way you would have done that if Id been around. If youd been around mother I would still be single. No one is ever good enough for you. I dont know why you set your standards so high, just look at yourself. You married a plumber for Gods sake. How low can you get? You were from the poverty line. So dont you dare critisise me when you are no better yourself. I raised you better than this. I may have been poor, but I worked hard to get where we are today and now youre ruining everything. Sometimes I think I could just kill you. Now youre talking. With you out my life, it would finally be my life. I could run it how I wanted not how you want. Why dont you open that door and walk out onto the motorway and do us all a favour. Janes hand snaked out and slapped him hard across the cheek. Her ring caught his skin causing it to bleed. Now look what youve done you silly bitch. He snarled and suddenly Jane was scared. More scared than shed ever been in her life. What on earth was going on? Why was he so incensed? Im going to get some ice to put on this you stay right where you are, Im not finished with you yet. He roared. Flinging open the door he marched out in to the night. Jane looked around the hotel room. She needed to hide. She had to get away. She was going to run out the door, but he was marching back across to the room. No time. She shut the front door and furiously looked for somewhere to hide.

Anthony looked down at the object hed retrieved from the car and smiled.

The door to the motel room slammed shut, shaking the walls. “Mother. Mother where are you? God damn it. You get out here right now. I’ve not finished with you yet mother!” Anthony screamed. He stormed through the hotel room. “Come out come out where ever you are.” Anthony lifted the cover on the edge of the bed, and ducked down to look under it. “Mother, I know you’re here somewhere. I’m going to find you!” In the bathroom Jane hid, cowering behind a shower curtain. With every one of her son’s shouts she curled tighter and tighter into a ball. She pulled the shower curtain all the way around the tub, in a vain attempt to hide. She had no idea why she chose the bathroom; she just ran straight in there. “Mommy dearest. Oh mommy.” Anthony slowly opened the door to the bathroom. “One, two, Anthony’s coming for you.” He walked over to the bath and slowly pulled back the shower curtain. “Hello mother. Why are you hiding? I’ve got something for you.” Jane whimpered with fear as the moonlight glinted off the blade in Anthony’s hand.

EpilogueThe policeman looked at Frank, the owner of the Motel, you know, Frank, thats the second killing weve had here in as many months. Both times some kids gone whacko and killed him mum. And both times they were in room thirteen.

I know what you mean Dave. Why pick here? I just dont get what makes my place so special.

Perhaps, Dave said his gaze wandering skywards, it has something to do with the sign.

They both looked up at the broken neon sign that now read BATES MOTEL.

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