EdiStoryal #2 on The Paradise Hotel
Ed – i – stor – y – al – An article written to provide a fictional outlook on a product that inspires or sparks imagination.
I am a maker. a storyteller can be a maker of stories. Just as a shoemaker crafts a shoe or a clockmaker makes a clock. I am a teller of stories of fiction and a accounts of fact. The EdiStoryal series is meant to set a fictional stage for stories inspired by real products and art made by The 24th Wilderness (aka, Kailee). There will be much left to the imagination and seemingly a lack of detail so as to encourage your inspiration and imagination. A few of the sets of 3 Lotus Cards that are available has a story to devour. This short story is on the 3 card set titled The Paradise Hotel. So grab a glass of something and maybe a cookie or a banana. The Wilderness is wild and full of adventures. 🙂 Happy Reading! – Kailee
Miles and Mae Porter looked up and around in a 360 degree turn as they approached the lobby of The Paradise Hotel. Chicago’s top luxury hotel of the season was a dream to the middle class and ironically, a nap to the upper class. From the outside, it looked as though it were the sister of some abandoned estate in the middle of the city with it’s solemn stonework and carved marble. But once you step inside those 10 foot doors, opened for you by doormen of the cleanest shave and sharpest starch press, no other home away experience measures up, quite factually. It feels like home since you always see someone you know visiting the downstairs restaurant, it feels convenient with a miniature department store-style shop to the North end of the hotel, and an adventure with all it’s game rooms, moving picture rooms, tea room, and fully equipped Court for basketball and tennis on the roof. The Paradise hotel took up an entire block, and continued to encroach upon neighboring blocks for plans of extending the hotel.
The Paradise Hotel was the brainchild of an Irish shop owner named James Montgomery McCoy. He liked to be called Monty. When he worked at the hotel during the day, he often worked some of the seemingly lesser jobs such as a server delivering a meal, an unloading associate in the delivery bays to the southeast of the hotel, or on days like today, the check-in clerk. But most often, he was formally spoken of as the Host.
“Welcome to the Paradise Hotel, customers number one-hundred!” said the eccentric, 65 year old Monty. Miles and Mae, perplexed, looked at each other.
“That’s swell, sir, but what does that mean?” Miles asked.
“That means that you are the lucky recipient of a generous gift from one of our partners, Lord Blightley. The bloke decided that in honor of our 5-year anniversary, to gift a lucky guest with a night’s stay in the Royal Suite! May I please have your card?” replied Monty.
Miles and Mae, slack-jawed, stared at Monty.
“I think you may have us confused with someone else. We already got lucky by wining a night on the first floor at an auction! Here’s our card, see?” said Mae.
“Hmm. Yes….mmmm…..Quite so…..” muttered Monty. He opened up a large chocolate and caramel colored book to a page marked with a red ribbon, and after grabbing a gold quill (I told you he was quite elaborate), he began scratching some information down in the ledger. Mae and Miles noticed that the gold quill was in a purple velvet lined case, and when he took it out, he dipped it in one of three jars lined up on a paddle with grooves in which the jars sat, and on the fine lines of the yellowed ledger pages that were decorated with floral designs, he began to scratch down some words in red ink. The red ink looked funny underneath black ink, and Mae strained her neck to see if there were any other names written in red ink. There were about four other names near the top of the page. She strained a little farther to try and read them.
Millie Townsburr. Oh! She was the most notable jazz singer in Chicago! Her shows had been sold out for 10 months now, and she was set to meet with some record producers in Memphis, Tennessee later this month to strike a possible record deal. Mae was astonished. Her eyes moved down a few more lines and stopped at the next red name. President W. H. Taft. Mae thought she felt her feet getting tingly and her breath quickening. She looked away quickly before she shouted with awe at the possibility that she might be sleeping in the very room the President of the United States resided in some weeks before. If it was possible, the stone columns, the glass cathedral style ceiling tiles, and gold trim in the most detailed places seemed to grow more grand and the general splendor seemed to increase. Miles could barely speak. He felt a little out of place from their humble cottage in rural Chicago, but he didn’t want to miss a thing.
“My trusty bellhop Tullie and I will escort you to your room. There is a celebration dinner tonight at 8:00 to honor our 5 years of growing success and you will be the honorary guests at the Host’s table with me. A dresser from our ladies wear and haberdashery downstairs will arrive in about an hour to fit you for your evening wear. The butler, George, and the maid, Betsy, are at your leisure, don’t be afraid to ask for anything. Please if there’s anything I can do to make your stay more enjoyable and comfortable, just ring “0” on your telephone there by the door. We are excited about that feature. A local electrician knew Dr. Bell personally and knows much about how to wire such a device into a large building. It works splendidly!” Babbled Monty. Miles and Mae wondered if it was a trick. By the end of Monty’s ramble, they were standing at the tall double doors of their suite on the 15th floor of The Paradise Hotel. The shiny doorknobs in the center of the clean, white doors turned and both doors opened, revealing George and Betsy, ready for duty, but barely noticed in the foreground of a suite fit for a king.
The canopy bed, the plush seating area, the eloquent lobby, the white velvet carpet were almost too much for the Porter’s to take in. All the hubbub about The Paradise Hotel made perfect sense. You truly were in paradise. The most stunning feature of the room was the walls. the 15 foot walls were decorated midway down with pressed gold foil paper, and above the white trim midway up to the ceiling was the most beautiful patterned wallpaper Mae had ever seen. it was a deep scarlet red with gold and hints of purple hourglass shapes around floral centerpieces. The mattress looked like it was stuffed with down feathers and Miles wanted to jump on it. Mae noticed that afternoon tea was ready by the window in the seating area and she wanted to sit and enjoy a nice cup of Earl Grey before being fitted.
Throughout the afternoon, things went off without a hitch. Miles and Mae, born as middle class people had plenty and was never in want throughout their lives, yet were taught to be grateful and generous. Their natural lack of pretentious nature gave way to a warm conversation with George and Betsy, although still very professional on the servant’s end. And when it was time to check out the next day, the two pairs had arranged for the Porter’s to come visit Betsy in her boarding suite in the Servant’s Quarters. It grew to be quite fun for the pairs to become extravagantly (and a bit facetiously) occupied with serving and receiving each other in the Royal Suite. By the end of the night, the celebration dinner had been thoroughly enjoyed, the bed had been jumped on, the bath had been filled with water and bubbles, the tea had been enjoyed, the phone had been used, the perfumes had been spritzed, the carpet had been laid upon, the couches relaxed on, the windows gazed out of, and whatever else one can think to do when in an extravagantly equipped hotel room. But despite the experience on both ends of the two parties (the servant’s and the guests) what truly made the night memorable was the strange occurrence of friendship between two unlikely pairs, in a place where it was most unlikely to acquire a chum or two.
After the experience of The Paradise Hotel was over, Miles and Mae checked out of the hotel, waved goodbye and thank you to Monty, secretly said a prayer of thanks for Lord Bligtley and headed south towards the Servant’s Entrance. Betsy met them there, since she didn’t have to be available for another Royal Suite Guest until 12:00 PM, and led them through a new part of the hotel. Clean, warm plaster walls lined their way up a flight of iron stairs to the Ladies End where all the female servants stayed. It was rather empty since most of the maids were general housekeeping, restaurant attendants, store clerks, or assisting the different facilities in the hotel. Betsy and three other maids were on their break between one guest’s checkout and another’s check-in. They approached a simple doorway with the number “8” screwed into the middle of the door.
“This is my place!” Betsy proudly announced. Inside the doorway was a iron bed frame with a fluffy mattress, what looked like a handmade quilt on top, a small table with two little chairs for tea, and a dainty bedside table with a lamp, a few books, some lip rouge, and a fountain pen. The walls were of one design that made Mae want to smile. It was a faded cream color with beautiful dainty yellow flowers splattered all over. A few places here and there were dark and stained from possible crumbling of the foundation and moisture leaks, but Miles thought it added personality and charm. The three enjoyed a quick sip of tea that Betsy had prepared, shared more about themselves, and then set off toward home. New friends had been made and experiences that will not be forgotten. By the time the Porter’s had reached home, there had been a little notion fancying of gathering information to submit an application for employment at The Paradise Hotel. It was still up in the air, though.