They apologised to the mall security and left quickly. Jack dropped her back at the hotel and as usual disappeared at speed.
Cath went upstairs to her room, hoping for a suitcase to be waiting for her. But there was no friendly, black, canvas, rectangle facing to meet her. She went over to the phone on the desk to ring again about her luggage. Her message light was flashing. Picking up the phone she followed the instructions. Second time through she made it to the message. Her heart sank. It was from some manager of the hotel, she had to call him to discuss using the hotel as a base for her trip to the Reservation. It did not sound positive. She decided to put off calling him until tomorrow, he had probably gone for the day anyway. She checked her emails instead, hoping for a happier news boost, to give her energy to call about her bags. There was a message from Milly. She was still going on about the bad reference Cath's old boss had given. It didn't seem such a big issue now she was so far away from her old familiar life. There was a note at the bottom of the email hoping she felt better after the carpark incident. Had she told Milly about that? She didn't remember telling anyone. She checked her sent emails - nothing there. She went to check her phone and then remembered she had emptied all the messages off it just that afternoon. She decided not to dwell on the weird things that seemed to be going on in her life. Surely it was just her mind playing tricks. Ever since she lost her job she seemed to notice the bad things and collect them like some list of why people were out to get her. She reread the email and tried to take more notice of the suggestions from Milly about how to welcome everyone when they arrived for the trip and she suggested trying outside churches to give away the fliers. That was a good idea for down here in the South, everyone seemed to go to some church of some kind. She grabbed the phone book and looked up the section on churches. The names were fantastically long. It seemed they were trying to encapsulate all they believed in the title. The one that had "Church for anybody" made her smile as with another that included the words" Blessed Assurance" in their name. At least you knew what you were getting she thought. She wrote down a couple of the shorter names and addresses to try tomorrow. She rang the number the lost luggage people had given her. Tomorrow they promised her luggage would be here. Cath felt more in control. She was sure she could talk the hotel manager guy around tomorrow.
She took off the clothes she had bought and decided she might as well give them a rinse in the handbasin. Then at least before her bags turned up she could wear a mixture of her travelling clothes and the new ones. Her travelling clothes were still a bit damp but hopefully overnight they would finish drying. She hung the new ones on the little line, trying to make sure they didn't fall against the others. She slipped between the covers in her underwear and flicked on the TV. She clicked through the channels. There seemed to be hundreds of them.
Then she heard it. It was loud. It didn't stop. It had to be fire alarm. She lifted the covers. She needed something to wear. She thought about her line of wet and damp clothes.
Paper clips and string
5 hours ago