Paradise Hotel 51

Where Gaming Dies

Epoch: Chapter 23

Music is Life, Life is Blood

“So,” Dan expressed as he entered the ‘chapel’s’ calm inner area. “Why am I the only Smith –presumably, besides the old man – to be executed with ‘one shot’? I really would like to know, since,” and Dan laughed, without provocation. “I have no fucking clue. Thanks for that, fearless leader. Or, is that just what you claim to be. Emir.”

“I claim to be only a man who’s ‘seen’…so much more than should have been allowed to. In you,” Emir shook his head. “I saw only the proximity, the allowances of someone who wanted to go. I, in turn, allowed that much. Harman…was my mentor, after all.”

Art by Kitano Smith

At this, Dan rolled his eyes. Sat in the pew nearest to the front without seeming desperate. “I know that much. I knew that when the others didn’t. Alright? You fucking…alright? Just…let me stew. Join the rest of the tour…and let me be alone for a while. I can’t process all of this without depressants or…another two or three packs of cigarettes…so…you should just let me be. Alright? Fucking-“

“I know that’s what you need right now, Dan, so…you have that,” Emir spoke easily. “But…do you really expect me to let you take what we offer you…? Or what you need?”

“What I fucking need. Alright? I just…need to be alone. You…? Need to be with the class. Just, answer me one thing. Was it a respect thing? Or was it-?”

“It was always a ‘respect’ thing, Dan,” Emir said easily. “You? You gave me a break. Harman? He was too conceited to give a damn. That wasn’t your fault, nor was it your problem. You were simply…ready to test him. He failed.”

Dan nodded, suddenly seemed winded, tired.

“Smoking does that to you, the first couple of times, doesn’t it,” Emir said.

“Yes,” Dan didn’t even think to respond. “What does dying do to you?”

Emir didn’t have a response…and Dan didn’t pause for one. However, soon thereafter, Emir was giving Dan his space…and Dan was accepting it.