Wednesday, November 7, 2012

tales of the hotel st crispian: chapter 82

"the gen"

by Horace P. Sternwall

edited by Dan Leo* 

illustrations by roy dismas and rhoda penmarq

*Associate Professor of Pompeiian Literature, Assistant Checkers Club Coach, Olney Community College; editor of A Ghost Named Gerald and Seven Other Short Novels of the Supernatural by Horace P. Sternwall; Olney Community College Press; made possible in part by a generous grant from General Electric: “Tomorrow’s products today!”

Let’s return to the Automat just next door to the hallowed Hotel St Crispian, where the young cashier and aspiring novelist Polly Powell pretends to read George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda as a young lady approaches the counter…

“Hey, doll.” 
Polly looked up. 


“Doing a little light reading, huh?” 

“Yes, I quite like to read.” 


“You think you could sell me a pack of Luckies?”

“Of course.”

Polly handed the young lady the cigarettes, took her proffered dollar bill, opened the register, and gave the young woman her change.

“Thanks, doll.” The young woman tapped the pack of cigarettes on the counter, smartly tapping first one end of the pack and then the other. “What’s your name, sister?”

“Polly. Polly Powell.”

“I’m Flossie. Flossie Flanagan.” She began to peel the cellophane from the cigarettes. “I’m a reporter for the Federal-Democrat.”

“Oh! I’ve read your articles! I loved your hard-hitting series on the reefer dens of Harlem.”

“Thanks, Polly.”

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