by Foster Trecost
It turns out he boarded the wrong plane. The mistake might have been discovered had his seat belonged to someone else, but the plane was nearly empty and he fell asleep before they left the ground. He slept through the beverage service and he slept through the light snack. In fact, he slept until awoken by a flight attendant who only said the plane had landed, failing to mention where it had landed.
He walked through an airport he had never seen before, so he had no way of knowing he was eight states from where he was supposed to be. His carry-on did away with the need to wait in vain while the claim carousel spun luggage. He left the airport though the first exit he found.
The weather was warmer than he expected, but not so much to cause concern, and his next chance of discovery came at the cabstand. He climbed into the backseat of a taxi and asked for Hotel Savigny. The driver nodded and pulled away, neither knowing six cities across the country contained a Hotel Savigny, including where he was, including where he was supposed to be.
He paid the driver and entered the hotel, where the receptionist greeted him warmly and asked: “Do you have a reservation?”
“Of course,” he answered, and gave his name.
When the receptionist could not locate his reservation, she said not to worry because plenty of rooms were available and she gave him a key. In his room, he called his wife to let her know he had arrived, that the trip had passed without incident, that he was resting and would eat dinner soon and sleep soon after that.
“You forgot your toothbrush,” she said. “Absentminded as ever.”
He shook his head.
“What’s it like,” she asked.
“Just a city, same as all the others.”
He stretched across the mattress and thought about the time he strayed from his mother in a department store. She found him finally, though he was unaware he had been lost. He wondered why such a memory would present itself, but he was certain a reason existed. He called the front desk and asked for a newspaper.
Foster Trecost writes stories that are mostly made up. They tend to follow his attention span: sometimes short, sometimes very short. Recent word appears in Spelk, Right Hand Pointing, and the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. He lives near New Orleans with his wife and dog.