Holiday Fiction

Rhonda Khaleesi looked around her dusty little office in dismay. For she knew that if she didn’t have but one customer this season, that she and her beautiful old Victorian style inn was going to be shut down. Quite frankly Rhonda was surprised that the Inn had lasted this long. The most recent visitor only stayed for a night before hightailing it down highway 95 on their way to Las Vegas. Rhonda had lived in Tonopah, Nevada all of her life, and she was constantly reminded of the good old mining days of the town she had grown to love. Everyone was on a first name basis in Tonopah and her historic Inn had once been a popular resting place for travelers interested in the history of the town and those who continued on to Vegas. 

Marked as one of the original motels in Tonopah, Silver Heights was recently restored by Rhonda’s late parents who recently passed away. So not only does Rhonda have to contend with the potential closing down of her legacy, she also has to deal with the mourning of her parents who died in a car crash just outside the town. The old building was falling apart when her grandparents had passed it on to her parents. Rhonda’s mother, Lucy had routinely gone back and forth to Reno to work in the Peppermill Casino running drinks to rowdy gamblers. She did this in order to raise money for the repairs at the Inn. Rhonda during this time did not see much of her mother but spent considerable time with her father, Jeremiah. He spent half of his working hours at the Central Nevada Museum, taking care of the visitor’s desk. While spending the rest of his time running Silver Heights with Rhonda’s help of course. She knew that inheriting the Inn was to be her destiny, and it was a life she was looking forward to growing up. 

Christmas and the New Year was upon Rhonda and she was dreading every moment of it. Her parents were gone and Rhonda had no other family nearby. She planned on going to the Mizpah for the Christmas dinner they hosted every year. The number of people attending dwindled year after year as more and more people have been forced to pack their bags. At the town meeting in October, Rhonda offered to host New Years at her Inn to try and attract customers to the motel. Along with the help of her friends Clyde and Kelly who were twins, they decorated the old house with extravagant Christmas decorations that would be torn down almost immediately to prepare for the New Year. All three of them knew that it was a possibility that the Inn would not make it in 2020. They were hopeful though that things could be turned around. 

Christmas eve was approaching and Rhonda’s housemaid Thelma helped her to tend to the garden and the rooms in the Inn. Thelma was to stay at the Inn’s front desk in case anyone decided to come and stay. Although Rhonda knew that everyone who was staying in Tonopah for Christmas was staying at the Mizpah hotel. Whilst Rhonda was feasting on Christmas dinner and having a few drinks she did not know that not one but two visitors had finally come to her Inn. 

Thelma checked in a curious couple. Thelma being of a more conservative background was taken aback but had been warned by Rhonda to allow anyone to stay at the Inn. Therefore, she could not discriminate. Jackson Cane and Lewis Bronstein were a very fashionable bunch, with boas and flashy jumpsuits. Although it looked strange to Thelma, this was normal attire for Jackson and Lewis. Thelma led them up to room eleven, a humble room with two doubles. 

Unsettled by this Lewis the broody of the pair moodily asked, “Is there a room with just one bed, preferably a king-sized bed?”

Embarrassed, Thelma quickly showed them to a different room, number five, which was gilded in golden fixtures and had a beautiful king-sized bed topped with a wonderfully gold and silver patterned quilt. 

Jackson looking at Lewis’ silent approval said, “that is more like it!”

They put down their bags and started to settle into the comfortable dimly lit room. After putting away their things for the next few days they headed down the beautiful wrapping staircase to ask Thelma if anything exciting was happening in Tonopah for Christmas eve. She told them of the party at the Mizpah but that it had already started. Willing to be late to any occasion, Lewis and Jackson set out for the Mizpah hoping to fill their empty stomachs with delicious food. 

When they arrived fashionably late to the ostentatious little party, everyone looked over to them. For the door to the ballroom was very loud upon opening. Ignoring the uncomfortable stares, Jackson guided Lewis into the room and they headed for the buffet style food. After gathering their plates, they ended up sitting next to a kind lady of whom they did not realize at first was the owner of the Inn they were staying at. 

After sometime they came to understand who Rhonda was and how she was the owner of the Inn and her dire situation. She relented to the couple about how she was to put on a party to ring in the New Year but was unsure of how much longer after that the Inn would stay open. Lewis thought for a moment and then offered Jackson and his help to make it the most fabulous New Years party that ever happened in this town. Desperate, and enjoying the ecliptic look they were sporting, she decided to take them up on their offer knowing she had nothing to lose. 

Between that Christmas eve party and New Year’s no other visitor came to stay at Silver Heights. This fact made Rhonda so nervous for the New Year, she didn’t know how much longer they would last. Even with all her gloom and doom about the state in which her business was in, Jackson was in high spirits and even got Thelma excited for the party. They had brought in amazing decorations that glistened and sparkled in a most tasteful way. The sign for the Inn had been decorated so well that it could be seen all the way down the street. With their social media contacts Jackson and Lewis lined up the guest list. 

Soon people from all over Nevada and even parts of California came pouring into the small Inn. For at least that night, Rhonda did not have to worry about having enough guests. They danced and celebrated and toasted the New Year. Rhonda could not help but think about how much her parents or even her grandparents would have loved to see the Silver Heights in all of its glory that evening. 

On the first day in January, Rhonda woke to an Inn full of guests. With the help of Thelma, she swiftly made up a delicious breakfast. She had sent Thelma out to Raley’s the day before to gather up enough food supplies for everyone. As the smell of fresh coffee and bacon made its way up to the rooms, Jackson and Lewis were the first ones down to the dining hall. They all spent the morning relenting about the party the night before and how the Inn needed to stay open and host more events such as the New Year’s Eve party from the night before. All of the guests agreed to boast about the Inn on their various social media outlets. Lewis also encouraged Rhonda to make a website. 

Jackson and Lewis stuck around a few days to help Rhonda build the website for the Inn. Making sure to highlight the hospitality and the charming décor. Rhonda then believed that maybe this was not the last season for Silver Heights. Luckily, her fears of the Inn closing down did not come true. Silver Heights continued to be an appealing stop for travelers of Nevada. 

December 27, 2019 01:06

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Ellie K
22:27 Jan 03, 2020

First of all, the plot of this story is really good, and I really enjoyed reading it! I did find that there were some punctuation errors, mainly to do with capitalization and comas. There were also several tense changes, which made it a bit hard to read. Another thing to keep in mind is pacing. Sometimes, I thought the story was moving a bit fast, and other times too slow. Also, I don't know if you intended to leave Rhonda's character kind-of mysterious, but her character wasn't developed very much. Just something to keep in mind :)


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Sahar Khanpour
03:56 Jan 02, 2020

I love the way you write and make the reader feel invested in the inns future! I’m also a sucker for vocab and I appreciate the language you used :) this is really well written and though there were a few typos it was a really good story


Morgan Douglas
20:09 Jan 02, 2020

Thank you! I didn’t realize I had typos but I did write it pretty fast.


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