There had been fewer and fewer guests to the lodge every year but it had been over a week since Sam had seen a new face. It had been 26 years since he had inherited the Goathorn Lodge from his late Father, and nestled deep in the Canadian Rockies, Sam was used to the solitude by now. But it was hard to stay comfortable with no money rolling in. The Lodge was sort of remote - about two hours from the main highway - and wasn’t hard to miss. There were signs, but the amount of traffic headed that way in general had become quite thin. Neither Sam or his wife Kim had been very adept with technology either so their attempts at marketing themselves online had also come up short. Sam was avoiding the issue that he knew he would have to face soon. He would be forced to sell the property.
Sam had thought about every conceivable option and had practiced the arguments he would have with Kim against himself in the shower over and over again. He still wasn’t ready to face facts but was certain he would never be ready so it was time to have the conversation anyway.
Kim was no dummy. Sam knew she had already thought about this on her own and was just waiting for him to bring it up. Kim was much smarter than he was as far as Sam was concerned so there was no doubt in his mind that Kim had already reached this conclusion and was patiently waiting at the finish line for him. He decided he would have the conversation with her that evening and that a miracle would have to happen in order to avoid it.
It was around 9pm and Sam had returned to the front hallway after doing his last cleaning checks on the rooms for the night. They were really easy and almost unnecessary given that the lodge had seen exactly zero visitors for over a week now but it was part of the routine and Sam didn’t want to imagine that he might not be doing them any more. He approached the front desk where his wife Kim was lost in a murder novel. Or a mystery novel. Or a murder mystery novel. Sam wasn’t sure, she read a lot of books.
Sam had finally worked up the courage to bring up their plight and walked over resting his elbows on the desk. This was enough to get Kim to look up at him.
“Go on then. What’s wrong with ya?” she asked, likely already knowing the answer.
As Sam began to speak he saw Kim’s face light up.
Not light up in the sense of wide eyes and a smile appearing on her face. No, it quite literally lit up, and so did the entire room, in a flash of light so brilliant that Sam had to shield his eyes facing away from it. What followed was the loudest thing that the proprietors of the Goathorn Lodge would ever hear in their lives.
A something just happened outside and the old married couple had to investigate. Without saying another word to each other they grabbed their coats, flashlights, and some light hiking gear and headed out the door and into the woods. They knew the trails around the area like the backs of each other’s heads and so it didn’t take them very long to reach the area where the crash had happened. They approached a wide open clearing surrounded by collapsed trees and stepped lightly towards it. They found themselves at the edge of a crater, larger than the Lodge and quite deep. At the bottom they could see a large round object. Sam pointed the flashlight at it but still couldn’t make out exactly what he was looking at with the dim light.
“D’ya think it’s a meteor?” Sam blurted out.
“How the hell should I know?” Kim responded, still staring into the hole.
They decided it wouldn’t do them any good to keep asking each other questions, and it was too dangerous to go down closer in the dark. After checking around to make sure nothing was on fire, they walked back to the lodge and concluded that they would return to check on things in the morning. Sam had completely forgotten what he had wanted to talk to Kim about.
Dawn came and Sam and his wife sat down in silence with their coffees, trying to psych themselves up to go back out to the crater. Sam had barely slept thinking about it all night, and because of his tossing and turning, neither had Kim. They donned their hiking gear once again, though in less of a panic this time, and headed back out. When they arrived at the crater once again they had a better view of the object but still couldn’t really make out what it was from the top. Thankfully, due to the direction of the impact, one side of the crater was much less steep than the others and looked traversable, especially for seasoned hikers. They helped each other down slowly nonetheless and reached the bottom where the source of their excitement from the night before had landed. The excitement, which from now having seen the object up close, was starting to slip away.
“It’s a rock.” Sam said stunned.
“What did you expect?” Kim stared at him blankly.
“I thought it was a meteor.”
“What do you think a meteor is?” Kim was more impressed with how dense her husband could be than the object in front of her.
“Well, okay, I know they’re space rocks, I just thought it would look a bit different.”
“You’re different,” Kim concluded and reached her hand out to touch the rock.
“Careful it might be hot.” said Sam, already realizing that was a silly thought.
Kim just glanced at him with a dumbfounded look and placed her hand on the object, which was unsurprisingly quite cool. The two of them looked it over as thoroughly as they could before climbing out of the crater once more. They returned to the lodge and Kim decided that Sam should call the local newspaper in the small mountain town their lodge was technically a part of, regardless of the distance.
Sam got off the phone and let Kim know it was just as she thought, the news station was thrilled to have something to report besides the ever changing weather, bear sightings, and the negative effects of climate change. They told Sam they would be sending a small crew to check out the supposed meteor and take some statements in about two hours time. Sam and Kim both hustled to make sure the lodge was as clean and hospitable as could be. If the station was sending a camera crew, this might be good publicity for the lodge, and they wanted to look their best.
The news crew arrived - one reporter and a cameraperson, who wasn’t the regular cameraperson but a fella named Doug who happened to be at the station right now while the regular cameraperson was away and knew how to operate a camera - and followed Sam and Kim through the bush and eventually to the crater. When the news crew got a good look, the four of them concluded that it most certainly must be a meteor, which was relieving to hear for Sam. The crew took some notes and photos and did a short video interview with the couple. At Kim’s request, the crew mentioned the Goathorn Lodge by name in the interview.
What followed was better than Sam and his wife could have ever hoped for. For the next couple months, as news spread about the meteor, more and more guests flooded into the area and right into the rooms of the Lodge. Business was better than ever. Sam was unsure of how long this could possibly last but it was nice to see the business thriving again and it really put himself and Kim in good spirits. Things were finally going well. That night, after doing his final rounds and checking in on everything, Sam pulled into bed next to his wife and drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
Not far from the lodge, the meteor rested in its place.
Away from all eyes, a single crack streaked through the rock and it began to hatch…