2-Pack SECUR360 2000-Lumen LED Outdoor Smart Security Flood Light

  • 2000 lumens might scare potential intruders
  • 2000 lumens will definitely help you navigate your way inside on dark, icy winter nights
  • You can connect it to wifi and then control it via Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Motion-activated, duh
  • Favorite Tom Wolfe novel: The Bright Stuff
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Ghastly Comfort XV

Dearest mother,

As I am sure has become clear in our correspondences since I overtook the operations of this inn gifted to me by unsigned letter, the head hotelier earns much of her keep in dealing with guest complaints.

Many of these complaints are of the benign variety. A young couple on the third floor may complain that the water pressure in the shower does not meet their standards. An elderly gentleman, meanwhile, may complain that, in his room, the issue is quite the opposite: the water comes out with such blistering force he worries he might bruise. Yet another pair of guests–middle-aged twin sisters–might bring to my awareness that, in the bathroom adjoined to their suite on the first floor, no water comes out at all, but instead, the shower head issues a hiss that sounds remarkably like a voice saying, “You too shall be consumed,” before ants emerge not only from it but also swarm out of the drain.

(Hugo, my employee, admitted this to be an issue beyond his general handyman’s expertise, so I told him to call a professional, meaning a plumber. He instead brought in three clergymen cloaked in the garb of a holy order that, when I inquired into its origins, said only to speak the name of the church aloud would be dangerous. At any rate, the ants relented. Perhaps these priests are skilled with a wrench and a bit of poison!)

Recently, though, I had a much more frustrating issue. A number of guests, while making their way up the stone walkway to the front door at dusk, reported being tripped. They claimed with certainty that the assailant was a man, as they felt him lean close and whisper into their ears, “This is merely practice.” But when they got up and looked around they saw no sign of him or anyone.

Hugo claimed to know the guilty party. “Jack the Tripper,” he said with certainty. But when I told him to call the police and report this apparent delinquent, he said it would be impossible. Jack had been a gymnast nearly thirty years ago. He had traveled through the area as part of a performing group and remained after growing enamored with a local girl, Eliza. Around the village, he gained a reputation for his unmatched balance, allowing him to perform a number of odd jobs that required climbing trees and walking along narrow branches or standing on intensely slanted roofs. Most men would have fallen to their deaths, Hugo told me, but Jack remained upright without effort, so trained were his muscles.

Then, one day, at the edge of the cliff on which our inn sits–the one forever framed by gray skies and looking out over a sea that never ceases its tumult–he fell. He had been with Eliza at the time, and she claimed he slipped. Only under intense questioning did she admit the truth. There by the cliff, with her in his arms, Jack had confessed the intensity of his love for her. She admitted that she felt the same way, and that this feeling–the absolute hysteria she felt in his presence–left her fearful. Jack interpreted this as hyperbole and leaned in for a kiss, but Eliza had not exaggerated, and as his lips neared hers, she shrieked and fought to free herself from his embrace, pushing him away, not thinking of their location. Jack released her, stumbled, and went over the edge into the choppy sea below. This, Hugo claimed, proved his love to be genuine; that he could lose his balanced showed him to be uncharacteristically at ease with her. Only now, Hugo told me, he was obviously back from the grave and looking for revenge.

Anyway, I imagine the tripping is due to some unevenness in the path. I cannot find any evidence of this in the daylight; thus, it is likely something invisible to the untrained eye, so I will have to call in a mason. As for the whisper, well, a breeze can sound like anything, can it not?

Still, to assuage the guests’ fears, I have purchased two SECUR360 2000-Lumen LED Outdoor Smart Security Flood Lights. They are motion-activated and very bright, and apparently, they can work with Google Assistant or Alexa. (The inn is outfitted with neither of these, I should clarify; as this letter evidences, we have enough claims of disembodied voices to deal with as is.)

Perhaps these fantastic lights will illuminate your and father’s path, mother! I know that, on long trips, father likes to find a horse pasture over which to watch the sunset, so you will likely arrive in the night when you do eventually come visit.

Please make it soon! It would be lovely to see you both!

Miranda Prillchisky
The Dread Inn at Death Rock

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