Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Vacation

[Media prompt] Canada passes M-103 motion against Islamophobia.
The Vacation

When Monica from the front desk ushered in a detective, Frank Carter held his breath and waited. The last time he’d had the law in the hotel was when the Honourable Member for Papineau raped one of his housekeepers. They’d had Mounties crawling over the place for days after that one, and it killed business for months. Before that it had been Alejandro, one of the bellboys minting money by storing the Liberal Party’s coke stash in the kitchen cold store. Right under his nose, which is what made him mad. But today it was routine, the detective asking about a couple from Saskatchewan booked in for the weekend. 

"It’s a goddamned shame is what it is," said the detective. "Their first time in Ottawa, first holiday since getting married, here for their tenth anniversary."

Frank pulled up the record. "It's room 1146. Come on, I’ll take you there myself."

"Well, one of them was neat," said the detective, peering into the bathroom before walking into the room. 

The bed covers were pulled up, the pillows fluffed, everything in its place. Even the remote was back in its box near the television. 

"I’m guessing this is not the norm," the detective said, opening and closing the bar fridge. 

"No, it’s not," said Frank, "it happens though."

Look at this," the detective said, picking up a note on the desk. "Dear Maria. Is that that really one of the housekeepers?"

Frank nodded; it was a rare guest who took the trouble to learn, let alone remember, a housekeeper’s name. 

"Dear Maria, no need to clean in here today. Take the time to put your feet up and call your daughter. We are going early to Church to pray for her. Please take the attached as a token of our appreciation for the amazing job you do."

The detective turned the letter over, finding a twenty attached. 

"Definitely not the norm," said Frank, before the detective could ask.

After the detective left, noting nothing else about the room other than the Bible open at Colossians, Frank went back to his office and checked the morning’s news. There it was, all over the screen; Dale and Katie Mann from Ashby, Saskatchewan, found with their throats slashed in the alley behind Christ Church Cathedral on Sparks Street. He was about to shut his browser when he saw a tweet listed in the search results: <Whites, breeders, Bible thumpers, kids. What’s not to like? #DeathToAllWhites #CanadaForMuslims> He hesitated before clicking on the hashtag, but curiosity got the better of him. Tweets scrolled down his Twitter stream.

<Two down, two million to go. #ShariaLawNow>
<Fun with fundies. #TheProphetPBUH>
<The correct way to end Christian white privilege. Good riddance. #OttawaCaliphate>
<What a pity; no more crucifixes these days. #IslamNow>

There was no end to it. After a couple of minutes he’d had enough and needed fresh air. On his way out of the hotel, he stopped for a moment at the front entrance. 

"It’s an act of terrorism," he said when Mohammed the doorman asked him whether he’d seen the story about their erstwhile guests.

"Hey," said Mohammed, "you can’t say that to me. It’s Islamophobia. And that’s a crime."

No comments:

Post a Comment