by JD Clapp
Parker woke up, head spinning. Somebody was pounding on the door. He looked across the bed at the alarm clock—6:00 a.m.
“Room Service!’’ a Caribbean sounding voice bellowed in between the pounding.
“Be right there,” Parker yelled, grabbing his pants from the side of the bed.
Seeing the affable man in a hotel uniform and a cart loaded with food, he said, “I think there must be a mistake. I didn’t order room service.”
The waiter looked perplexed. “Ah, well sir, here is the order form you left on your door last night,” he said handing Parker the door hanger menu.
Bleary eyed, Parker looked. “Damn,” he thought, now vaguely remembering thinking he would be starving in the morning after an afternoon and long night of drinking when he filled the evil little door hanger out.
“Ah, yes…bring it in,” he said.
The waiter wheeled the cart in.
“Sir, I am going to leave the cart since there is so much here. How many silverware settings do you need?” he asked.
“Two please. My wife is down at the gym.”
“Only two? He asked.
“Yes. My wife likes to over order so she can sample things,” he said, happy to have somebody 2000 miles away to throw under the bus for this expensive debacle.
The waiter nodded, then walked him through the feast. “Here is the loaded omelet, sausage, and toast. The pancakes with bacon and fresh fruit are here. And the two-egg breakfast with grits, ribeye, and English muffin are in this one. I have coffee and juice for four,” he explained. Parker checked the 22% tip box, handed him another $10, signed the bill, and sent the very confused and happy room service attendant on his way.
Still drunk, Parker ate some toast, part of the omelet, gulped down some juice, and poured a coffee. Not wanting to waste everything, Parker opened the mini fridge to stash the perishables, and saw a small set of neon green button eyes sewn onto a little sack cloth figure, with feathers for hair and XXX sewn where a mouth should be stared back at him.
“What the…” he said out loud, before remembering, yesterday, he had ventured into a back-alley voodoo shop to buy a “real” voodoo doll.
“Jesus, New Orleans is worse than Vegas,” he thought. Parker threw the doll on the bed and stored the food. Thank God I don’t have a meeting until lunch, he thought.
He was about to climb back into bed when he got a text from his boss’s assistant:
Tom had a motorcycle accident this morning. He shattered his leg and needs surgery. We need you back in the home office tomorrow.
As it that sunk into his alcohol-muddled brain, Parker felt growing anxiety. With a sudden realization, anxiety gave way to panic. He grew ashen. Parker didn’t pay for the voodoo doll, he paid for a curse.