Blood (1928)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Sarah Storm
engineered and recorded by Matt Storm

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transcription:

gilman-logo-new-transparentBlood.

Yet again, the master had cut himself shaving.  Streaks of his blood needed to be mopped away from the counter.  Marla was careful to not use the hotel towels, as she had her own.  She didn’t need the fussy staff to ask questions they needn’t answers for.

At this rate, Marla had given up on the so-called safety razors of today.  Clearly they weren’t foolproof as her own employer managed to nearly behead himself twice a week.  She looked patronizingly at the set of razors, far from the familiarity of those long handled straight razors she recalled in her childhood household.

Twenty years his attendee, Marla had kept the nature of his condition private for the last seven.  She was the sixth person told, but thanks to swinging doors in his home in Hartford, she was the second person to know.  It had a German name; his illness coupled with his bullish attitude, he had been given fewer than ten years to live, and much of the last several were to dedicate finalizing his affairs.

This scene, not unlike some sordid alley during the Eastern Rising, was as usual as tea served at 2.

She picked up her skirts, and ducked down, peering under the countertop and basin, and found the remaining ruddy droplets.  Folding the now gruesome linen, to be washed upon their return, Marla came back to the main room, and tucked them into her accumulating laundry.

While she rummaged, she spoke to the shadow of a figure in the bed behind her,”Mister Grantson, are you interested in going out this afternoon?”

A slight wheeze followed, with a long enough pause to send for a doctor, but then a cough and a murmur, “Eloise?”

“Mister Grantson, it’s Marla Macwell,” she said, now facing him, a wearied but concerned look on her face, and an accusatory hand on her hip. “You know it’s me, don’t let’s make pretending that you’ve lost your marbles.”

“You know, Marla, I would’ve married you after Eloise died if you hadn’t been such a mule.”  Mr Grantson shifted in his bed, gently lifting what he could of his body with the strength of one shoulder.

“I know, Mr. Grantson,” Marla smiled, getting closer to fluff his pillow, “but I couldn’t have afforded the reduction in pay.”  Now next to him, she could smell a waft of antiseptic, a post-bath face routine for her employer.

“The doctor?” Mr. Grantson trailed off.

“Dr. Sparrman will be at 3,” Marla said, sitting in the chair by the bed.  “He will give your examination and let us know if you’re well enough to travel tomorrow morning.”

Mr. Grantson snorted.  He had long favored his previous doctor, but he was dismayed to have outlived yet another.  In seventy-eight years, he had seen them all go.

“Now, Mr Grantson, would you be liking your tea now?”

“Is it as weak as yesterday’s?” Mr. Grantson muttered.

Marla was undeterred.  “Mr. Grantson, you know you cannot be taking your tea with as much sugar as you once did.  You’re not a young man any more.  We have to save your caloric intake.”

“What’s worth saving?  Give me the damn tea.”

Marla sighed.  The ox was stubborn as usual, but it was superior to the weeks of delusion and fits of unrest he suffered during his last treatment.

Marla fixed the tea as Mr. Grantson desired, and served it to his hand, steadying it by holding his wrist, and tucking a tray beneath it.  She set the kettle aside, prepared for a second cup should he desire it, or if she had the opportunity to nip some while he rested.

“There was the noise again,” Mr. Grantson said between sickly sips.

“The noise,” muttered Marla, “Sir, it’s a busy street, we’re going to have noise.  You want the racket of chickens like at home?”

“Not chickens… banging.  Banging on the wall.”

“That was me, ” smiled Marla, “I was trying to make sure you didn’t have too good a night sleep so you’d nap early this evening.”

Mr. Grantson stared ahead.  Marla checked her tone, as it was a familiar one but was concerned it was too sarcastic for the circumstances.  She and Mr. Grantson had enjoyed several years of playful back and forth in their conversation; indeed, something of a teasing daughter of only eight or nine to her youthful, funny father.

“Mr. Grantson, perhaps we should tell the doctor what you’ve been hearing?  Perhaps your body giving yourself a knocking and you’re mistaking it for out of doors.”

“I’m not giving myself a knocking,” Mr. Grantson said more loudly than he had been in days.  “There’s something here.  There’s always something here.”

“I have told the staff and they assure us there aren’t rats.”

“Every hotel has rats,” Mr. Grantson sighed.  “But that’s not what I’m hearing.  You’d hear it too if you ever stopped talking long enough.”

Marla steadied her tongue and the room was momentarily silent.  She reached for the cloth around Mr. Grantson’s neck.  He shuddered, but relented.

“I’m sorry, Marla.” He said quietly.

“Oh, Mr. Grantson, you haven’t said the worst I could take in these twenty years.”  Marla studied the bloodstains on the cloth.  It seemed to be taking longer to stop every time.  She went to tuck the fabric into her laundry items.

“The noise has been going for the full week we’ve been here.” Mr. Grantson, not to be ignored, continued.  “I hear it at night.  I hear the quiet of the out doors when you leave the window open, and I hear the bustle of morning when the staff turns down the rooms.  I hear the guests leave their rooms for dinner.  And I know what I hear at night is different.  I hear a banging in this hotel, the ghosts of who’ve gone, saying it’s time for me.”

“Oh, Mr. Grantson,” Marla sighed.

“Doctor Sparrman… he says I’m dying.”  Mr. Grantson said directly.

“Doctor Whalen was your last physician, Mr. Grantson.  You haven’t met Doctor Sparrman yet, and he hasn’t told you any such thing.”  Marla began folding his handkerchiefs, as she had always done for her parents when she was little.

“He says I’m dying,” Mr. Grantson continued, “and he’ll say it today.  Dr. Whalen knew me better than to leave me off with some thumper who won’t tell me what I need to know.”

Marla, for once in a long while, attempted to keep her mouth shut.  Her willpower lasted nearly whole seconds.

“Mr. Grantson, the doctor will tell you what he will tell you and we will prepare for it as always.”  She allowed herself a softer tone than even was necessary.

“Is Stephen coming?” Mr. Grantson coughed.

“Your son is at the house, Mr. Grantson.  He is meeting us there when you’re well enough to return.”

Marla closed her eyes, begging her god for no follow-up questions.  Stephen had long not been her favorite of Mr. Grantson’s sons.  His piggish behavior had increased once his father’s illness was made public.  She half expected to see him with a measuring tape in each room, determining what the ad would say upon the estate sale date of Mr. Grantson’s death.

“Damn,” muttered Mr. Grantson, and Marla peered over her shoulder to see he had spilled the rest of his tea cup over his chest.  Immediately registering the steps to improve the situation, Marla had a new shirt in her hand to redress him.  She assured him there were no burns, and that the tea was in fact quite cold after all.

His energy had all but given out upon her cleanup; then he settled his head against the pillow and headboard, and nodded in a quiet succumbence of rest.

As the clock ticks grew further and further away in sound, Mr. Grantson was asleep, as Marla stood there, bringing the soiled shirt to the basin.

The room was quiet as she stood there, barring that of the cool water pouring from the faucet.  As it approached a warmer touch, Marla ran her weathered fingers under the tap.  She had seen her own father go, years earlier, and was doing all she could to not allow the memories to subject her to foregone conclusions of her employer.

The steam rose from the basin, and Marla dunked the shirt under.  Her eyes trailed away, awash with concern and predisposed loss for Thomas James Grantson.  As she looked on, a spot came in focus.  The resulting splatter of Mr. Grantson’s emboldened attempts to shave himself in the morning, continued to carry into the afternoon, it seemed.

Leaving the shirt immersed in the water, Marla stared down at the spot.  The color suggested it was older but it looked otherwise fresh.  The spot, marring the otherwise lovely daffodil-colored tiles, just to the left of the dish of bar soap dimmed in the light.  Marla shook her head, somewhat dizzy, and looked again.  Seeing nothing but the subtle wash of yellow color on the wall, she stepped back uneasily, confused.  She glanced at the sink and let out a yelp.  Her master’s white collared shirt was now drenched in a deep, thick scarlet bath.   She puffed and stumbled back towards the wall of the bathroom, nearly falling into the tub, causing her view to catch the floor to steady herself.

She looked back at the sink.  The shirt bobbed slightly in the clear water.  She gasped but did not want to wake her employer up, so she stifled her sound with her fingers, nearly biting into them with fear.  A drubbing  against the wall shook her into place, as she stood, far enough from the sound to ensure she had not been the one to make it.

The yellow wall tile shone in the light of the room, gently reflecting just the closest of objects.  Marla studied the tile, seeing how each was separated by a thin strip of hardened white goo.  She let her gaze follow several pieces until she stopped dead.

Marla slowly moved closer to the splotch of crimson that marred the otherwise cheerful hue.  This mark was larger, unmistakable, and slowly, purposefully dripped in thin lines to the floor.

“No…”  Marla held her head.  She rushed her palm to the mark, praying it would vanish upon contact, but instead leaving an ugly smear.  She gagged at the sight.

Her eyes filling with wells of tears, she sank her hand into the still water of the basin, the water immediately a deepening, wretched pink.  With her other hand, she turned the faucet, cupping handfuls of water and bringing them to her face.

Convinced she was suddenly going mad, she squeezed her eyes tight and commanded her senses to return.  When she opened them, a wash of blood across the basin, counter, and floor pushed her deeper into a state of shock and fear.  Her shoes, as she pulled them backwards, left a sickening residue on the floor.  Her head pounded, and she slammed her fists on the sink, cracking it.  The faucet continued to pour clean water on to the fresh stains of blood, and trickled through the crack and onto the floor.  She let out a hearty bellow, her mind flooding with as many terrible visions as she could scarcely breathe during.

Crashing her fists against the walls, she screamed as each blow left a splattered bloodstain not her own.  “Stop it!  Stop it!” she howled, “I’ll never get it clean.  I’ll never… ” she slumped on the floor, feeling the ooze beneath her knees and thighs.  “I’ll never…”

She continued to dwindle; her body further slinking into the horrific slush, never ending and smelling of wounded, severed flesh, and revolting rusted metal.  Her strength at a near end, she pounded against the sticky floor, banging and sobbing.

“Marla?” a cough came from the other room.

For entire minutes, it felt like all the air went out, the silence of a ear gone numb, the sting of nonvolume, a near hum of agony.  She opened her eyes again.

Blood.

Yet again, the master had cut himself shaving.  Streaks of his blood needed to be mopped away from the counter.  Emma was careful to not use the hotel towels, as she had her own.  She didn’t need the fussy staff to ask questions they needn’t answers for.

The scene, not unlike some sordid alley in Herzegovina she heard of growing up, was as usual as tea served at 2.

Emma returned to the main room, and tucked them into her accumulating laundry.

While she rummaged, she spoke to the shadow of a figure in the bed behind her,”Mister Grantson, will you be going out this afternoon?”

They sat in the dim light; “Marla?”

“Mister Grantson,” she said firmly but warmly, “It’s Emma Kovacs.  You know it’s me, don’t let’s make pretending that you’ve lost your marbles.”

Segment 6: Murder Mavens Podcast (2017)

performed by Mary Cyn and Maggie McMuffin
based on material written by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
directed and produced by Viktor Devonne
recorded by Matt Storm

viktor sketches 2 color
Natalie May Dashett sketch by Fishy Business

True crime podcasters Cynthia Biederman and Veronica Fitzwilliam discuss the career and disappearance of Natalie May Dashett of the 30s-40s radio series Dark Pier.

(SSDGM, with love.)

LISTEN ON ITUNES
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY
LISTEN ON LIBSYN

 

 

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Segment 5: The Jefferson Account (1998)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Essence Revealed

 

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transcription:

gilman-logo-new-transparentIt was unreasonably warm in the room.  She could not tell the last time the bed had been turned down, but the musk in the air would have given the impression of someone having done aerobics while smoking cigars and then bathing a cat.

The windows looked bolted shut but with minimal amount of fuss, she was able to shake one open.  Her view of the courtyard and laxly cultivated garden was idyllic in comparisons to the rest of her surroundings.

The hotel had fallen into neglect, but certainly not recently.  She chose to stay there for the rate, and the proximity to the convention.

She had long been the only mind of money matters at her firm.  She knew where the clients liked to throw their dollar bills, and where the administrators vacationed on the company card.  Years ago, she’d proven her worth to several partners when she 1099’d the mistresses as something more palatable for the IRS.

She herself was three years married.  Margaret Mumford-Sachs.  Margie, please, but it was her decision to hyphenate.  She was tough in the board room, but without those hushed “what a bitch” whispers that her feminine colleagues seemed to always get.  She knew her job, frankly better than anyone else, but knew to file away, mentally, where the bodies were buried rather than act on it now.

Four years with Hopkins Vernon Skipp, the trials she was deposed for, the schmoozing cocktail parties, and the creative tax deductions did not prepare her for marriage to a would-be perfect man.

He was insistently perfect.  Underfoot.  Inquisitive.  Dying to please.  She has decided at six years old that she was not a dog person.  She still wasn’t.

It was almost 4pm.  The room was already airing out and her rose-scented body splash managed to overpower whatever Dutch Master  failed to die in there weeks ago.

Margie took off her lanyard and hung it on the lamp.  Glancing at the mirror, she was relieved her hair had stayed mostly intact from the morning’s styling.  Her manicured nails—violet—traced her neck to clavicle, over her jacket buttons.  The suit was a good choice.  She looked amazing in navy.  She stripped off the blazer somewhat reluctantly, exposing her white blouse.  Both were soon draped over the only chair in the room.

It was a matter-of-fact undressing for a woman who failed to find herself erotic for these many years.  Within moments, she was already in the shower, letting the heat provide much-needed permission for her mind to drift to the hours ahead.

She was an efficient shower-taker at home, but here, she allowed herself to linger.  It was time to switch gears and prepare herself to be something for someone else. Those unchecked emails would wait for Tuesday.  The steam filled her mind, as she caressed her unloved body.

She shuddered at that thought.  Jesus Christ, yes, she was loved.  She had a family she grew up with and supported her.  The collie of a convenience at home in the shape of a college sweetheart.  The single mothers who knew she had their back, and almost foreclosed that got the extra week to pay.  People are complicated, she thought.  It was as good an excuse as any to allow herself to sink into a momentary feeling of abandonment.

The flip phone in the other room made its familiar midi chime.  She caught herself postponing again, even when it served her.  Especially when it served her.

The towels were surprisingly luxurious all things considered; large enough to wrap herself once and a half, and to effectively soak up her skin.  No bathmat; her foot prints betrayed the otherwise naked floor.

Patting her chest and thighs, Margie stumbled into the now dim bedroom area, and to her second carry-on bag.  Her Chicago address tag came loose off the handle and dropped to the floor, as she slipped her hand to the bottom of the bag, past the nasal spray and tissues.  Removing the silk camisole and panty set, she dropped the towel and immediately slid the loose fabric over her still moistened skin.

She wondered if it was still too conservative for the weekend.  She thought black lace would be severe, and hard to explain at home, so she opted for the light silver.  She was afraid of looking like a mom on the Friday night lineup, so she had left her usual nightwear at home.

The phone—there’s a phone?—quietly rang, predictably distorted, on the end table, predictably stained with glass marks.

“Ms., uh, Williams?” the voice said, clearly suspicious of the last name.  They had seen her credit card after all.  “Your guest is here.  I’m sending them up as you requested.”

She nodded sheepishly, and it was quiet for just a few seconds too long; “Ms. Williams?”

“Oh!” she stuttered, “Yes, thank you.”  What the hell was this, 8th grade formal?  Wake up, Margie.  She put the down the receiver, and went to sit on the bed.  She should’ve checked the sheets when she came in.  Relieved to see that while the hideous Anne Geddes reject comforter looked crunchy, the sheets and pillows were bleach white, and seemed at least somewhat new.

Margie sat down on the open bed, and attempted a few poses.  No, “I don’t have to do all that,” she reminded herself.

The quiet of the room, and the distance from the lobby to the elevator to the fifth floor, made her nervous.  She flipped on the TV to yet another news analyst discussing that fucking blue dress.  Switching to Weather, unlicensed muzak put her in the mood of a court lobby, and was oddly soothing.

The door’s lock deactivated from the outside, and Margie saw her new guest for the first time.  “It’s okay to use the key, right?  The desk said—”

Margie smiled, “Yes.  Hi.”

Her guest put the keycard down on the small table  by the door.  “I’m Erica.”

“Hi.  I—” Margie thought for a second.  Fuck it.   “I’m Margie.”

“Hi Margie,” Erica smiled warmly.  She walked toward her slowly, her faux leather jack catching the dim light from the lamp.  “We can do whatever you’d like tonight.  I’m here til about 8.  Is that alright?”

Margie exhaled.  “Yes, that’s totally fine.”

Erica put down her knock-off bag, which hit the carpet with a minor thump.  “Good,” said Erica.  She was soft, but comforting, as she tussled her messy-style bob and pursed her bubblegum pink lips in a knowing “so what you wanna do” stance.  She put her hands on her waist, her jacket rising and the bottom revealing a dress about four inches shorter than Margie would ever feel comfortable wearing at the office.

“You look nice, Margie,” Erica said, not moving.  She smelled like vanilla sugar.  “Really sexy.”

Margie’s eyes stung for half a second, as she lay back.  “Lie down with me?”

Erica pulled off her jacket and kicked off the clunky boots.  “Do you want me to leave this on?”  Erica pointed to her satin minidress.  She looked amazing in navy.

Margie smiled, “I’ll do it.”

Erica would end up leaving promptly at 8:05.  Margie was a little sad to see her go, although she knew she would fall asleep by 8:30 at this rate.  She plugged Erica’s number into her phone, as “Jefferson Account,” and kissed her goodbye at the door, without touching her own stomach to hide it with her hand, or reaching for a robe.

The door closed, and Margie stood there naked for a few moments, before returning her wallet to her purse, and seeking a return to the comfort of the now slightly damp, tumbled sheets.

Segment 4: Voicemail/Music Video News Demo (1989)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Matt Storm

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transcription:

viktor sketches 1 color
Requiem sketch by Fishy Business

Hi, this is Ramona Malone from the Gilman Legacy Foundation.  I’m calling in reference to the advance copy I received regarding the passing of Requiem that is set to air tomorrow evening. 

I’m afraid I’m going to need Mr. Ludding and the producers of Music Video News Break to give me a call back.  Nothing serious, but there are a few items that I’m going to need to address.  I believe we sent Mr. Benson the original release that I authorized, and Mr. Ludding certainly took a few liberties.  I would hate to bring anyone from our legal department have to get involved. 

Specifically we’re going to need you adjust the quotes from the band members to reflect their latest statement that I have already faxed over.  And I need you to remove any insinuation the hotel has anything to do with his passing.  Oh and if you’re able to remove that comment about the band recording their demo here that would be great.   Finally, I see no reason to include Mr. Cobin in this story and we at the foundation don’t appreciate that implication.

I’m afraid I have about a dozen or so other notes and I suggest you give me a call back by 6 tonight.  Thank you so much.  The number you can reach me at 555-9424 and my extension is 7.  You have a wonderful evening, now.

Ken Ludding with a Music Video News Break.

Requiem, lead vocalist for the Last Boys, was found dead by authorities at abandoned hotel The Gilman on Monday. While details were not made immediately available to the press, Requiem (born Henry Jane Fullton, 10/2/1960) age 27, was discovered by unidentified witnesses early in the morning of February 15th.

Fullton, who legally changed his name to Requiem in 1985 after a meteoric rise to fame with his industrial-synth rock band, made headlines this past Christmas when the fall tour Tear the Flesh ’89 was cancelled and the singer went into what was described as “hiding,” by his bandmates, who released a separate statement indicating the cancellation came as a surprise to them. This seclusion brought Fullton to multiple cities, ending at the famed and notorious hotel The Gilman, which closed doors due to health code violations in 1986.

Requiem was discovered in an abandoned, unfurnished room on the third floor, with what can be described as stripped bed quarters and unsanitary conditions. It is unclear when Requiem entered the establishment, or precisely how he entered, however documents indicate he may have been there at least a week before his death, and that indeed he was found within hours of his actual death, despite his seclusion for up to that time. It would be the last of several visitations Requiem would make to the once bustling hotel, having been one of his frequent haunts when the Last Boys became successful in 1984. Indeed, it is legend that at least half the album, Rage In Favor, was written there and the demo sent to the label BioLumina was indeed postmarked from Gilman Street. Requiem would later joke that he made a pact with the devil for the album to be a hit while in a hotel room, which would later be revealed as the Gilman.

Alas, in summer of 1986, after a rash of complaints, the hotel was shut down while the Last Boys were on tour in Scandinavia. The hotel, recently famous for it being the final inhabitance of serial murderer Edgar Corbin n 1982, and something of a tourist attraction therefore, shut its doors by autumn 1986.

Requiem’s final years have seem to have culminated in a frenzy of usual-for-him behavior, from proclamations of vampirism in Rolling Stone in 1987, and forward and frank discussions of the occult during what was intended as a relatively light-hearted evening chat show in the UK, leading the host to sit motionless for several minutes while Requiem discussed Satan.

A fan vigil was organized Monday night outside the Gilman Hotel, which shut its doors to the public and provided private entrances and exits to its existing patrons and longterm stays. Fan club president Melora Debbenski organized the event through word of mouth, appearing in a near identical wine-red leather suit and cape ensemble that Requiem wore in the “Virgin Sacrifice” music video, which premiered on music video networks only this past Halloween. Requiem appeared in the same attire for promotional photos declaring the Tear Your Flesh ’89 world tour, which was scheduled to start in Helsinki in May.

Requiem and the Last Boys were riding a wave of six hit 12” singles and their latest, “Drown Your Face,” was set to premiere Tuesday, the 23rd of this month It is anticipated the single will move as expected, although radio stations have been playing on near loop, the now classic first single of the Last Boys, “Die Die Die (Darling)” and its award-winning follow-up, “Spit Dust.”

Last Boys lead guitarist Kurtis Mock called the news of Requiem’s passing, “on time,” and drummer Harvey Goode said “Req never should have gone back there.” Bassist Malcolm Binge commented “He’s not dead; he can’t die.” While the band’s manager, Jervis Capshaw, did not elaborate on any of these statements, he requested privacy for the band and their families at this time. It is not known if Requeim had any living family at the time of his death, considered one of the great loners of his field, and not connected to any romantic relationships during the band’s success.

Requiem, called the atomic accident mutation lovechild of Wendy O. Williams and Alice Cooper, was last noted to declare “I’m going home, ya bleeders.” on the now legendary Height of Hits countdown in December. It would be his last public appearance, as the band struggled three times to get through a fourteen minute version of their hit single “Voice Inside the Wall.”

Requiem

Catch some backstory on one of the characters of 2 Night Stay:

viktor sketches 1 color
Requiem sketch by Fishy Business

Requiem, lead singer of the Lost Boys, cancels world tour (Tear the Flesh ’89) at the height of their fame to go into self-determined seclusion and found at the abandoned Gilman Hotel in 1989, from uncertain causes and most unhygienic circumstances.

Requiem, a self-professed vampire, was noted by fans as having come back from the dead and more internet rumors persist about resurrection. Which, of course, is nuts.

The Lost Boys’ albums spawned legendary metal/darkwave/rock fusions “Die Die Die Darling,” “Drown Your Face,” “Rage Against,” “Virgin Sacrifice,” and the award-winning single “Spit Dust.”

Holly Ween played Requiem in The Dead Sexy Hotel in 2012.

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Segment 3: First Date (1982)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded by Matt Storm
performed by Faux Pas le Fae

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transcription:

viktor sketches 5 colorsketch by Fishy Business

“You’re going to drive me to drink,” she laughs. they clink glasses.

They’ve actually been sitting in this bar for about 2 1/2 hours. Between them, they’ve lost count on cocktails they may have ordered; but she knows she started with wine and somehow she’s moved onto whiskey.

He’s a traveler. Salesman? She’s not entirely sure what he does for a living; somehow they just skirted the issue entirely this whole time, but she knows she’s told him an awful lot about her.

She said everything about her trip to San Diego, how her mother found that uranium in the backyard, and brought up her great uncle and how he used to raise cocker spaniels in Wilmington.

She’s not used to flirting anymore. She was an expert once; it was all she knew how to do for a while. But she thought after weeks of quiet loneliness that she would give it a try tonight and, boy, did she luck out.

He’s got dark brown hair. It reminds her of fur; it’s dense and like a deer’s hide. His face reminds of her of that actor she can never remember the name of because he’s never listed in the first six credits. But she’s seen his smile, a little crooked on the left; knowing too much. He’s been taking bets all night, and she’s let him win every time. But he’s a gentleman; she knows he’s letting her think she’s ahead.

The nose. Yeah, it doesn’t quite match the rest of the face. But it’s a good nose on someone else, so why not on him. He’s got strong shoulders; if he didn’t play sports in college, mores the pity. His eyes look through her and back again. She has to restart her sentences sometimes because she gets lost. He assures her it’s fine.

Her dress is too tight, she knows her mother would suggest, and she was regretting all the lavender sequins until he complimented her on it. She chose it over the poofy one. She didn’t want to look like Atlantic City had let her out for conjugal visit. The fishnets however, well, old habits die hard. Those were part of the uniform for fifteen years, and she had no intention to letting them go now, especially if she was going on her own now.

So far she’s avoided talking about her marriage. Somehow she managed to keep her wits among her to avoid that topic. She doesn’t want to seem eager, new to the game. Well, new again; back in play. But even having this verbal dance for hours now, she stopped wondering about 45 minutes ago what he sees in her.

He laughs when she needs him too; he has a follow up question every single time she thinks that they’ve gone silent too long.

The cigarette smoke wisps as it envelopes the breath between them. They started off further apart, but the chair swiveled, and she found herself even closer on those terrible bar stools with the back that just missed your flesh, with the slightest implication of support.

She hasn’t dare look at her watch where the clock over the bar; she just wants this Friday night to last as long as it possibly can. Well, at least this part of the night in this bar. She doesn’t know if he’s going to invite her up to his room or if she will invite him to hers. They haven’t made it that far yet. But she knows it’s coming; that awkward “when I see you again sometime,” or “you have a good night, unless you wanna come up for coffee.” They’re at a hotel. She doesn’t have coffee. But maybe in the morning, they can get some. There’s that cafe next to the lobby. They call it cafe but they only have coffee and doughnuts til 11am.

He’s laughed again at something she said; she has been comforted by the absence of self-consciousness this whole time. What is it about this man that puts her at ease. She swore years ago that she would ever let her guard down like this. But he’s nice. Attractive, but not intimidating. Those eyes; hazel or maybe green. no, she’s been looking long enough at them; she knows they’re hazel.

It looks like the dance is ending. she goes for her purse, and he puts his hand on her shoulder. She’s not sure why she didn’t wear a sweater tonight, but her bare shoulder shivers at the touch. He murmurs something about an early morning. She figures she’s going to bed alone again. Him, to sleep six hours before a conference or a convention or, wherever he’s in town for.

Wrong. He extends his arm towards her, ready to take her hand into his. An escort to the elevator? No, they take the stairs. Slowly. Drunkenly. She doesn’t know how much she’s had. Her eyes glance to the door she knows is hers for the next three days; but he hasn’t slowed down. They go up one more flight.

Must be after midnight. She doesn’t want to be shy. She wants to go for it; she wants to finally do what she promised on her 42nd birthday she would finally fucking do when she felt like it. And he seems so nice. Attractive, but not intimidating. And those eyes. What was that actor’s name?

As the door clicks open, she becomes a silhouette slowly wandering aimlessly into this darkened room, the corridor light providing only reference points, so she knows where not to stumble. The bedroom of the hotel is very similar to hers; she can figure out where the desk is, where the extra chair might be, and where the mattress is.

The window is open and the curtains allow for just enough moonlight to make her feel so beautiful. He closes the door behind him. She sits quietly, waiting for him to make his move. Her breath tightens. His hands tighten. She feels dizzy; something is wrong. He’s doing this wrong. Something is wrong. She wants to tell him but he has his hand over her mouth. He has to know this isn’t right.

The moonlight is dim. She can’t get up. It’s over so quickly, it must have taken hours. Birds are already gathering themselves into discordant snippets of sounds.

She is over them now. She looks at their figures. He’s crying over her, apologizing. He’s saying some girl’s name, but not hers. He’s apologizing to someone else over her body. She makes a note to remark on that failure in courtesy, but there are no more words to say.

For someone who made her feel so beautiful, he has reduced her to a monstrous shell. Sloppy. Maybe his first time. No, second or third. She observes the signs of ritual. That was her gold bracelet, and an earring that made it into that wooden box he had kept under the bed. They joined other trinkets. That necklace was pretty; it looked more expensive than hers. How many of them were once owned by someone 43 and divorced, on their first try out again. How many of those women looked at him and just couldn’t quite place that film almost-star. You kept imagining him talking to Kathleen Turner like that was a hint.

She’s alone again. Another man, her limp body in his arms, has left her alone again. He looks, skyward, either for judgement or for peace. His eyes look through her.

Those eyes. Maybe they aren’t as remarkable as she let herself believe. Dull, almost.

Natalie May Dashett

Catch some backstory on one of the characters of 2 Night Stay:

viktor sketches 2 color
Natalie May Dashett sketch by Fishy Business

via Gilman Legacy page:

One of the Gilman Hotel’s most glamorous residents was certainly Natalie Dashett and she has acquired a renewed interest in this modern age.

An anonymous fan of her work in radio serials such as Dark Pier and films like Lovebirds has created a well-intentioned tribute page to the actress.  We inquired to the fan his or her connection to the actress but have not yet received a reply.

Natalie left the business in 1951, but before she did, she was a friend to the hotel and recorded numerous commercials for the Gilman during WWII.

The Gilman Legacy Foundation, as part of their heritage reconstruction project, requests anyone that has a certain lead of Ms. Dashett’s current wherabouts or previous wherabouts, to please contact us directly.

Gretchen Violetta played Natalie May Dashett in The Dead Sexy Hotel in 2012.

patreon

Segment 2: Music Video News Break

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Matt Storm

transcription:

viktor sketches 1 color
Requiem sketch by Fishy Business

Ken Ludding with an Music Video News Break.  

Requiem, lead vocalist for the Last Boys, was found dead by authorities at noted luxury hotel The Gilman on Monday.  While details were not made immediately available to the press, Requiem (born Henry Jane Fullton, 10/2/1960) age 27, was discovered by unidentified witnesses early in the morning of February 15th.

Fullton, who legally changed his name to Requiem in 1985 after a meteoric rise to fame with his industrial-synth rock band, made headlines this past Christmas when the fall tour Tear the Flesh ’89 was cancelled and the singer went into what was described as “hiding,” by his bandmates, who released a separate statement indicating the cancellation came as a surprise to them.  This seclusion brought Fullton to multiple cities, ending at the famed and notorious hotel The Gilman.

It was noted by early reports that Requiem was not a registered guest of the hotel, however there were later corrections made, stating that Requiem had used an alias to check in, and while there was no payment method listed on the account, it is likely the rocker was staying at the location up to a week without being bothered by staff.  It is being estimated by authorities that a hotel staffmember was intentionally keeping Requiem’s name off the books, or preventing the room—a modest 2 bed room—from being booked while Requiem was staying there.

Requiem’s final years have seem to have culminated in a frenzy of usual-for-him behavior, from proclamations of vampirism in Rolling Stone in 1987, and forward and frank discussions of the occult during what was intended as a relatively light-hearted evening chat show in the UK, leading the host to sit motionless for several minutes while Requiem discussed Satan.  Indeed, Requiem regularly stayed at the Gilman Hotel, including periods when it was shut down for maintenance in 1986, having provided a steady income to the building’s investors. 

A fan vigil was organized Monday night outside the Gilman Hotel, which shut its doors to the public and provided private entrances and exits to its existing patrons and longterm stays.  Fan club president Melora Debbenski organized the event through word of mouth, appearing in a near identical wine-red leather suit and cape ensemble that Requiem wore in the “Virgin Sacrifice” music video, which premiered on music video networks only this past Halloween.  Requiem appeared in the same attire for promotional photos declaring the Tear Your Flesh ’89 world tour, which was scheduled to start in Helsinki in May.

Requiem and the Last Boys were riding a wave of six hit 12” singles and their latest, “Drown Your Face,” was set to premiere Tuesday, the 23rd of this month  It is anticipated the single will move as expected, although radio stations have been playing on near loop, the now classic first single of the Last Boys, “Die Die Die (Darling)” and its award-winning follow-up, “Spit Dust.”

Last Boys lead guitarist Kurtis Mock called the news of Reqieum’s passing, “on time,” and drummer Harvey Goode said “whenever Req stayed at that hotel, it would take him weeks to get well again.”  Bassist Malcolm Binge declined statements.

Requiem, called the atomic accident mutation lovechild of Wendy O. Williams and Alice Cooper, was last noted to declare “Fear me, ya bitches,” on the now legendary Height of Hits countdown in December.  It would be his last public appearance.

Segment 1: Tour Video (1977)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Anja Keister

transcription:

viktor sketches 3 color
Lionel Gilman sketch by Fishy Business

Hello, I’m Colleen.  Thank you for joining me today as we take a look at the historic Gilman Hotel.

For generations, our families have stayed at The Gilman, the home-away-from-home that has been standing for 75 years!

It was the final vision of our town’s industrial leader, Lionel Gilman.  Born in 1819 to a devoted mother and father only a few miles from where the hotel now stands, Lionel Gilman made a name for himself with multiple acts of business savvy, and early social awareness.

Indeed, Mr. Gilman was touted by colleagues as a symbol of strong leadership, a giving heart, and an eye for the future.  While Mr. Gilman only lived two years after his amazing hotel was open for business, it was through strategic business plans laid out before he died, that ensured his building would stand proud for three quarters of century.

Basing his plans on an abandoned project, Lionel Gilman revitalized business on what is now known as Gilman Street, across from Gilman Park and within walking distance from multiple businesses that Mr. Gilman provided for.  Initially only two floors with a modest café and secondhand shop, the Gilman Hotel became seven floors of spacious, affordable luxury, a renowned ballroom function hall, and a fashionable boutique.

Over the years, the Gilman Hotel has seen thousands upon thousands of transients on the go, including servicemen, celebrities, and public figures.  But don’t you worry, it is still just as convenient and cozy to the everyman who is traveling 2 nights for business, or is in town with his wife and children all week.

The story starts here.  Lionel Gilman, through perseverance in the down-on-your-luck 1900s, created a new century of opportunity.  Refusing to compromise on supplies and equipment, Mr. Gilman personally oversaw reconstruction of this small family business and launched it into a friendly, respectable dream of a stay.

Mr. Gilman left his business to his brother, Tobias Gilman, respected philanthropist and father of industry.  Known for his work in shipyard conglomerates, Tobias saw to fulfill his brother’s dying wish, and complete the hotel as we know it today.

Here we see the lavish Persephone Ballroom, which was renovated fully in the 1950s. This comfortable, stylish room has been host to many fabulous parties, events, and functions.  While a 1954 earthquake did its best to shut down the party, the Gilman spirit could not be denied.  It was built stronger than ever. 

Notice those antique diamond chandeliers?  They are complete reproduction of the original chandeliers enjoyed by countless guests in 1904 through the 1950s, and were lovingly re-created to keep the timeless elegance the Gilman began with.  We see no reason to attempt to improve on perfection.  But don’t you worry; we are always on top of today’s electrical needs, and fire safety concerns.  An entirely new system was installed for our guests only last year.

And talk about service!  Our staff is equipped to provide you with all the comforts of home at an elevated level.  Our towels can’t be beat!  Our restaurant serves up the best stuffed crab this side of the country!  Our beds are more comfortable than you could ever demand of your everyday homelife.

After Tobias passed on, a trust was recognized by the state to provide ownership and security to the Gilman Legacy Foundation.  Truly this was the best way for the hotel to be preserved despite any changes that might occur economically, politically, or legally.  The Gilman Legacy Foundation’s mission to keep the hotel safe and comfortable, inviting all guests and longterm residents to enjoy their time here for as long as they wish.

Additionally, the Gilman Legacy Foundation is at the forefront of local charitable work.  Indeed, the Sixteenth Street Orphanage, also unofficially known as the Gilman Home for Children is provided to by the GLF, as is the Amity School for Girls, and Diamond Pond Community Playhouse which is preparing their fall season with an exciting new production of Merchant of Venice.  See you in the front row!

You’re now seeing a series of images from some of our everyday activities.  There’s our bellman with your bags; he’ll get them safely on their way.  Oh our concierge of our hotel boutique is the one to find for last minute flowers or gifts, and simply your home essentials.  Hey there, Julie!  Someone forgot a toothbrush!

And new this year, we’re opening an on-sight kennel for your traveling furry friends to enjoy their own set of amenities.  Look out, Rover could get used to this!

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon walk in our magnificent and intimate courtyard which features our well maintained rock garden and fish pond.  That fountain featuring that mischievous little water sprite has been with us these 75 years!

You too can enjoy the Gilman in all kinds of ways.  Contact us today through [garbled] and make your reservations.  Presidential penthouse apartment, honeymoon suite, and adorable rooms of affordable luxury are all available, pending availability.

We can’t wait to see you at the Gilman!  You’ll want to stay here forever!