The Ceiling Fan

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    This is the first section of a book that I am slowly working up. I’d like to get some insight into the way my writing style comes across. I’d also appreciate any grammatical help. Thank you.

    ***C1-1-THE CEILING FAN***
    Jenny’s eyes opened slowly until about three quarters wide. Dawn was less than an hour old and its dim light was reaching into the room through a partially curtained single window. Her sinuses ached and felt dry. That was due to dry heated air in the room and to the drying effect on her body tissue from Tequila. She was nauseas, but not awake enough to realize that it was a hangover.

    Where was the ceiling fan!? The ceiling was white and flat like the one that she woke up seeing every morning, but there was no fan. Nor a light fixture. There was no evidence that any ever existed.

    Panic shot through her. She began to sit up. As she did the discomfort in her sinuses intensified into a single stabbing pain. Her nausea was accompanied by a thick lumpy feeling at the base of her throat. She fell back upon her elbow and then turned to study the motionless body in the bed next to her. It wasn’t Robby. She looked across the dimly lit room and recognized nothing.

    “This isn’t true, it can’t be.” she thought to herself as her lips silently and vaguely mouthed the words.
    When she was seventeen while driving alone, she was T-boned in her dad’s pick-up. An oncoming pick-up slammed head on into her passenger door. The other driver had ignored a stop sign at the remote intersection of two ranch roads.

    Her truck didn’t flip over but was sent violently sliding to a corner of the intersection and several feet into the high grass beyond the pavement.
    She always wore her seatbelt and that saved her from serious injury. But the concussion of the impact and unfamiliarity with the violent movement of the truck as it sailed off the side of the road altered her perception of that reality. Her mind became hazy and the world of that moment didn’t seem as real as it had just seconds before. The shock numbed her and protected her from the immediate distress of the collision. A little time passed and she realized that she wasn’t hurt. As she did, the world became familiar again.

    The same kind of unreal-reality came over her that morning. She was desperately trying to awaken but awake did not seem awake. Awake seemed still asleep and dreaming, a bad dream…somewhere.

    The adrenalin released in her panic masked her headache and nausea. She jumped up beside the bed. Standing there, she realized that she was completely naked and something dried and sticky was between her inner thighs.

    Her activity awakened the body sleeping next to her. He turned and nonchalantly said “Good Morning.”
    “Where is this? Where are we?” she demanded in a desperate voice.
    “We’re at the Landon Hotel” he calmly replied. “Don’t you remember the ride over from that bar last night?”
    “No” she said quickly with much tension apparent in the single syllable.
    The Landon was an old, renovated and well-kept historic hotel with its’ origin back in Cheyenne’s railroad history, when train passengers and hotel guests were typically stop-overs headed west or back east. The dated rooms were tightly dimensioned and lesser lit than modern counterparts. There was just a little bit more than enough space to get around the bed and a small desk against a corner. Beside the desk was a small double-hung window with valence drapes parted about six inches, revealing a shear fabric intended to pass light while providing privacy. That was the only source of any light in the dim room. The bed frame, headboard, window and a bathroom door were veneered with true to era darkly stained woodwork. The walls were a nondescript white with a subtle yellow cast made more prominent in the low light.

    “You seem upset. Can I take you back to your car?”
    A hazy recollection from the night before began loosely forming in Jenny’s mind. She remembered the bar, the tequila, the cocaine and the man in the bed walking towards her. Though she could recall nothing beyond that, the events that got her to where she was standing pieced themselves together in her frantic mind. Her altered state of mind caused her to recall the protecting glaze of shock that came over her during her teen traffic accident. That same glaze provided some emotional buffer to the unthinkable circumstance that she awoke to, but it was fading and transitioning into the panicked reality of what she had done.
    “My God! I fucked this guy” burned through her mind.

    “No” she replied tersely as she scrambled to collect her clothes strewn across the floor at the foot of the bed. “I’m just going to get my things and leave. I don’t need anything.”
    “But you need to get to your car. Can I take you to your car?”
    “No, I don’t want anything. Just, just let me leave. Please.”
    “Okay then. Let me know if there is anything that I can do.
    She dressed quickly and stepped out into the hotel hallway and closed the door. The hallway was long and narrow with just adequate artificial lighting. It was just wide enough for two people to pass without having to turn their bodies as they did.
    The elevator was an old, slow, retrofit that took a never ending minute to arrive at her floor. Having to stand and wait for it exacerbated her anxiety. The elevator arrived empty. She stepped into its tiny compartment and noticed that it was stopped at the fifth floor.
    She pressed “L” and stared transfixed at the number above the old style push buttons which indicated the floor levels. It moved very slowly from one floor down to the next. Ironically, unlike the restless, never-ending wait for the elevator to arrive at floor five, the protracted period of its travel to the ground conversely isolated her inside of a tiny closed off chamber, for what seemed, too short of a time.
    The doors opened at the ground floor and the full emotional force of her dread returned as the lobby came into view. She’d been to the hotel bar at parties with friends on several occasions in her late teens and early twenties. Unlike the tight guest rooms, the lobby was spacious and the grandeur of its’ era still resonated as a visitor or guest passed through. The floors were worn, but their original white marble made that an asset. The walls were lined with a visual rhythm of white fluted pilasters rising up to a two-story white ceiling embossed with an old west version of English tracery.

    The check-in desk and concierge were next to each other, fronted by a long darkly stained wooden counter, capped by the original marble top. It was also well-worn and also well kept. She saw an empty grouping of chairs beside a large exterior window and sat down in one. She nervously reached through the contents of her purse and retrieved her phone. Turning it on, she noted that it only had nine percent of a battery charge left. She had slept through eight missed calls. What remained in the battery would hopefully be enough for one short conversation.

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