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Night in Seedy Motel Challenge

Some people make a living sharing cheap thrills with an audience. In the Gutter, not everyone pays cash.

Night in Seedy Motel Challenge by Jennifer Soosar

“…Okay, I decided to try something really demented for today’s video. I went on Trip Advisor and found the crappiest, scariest, one-star hotel in town, and booked myself in for the night. So, welcome to my room at the hellhole known as the Haymont Inn…”
Who says you can’t make a living doing nothing? Chad’s father, that’s who. Well, Chad is showing him. A hair away from a million subscribers and a monthly income from YouTube. All he has to do? Live life (basically nothing, but rhapsodized nothing).
“…I’m already suffocating and I’ve been in here, like, ten minutes setting up the camera. This room is literally the size of a closet, there’s zero ventilation…here, check out the window—painted shut! Oh, check out what they give you for a closet: a friggin’ locker, like in high school. ‘Course, you gotta bring your own lock...”
The thing with daily vlogging: you gotta keep ‘em watching. That means always outdoing yourself; always surprising viewers with original, outrageous content; next level stuff. Or else—click.
“…I wish I could describe the evil stench in this place. It’s a combination of every fluid the human body secretes mixed with grime, mildew, stale cigarettes and…God, what is that? Jumbo rat turds or something.  Seriously guys, the smell is incredible. I can’t even believe I paid a hundredn’ fifty bucks for this dump. No maid has been here in, like, forever. It’s staggering the amount of dust…look at the nightstand, this lampshade. If you’re ever in Manhattan, do not stay here....”
But, as Chad’s father so intelligently pointed out, is it sustainable? The word of the decade: sustainable. Could this vlogging continue into Chad’s thirties, forties, fifties? Why not learn the insurance trade now? Sure, vlogging was a fine hobby, make no mistake! But was it prudent to depend on it as a sustainable career?
“…Oh my God! Did you see that? That cockroach was bigger than the Taco Bell dog! I’m calling the front desk. Yeah, hi, there’s a huge cockroach in my room. Room ten. No, that’s okay. No, seriously. Thanks. Check this: the guy says he’ll come and fog the room if I want—while I’m in here...”
There was still money available in Chad’s education fund. The video equipment and editing software hadn’t eaten it all up. But the insurance industry? Chad would rather move into the Haymont Inn permanently than do that. Sorry, Dad!
“…It’s, like, three-thirty in the morning. I’m getting tired but there’s no way I’m sleeping tonight. Are you serious? Those bed bugs are laughing at that plastic mattress sheet. Oh, very nice. Look at that—blood on the ceiling, I just noticed. Yo, I’m talking a bit quiet because these people just checked in next door and the walls are paper thin. I can hear every fucking word they’re saying. Listen in. I think there’s some kinda drug deal going down. They sound like bad hombres...”
What makes your life so interesting, Chad’s father had challenged. You aren’t doing anything to enlighten or educate. Just an aimless string of immature stunts. Stuff that promises to get you into a heap of trouble! Hiding inside a tower of toilet paper until the Wal-Mart store closes?—how pointless! Not only stupid, but illegal! Smarten up, son! You get a criminal record, you can forget the insurance business. That door’ll be slammed shut!
“…Yo, these hombres are not happy. Some problem with money, the one guy is jerking them around. Shit. Did you hear that? Holy shit! Okay, that was the sound of a handgun being cocked. I know that sound, from, like a million movies and stuff. Okay, this has gotten way intense, I’m pulling the plug here before a bullet comes through the fricken wall… Oh, no, you gotta be kidding me…I can’t…the friggin door’s stuck! Fucking lock jammed! I can’t get out. Yeah, hi, it’s room ten—I can’t get outta the goddamn door…Can you send somebody up here right away to open it? Room ten! Holy fuck! Shots fired! Shots fired! Hurry, please! Shots fi—”
After much deliberation, Chad’s father posted the video; for the fans. It’s amazing that people watch, but they do.
Jennifer Soosar is a Torontonian who writes in the thriller/suspense/crime genre. She strives to write stories that are original and entertaining. She graduated from York University with a B.A. in anthropology. Her first novel, Parent Teacher Association, will be published on June 24th, 2017 from Black Opal Books. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers of Canada, and Sisters in Crime.