Fiction: The Green Pastures Hotel

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  1. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    This is just a piece of Christian comfort fiction I am writing and wanted to share with people. A piece of fantasy to meditate on for relaxation. This is the prologue.

    ---

    Midway upon the journey of our life
    I found myself within a forest dark,
    For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

    Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
    What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
    Which in the very thought renews the fear.

    So bitter is it, death is little more;
    But of the good to treat, which there I found,
    Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

    I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
    So full was I of slumber at the moment
    In which I had abandoned the true way.


    These opening words from Dante's Inferno summed up what had happened to me during my walk through the forest. I could feel the presence of the entities who allegedly haunted this region, but I could not see them visibly. Then, after rummaging through foliage, I found a stone path that led to a door, enshrouded by shrubbery and the overgrowth of trees. The plaque on the front read, "Psalm 23".

    There was below it a keyhole shaped like a heart which I tried to look through, but to no avail. Then suddenly, my chest was overtaken by a warmth, and I saw a ray of light eminate from my chest and pierce the hole. The door swung open.

    A bit startled, I quickly ran into the doorway, feeling pulled by a mysterious but assuring power. The door shut behind me, and I could hear something banging on it, but could not get in. Then, passing through the dark hallway, another door closed and I was in the lobby of a giant hotel. The receptionist seemed to be a boldly statured man who was busy thumbing through documents. I noticed he had wings, and they were folded in a casual manner.
    "Good evening," he said with a curteous smile. "We've been expecting you."
    I was then greeted by a young lady with an apron, who apparently had been a maid of some sort. She smiled and waved to me, "If I can help you, let me know."
    I sighed with relief. The place was well lit, and there was the sound of some very lively music coming from a nearby hall, into which I looked and saw a cafeteria with many people. They were neither loud or raucous, but talking casually. Some played card games. The band creating the music stood on a little pulpit. It was a young woman with a harp accompanying an older woman with a golden voice.

    I went to the receptionist and asked where I could get a room. He asked for my certification.
    "What?" I said, puzzled, but instinctively I grasped at a little bag at my side that I knew somehow was there all along, and pulled out a book.
    It was an old and tattered, pocket-sized King James bible. I opened to the front page and on it was a signature of confirmation, bearing my own name.
    "That's good enough." the man said. "Let me fetch the maid and she'll guide you to an appropriate room."
    "Thank you," I said, bowing politely.
    The maid waved and gestured me to follow her, and gladly, she took me down a corridor where some doors were open for rooms already occupied. People peered at me curiously as the newcomer made his way to his own private space.
     
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  2. WendyP

    WendyP New Member

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    Thanks Douay, I enjoyed reading this. I'm curious about how it will develop...:)
     
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  3. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    Hear, hear! Let's hear more! Wonderful job.
     
  4. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Chapter 2

    As I was passing through the halls, I peered back into the rooms from where people examined my approach. Each room seemed unique, and creatively assigned. One woman sat in a rocking chair sewing a sampler, with a pearl white rug made of what looked like lamb's fur. There was also a room where two younger boys rested inside of sleeping bags with a caterpillar design, and the interior was a rough wooden paneling with branches extending from them, bearing leaves, so as to look like a forest.

    I smiled. I was quite fond of the light, playfulness of these dwellings. At the end of the corridor was a stairway that lead upstairs. The hotel had approximately 3 floors, from what I could tell inside. Outside, I did not recall seeing anything beyond the shrubbery and foliage that nearly obscured the door, so it was impossible to estimate the hotel's size. There were no windows showing outside of the place, not that I'd want to look out of them at that foreboding region of shadow and dread. Most of the doors upstairs were closed, but I could hear laughing and eloquent, cheery speech from the residents behind the doors. The young woman lead me to a room that was unoccupied. It was barren. Besides a bed, a ceiling lamp, and a dresser with three drawers, nothing.

    She smiled and bowed, "You're entitled to use what's ever in the drawers. If you need any help, just go down to the reception desk and we'll answer your requests."
    I nodded, "Thank you."
    When she left, leaving the door closed, I looked into the top drawer. There was an NKJV bible that looked unused, a worry stone with a cross in it, and a small portable radio. I was surprised at the very latter. It also looked fresh, having no wear from use. I placed it on the top of the dresser and saw if I could turn it on. Very few stations could be picked up. The only ones I could get with any audible quality were a distant weather station, which was of the worst reception, and the last, which was the best: It was a station of easy listening traditional hymns sung by choirs, and also alternating singers, male and female. After each song, a narrator gave a dialogue, sometimes inspirational, and other times silly and humorous musings. I was pleased with this. I then sat on the bed and took off my shoes, and laid my bag at the foot, and started to contemplate the ambiance of this place. I went off into a daydream.
     
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  5. WendyP

    WendyP New Member

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    I'm really enjoying this, Douay, thank you. It's a warm and fascinating vision, and so rich in detail.
     
  6. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Chapter 3

    After the music had flooded out of my other ear, the narrator on the radio said, "You are listening to the Green Pastures Hotel station, where we serve the best lite faith-based music. Please enjoy your stay, and feel free to ask our employees for help."
    I got up and went outside of the room to visit the cafeteria. I saw two teenagers playing rummy. I sat down next to them while the band prepared to perform a new song with a flute and violin. They were apparently betting on some trivial items. One was a rosary with wooden beads and a celtic cross. The other was a hebrew pocket book. "What's that?" I inquired. "It's the plaster," the girl of the two said.
    The other scooped the rosary along with the psalter into a pile. Not being capable of reading hebrew, I obviously decided that I would take part in the game myself, and possibly win that rosary, if only as a keepsake, since I was not inclined to the devotion of it myself.
    I ended up winning two of the three rounds, with the first and last 'going rummy'. I ended up with enough points that I got the rosary and kept it in my pocket. I didn't say much to them during that time, but they were amused, and I said that I would come back later to talk to them again if I felt the need.
    I saw the tenders at the ordering desk. I asked them how much would a hotdog and some soda cost. They said a dollar each, so I paid. Not the healthiest eater, I did consume the hotdog and slowly drank the soda. It was about halfway full when I returned to my room. I took the rosary out and tinkered with it. The soda cup was sitting on my dresser. I placed the rosary in the upper drawer with the other trinkets. I decided I may not keep it for myself, but for others who'd benefit from it more. I went back out and walked downstairs in the same wide lobby that intersected with the cafeteria and entrance, and noticed a third hallway that seemed to lead to more rooms to discover. One of them straight ahead appeared to be a library. I began to walk in that direction.
     
  7. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Chapter 4

    I looked around and saw many different kinds of books in the shelves. Some books were in a pile on the table that had been recently studied. At the edge of a seat, there was a book without any title. It had a bookmark in it. I opened the book and read carefully. Inside, I found illustrations and summaries of several types of spirits, and two in particular were on the bookmarked pages:
    "This is a Social Justice Warrior spirit. It has entitlement issues, and often attempts to tug at people's heartstrings by comparing its struggles to other persecuted groups in order to leech off of their suffering and survive. The next one is a lust spirit. It can become an attractive man or woman and seeks to fuel lustful thoughts and people's urges. If the person's heart is spiritually guarded, they will only see mosaics on its body, but if they are not, they will see all of its private areas and be tempted."

    At that moment, I felt that something was present nearby. Looking into the hallway, I saw a human figure with mosaics covering parts of its body. It dashed away quickly. Curiously, I put the book down and followed after it.

    Going through the hall, I saw a sweeping air crawl into an open door. I heard something that sounded like a struggle of sorts. Inside was a black man laying on his bed who seemed weary. The spirit swooped in and got on top of him and held him down with its hands. It grasped his neck with long ghastly fingers and began to choke him and slap his face. The creature looked like Tammy Faye Baker, but was also strangely masculine. It pointed to itself, then to the man, then back to itself, and said, "Same thing. SAME. THING." then slapped him again.
    The man began to cry out but couldn't send his voice far enough. I walked in and tried to help, and the spirit left in a hurry.
    "Are you OK?" I said.
    The man shook his head, "I don't know what that was..." he coughed, trying to recover his voice, and then sat up with some struggle. "Maybe some spirit... trying to say that black and gay are the same thing."
    "That must be the Social Justice Warrior spirit," I suggested. Rubbing my chin, I felt it important to notify the staff that mischievious spirits had infiltrated the hotel. How many, I did not know, but sought to find out for the sake of the community. This spirit, while certainly devious, was not the same one that I saw with the mosaics. Where was it?
     
  8. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Chapter 5

    I walked through the vicinity of the place and looked around for someone to talk to. When I saw the angel at the receptionist desk I went up to him and said, "Sir, are you aware of any wandering spirits in this place?"
    Clearing his throat, he went on, "As a matter of fact, someone left the door open this evening and a few meddlesome spirits snuck in. There's three. One is a lustful spirit, the other is a social progressive demon, and the third is--Hm, I can't seem to remember. I have someone on the case, two people actually. I haven't heard of anyone being harassed as of yet, but we'll see."
    "Alright." I nodded. I wandered into the cafeteria to check on the commotions. People still playing cards, listening to the musical troupe playing another set. Some left weary and were off to bed, from what I guessed.

    Then, I noticed something. The ghostly figure placed itself immodestly in the center of the cafeteria. Considering the lack of heads being turned to it, I wondered who could actually see it. It was obviously trying to garner attention, but failed, unless there was more to its antics than I could observe. The spirit then crawled up on an unoccupied table and laid itself down. I was going to sneak up to it, but one of the angel guards swooped up over it and bagged it in a purple velvet hackeysack. This angel, being strong and muscular, then carried the spirit out into the lobby and proceeded to get rid of it in whatever fashion they assumed was most practical. The social justice spirit had yet to return. I went back to the room, but was stopped by a girl about my age. "Hey, I heard you won some things at the card games."
    "Sure," I shrugged. "Nothing special. Did you win anything?"
    "I got the Psalter book."
    "Then I got the rosary!" I replied, as I knew who she must have played to get that very item.
    "OK then. Cool. I heard."
    "Are you visiting?"
    "Visiting?" she looked around at the wide space of the hotel. "I live here!"
    "Cool, I want to live here to. I don't even remember where I came from, I just remember fleeing from some black forest, and that something was after me. Then I ended up here."
    "That's cool. That happened to me a long time ago, and I've been here for as long as I can remember. So, if you want to talk to somebody, let me know. I know the place and the people quite well."
    I gave a smile in return, and nodded politely, "Alright, thank you."
    "My name is Tiffany."
    "Thanks, Tiff."
    Waving to her, I wandered off into my room again, and then falling back on the bed, I laid still and listened to some rather mellow, 'cocktail jazz'-style renditions of several hymns. Instrumental.
     
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  9. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    Douay, you have a brilliant mind. Keep working on your writing. I hope to God I can read one of your novels some day, in print, from a big publisher. Reading your stuff is a privilege.
     
  10. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    That's an extreme compliment, as I am not even trying my hardest on this one and mostly improvising it as I go on, not caring about polishing any of the rough ends, for the most part. I am humbled, but, if there is any other work by me that you want to read, I have more on Google Docs. I also have a few other works I've posted in this same section that you can read and let me know what you think.
     
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  11. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    I'd love to read more by you! PM me if you want!
     
  12. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    I just want to let my readers know that, while I appreciate your compliments, I want to caution you not to try too hard to advertise or promote my work, as I am not in good health to maintain a consistent work ethic, and would have a lot of difficulty dealing with any potential hype or publicity that would come as a result. I mostly wanted this work to be a kind of service for fellow Christians looking for something pleasant to meditate on, like the bible says we should. It doesn't matter if it is only read by a few people on this forum, I just don't want it to ever end up on the New York Times best seller lists, or anything of that sort. It's not because I think I'm too good for it, it's because of what I've already said: that I am not healthy and motivated enough to meet any demands for work that would happen if my writings became successful.
     
  13. BibleHoarder

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    Chapter 6

    I was thinking on and off while the songs played on the radio. I heard "Sweet Hour of Prayer" in that cocktail style and then thought about what could possibly go wrong in this refuge. Yes, there were a few spirits on the loose, but the angels seemed ready to take care of them. The guards and maids in the place were actually very capable of getting anything under control. And there was always someone available to speak to, as people woke and dozed throughout the day. I opened the drawer and took out the rosary. I fiddled with the beads a bit, then laid down and spread it out at my side. Touching the cross and then the invitory, I mumbled a few prayers under my breath, then paused for a moment to reflect. I took a deep breath, then exhaled. I thought about all the other places in the hotel that I hadn't explored, but I knew they were just as assuring as the room I was in now. I took out the NKJV bible after a few moments and looked through the book of Psalms. I laid that too beside the rosary, which I came to realize was the protestant variation. Thirty-three beads.

    The songs on the radio paused for the people behind the scenes to give a brief statement on what was happening: "We are the folks who bring you all the best, peaceful alternative songs for everyday living! We are here live every hour of the day to keep you company and are part of the Green Hills Network, broadcasting faith music from your local station. We are located in the town of Siloam where we keep in touch with the community for missions and encouragements. Here's another great song coming up from yours truly!"

    They began to play "Rock of Ages". I relaxed in the bed and pulled the sheets over myself in a messy kind of way. I heard someone talking in the hall, and saw some old ladies giggling as they walked down. They seemed to be maids. I wondered where they were headed. Not yet ready to go to bed, I jumped out from under the sheets, and followed them from behind.
    "Hey, is there a map of this place?" It was a silly question, but I asked it. Nobody ever asks for a map of a hotel, usually. They smiled and said, "Oh, we can get you one. Come with us. We're going to the cascade room."

    I followed them and came to the room spoken of, which was very wide, more like a den. It was called the 'cascade room' because it had several beds spread out in the center at different angles, with white sheets pouring over them like a waterfall. There was a curtain thrown across the ceiling, hanging between two of the beds in the center, but pushed aside so that one whole length fell to the floor. That same floor was swamped with sheets, blankets, and some pillows to pad it out. The maids waded through the room and playfully fell into them. Someone came up to the doorway and looked in. It was a lady wearing a light blue gown. "Work, anyone?" she said, chuckling.
    I rubbed my foot against the ground, "Uhm, I came to get a map."
    "No problem, and enjoy the scenery." said one of the maids.
    The two who were already here burrowed themselves into the fabrics on the floor and rolled in them. I decided I would do just that. All the sheets and materials were the purest white, and there was a fan blowing gently in one part of the room. I dug myself into a blanket fold and laid down.
    The lady in the gown was holding a basket of laundry. She carried it into the room and tossed the white sheets from it around carelessly so everything was covered like snow.
    We were all under this white mass. Then the lady in the gown opened a drawer, and pulled out a small portable radio much like the one I had in my room. I assumed most people had one. This song was a bit more upbeat, "Love Lifted Me".
     
  14. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Chapter 7

    I laid down, daydreaming in the white swarm of fabrics. One of the women sat with her legs crossed on the edge of a bed, brushing her hair with a comb, and the others patted the blankets down. The lady in the gown was the one humming the song while pampering the sheets. She took the basket and set it on top of the other bed.

    One maid got up and said, "I'm going to go get the plush teddy bears. Be right back!" then hurried out of the room. After settling everything, the maid who was flattening the blankets reached into her pocket and laid a piece of folded paper on my face. "There's your map!" she said. "That will show you everything that is on every floor."
    When I began to thank her I spoke in a muffled voice while my face was covered. As I sat up, the paper slid onto my chest, and I grabbed it quickly.
    The maids were laughing about things only they understood, making references to whatever they were talking about earlier.
    "We'll be here for a while, so don't be in a hurry. Come back when you're ready, OK?" said the gowned lady, with a smile.
    I leaped up off the ground, stuffing the map in my pocket and returned to my room at that moment to study it.

    As I was walking down the hall, I was approached by the black man who I 'rescued' earlier. He held his hand out to shake mine and said, in a raspy voice, "Hey, I am glad you were there when that spirit thing came up on me."
    I gladly shook it and continued, "No problem. You didn't look so good."
    "That's because I have sort of a cold." He did sound congested.
    "I understand, but all is well here, so don't worry. I'm sure."
    "Hey, these things happen. I'm sure it'll come back around."
    "I did see one in the cafeteria, but one of the angel guards came and bagged it. I don't think it was the same one, though."
    "Yeah, they can be nasty. By the way, my name is Bealan."
    "I hope you're feelin' better, Bealan!" I chuckled.
    "Alright, I'll be going to the cafeteria to get a bite to eat."
    We waved to each other and went our separate ways. I was eager to study the map, so I hurried to my room, since people tended to show up so frequently, it didn't seem that there'd be time today to get around to it.

    I opened the map and spread it over the bed. I located where I was by how far my room spanned from the cafeteria.
    "Let's see...The next destination should be... Either the computer room, or, the entertainment center. Hm." I already felt that most of the hotel's interesting points were not the particular centers, but the unique rooms. However, the exact style of each was not noted on the map, leaving some element of surprise in store for those who wanted to wander. I looked again at the computer room. A footnote said, "Network room to manage the hotel's website and internet communications." I wanted to see exactly how this hotel was connected to the internet, if at all. So, I folded the map back up, placed it in my pocket, and wandered off to the computer room.
     
  15. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    The book is now hosted on my Google Docs account, with the link provided here:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nkxKxXtWZTBI49Jl5j8pQkJ0pHXj0iSRF0nO3VwSmvo/edit?usp=sharing

    Chapter 8 has been added. I will continue to inform readers when a new chapter is added here, but the same link will be the place where you can read it.

    There's also been some minor revisions to the earlier text, but nothing too major, except that the rosary mentioned earlier has been changed to a BCP.
     

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