Friday, December 7, 2007

Mossy's Backpackers #16

Max grabbed a t-shirt off the drying line and inspected it closely. He did not remember this one having a hole in it before.

“I’m going to burn all of my clothes when I get home,” he announced.

“That’s a great idea,” Cate laughed as she plucked off one of her socks from the other line. She stuck a finger through a hole in the toes and continued, “I think I might have to join you.”

“I am so sick of all of this stuff. Well, except for these shorts. I still love these,” Max admitted as he unpegged his chocolate brown cargo shorts.

“Well you should, you look good in those,” Cate told him with a smile that threatened to make him sweat, even though the sun had just sunk below the horizon.

“Ah, thanks,” he replied as he busied himself with more laundry.

Lordy you’re smooth. It’s a small miracle she hasn’t leapt into your bed yet. How does she contain herself around you?

You are so helpful, Max sighed. Remind me to put in a nomination for you the next time a Humanitarian award comes up.

“I’m hoping my parents send me some new clothes for Christmas,” she said, then froze mid-motion. She gave him a horrified look before explaining, “I can’t believe I just said that. My mom has hideous fashion sense. I will never say that again.”

Max laughed loudly and took his last shirt off the line. He added it to the pile in the hostel’s crumbling laundry basket at his feet and frowned.

“Remind me to yell at Mossy about these baskets, they’re bloody terrible,” he muttered.

“A man who cares about laundry baskets? Well I do declare, I’m feeling a bit faint,” Cate drawled as she fanned herself with a sock.

Max shook his head at her but before he could reply he heard someone ring the bell at the check-in desk.

“Do we have any empty beds tonight?” Cate asked as he headed inside.

“Just Cindy and Greg’s,” Max replied over his shoulder.

“It’s been four days now,” she chided him gently.

“I know, I know…”

He navigated the hallways, lost in fond thoughts of the recent closeness that had developed between Cate and himself. They had spent the last two evenings talking about anything and everything late in the night. Max had almost fallen asleep mid-sentence last night, so reluctant was he to part with her company.

You should take her out to dinner some time. You know, a real proper date?

That’s actually not a bad… what the hell?

As he rounded the last corner the backpackers responsible for interrupting his most recent Cate Time came into view. Three girls were gathered around the desk, chatting excitedly amongst themselves. Each of them was wearing brightly colored flip flops, intricately flowered sarongs and bikini tops. And nothing else.

You told me Barbie wasn’t real. You also neglected to tell me about her sisters.

“Ah, welcome to Mossy’s,” he said as he approached them. “How can I help-?”

“Oh wow, is this like, your hostel?” the shortest one asked.

“Um, no… Mossy isn’t around at the moment. I’m Max, I help-”

“Oh cool,” she interrupted again. “I’m Tiffany and this is Lizzie and Bobbi.”

“Hi,” Lizzie and Bobbi said together, which caused them to giggle at each other.

“Hello,” Max managed to say politely enough, eliciting more giggles.

We still hate air heads, right? Good, good. Out the door-

“So we’re like, totally desperate for a place to stay,” Tiffany continued as Max sat down behind the desk. “The other two hostels in town are totally full.”

Wow, she interrupts everyone, including me.

“Yeah it’s a bit late to be showing up without a reservation,” he replied as he prepared to break the bad news to them.

“Wow your hair is super curly,” Lizzie gushed. “Is that natural or do you use product?”

“Ah, no, it just does whatever it wants, no gel or anything,” Max answered, caught totally off guard. He could see out of the corner of his eye that most of the guys in the hostel had stopped what they were doing to watch the scene unfold. There was going to be a small mutiny when he turned these girls away.

“Normally I don’t like curly hair on guys,” Tiffany confessed, “but on you it looks way hot.”

Ah… well… hmm.

Max silently agreed with this profound assessment of the situation.

“So do you have a girlfriend?” Tiffany asked as she leaned over the counter, her eyes giving every indication that she hoped the answer was no.

“Ah, it’s complicated,” Max replied as Cate came around the corner. He squirmed in his chair slightly before moving on. “And sorry, we only have a double bed available tonight.”

“Oh that’s alright,” Lizzie said as she joined Tiffany’s leaning over the counter party, “we’re very close. We share beds all the time.”

More giggling.

Bloody hell. What are you supposed to say to that?

Max had no idea but thankfully Cate stepped in to help him out. Or so he thought.

“Are Johnny’s and The Picker’s Rest full up tonight?” she asked, joining Max behind the desk.

“Yeah,” Tiffany and Lizzie replied together, straightening up suddenly. No giggles this time.

“Well we can’t have you sleeping on the street, now can we?” Cate asked Max sweetly.

Yes, we can.

“No, I guess not,” he replied weakly.


“Right then,” she beamed at him before turning back to the Valley Girls. “We’ll squeeze you into the double room tonight but you’ll have to find another hostel tomorrow.”

Can we lock them in there?

“Thanks, you’re a life saver,” Tiffany said politely as she looked Cate up and down.

“I’ll show you to your room, just follow me,” Cate said cheerfully as she stepped out from behind the desk. She turned to Max and told him brightly, “Be back in a flash, Curly.”

She’s… evil.

Yes, Max thought to himself. And if she was doing this to anyone else I’d think she was hilarious.

Too bad the joke’s on you then.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good storyline,looking forward to next edition.