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    #1

    A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Would you please correct the second part of my short story?

    Our new room was beautiful and there was nothing to complain about, but when we had gone to sleep about 10 pm, someone suddenly started singing opera in the adjacent room. We both like opera and enjoy it almost daily in our home, but at this time of the evening we found it an awful nuisance. I have to admit that the soprano voice was clear and pleasant, but we were so tired and needed sleep. Unwillingly, I attempted to call the reception, but somehow the line seemed to be busy. I tried time and again, but my persistence was in vain. In the end, I had to walk downstairs and talk to the receptionist despite pain in my knees. I have to tell you that I have been suffering from arthritis for years and all this walking up and down and carrying our suitcases made my affliction worse. Nevertheless, Mr John was sympathetic to our complaint and promised me that the disturbance would be brief. According to him, the source of it was a Norwegian opera singer Katarina Ramazzotti, who together with her Italian husband was staying in the hotel until tomorrow. Her nightly ritual was singing for about 30 minutes after which the singer would be silent. He advised us to be patient and not anger her because Katarina had a volatile temper and was prone to losing control. They treated her with respect whenever she was their guest, but everyone was glad to see her go.

    I could not argue with John or demand anything more. After all, he seemed to be talking sense. I trudged back to our room and persuaded my wife that the noise would end soon. And indeed, at 22.35 pm there was a silence in the next-door room. We wished each other good night and switched off the light, but about ten minutes later, we heard some strange voices coming from the singer’s room. It was a mixture of Italian and Norwegian, a man and a woman exchanging words of love and affection, which had not disturbed me at all. On the contrary, it made me sentimental and brought me back to my youth when I enjoyed kissing and hugging my girlfriends. My beautiful memories flooded my mind, and I had forgotten I needed sleep. Soon, the pillow talk gave way to moans and the creaking of the bed. The voices became louder, especially the singer’s, who gave orders as if she were a captain of a ship. “To the right, to the left, deeper, faster, slower...,” she shouted in her piercing voice.

    I have to admit that a mix of these sounds and voices ignited something inside me. I got lust I had not felt in years. I put my hand on my wife’s thigh to see if she felt the same, but she shoved my hand aside telling me she had a headache. As a man, you will certainly understand how I felt. For about half an hour, I tormented myself until finally a heard the singer’s high-pitched shriek, after which there was a complete silence. It must have been almost midnight when I drifted into sleep.
    At breakfast, a tall, blond woman walked ponderously into the dining room. She carried a large, thick branch in her left hand, which she was using as a walking stick. A few thick necklaces with large pendants dangled from her strong neck. She was dressed in dark clothes and looked regal. In her right hand, she had a gold chain on which she held a dark-haired, short man. She tugged at it and the man, feeling the pressure of the metal around his thin neck, hastened his steps. “Katarina and Aldo,” whispered Zack, the waiter, serving us our meal.

    They sat at the table a few meters from us without bothering to look at the guests, who stared at them in disbelief. As the strange couple ate their breakfast as if everything was normal other guests held their mouths wide open and they stopped chewing. They did not feel hunger anymore; they could not take their eyes off them. Women openly showed their envy, and how could they not when they saw that the difference between Katarina and her husband was at least 25 years. They all probably started dreaming about the little Italian whom they could keep as a pet and who could satisfy all their wishes. I furtively glanced at my wife and noticed that her headache, about which she had complained in the evening and morning, had apparently disappeared. I had known her for so many years that I could read her face like an open book. Now it told me she wanted that Italian also.

    We took a stroll down to the beach, as we had done every time since our first visit forty years ago. The beach and the sea were the same, as well as the sand crunching under our feet, but something had changed in my feelings. We performed our ritual that included holding hands, hugging, kissing, watching the waves sparkling under the sun and breaking into foam, and we told each other how we loved each other so much. I would lie if I told you I was happy at that moment. A dark cloud of doubt hovered over me. For the first time after so many decades, I asked myself if my wife had been faithful to me. The look she gave to the little Italian had posed a series of questions on which I would probably never get the answers. I know that many women are prone to hide their true feelings and to manipulate their men, and I asked myself how cunning my wife is. I had spent months working away from home, and I had no idea what she could have done during that time. It could have been that while I was toiling in godforsaken towns, she had the best time of her life in the embrace of her lovers. But I had no courage to ask, risking a serious quarrel and the possible breakup of our marriage. Therefore, I kept a poker face all the way back to our hotel.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    First paragraph. I suggest:

    ...but we were tired and needed sleep.

    (deleting "so" in that sentence)

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Say:

    Reluctantly, I called the reception desk, but I only got a busy signal.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Say:

    In the end , I had to walk downstairs and talk to the receptionist despite the pain in my knees.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Second paragraph. Re:

    And indeed, at 22:35 pm there was silence in the next door room.

    Or:

    And indeed, at 22:35 pm it was silent in the next door room.

    Or:

    And indeed, at 22:35 pm it was quiet in the next door room.

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Second paragraph. Re:

    And indeed, at 22:35 pm there was silence in the next door room.

    Or:

    And indeed, at 22:35 pm it was silent in the next door room.

    Or:

    And indeed, at 22:35 pm it was quiet in the next door room.
    Even tho I goofed you probably got the idea. I meant to say you should replace "there was a silence" with one of the alternatives.

    (Boy, I am really getting picky in my old age, aren't I? )

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Second paragraph. Change

    which had not disturbed me at all

    to:

    which did not disturb me at all

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    This story has punch to it.

  9. VIP Member
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    #9

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part two

    Once I met an old English couple in a hotel. And they told me they had been first time at that hotel for more then 30 years ago, during their honeymoon. Since then, they used to come every year at the same date to remember that time. I did not think about writing a story about them, but a thought came to me, and I imagined a similar couple coming to a hotel and experiencing strange things, which affect them deeply.

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