Πέμπτη, 1 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

THE FOUR LANTERNS - ΡΟΔΟΚΛΕΙΑ ΜΠΕΖ

Everyone will remember the three nights and days that Ροδόκλεια Μπεζ spent at “The Four Lanterns Hotel”, even though it’s been a long time. She arrived late at night and she found Jenevier at the front desk. She wore a long gray cashmere coat, black gloves and she held a small leather suitcase. She had her golden copper hair in a stylish bun. Her look was impenetrable and her age indefinable. 
“I would like to stay for three days, if there is any availability” she strictly said to Jenevier. 
“But of course, welcome! Please, I would like your name and surname for the registration book.”
“Ροδόκλεια. Μπεζ.» the mysterious woman said almost bored.
“Lovely, Alfred will escort you to your room number thirty- two and a half on the first floor.”
She went up with Alfred and the octopus’s tentacles of his suspenders almost caressed her, unable to hide how charmed he was by her presence. Polite and flattered she gave him a generous tip and she locked the room’s door smiling. 
The beginning of the hurricane that Ροδόκλεια Μπεζ brought in every single area of the hotel was noticed the following day. In the morning she was seen in the breakfast room to enjoy her coffee and read the newspaper in the same elegant and inaccessible face of the previous night. In the meanwhile, Claudette, the maid, ran away from the room thirty-two and a half with tears in her eyes because Ροδόκλεια Μπεζ had tremendously offended her. The girl politely asked her to turn off the cigarette made out of dehydrated roots because smoking was not permitted in the rooms. Without any make-up on, wearing a white nightgown and with her hair uncombed, she spoke so lousy to the maid who left the room and ran to the manager. Jenevier got confused because he had just greeted the specific tenant, who sat almost opposite him in the breakfast room. He took Claudette’s hand to show her. She was still sitting in the same position reading calmly her newspaper.
“But, it can’t be true! I’m telling you, this lunatic is upstairs and she is yelling like a hysterical. Come and see her, if you don’t believe me” she told him complaining.
“In any case, I will come upstairs with you because Alfred always informs the tenants that smoking is not allowed in the rooms. It disturbs the calmness of the climbing plants on the walls. The regulation states that I should kindly point it out, if they don’t obey the rules.”
He went upstairs with her, a bit skeptical, wanting to make sure that the plants were all right. He knocked on the door and he was really shocked to see Ροδόκλεια Μπεζ open the door with a cigarette in her mouth, still in her nightgown and very irritated. 
“Oh my, the chick brought the manager to scold me? What is wrong with you people around here?” she yelled.
Jenevier tried to explain the reason and asked of her as kindly as possible to turn it off. She turned it off with anger on the window sill and threw it out. 
“It’s not my fault if you don’t have any ashtrays around here” she said spitefully.  “And now I want you to butt off” she shouted and abruptly closed the door on them. Jenevier could not understand what was going on. 
The same thing happened the following days. Ροδόκλεια Μπεζ would be radiant and erotic letting herself be flirted at the hotel’s bar sipping rose’ wine and at the same time she would night dive in the hotel’s pool. She would stroll in the garden and say good morning to anyone and at the same time tenants would call at the front desk complaining about the noise that came from the room thirty-two and a half, demanding to lower the gramophone’s volume. Some just wanted her to stop singing so loud and so out of tune, without making any point on the gramophone’s volume. When she would step out of the hotel wearing the gray coat smiling at Alfred, the exact same time she would step in the lobby loaded with shopping bags from Brenanson’s boutiques. 
Some tenants had noticed it but they, of course, could not believe it and did not pay attention to an illusion, but the stuff and the manager were really confused and they could not explain it. There was nothing but small talk and betting in the kitchen. Some said that she had a twin sister and others said that she was a witch. Many maids had refused to enter her room from the first day. Jenevier openly followed her to find out the truth behind all this mystery and took notes in his diary to help him put the info into a logical track. He hadn’t succeeded so far. Alfred, on the other hand, was the only one who was charmed by her presence and didn’t give a damn if she was in two or more places with different moods at the same time. 
The three days and nights were dramatic yet fast-paced. She reached the front desk to take care of the bill in the same enigmatic and aery mood she was when she had first came. She left seven pearls in Jenevier’s palm and said a plain “thank you”. Jenevier was about to ask her to reveal her secret. Ροδόκλεια Μπεζ saw it coming and instantly put her hand on his mouth before him uttering a single word. 

“Don’t do it, my dear, you will offend me. No female could ever analyze her many faces” she said and she turned around.

*We would like to warmly thank Olia Lazaridou for her trust.
It was an excellent collaboration.

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