Ethereal Nights

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The flapper awoke in a start and grasped her chest. She felt as though she was about to hyperventilate, so she tried to calm down by closing her eyes and focusing on her rhythmic heartbeat. Unfortunately, a pair of sinister eyes greeted her from the vestiges of her dream.

She yelped then leaped from the bed and onto the cold floor below. Without pause, she scurried towards the bathroom until she collided with a nightstand. Wait? She did not own a nightstand.

Was this her room? She scanned the room to find luxurious drapery, decorations, and a four poster bed. This was decidedly not her room because the bed alone was worth more than everything she owned put together!

"The Grand," she said and unsurprisingly heard no reply.

It was dark, so the flapper pulled the drapery apart to get some light. Instead of a window, she found a solid wall.

Confused she asked, "Why would anyone build rooms without windows?"

Again no response, so she fumbled around the room for a light switch. After a few attempts, the electric lights came to life and filled the room with a warm yellow glow. Now she could see just how opulent the suites at the Grand were.

Rather spiffy she thought and for a moment imagined what it would be like to be a princess. This dredged up memories from her youth spent looking up to the hotel. She imagined it being her castle which provided her with a commanding view. How else could she see her prince arrive atop his magnificent steed?

How did she get here? Locals normally stayed away from the Grand, doubly so at night. She did not remember making her way here nor could she fathom a reason for why. The flapper looked for a mirror but found none, fortunately, she found the water closet and took the opportunity to freshen up. Seeing as there were no answers to be found here, the young woman walked out in search of clues.

Fortunately, she woke up fully clothed. Odd how she did not remember owning this ensemble, the feathered hat, pearl necklace or the loosely hanging knee-duster that gave her a fashionably boyish look. If she ever crossed a mirror, the reflection of a dainty doll dressed in the latest fashions would be sure to greet her.

It was hard for her not to like the liberal views of flappers, including their hedonistic ways. Unfortunately, she found it impossible to play the part in an isolated mountain town.

Petting parties were apparently all the rage in big cities, but here she was at risk of accidentally necking a cousin. Not to mention the small army of fire extinguishers that watched her every move!

She often dreamed of booking passage to the city and wondered how copacetic it would be to free of the social norms of her forefathers? How wonderful would it be to smoke, party in a gin mill and flirt with men... or women for that matter!

Once she closed the door, the girl noticed it was room four-fifty-three and found a cleaning cart parked just outside. The flapper looked side to side then headed to the right where room numbers were counting down. On her way to the stairs, she passed maids and guests who paid her no heed.

At the end of the hall, she discovered an opulent set of stairs leading to the third floor. From there she followed a guest to an elevator who in turn instructed the indoor aviator to take him to the main floor. This flapper was in awe at how beautiful this place was, even the inside of this bird cage was a work of art. Gold panels and a golden handle that the operator manipulated using white gloves. There was not a speck of dust to be found.

However, she was surprised how everyone she came across gave her the high-hat. Although, such behaviour was not entirely unexpected, considering her place on the social strata.

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