Every Halloween people pay good money to stay at the Longyear Hotel in a little town called Duwamish Bay.
By candlelight they listen to stories about the odd history of Duwamish Bay and the strange story about a woman who wrote books for another person whose name is very famous in the world of horror and about how she buried the dead by night and how sometimes she would haunt the roads and hills by moonlight looking for stories.
Once a man from a little town in Kansas flew all the out to Duwamish Bay and he checked into the hotel and asked for Livia’s room.
” Guests don’t stay in that room, ” Mr Longyear, the owner of the Inn said. ” We actually rent out her writing room, which if you’d care to see it-”
” I wouldn’t ” Parker Overland said ” I’d like to stay in Livia’s room, isn’t that your stock and trade here? Stay in the room where a real, how do you put it ” Ghost Writer ” once lived?”
” Sir, that’s what I’m saying…she wrote her novels upstairs in the sitting room – she didn’t write them in her bedroom…”
” I understand you, what I’m saying is, I want to stay in Livia Longyear’s bedroom, I want to know what she saw just before she fell asleep at night and I want to know what it was she saw when she opened her eyes. That’s what I want.”
” Mr. Overland, it’s bare bones in there and not very comfortable. Livia’s bedroom is the oldest room in the house. Her sitting room though is available for private parties- and we do have a few hours free where you can have the room to yourself. We even have a guide available to – ”
” Look Sir ” Mr. Overland glared down into the small dark face of Mr Longyear ” I want to get inside of this writer’s head, I want to know why she wrote stories for someone else that made them famous and why she allowed her to die in obscurity as a retired gravedigger in a town whose main stock and trade is a permanent Sideshow and an abandoned Insane Asylum. I want to understand it all.”
” A lot of people ask those questions Mr Overland and they don’t need to stay in Livia’ bedroom to do it. ”
” Of course they do, but this woman has been inside of my head for over 30 years and I think it’s only fair that now I get inside of her head and walk around for awhile.”
Mr Overland’s face was not filled with excitement or curiosity. It was not earnest. He looked like a man who had spent a sleepless night being tormented by a mosquito.That’s what Mr Overland looked like and he was doing it right in the middle of the place Livia Longyear called home.
An hour or so later Mr. Overland had his way which was no a surprise to him.
Parker Overland was used to getting it and at the moment he was very annoyed at the short uppity man with the funny name who thought he could change that simple fact of nature.
Mrs. Longyear came into the Parlor with a little drink for Parker and she handed it to him.
” I’ve called my daughter in to get Livia’s room ready. She takes care of those things for me. “Cardela Longyear held her hands up; they were twisted and swollen with arthritis. This is what happens when you get old I suppose.”
” I suppose. “Parker held the glass up to Cardela and downed his drink and placed it back on the tray and then Cardela turned her back and right there in front of Parker Overland eyes the world filled with stars and then darkness and he fell into it over and over and over again.
” Done? ” Cardela called to her daughter who was working in Livia’ s room.
” Yeah Ma, but let me tell you it wasn’t easy. Wow that was a mess. Whose idea was it to let her bedroom? Lolo’s?”
” It was your Father’s.”
Sunny leaned against the door and asked, ” how come this guy? ”
” Your father has a good sense about people Sunny. If he thought it was best to give this man what he wanted then it was the best decision. Besides, this Mr. Overland was specific. He wanted to see what Livia saw when she opened eyes.”
” Whatever. People are weird. When’s dinner I’m starved…”
Sunny was about to walk by her Mother when Cardela swiped at her daughter’s arm. Sunny grabbed it as if a board had just hit her and she hissed, ” Cool it Ma that one hurt.”
” You’re not done, I’ll bet you left the lights on and a mess in there…go finish.”
Sunny rolled her eyes up and opened the little door that led from the kitchen to Livia’ s bedroom downstairs.
Everyone in the family knew that Livia wrote her books in her bedroom. And in Sunny’s opinion it would have made her family a lot more money if they’d just told the truth.
But Cardela didn’t want people walking in and out of her kitchen all day so they moved Livia’s desk upstairs and left all the rest downstairs.
Besides, Livia’s desk was the important thing- that’s where the family would find her neatly written manuscripts waiting for them to send out when she was done writing.
Sunny walked across the room she had fixed up and she guessed, as she swept up the dust from around the marble crypt in the center of the room, that just about now Mr. Overland was about to see what it was Livia saw when she opened her eyes.