A fun little short story about missing towels. Nothing makes a vacation troublesome like no towels
The tropical sun and the ocean breeze danced in the third-floor room the Townley’s had reserved. The sunlight shimmered along the greens, whites, and reds of the couch, chair, and bed facing the Pacific. With the sliding door open, the ocean breeze kept the heat at bay.
Dexter Townley stuck his head into the hallway after he inspected the bathroom. “I can’t find any towels”
“I can’t believe there aren’t any towels,” his wife, Edith, said from the bedroom.
“Come look for yourself then,” he said.
Dex and Edie spent an unnecessary five minutes confirming that there were no towels in the suite.
“I’ll call down,” Edie said.
The young man at the front desk listened as Edie explained the situation. “That is quite strange,” the young man said. “We’ll have new ones brought up.”
Dex was anxious to get out to the beach which was part of the resort. “I say we take a walk.”
“Won’t we need a towel, dear?”
“I’m not suggesting we go in the water,” he said. “Just a walk.”
“I think I’ll stay here and sit on the balcony. It was a long flight and I’m tired.”
Dex frowned. “Yes, I remember you relaxing in the car as I brought up the luggage.”
Edie reached for her husband’s hand. “Now don’t be like that. We came down here to be free of the bickering for a while. I promise we’ll take plenty of walks. Alright?”
Dex took his wife’s hand and leaned in to kiss her. “You’re right.” He let go. “I’ll be back in a little while.”
The resort manager stood with the rest of the staff. No one knew quite what to do. Not only were there no towels, but now Edith Townley was nowhere to be found.
“I don’t understand,” the manager, a man named Frickee said. He turned to a small older woman. “Flora, you said you took up a new set of towels, yes?”
“Yes, I did. And the woman was there too,” she said.
“And that was less that two hours ago, correct?”
“Well, my wife can’t have just disappeared,” an angry Dexter Townley said.
“I agree, Mr. Townley,” Frickee assured him, “and we’ll get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, I’ll have Flora bring up another set of towels.”
They left the angry Dexter Townley to his thoughts.
Along with the resort security man, Bromley, Frickee had the resort searched and the security tapes reviewed.
No Edith Townley.
“This is definitely odd,” Bromley said.
“What do we do?” an agitated Frickee asked. “Should we call the police?”
Bromley rubbed his chin. “We may have to. Still, I’d like to have another look in the room before we do. Maybe something was missed. I mean we’re relying on this man’s word, but we all know that sometimes people aren’t always truthful and sometimes people do bad things to one another.”
“Yes, sometimes they do,” Frickee agreed.
The room was empty. No Dexter Townley and no towels. The luggage of Dexter and Edith Townley remained by the door as it had when they came by earlier. The sliding door was open and the evening breeze swept the curtains to one side as the sun slid slowly behind the ocean’s edge.
“We’ve never had anything like this happen in my twenty-two years,” Frickee said as he rubbed his forehead. “We’re a nice family-oriented resort.”
“There’s always a first,” said Bromley, who began to methodically search the room.
Aside from the missing towels, nothing was out of place. The luggage was opened as well, and, as with the room, nothing was found amiss.
“I guess we call the cops,” Bromley said.
Some months later, long after the police had found nothing concerning the whereabouts of Dexter and Edith Townley, the young couple occupying the room returned from the beach to find a stack of clean towels on the bed along with a note:
I’m done with these. Thanks.
©2020 David William Pearce