The Prison Hotel

Mukherjee had just reached his destination, when he realized what a terrible mistake he has made. As if bringing Banerjee along, and allowing Banerjee to bring Chatterjee along, were not worse enough, the unkind world seem to test Mukherjee’s patience up to its yielding limit. The hotel that he had booked, what would have been, just for him, but was, for three of them, was an old prison, with attributes as disreputable as the experience of spending a vacation in a prison. The dilapidated and literally ‘dated’ building struggled to stand tall amidst the even taller trees, which successfully blocked out every single solar photon from illuminating the building. Building that building, Mukherjee realized, was indeed a waste of resources, because this location can convert timid beings, such as himself, into murderers, instead of rectifying the prisoners, for whom the building was originally intended. “Not a pleasant ambience, I see”, observed Banerjee, “Neither a pleasant mouth is stating that”, thought Mukherjee indignantly. It is surprising how, always the one who is paying for the vacation seem to be the most easily irritable one.
But as soon as they stepped into the building, they started to appreciate the exteriors and the surroundings of the building, for the inside was ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidociously’ worse and even hell looked like a luxurious hotel, in perspective! Chatterjee who had been quite quiet till now, started chattering, Banerjee who had been only vocal till now, held up a banner, and Mukherjee who had been cursing the other two started to curse himself for booking this hotel. The reception was deserted, the only caretaker, who was also the facultative manager and the obligatory cook, was busy watching a television, which too, was a compulsion of his. The three guests carried their heavy suitcases up the sky high stairs into the prison cell, they would call home for this three day vacation. “The prisoners lived more comfortably than us. There used to be one of them per cell, unlike three, as is now!” remarked Chatterjee. “All the other cells are permanently locked, only this one is still accessible”, said the caretaker who had silently joined the trio. Nobody was surprised however, to hear a new voice, because everyone thought that it was one among the other two, who must have talked.
Later that day, after lunch, M, B and C decided to go for a recreational walk around the prison. The caretaker, however advised against this. According to him, some prisoners, had been so fond of this prison that sometimes they involuntarily return back to this spot, whenever nostalgia strikes. In those moments they are so motivated, that they would even murder an innocent person, to buy a one way ticket into this prison. This bothered the MBC. They could not understand how the prisoners could still dream to return back to this prison, if it had already been converted into a hotel. They bookmarked the question in their minds, but for the present considered the reason to be something obvious, that is, unknown yet trivial!
In the Evening, they saw more disreputable folks arriving to stay at the hotel. Initially, they thought that these people will also share their room, but somehow, the caretaker accommodated them, in the other, permanentlylocked rooms. Once again, they discarded the reason for this queer room accommodation mystery as unknown yet trivial. What surprised them was that, they really had very little freedom to exercise in the hotel. They could not walk out of the building and the iron door to their cell was always locked by the caretaker, from the outside.
At night, when the trio were just starting to read a book, the lights went off, and despite shouting at the top of their voices, to turn it back on, the switches disobeyed to do so.
The same routine continued for three days, and on the day, they were about to check out, they were gifted a gun. After the tiring three days, Mukherjee could have shot anyone but rather chose the caretaker as his target. As soon as the limp body of the caretaker fell on the ground, security guards with ostentatious biceps brachii emerged from behind a hidden door and dragged them back to the cell they had been allocated earlier. “You are jailed for killing, and you two are jailed for accompanying the killer and for not stopping him from killing.” declared one of the guards. “Why are you jailing us in a hotel?” interrogated Banerjee fearfully. “This isn’t no hotel”, negated the guard with a double negative, and then continued, “This is a prison, this was a prison, and this will be a prison. We were running short on inmates, so we decided to advertise it as a hotel to attract people. The more, the inmates, the higher, our salaries! We have done a pretty good job, almost every other cell is already filled with tourist inmates, like you guys, some of them already convicted of murdering caretakers, others yet to be convicted!”
“Oh my god!” shouted the MBC, “how many caretakers did lose their lives?” “The answer is unknown but it is obvious and TRIVIAL, isn’t it?” said the caretaker while untying his bullet-proof vest!

Arkadeep Mukhopadhyay
Antarctica Daily



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