Z – Zelda – The Hotel Housekeeper

I hope you have enjoyed this year’s theme. I invite you to continue FOLLOWING this blog that will revert to the topics you would expect a writer and gardener, who is addicted to books and reading, to post. I would hate to lose your company. Cheers!

th-3My intention has always been to write a cozy mystery based on a hotel housekeeper. I am addicted to reading English mysteries, but writing one is another thing. For the last day of the #Challenge, I had fun playing with a character named Zelda. Here is a brief nod to a favorite genre. 

The hotel maid was working her way down the hallway pushing a squeaky cart filled with fresh towels and bed linens. She stopped before each door, knocked and called out, “Housekeeping.” I hurried to leave my room so the bed could be remade, the bathroom tidied. If not for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, Zelda, I might not have remembered this was the name I’d seen on the maid’s name tag pinned to her uniform. We chatted briefly several times. It was clear to me that she was bright enough to realized how anonymous she was to the guests. They ignored her presence taking for granted that she would clean up their newspapers strewed on the floor and hoover the food crumbs away.  She was only the person who replaced the wet towels thrown over the bathtub’s edge.

I stepped into the hall when Zelda screamed and backed out of the room next door.  She pointed back into the room. I saw a body crumpled on the floor. In anguish she said,  “How will I ever get the blood out of the carpet?”

In a matter of hours, the entire Village knew that Zelda had found the body of the famous actress staying the weekend up at the hotel. She had been stabbed and left for dead in the room next door to where I slept. I was only inconvenienced for a few days as the hotel guests were retained and questioned. I had no doubt that the Inspector and his Sergeant would solve the crime given time and cooperation. The day I was able to check out I pressed a tip into  Zelda’s hand, thanking her for her service. She confided, “I haven’t bought a pint in the pub for several days.” She batted her eyes mischievously. “The young lads now find me interesting and exciting.” She lowered her voice, “I got a pay raise to compensate for my trauma.” She laughed,  “I laid it on pretty thick.”  She turned and started to push her cart down the hall. Now linked to a village mystery, I thought she stood more erect. Her new role as a lady of intrigue suited her.

The Solution To The Crime: A jealous actor who lost the part did it, of course.


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge April 2016 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Z – Zelda – The Hotel Housekeeper

  1. What a splendid transition from A-Z topic to what must be a prelude to something new. Please tell me I’m not wrong.

    Congratulations on completing the A-Z; it’s quite an achievement

    Keith Channing A-Zing from http://keithkreates.com

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Congrats on finishing a wonderful A-Z challenge!

  3. Kathe W. says:

    congrats on finishing A to Z! The Zelda I remember was married to F Scott Fitzgerald.

  4. Congrats on finishing the A to Z challenge. I did enjoy reading your posts and I will continue to follow you after this. ~Meg Writer‘s Crossings

  5. Miriam says:

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge. Real life got in the way, but at least I managed to read and enjoy some of your posts.

  6. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks, Stepheny, from A to Z. What a fun month following your posts, and I must admit I have been impressed with the originality of your posts and the obvious research that went into them. From time to time you reminded me of places we have been together…always good times. Well done!

  7. roweeee says:

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge. My next challenge has only just begun, trying to read more of the posts. My theme was overly ambitious but has evolved into a draft manuscript so I’m thrilled and just trying to relax and catch up. I retreated deep into my writer’s cave for the month, which hasn’t been appreciated and has left me needing a good rest.
    You might enjoy my post about Australian Masterchef starting up again and the photos of our ailing veggie patch: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/no-more-limp-carrot-masterchef-australia-returns/
    xx Rowena

  8. I love this story. LOL — Zelda sees the body and wonders how to get the blood off the carpet. I do understand her dilemma. I did see a blood-soaked carpet one day after the body was gone several days after my friend killed himself. The police would allowed nothing to be removed. Glad to meet you through the A-Z Challenge.

    • My intention is to take this little snippet and turn it into a sequel to Greening of a Heart. So many asked for more when they finished the novel. Kicking the idea around. The two of us are going to have a fun blogging friendship liking so many of the same things. Thanks, Barbara for giving Greening a try.

  9. That was a neat little story. It seems as traumatic as the death was, it seemed to have worked out in the housekeepers favour. Except for having to get the blood out of the carpet.
    Something funny to note, I have been rewriting a story I wrote when I was younger (about 30 years ago) and one of the character names was Zelda. Outside of the video game, I’m never really heard that name used before. So it’s cool to hear you using it too.
    PS – Visiting as part of my road trip. I notice, I commented on your A post too. LOL
    Somehow I got lost along the way.

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