When Your Conference Room is on Lockdown

Miss Crankypants has just returned home from a four-day long writing conference, one where even the esteemed keynoters had to sleep in a boy’s dorm with the bathroom across the hall. It was a nice enough bathroom, but it was ACROSS THE HALL.
And these two keynoters and Miss CP were the only residents in the residence hall.
Not only that, but the doors to these rooms could have come from a maximum security prison. These puppies were so heavy that they not only spanked you on your way out, they shut and locked themselves with frightening speed. More on that later.
Now, in her youth, Miss CP could rough it with the best of them. Why, at Church Camp she slept outdoors up in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim area and a SKUNK walked right over her sleeping bag and she didn’t even scream. Much. Back at the camp cabin her biggest fears involved a phobia of zipping the sleeping bag all the way closed. They don’t call them mummy bags for nothing. Back then, Miss Cranky could bunk on horrid thin pallets or the floor and still be able to stand up straight the next day. Bathroom across the road and down the trail a ways? No problem when you’re ten. Especially if you have a good flashlight and you aren’t afraid of the dark.
But no more. These days if Miss Crankypants sleeps on a pitiful hard mattress, she will definitely look exactly like that mattress for the foreseeable future, complete with ticking stripes across her cheek and lumps in places she didn’t know you could get lumps. And now she learns that somehow, boys’ dorm beds are even worse than the girls’ beds. The mattress in her dorm room was so hard it could be used to cut granite. In fact, it probably WAS granite. By morning of the second day Miss CP was begging for a bed of nails, which she was sure was way softer.
And of course by the last night at the conference, Miss CP was at all-out war with that darned door to her room. The key kept sticking in the lock and you could never really tell if the door latch was locked or open. Which naturally led to her demise. She slyly cranked the key and forced the bank vault style door open, squeezed through before it slammed behind her. She thought she’d turn in early, so jammies were in order and shoes be darned.
Then she made the fateful mistake of returning to the bathroom ACROSS THE HALL to get a glass of water before turning in for the night. The door to her room sucked itself shut as if it held state secrets. And when Miss Cranky returned, water cup in hand, the door refused her entry.
Miss Crankypants stood locked out of her room: in her PJs, barefoot and without keys, cell phone or any human within shouting distance. Help lay a quarter mile away, down endless flights of stairs and literally over hill and dale. Stay with me people. Next time Miss CP will tell you how she survived!

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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