I pull up to the gas pump and cut the wipers, peering through the rain-splattered windshield. A decrepit roadside sign catches my eye. "RODEWAY INN!" Proclaims the top section, while the bottom simply falls open in disarray, spilling forth the cables and posts once hidden within. Did it once say, "Try Our Fish Special"? "Have a Nice Day"? Or perhaps "Have a Nice Day, Somewhere Else" like the ribbon hanging in my dad's office.
My eyes turn to the building next door - presumably the former occupant of the broken sign. From the distinctive triangular architecture, I can tell this was, at one time, an IHOP. Now it has been painted entirely black. The black siding is scratched in places, and the black awning is mottled green at the top. I can't tell if it was once green or once black, or both. *Dereliiiict* echoes through my brain in Zoolander's voice.
Combined with the dramatic, sloping roof of that not-so-dramatic pancake franchise, it all has a distinctly macabre air. Perhaps this was IHOM, International House of Macabre, I chuckle. I really crack myself up sometimes.
I start to imagine a story set here, at IHOM. Is this building a victim in a post-apocalyptic world? A den for vampires?
The pump clicks. All gassed up.