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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adams

A Short Story

FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW THIS SITE my intention has been for my little essays to delight the reader coming in at around a two-minute read -- short and concise has been my motto.

Usually, I find a spot or business and develop an essay around a photo that captures points of interest and features the lifestyle that our 117-mile M22 highway unveils. I’m sort of copying the early travelogue days of Detroit legend George Pierott or more recently PBS’s Rick Steves flitting around in Europe. Certainly, a confluence of inputs has shaped me.

Now, after two books, I am toying with entering the field of short stories to begin to spin a world of fantasy and make-believe. A new genre of historical fiction with a touch of humor. I suppose it is creating a new direction for me and clearly, it is a shift in my writing approach.

As an example, I’m sharing a few paragraphs of my new story where I blend fact with fiction to weave a believable tale. From the Ashes

by Robert Adams, Sr.

MY NAME IS BEN THOMAS. I began a winter job as a reservations and guest services specialist at the Harbor Beach Resort in Frankfort, Michigan. It is a resort complex that houses a motel, condominiums, and timeshares on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. It was the former site of the luxurious Royal Frontenac Hotel that burned to the ground in the winter of 1912 after a rather truncated 10-year run. Sand, whipped by westerly winds soon reclaimed the footprint that overlooked the harbor and lighthouse where the parcel remained undeveloped for over fifty years. My employment was billed as a winter weekend opportunity for good wages. It gets boring and lonely around here in winter, so I thought why not give it a shot and I did. Never in a million years would I have guessed that a ghost would make himself known in my lobby the first night I was on duty. Even more importantly, this apparition would soon become my best friend -- as I said it gets lonely around here in winter. The ghost shared with me that he had perished in the inferno that engulfed the four-story Royal Frontenac Hotel over one hundred years earlier. I’d met some screwy people in my bar days, but he was sincere, and I thought the glimmer in his eye’s lent credibility to his claim. He told me he would tell me more the following night. In a bit of a stupor, I went to the library the next day to research more about this former hotel and found the Royal Frontenac was conceived in a similar fashion to the famous Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island which began service for guests in 1887. Fortunately, after more than a hundred and thirty years the Grand Hotel is still open and is considered truly the premier masterpiece of period architecture. It is located on the bluffs of Lake Huron’s infamous summer island. The island allows no motorized personal vehicles to this day -- a tradition that started in 1887 almost a decade before Henry Ford took his first spin on Detroit’s streets in his Quadricycle and fifteen years before Frankfort’s Royal Frontenac opened for business.

[to be continued] My attempt here is to whet one’s whistle yet stay with my two-minute rule for this site. I took this photo five years ago and it always intrigued me, thinking it a bit spooky with its eerie end-of-day impression. It will be featured in my future collection of short stories.

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