"We've been waiting for you." These were the words that greeted my enquiries about a room in the surprisingly pleasant motel on the dusty outskirts of Royston.
It was late afternoon, about four o'clock, and I had recently left the Interstate after a gruelling seven hours driving through eternal cornfields. Having spent the previous night staying with my aunt, I remembered her fussing that I make regular stops as 'tiredness kills'. Thinking of this, I stopped for a welcome rest in the picturesque town of Royston. Now I stood, perplexed, as the small man with rapidly blinking eyes took off his glasses to clean on his waistcoat, and carried on talking.
"Yes, waiting a very long time for you, everything's ready." Then it struck me.
"Oh, my aunt... Did she 'phone ahead?" I tried to interrupt, but the man continued, unperturbed.
"Oh yes! Waiting a very long time.
We were all beginning to despair that you weren't going to come." I looked around for someone else, but the only other inhabitants of the dark lobby were a few slowly rotting pot plants.
"But now you are here. The preparations are complete, and we can all look forward to eating you." This last sentence jolted me back to my senses, which had been dulled by many a day travelling through the Midwest.
"Um, excuse me. What did you just say?" I asked, sounding maybe a little more concerned than I wanted to.
" I said: The preparations are complete, and we are all looking forward to meeting you," he replied, a little unsure. I must just have misheard him, it was all right. Wait...
"The preparations for what exactly?" I asked. The man looked up, then hurriedly down again, as though searching for his words somewhere amongst the bills...