Het laatste bed is a novella from the nal story collection Hugo claus published during his life. He died on 19th march 2008, by his own choice and with determination, after a final glass of champagne with his loved ones, refusing to wait until his illness would deprive him of his faculties. Het laatste bed also revolves around a planned death, one that brings an end to the passion between two women, a passion claus could dissect like no other.
Ostend, at the North sea coast. The imaginary Luxor Hotel is an archetype of faded glory, the likes of which are abundant between calais and knokke-Heist. Emily, the first-person narrator of the story, squares up with her mother, who has been admitted to hospital. She scribbles on the hotel writing pad while her lover rests in the suite. Memories of her life pass in quick review: her time as a child prodigy at the piano; her youth tainted by a love-hate relationship with her mother; her career as a music teacher at a strict flemish lyceum; her encounter with Anna, daughter of the lyceum’s cleaning lady; how they tried to hide their inappropriate passion for each other from the school, and how they got expelled from the institution.
The beginning of the end strikes up: a point of no return. The trip to Ostend escalates into a fight with a nail file on the bed of the suite, as a shocking ritual gets out of hand. The pills, swallowed down with a swig of Seven Up, cause an unexpected reaction. The demonic lovers battle to the death.
The Luxor hotel hosts a congress of bailiffs. They wear the colours of FC Bruges, are excited, flirt and parade drunkenly over the esplanade, dancing the polonaise. A local journalist reporting on the event recognises Emily, the former child prodigy. He tries to convince her to give one last interview ...