The Inn: Part One
Also by dan4884
Christmas wishes can be many things, but they almost never
come true. Yes, you hear about them all the time; all about pets who had a wish
that came true. They touch your heart, and you probably end up crying. But this
story is different.
You can read all of those other stories about
them coming true, but they're probably just made up. No, I'm not saying those
stories are bad, I'm just saying they're untrue. But this story is as real as
they come. It happened to me and my brother, on Christmas Eve long, long ago.
It was a Christmas Eve most would prefer to not
remember later on. It was cold and damp outside, and a blizzard was stirring
up in the near forecast. My brother Charlie and I lived in a rather bare part
of Neopia Central, but we had friends who lived farther into the main city.
Charlie was older than me by a couple of years, and despite the fact that we
were really both just kids, he was generally reasonable and trustworthy. That
was why I didn't have any doubts when he suggested we visit those friends on
Christmas Eve, no matter how snowy it was outside. It would be nice to spend
Christmas Eve with friends for a change, for normally we had a very plain, lonesome
Charlie and I left early in the morning, just
as the snow was beginning to thicken. He and I were both clad in thick ski jackets
and puffy pants, and we had scarves tied around our necks. We had sent ahead
for an Eyrie cab, and it was just landing as, gifts for our friends in hand,
we exited our house into the misty morning.
Almost immediately, we were bombarded by snow.
The snow was getting much heavier, and Charlie and I struggled under the strain
of the material. But, we eventually reached the Eyrie, and loaded the presents
and ourselves into the cab. The Eyrie driver spread his wide wings and burst
into the air.
As we were traveling, I noticed there were very
few people outside. I glanced into some windows as we passed by them and saw
fireplaces crackling. Oh, how I wished to be inside from the frostbitten air.
I could barely feel my Kyrii toes, and I could hear Charlie's teeth chattering.
We had to get inside someplace warm quickly, or we might have a problem.
However, luck was not completely on our side
that dreadful day before Christmas. All of a sudden, during what couldn't have
been even halfway through the long journey, the Eyrie driver began to descend
down towards the ground.
"Hey!" Charlie called through the window in front.
"What are you doing?"
The driver didn't turn back towards Charlie and
simply shook his head. "Sorry, but the weather's just too bad to go on. Can
barely see five feet in front of me."
"Where are we going to go then?" inquired Charlie.
The Eyrie sighed and continued to glide downward.
"There's an inn around here, I know. I often fly customers from where you live
to out near your friends. When the weather gets too bad, I stop at an inn 'till
it clears. The inn's around here. So we're gonna stop."
Charlie looked back at me, and I nodded my head
in agreement with the Eyrie. "It's too cold, Charlie," I told him.
"Alright," he replied. Charlie was an impatient
Quiggle. He always had to be moving, always doing something. If he didn't, he
became angry. We got into quarrels often, and I usually won, considering that
he always rushed into things. Nevertheless, I loved him. He was actually a very
charming person, he just had some qualities that were less than desirable, as
The Eyrie reached the ground after a few moments,
and after we exited the cab, we shook off the snow. And there, in front of us
was the most rundown building I'd ever seen. Its windows were cracked and slightly
open. The door was hanging on one hinge, and worst of all, there was a gigantic
hole in one of the walls. I knew this wasn't going to be a warm wait.
"Wow, this place has fallen apart since I last
came here," the Eyrie said from behind us.
"How long ago was that?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Eh, a year ago… two. There hasn't
been real bad weather like this for quite some time." He paused and then added,
"Now thinking about it, it may have been more than two years. My memory's not
too good anymore. All I do know is that this place didn't look like this last
time I came here."
Charlie sighed and plunged his gloved hands into
his jacket pocket. "Shall we go inside?" he asked timidly.
I began to reply, but the Eyrie cut me short
by saying, "Yeah. Hopefully the desk clerk will recognize me and give us all
free rooms 'till the snow clears."
Charlie and I nodded in agreement, and then we
all began inside.
Inside was just as rundown as the out. The floor
was wooden and splintered, and the paneled walls were incredibly cracked. There
was a cluster of couches in the center of the room, next to an empty fireplace,
and they were all dusty with plastic slipcovers thrown over them. The coffee
table in the middle of the cluster was lopsided; one of the support legs had
broken, sending the slab of wood on top halfway towards the ground. On the far
right of the room was a huge grandfather clock with a pendulum that didn't swing;
its time was forever frozen at midnight. And on the far left of the room was
a check-in desk. Standing behind it was a white Zafara that almost looked like
In fact, she also seemed to be floating behind
the desk. Her slight levitation was mesmerizing. As we approached her, it seemed
like she looked right through us. Her eyes were distant, and she had no expression
on her face. She was the closest thing to a ghost I'd ever seen. It gave me
"Um, excuse me, ma'am," the Eyrie said to get
her attention. The Zafara still didn't notice us. "Ma'am?" he asked again.
Charlie and I exchanged looks. This was too weird.
I was just about to say something when she spoke in a voice that made me even
"Your rooms are to the left," was all she said.
Her translucent hand lifted and pointed to a corridor a few feet away. We turned
to where she pointed. My eyes flickered towards a young Gelert bellboy that
was as ghost-like as the Zafara. His eyes were as distant, and he too was bobbing
up and down.
We followed him down the long hallway. Charlie
stepped on a floorboard that creaked, and I jumped. This was too much like a
horror story to be happening on Christmas. It was scaring the snot out of me.
But I didn't tell Charlie because he would tell
me I was being stupid. Charlie could be scared but he would never admit it.
He was too buff and firm to admit it. Still, I knew that he was scared as the
bellboy led us to our rooms.
There were two of them; one for me and Charlie,
and one for the Eyrie. I picked the one to the left, and the Eyrie took the
one on the right.
"I'll get you when the snow clears," the Eyrie
Charlie nodded. "Alright." He looked towards
me. "Got that, Luke?"
"Yeah," I said.
"Enjoy your stay," the ghostly bellboy said after
a bit of silence. Then, he whirled around and glided back down the corridor.
And if my eyes weren't deceiving me, as he neared the lobby, he disappeared
into thin air.
Charlie and the Eyrie noticed this, too, but
neither of them commented. Simply, the Eyrie slunk into his room, and with a
tight frown drawn over his lips, Charlie slunk into ours. I followed him into
the drafty space and closed the door behind me.
The inside of the room was bare. The floor, like
in the rest of the inn, was wooden, but the walls had changed from paneled to
a peeling, lime green wall paper. In the center of the room, pushed up against
the back wall, were two narrow, thin beds with peach colored bedspreads. That
was it for the furniture, but there was a crackling fire in a place adjacent
from the beds. The red-orange flames devoured the logs and warmed up the room
considerably. Warmed up the room, and her.
She was a tiny blue Aisha with a winter coat
and mittens. She was huddled around the fire place, shivering. She didn't look
quite as ghostly as the desk clerk and bellboy, but she still had an undead
aura about her - she didn't seem real.
"Erm, who are you?" I asked of the little girl.
I was surprised to see her in the first place, as she seemed to appear out of
nowhere. She looked up at us, but her eyes wore the same look as the one that
had been present in the eyes of the bellboy and desk clerk.
"The question is, who are you?" she responded.
Her voice was very high-pitched and distant.
"Well, I'm Charlie, and this is Luke," my brother
told her. "We got stuck in the snowstorm and we're waiting it out here."
"Where were you going to on such a dreary day?"
she asked us.
"To our friend's house, for Christmas Eve," I
Suddenly, she shrieked. It was bone-chilling.
It terrified me more than anything else in this inn.
"To-today is Christmas Eve?" she asked after
slightly calming down.
We nodded, our curiosity peaked. "Why's that
so important?" Charlie asked.
"Because today's the day they haunt the
inn!" she squeaked.
To be continued...