I.  The Old Haunted Inn

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Fouché

Sheets of rain vigorously pound upon the roof of the bleak, Gothic-Revival structure while lightning brightens the dark-gray, billowing heavens. Thunder rumbles furiously over the lonesome vale and the wind whistles through the shuddering treetops above the steep hillsides––and up on the second story of the mere edifice, through the sheer, ghost-like curtains, peers a strange elderly man. He watches steadily while a new visitor hastens through the remorseless rain and moves underneath the shadowed porte-cochére. The old man smiles with such wickedness of expression––and grimly chuckling to himself in a somewhat delirious state, he then hurriedly leaves the sight of the window, contemplating on undertaking God-knows-what.

Lightning blazes through the pitiless clouds once more, followed by the blaring thunder. Dusk is, without doubt, descending upon Spookinite Valley; it is the time where the wraiths of the night can hauntingly call out to one another, gesturing the unwary. This is indeed going to be quite an outlandish evening. The disturbed and sick linger inside the Inn, only waiting to inflict such vicious horror upon their unsuspecting victims. The truth is hidden within the forgotten walls and many forbidden secrets have been awaiting their horrid revelations for over a century. And now, hurrying inside, the new guest enters through the thick, maple-wood doors, which imprison the unrested spectres within its dull interior. And sadly, the guest who arrived moments ago does in fact happen to be you.

Here you now stand solitarily in the elegant parlor of the Inn. The maroon, velvet chairs must have offered comfort long ago, however, now they are thickly coated in dense cobwebs and dust. The round tables seem to have been crafted from chestnut, along with the wooden chairs that surround them. Spiders quiver their slender legs above you, while they suspend themselves down from the high ceiling. Candelabra glow from upon the mildewed-plaster walls. The dim, flickering flames dance upon their dying wicks as a cold draught sweeps through the whole of the room. Following an exceptionally detailed-pattern carpet, you make your way to the front desk, which, of course, is weakly lit by a desolate candle. And unexpectedly, the caretaker steps out of the darkened doorway and slowly makes his way to the front of the check-in desk.

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Realm of Shadows by Midnight Syndicate

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