Welcome, To The Arcanum Hotel

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Start your story in an empty guest room.... view prompt

5 comments

Fantasy Fiction

The big wood door slowly swings open with a creak to reveal a room behind it. I walk through the looming doorway with my trunks in my hands and under my arms. I sweep my gaze across the room and look at the big windows with long black curtains that dance in the wind from the drafty windows. There is a plain bed with a dark, twisted wood bed frame and an ornate dresser to match. A mirror hangs off the wall next to a closet that looks like it would house all of your childhood nightmares. I glance down next to me to look at the little woman who had let me to my room. She was no more than three feet tall with horns that spiraled out of her head.

    “This will be your room while you stay with us,” she said turning, to me and holding up a big black key for me to take. “This is your room key,” she stated as I plucked it out of her hand. She then turned her gaze to the room and said, “I’ll better leave you to unpack. Housekeeping comes whenever you need it, so no need to worry about calling them yourself. Trust me; they know when your room needs cleaning.” I opened my mouth to question how they could know such things but was cut off by her voice once more bellowing through the room as she made for the door. “I’ll leave you to get settled. Miss Umbra shall be returning later to greet you. If you need anything, my name is Isota, you can find me around the hotel. Have a pleasant evening.” with those last words, she turned on her heels and closed the door with a thud

    I set my trunks down and let out a big huff as I made my way to the bed and sat on the springy mattress and black blankets. I stare at the room before me, this is my new home now. It has been two weeks since I was shipped off to live here. Two weeks since the orphanage found out I have a remaining family member who was able to take me. I found out it was my second aunt twice removed or some other distant relative crap, she was still alive and lived on this tiny remote island somewhere in the world, and she happened to own this hotel. I have never met her, and I am pretty sure we share about one drop of the same blood, but we are family. 

     I get up from the bed, and it lets out a long creak. I walk towards the mirror and notice my hair was such a mess, and it was still slightly damp from the journey here. I had loaded all my stuff into a tiny rowboat as someone from the hotel helped row me to the tiny island that was home to the towering hotel. It was pouring rain, and the waves came up to the sky and crashed down like boulders hitting the ground. The rain pelted us as our tiny boat ventured out to the deep blue, and the lighting cracked down and danced in sharp streaks. I sat in the rocking boat and stared at the person rowing the boat but, it was no human it seemed more like a gargoyle figure. But I didn’t have anywhere to go, so I sat in the boat as it heaved up and down in the waves. I stared off into the dark as the rain pelted the top of my head and my hair stuck to my face. We eventually made it to the island, which was then surrounded by sharp rocks but we found a place to dock. So I hopped out of the boat as the gravel and dirt scraped beneath my feet.

  Anyway, that’s how I made it here. I continue my journey around the tiny room and make my way towards the closet. I pull open the huge door and stare into the darkness that floods my room and pulls me in. I reach for the light, and with a small click that bounces off the walls, the light flickers on and pours through the closet. A pair of eyes staring at me, well more like eight giant, black eyes. I let off a scream that bursts around the room and seeps through the door. I bolt to the door, almost running into it but, I heave it open and burst down the hallway trying to find the lady Isota or whatever her name was.

  I trip and stumble on the carpet and end up plummeting to the floor face first. I turn myself onto my back as pain sears through my face. I look up to see the lady who showed me my room looming over me. “There is a giant monster in my closet!!” I burst out as my heart is almost beating out of my chest. “A what?” she says in a pretty calm tone for me to have just told me a giant beast was lurking in my closet. “THERE IS A MONSTER IN MY CLOSET” I yell. Okay, let’s pause for a moment; I know right now I sound like a deranged and terrified five-year-old but, come on, what would you have said?

   She looks down at me with one eyebrow arched over her eye. She then slowly turns to where my room is and as she does a giant spider-like creature scurries out of it and down the other way. I gasp at the sight. “That is no monster that is the housekeeper Akna. It was quite rude of you to behave that way. Now you better get downstairs and find something to eat, and please don’t fall again it really is not a sight for sore eyes.” with those last words she turned and slowly walked away.

  I let out a big sigh, this would be a longer stay than I thought. I walked down the stone spiraling stairs and came out into what seemed like a medieval dining room. The table was scattered and all sorts of people who weren’t like normal humans were also scattered around at different tables. A large pot sat on a fire in the middle of the room, I walked over to it and noticed a spoon stirring the contaminants of the pot but, no one held the end, it just spun around the pot on its own. “Well, don’t just stand there and gawk, get some and get out of line.” someone squawked at me. I snap out of it and loom over the pot and stare down at the bubbling goo inside. A disgusted expression sneaks its way onto my face. I reach a slender hand out to pick up a bowl and spoon that were neatly set on a table to the left of the pot, more like a cauldron. I take a bowl of goo and walk to a table.

  I stare at the bowl for a while till something lands in front of me on the table. I glance up to notice a cat but not a cute cat, the empty skeleton of the cat. Its hollow eye sockets suck me in but, I try to stumble out of my chair, eyes still locked on it. I stumble out of the room as I look over my shoulder at the cat. I run up the stairs but, as I do, I bump into a tall figure. I look up to see a tall woman. Her black hair is neatly framing her face. Her lips are painted with black lipstick and are pursed together, her dark eyes glance down at me as two eyebrows neatly arch on her forehead. A hat is tilted on her head as a slight smile plays across her lips. I stare up at her, unable to look away. She knew who I was, and I realized who she is. She opens her mouth, and a few words escape her lips “My name is Zaleria Umbra. Welcome, to The Arcanum Hotel!”

June 04, 2021 00:14

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5 comments

Palak Shah
10:47 Jun 05, 2021

I love your description throughout, it was amazingly done and you have a great writing style. Well done :)) Keep me posted on new stories :)) ~Palak Shah

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M C
13:22 Jun 05, 2021

Thank you so much! I really enjoy and appreciate the feedback and will make sure to keep you posted! :)

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Palak Shah
12:19 Aug 08, 2021

Could you please read my latest story and share some feedback if possible. Thanks

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M C
23:36 Aug 08, 2021

Of course! :)

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Palak Shah
09:19 Aug 09, 2021

thanks :))

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