“Thank you sir, believe me you won’t regret this,” you say enthusiastically as you stand up to shake his hand. “When should I leave?”
“Tomorrow if possible, I want this to make our late fall edition,” he replied. You smile and nod again, and hurry out of his office in case he decides to change his mind.
“So, what’s the verdict?” Linda asked turning towards you from her swivel chair.
“I’m moving up,” you smirk. “I’ve been asked to write an article about our sister city, Blank. I think it’s called. It’s a fairly small town, but it should be fun.”
“Nice, when do you leave.”
“Tomorrow, and it can’t come soon enough.”
It’s about two o’clock in the afternoon when you arrive in Mistè Falls and the first thing you notice is thick could like layer of fog. It almost makes you miss you turn. Luckily the further you drive into town the more the mist seems to let up. Finally you get to your hotel room.
Upon entering you see two people leaning against the wall with bored expressions on their faces. They almost seem to be unaware you even walked in, although you certainly can’t ignore them. One has their hair up in an old- fashioned beehive type style and is eerily pale. She (you assume they are a she) doesn’t to be wearing any makeup, just a unisex bellhop type outfit in blue and grey. The other whom you presume is male has his short hair slicked back like a greaser in a 50s movie and is also wearing the dull bellhop uniform.
Unsure if they are of any use to you, you make you’re to the very worn looking wooden front desk. In complete contrast to the two people leaning against the wall (and the building in general), the man at the front desk looks very lively.
“The names Otto,” he said grinning. “I’m guessing you’re after a room.” You nod trying to match his enthusiasm.
“I’ll be here for two nights, and three days,” you add. “I would’ve made a reservation but no one could find a number for this place.”
“Ah, well we’re not really a big enough town to have that kind of call ahead service,” Otto confided in you. “It’s better this way though, we’re a pretty private community, we don’t like the idea of being a tourist attraction.” You shake your head indicating you understand, although Otto’s cheerful demeanor does somewhat smother the point. “Now,” Otto continued gesturing to the odd bellhops. “One of you get over here and take up our guests bag.” Then as if he’d uttered the magic words the male of the dead looking duo peeled himself from against his comfortable spot on the wall and made his way towards you. His movements were somewhat robotic, but you didn’t want to be rude and point that out. You waited patiently until he finally made his way over to you and grabbed your small suite case.
“Room-“you look to Otto.
“-113” he finishes for you. You give your thanks and then proceed down the long dark hallway until you get to the door marked 113. Once you’ve settled and taken you bag back from the bellhop who robotically walked back toward the lobby, you lie on the bed to take a breather. This town seems pretty dull and lifeless, you think. Other than Otto I can’t imagine there’s much of a story to be told here. This really was just busy work wasn’t it, so I wouldn’t bother anyone at the office. You fume about this for a bit, but it isn’t long before you drift off to sleep.
You awake to a loud noise outside your window. Grasping in the dark you try to find the switch to the one lamp in the small room. After stumbling for a bit you manage to turn it on and head over to the window. “What on earth…” you mutter to yourself as you see several people outside all heading in one direction. A bit below you, you notice a knocked over trash can which must have been the source of the noise. For a moment you in shock, but then your journalistic instincts kick in.
There’s got to be a story here! Rushing to put on something decent you grab your mini camcorder and your notebook and head outside. Once out in the night air you notice the fog has essentially completely lifted in the town. No one seems to even notice you as you make your way to the square with everyone else. Out of the corner of your eye you spot Otto, although you could’ve sworn he looked much less hairy earlier. By his side are the two bellhops who though still robotic seem to have a spring in their step.
“What’s happening?” you ask the person closest to you. Said person turned around and gave you an odd look.
“Who are you, you’re not from here?” they said sharply. You were a bit taken aback by that. Not because they were in the wrong but because everyone seemed so cheerful that this person hostility almost surprised you.
“Um, no I’m not. I’m from Dullton your sister city, I’m here to do a story,” you explain. “What’s going on out here?” At this point the persons frown changed instantly back into a grin.
“Oh, we never get anyone from up there for the moon festival,” they said. “Welcome, feel free to get comfortable, we’re all friends here. You might want to turn off that camera though. This is a private affair.” You nod and pretend to but you can’t resist. Whatever was about to happen was going to be big you could feel it.
“Thanks for the heads up,” you nod and make your way with your new companion. Once arriving in the town’s center everybody stops. A woman who you believe to be the mayor of Mistè Falls steps forward and onto a prepared podium with a microphone.
“Welcome, one and all to the Moon Festival,” she boomed. “As you all know it gets harder and harder to have this festival as times have changed and things have gotten so busy. So appreciate tonight all the more, for tonight shall be our biggest Moon Festival yet!” The crowd began to cheer and you can’t help but shout alongside them. That is until you notice the change in atmosphere. At first it seems like people are stripping off their clothes, but even worse it seems like they are removing their skin!
Turning around you see that your aquantence has changed from an average looking guy into a elfen looking creature, with pointed ears and skin that looked like actual wood. The mayor too had gone from a woman with ordinary legs to a woman with a spider like lower half. Even Otto who you kept somewhat in your cites had become a completely hairy wolf man. The only people who remained the same were the creepy bellhops, but to be fair they had already been strange.
“How is this happening!” you shout dropping your camera in the process.
“Aren’t you going to remove yours too!” the elf shouts clearing missing your earlier shocked reaction.
“I don’t have anything to remove!” you yell back still terrified. What happens next seems like a giant blur. Your camera has by now been trampled in all the chaos and your pad and pen are long gone. Music begins to play and you stick out like baby in an adult dinner as the only non- supernatural creature there. You’ve just stumbled upon one of your town’s biggest conspiracies, heck maybe even the biggest conspiracy in the country and yet you found yourself at a loss for words. You had absolutely nothing to write.
***I didn’t re-look this over so grammar is probably shady…