The Wanderers Inn

by Anthony Poynton

In a crime riddled town, on a housing estate, live the terrible twins; Tim and Tom Tate. When something goes missing and cannot be found, you can usually find the Tate brothers around.




Saturday morning and the school week is done, time to get started on having some fun. Out on the street at eight and a fraction, Tim and Tom Tate are in search of some action. Leaving their dull dirty street well behind, they head down crook lane to see what they might find.




This muddy old passage, two hundred years old, is dark and tree shaded and eerily cold. Walking for miles while fooling around, in the damp morning air there is barely a sound. Finding nothing of interest they decide to turn back, when Tim spots two trees that are rotten and black. Creating an arch with a huge ugly twist, framing a path leading into the mist.




Mischievous grins pass from one to the other, as they start down the path, twin brother and brother. They enter the fog and feel instantly cold, but the pair keep on walking, more foolish than bold. They walk and they talk and they walk a bit more, now the fog is so thick they cannot see the floor. Lost in the cloud and both unprepared, the boys carry on, they're too tough to be scared.




Tom, are we lost, do you know where we're going?


Tim, we can't see, so there's no way of knowing!


Weve been walking for ages, and gotten nowhere!


Well I still feel the path, and it must lead somewhere!




All of a sudden the mist starts to clear, and a spooky old building begins to appear.


The windows are covered in sooty black grime; nobody's been here for a very long time. As the boys both approach they noticed a sign, 'The Wanderers Inn' (we serve spirits from 9). The curious twins wonder what they can steal, what marvellous treasures this place might conceal. They push at the door of the old drinking hut, but the door will not budge, it is locked tightly shut. Tom starts to kick it, and to his surprise, the door flies wide open with a couple of tries.




Nicely done Tom, let the robbing begin! Tim enters first, then Tom follows him in.




The ghostly pale light surrounding the pair, dances with the sparkling dusty stale air. The old wooden bar and the tables are rotten, in the ancient ale house that time has forgotten. Then the light begins fading as they hear a strange groan, and the door that they'd entered closes all on its own. Plunged into darkness and feeling afraid, but not yet aware of the error they've made. Moving closer together they stand very still, as the temperature drops and they both start to chill. Their eyes now adjusted to the ominous gloom, they see that they've kicked their way into a tomb. Murky grey figures floating around pass through the walls and rise up from the ground. Tim and Tom Tate start to shiver and shake, as they finally see their tremendous mistake. The criminal thoughts of theft in their head, has gotten them trapped in the house of the dead.




Tom this is bad, and it keeps getting stranger, I feel that our lives are in terrible danger!


Yes Tim your right, of that there's no doubt, this place is haunted we need to get out!




The boys try the windows, and beat them and shout, but nobody hears, there's no one about. In the middle of nowhere, the terrified fools are sealed in a building surrounded by ghouls. In the midst of their yelling they hear the loud chime, of a grandfather clock, announcing the time. Now things start to happen and it gets quite bizarre, the deceased form an orderly queue at the bar. And an old black piano in a broken condition begins playing music without a musician.




A doorway appears within the far wall and in walks a man who's incredibly tall. He wears a long coat and a high black top hat, and he's sporting a blood red fine silk cravat. Skin paler than snow with no white in his eyes and a soul that rejoices when anything dies. This gent is a demon, a vision of death; he could probably kill you with only his breath.




The twins try not to breathe; they know it's too risky, while the devil serves dead people glasses of whisky. Feeling hopelessly ill and unable to scream, they pray this is all just a terrible dream. Huddled together they hide in the shade, unaware that their presence has already been made.




I know that you're there lads, I heard you come in, and from here I can smell the foul stench of your skin. So come out and join us and stop being rude. Let me fix you a drink and maybe some food!




Towards the tall fellow the boys slowly creep, as they walk holding hands they silently weep. They get to the bar and look up at their host, this man is undead the guy is no ghost. The fiend leans forward and they hold back their cries, as they see their reflection in his shinning black eyes.




Excuse me sir, are you the grim reaper?




No young man, I am the inn keeper. Now youre both in my house and you must have a drink, to refuse would be rude and offensive I think. I recommend the whisky, single malt and quite old, I'll give you two glasses for one piece of gold.




We don't have any cash we're unable to pay, if you open the door we'll be on our way.




You wretched young fools, do you think yourselves funny, dare enter my home without any money! I wont set you free you must pay the price. Then the inn keeper hands them three red crystal dice.




Take these three dice and both have a throw, get three sixes between you and I'll let you both go.




Tom takes first turn, double six and a four, Tim only needs to throw just one more. He rattles the dice and continues to cry, as he opens his hand and lets the dice fly. They scatter and bounce across the bar top, and rapidly all three come to a stop. The anxious twins look and their souls fill with fright, one three and five, not a six die in sight.




Go ahead boys and cry your last tears, as youre going to be here for hundreds of years!




Strange words are spoken from the ancient inn dweller, the twins drop through a hole and into the cellar. They're not the first souls to end life down there, and they wont be the last, there's much room to spare.




Now the Tate boys home town is freed of two pests, and the barman from hell gains two permanent guests.




The End

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