Rita’s Inn almost won the competition to the most normal, safe, dull and boring place in the whole town. Almost.
Rita’s Inn was first opened in 1958 by Rita’s father, Fernando Saez. At the time, the business was just called Rita’s, and the neon lights shone red on the top of the building in the middle of the night. Let’s say that this was not exactly an inn. For 10 years, this house was the home of forbidden pleasures in our town.
Business was good until 1967, when the Job Regulation Act was passed in town. Fernando Saez strongly opposed this Act, not because it illegalized his business, which was perfectly legal, but because he needed to get Green Cards for all of his immigrant workers, which included Latin Americans, Africans, Asians, Eastern Europeans and Russians. After fighting against the policy for two and a half years, he closed the business and opened the inn in the same location.
Rita was born in 1971, and she never got to know that phase of the family business, or who the original Rita had been. She never asked, either – we have reasons to think that she still has not processed any of this in her brain. I mean, come on, it’s not like she is the sharpest knife in the drawer -. So, when her father decided to retire, she took the family business and has managed it ever since.
The building is fairly simple to follow: the entrance with the reception, the dining room and the kitchen, the bar, the sitting room and the access to the elevators is all in the ground floor, the basement is for the office and other rooms for workers, and the higher floors are for bedrooms. Everything is fairly normal for the tourists that come from the outside world. It is also pretty standard in its service, neither excellent nor grotty, with an alright price, which makes it have a steady income.
There are, however, a few anomalies about the building that should be taken into account. Though Rita now refuses to use magic because she has joined ANUS – I mean, the only way to explain how I feel about this is to roll my eyes -, due to a spell that she cast onto the inn when she was 12, all of the guests that are living in the inn on the 25th of December transform into yaks forever. It’s still unclear how she could have cast such a powerful spell by herself. There are several conspiracy theories that, honestly, might as well be true.
But that one is fairly easy to avoid: just don’t go to the inn on the 25th of December – unless you want to turn into a yak, of course -. There are other, far more sinister things going on in the inn.
At night, when the inn is finally closed after a long day, the inn shifts. More often than not, nothing happens with them, and they just sleep a comfortable night’s sleep. Sometimes, however, some guests get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, and they feel it. The creeping presence pushing at their door, pulsing with a dark aura that is trying to get to them. The few people who opened their doors saw the most undescribable of horrors awaiting in their corridors, an impossible madness that defies the very sense of reality. The spirit of those who look into this abyss gets destroyed.
And those are the lucky ones. The ones who manage to close their doors and live on, trying to recompose themselves into one piece of a human being. The ones who can call Alex Cooney to be their therapist – yes, this is cheeky self promotion, but one has to make money somehow! -, at a reasonable rate.
And there are the other ones. The ones who receive the call from the abyss. The ones who wake up in the middle of the night to find themselves in the corridors, somehow transported to the middle of the abyss. Only their screams can be heard, as a muffled sound, if you pay attention when you pass next to the inn.
So, overall, 3/5 stars.