"s 2015 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Athena

As long as I can remember there's been a sinkhole outside my house. It's gradually grown throughout the years, slowly taking over our entire yard. We've tried to fill it in a few times, but it's always eaten away at the dirt around it and come back, so we've grown to accept it.

Me and my sister would often play in the yard around the sinkhole. We were pretty close despite our age gap, neither of us were the most sociable of kids. Unlike most kids her age, she wasn't scared of the dark. She liked to see the sinkhole as an amazing portal to a fantasy world, that'd just keep growing bigger until it took all of us in. I had difficulty seeing it as anything more than a giant, inescapable hole into the middle of the earth.

It wasn't long until my sister's energy, and our parents' lack of supervision resulted in her falling into the sinkhole. At the time she was nine, and I was thirteen. I completely panicked, and ran into the house yelling for our parents. I was supposed to take care of her, but I failed. I cried as my parents called the police. I cried again when the team they sent to go into the sinkhole couldn't find the bottom. Then again when my sister appeared in our yard a month later.

She was clean and uninjured. She kept going on about how amazing it was inside the sinkhole, saying there were bright colored lights, and animals like she'd never seen before. I kept asking how she got out of the hole, but she never explained, she was too excited. It made me uncomfortable. Despite our parents urging her to rest and recover, I could hear her running around the house all night.

Her energy felt unending, but her body couldn't keep up. She'd spend every night running through the house, and every day talking my ear off about the sinkhole. She was getting paler, with deep, sunken bags under her eyes. She had started forgetting to eat, to the extent all her bones were beginning to protrude. We were taking her to the doctor weekly now, but every time she checked out as fine, they just told us to get her to sleep more.

Eventually she started dry heaving, and coughing up blood regularly. Her immune system was dying, so she'd end up sick every week. Her legs were too weak to run now, but she kept trying. She would still talk nonstop, but it was no longer coherent, just babbling about lights and the sinkhole growing. After a few nights of her hobbling around the house lights really did start coming out of the sinkhole. The color was indescribable, my eyes could barely register it. It was so alien, but my sister seemed at home with it. She would go out and watch them every night, laughing to herself. She looked so happy.

The lights were getting brighter every night, they started to burn but it still felt like I could barely see them. I could tell they were starting to make shapes, but I couldn't make out what they were. After a week they started to become visible, almost solid. The lights were forming into one, pulsing and shaking as if they were being given life. I wanted to vomit. It grew in size then stood up fully, solid but still swaying in the wind, as if it was fading in and out of reality. I started to hear low tones from its mouthless form, vibrating, cold echoes and drones as if the sounds were coming from the earth itself. The sinkhole was talking, and for the first time in months, my sister sat still, quiet, listening patiently while it spoke. She stood up and opened her mouth as if to respond for the first time, but the second she did the light flew into her body. In a few minutes, it was gone, swallowed whole by my sister. The next day she could run again.