's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Sabedile

Once upon a time, a kingdom suffered a great drought unlike any it had ever endured. As the fields were dying, so were the cattle, and with them the farmers; withouth them, the king would perish as well. The distressed monarch desperately wanted a solution, so having had no children of his own, he declared that any capable of bringing back the land's water would become his heir.

In that kingdom lived a young country girl that everybody called Bellflower, for she always carried with her a little brass bell that she rang with unparalelled skill. Her parents and two of her brothers had already died of thirst when her only remaining brother decided to try his luck. With the first rays of dawn he set off to look for the water, but he never came back. Seeing that her brother wouldn't return, and that her own situation and those of her neighbours were only getting worse, she resolved to find the water by herself. With her brass bell in hand she entered the woods, where she found a wolf.

"Don't eat me", she told the wolf, "and I'll ring my bell for you". So the wolf did not eat her.

The second day of walking she found a bear.

"Don't eat me", she told the bear, "and I'll ring my bell for you". So the bear did not eat her.

The third day she kept ringing her bell for all the animals in the woods. All of them loved her, from the birds to the foxes. If her guts roared they would find food for them. If her eyelids got heavy with drowse they would find her a bed. If she ever got lost, they would show her the way.

At the other side of the woods she found the undine's river, that of she whose veins were streams of cold water.

"Don't drown me", Bellflower told her, "and I'll ring my bell for you". So the undine did not drown her.

The young country girl took the undine's freezing hand and stayed with her until her heart was as warm as her own. The undine kissed her, and she was happy.

"Go", said the undine. "I'll follow the sound of your bell, and wherever you lead me I'll take my river with me ".

And so Bellflower turned back to where she came from, never ceasing her sweet ringing. However, when she was about to reach home, she found her brother.

"Why are you always playing with your bell when we only have reasons to grieve?", he asked her. "I have no water with me and we are all going to die".

Then she told him her story, hoping to cheer him up.

"The undine follows the ringing of my bell, dear brother. No one will die of thirst again. No cattle, no farmers, no king".

And he cheered up, but with that joy so rose envy and greed. The ringing ceased, for he had snatched the bell. He killed Bellflower and buried her by the path. Then the ringing started again, and when he reached home he was received as a hero; he who brought the river, champion of the common men, king. He prospered in the castle while Bellflower rotted beneath the dirt. In time, there where she laid grew a bed of bellflowers. They sang with the wind.

"I'm Bellflower, now decayed,

by my brother betrayed.

My bell brought the river,

yet this is the price I've paid."

Folk passed through the path and as they did the flowers sang. But they did not hear, and if they did, they ignored. It was she, not he. It was she who brought the river, the flowers tried to convey, but the folk paid no mind to them.

"I'm Bellflower, now decayed,

by my brother betrayed.

My bell brought the river,

yet this is the price I've paid."

But the woods listened. From the birds to the foxes, Bellflower's song grieved all of them. They cried for she who they had loved, and with each note and each year their hunger for revenge grew stronger. When the new king decided to go hunting, he became prey. The birds took his eyes, the foxes his tongue, the bear his arms and the wolf his legs.