's 2016 Horror Write-off:

from whence it came

Submitted by robert dye

The night crept in on limber feet as the grass and trees swayed in the ferocious wind as it blew. There rose an ivory moon shimmering as flawlessly as the gleam in one's eye. Lightning crashed through the darkness, lighting the way in brief flashes for whatever creeps and crawls in the hour of fear.

Along a sinister, barren road came the echoing clatter of a coach drawn by a frantic horse. The driver (a man in the age of aching bones) cracked the reins so the abominable beast of burden would quicken its pace, only to jerk into a sudden stop at the pitch black occurrence of a box on the road. Nearly having been thrown off his transport, the elderly coachman snorted grotesquely, keeping a tight hold on his hat through the foreboding flurry of the gusts of wind.

 He stepped off to observe this most heinous obstruction, a black, wooden box laid on the worm burrowed ground. Taking a hesitant step he moved forward, sure to remove this intrusion of his rounds. After a few fearful footsteps towards the accursed object, of whose origin he neither longed or cared for, he finally came within arm's length and saw it was much larger in size then seen from afar.

The ground played host to a large, black wooden crate. Searching for what seemed to be a non-existent label or address, h proceeded to haul this object onto the back of his tilting vehicle. The tired man gave a slight glance to it one last time before donning the reigns of his horse once more, and proceeded to make way on his journey.

Now with the untimely arrival of some ominous cargo, the horse dragged its master and miscellaneous goods to a darkened pier. The sea screamed as its waves crashed along the shores in time with the wind's own echoing voice. The driver of the horse and coach arrived at the distraught boardwalk of a decrepit, wooden pier, setting himself off his wheeled transport he walked to the old dock. The planks creaking in agony of his heavy trek to the end, where a boat of metal frame and oak body waited by the tremendous thrashing of the ocean.

Before he removed the anchoring rope wound to the pier, he made sure to lead his horse by its reins. Finally, he made one more trip to the coach he would soon abandon, carrying back his cargo whilst leaving the crate for last. As he brought the somewhat heavy object aboard, the horse neighed in terror upon first glance at the accursed box as it tore its reign from the mast. Before the old sailor could grasp its reigns it dived off the starboard bow into the ice cold water where after several moments of thrashing, only a few bubbles floated to the surface. Wrought with shock the man hurriedly set sail on his vessel out to sea, while he was still sure no bothersome bystanders were around to observe the scene.

The ocean was in a horrifying state as its roaring waves surrounded the vessel, the sailor's eyes locked to the box while his hands latched to the railing as rain started to pour from above. His mind stirring after the horse's demise, and all he could think about was that wretched crate that stood unnaturally still on the rocking deck. What was it, why did he retrieve it and why did it look more terrifying when the rain and sea water drenched its sides? He had to know, now.

He cautiously approached it, trying not to slip on the soaked decking while not taking a panicked eye off the box. Determined to discover its contents since he found it at first, his common sense was overrun by newfound paranoia and curiosity. Only as he dug his nails under the lid and pried it from the splintering wood, did he realise it was too late. His last words were uttered within a scream, for leaping out the shadowy confines was a horrific crustaceous abomination. A bulging eyed, barnacle laden biped that had clasped its clawed limbs round the man, who shrieked together with the things own echoing, wind like howl. Within seconds both figures were gone, the sea fell calm and the vessel floated empty as the crate.

The next morning, dock workers discovered the bare remains of a crashed ship along the coast. Officials recalled the contents were identical to stolen goods reported missing several weeks ago, including illegally caught crabs. However the thief last seen on a horse and cart was absent, reported dead due to the raging storm the night before. Nothing except the square, algae covered outline of a box like shape on the deck.