's 2016 Horror Write-off:

The Well

Submitted by Luis

The Well

The following note was found at the ruins of the sanitarium that was burn last week. The author is unknown but is speculated to be the perpetrator of the fire that ended so many lives.

"I remember that awful day, a hot day of June. I had moved to that small town two weeks ago. I can still see it, a small, boring town, where everything seemed to move at the pace of a snail. Barely any sign of activity was seen in a normal day. Wooden houses left and right, an excess of grass. An odd grass, i must say. Grayer than usual. The streets bathed by weak light that hardly could pass through the dense fog.

San Gerardo, that's how it was called. Odd name. A man once told me it was related to a saint. Why did i moved there? Health issues. I used to be writer. A bad one. Always stressed about my next publication. It was starting to cause me high blood pressure and headaches. A tranquil town like that looked like the perfect place to relax a bit. Quite. Almost isolated from reality, my reality...

But something bothered me. That well. Behind my house. It was an old well made of rocks, old as the town itself. I never drank water from it. The first time i saw it, it gave me a strange impression. A very bad smell used to came out of it, giving me nausea. Why no one had cleaned it during all the time it probably had had in there?

I spent so much time thinking about the well, as if some type of force were attracting me to it. It was like a black, dead eye staring the skies for all eternity. As a mouth always hungry, always craving.

But something about it bothered me more than anything else about it: The sounds. All the nights. Every single one of them. That cry. A baby's cry. During the first two nights in there, i refused to believe the truth. But it was impossible for me to do it. A child was crying and the sound came from inside the well. It haunted me. It pierced the endless veil of darkness of the night with a vicious sting. It made my spine chill. Why nobody made something about it?

I curse my curiosity as i write this note. Why my mind had to be so stupid? Damn it! If only...if only....

By the fifth day it was too much. I had to go there. I had to see it. The night fell on San Gerardo. The blue-tinted skies filled with stars watched me as i went to explore the well. The atmosphere was ominous and the flap of unknown bird's wings in the void of the night scared me. Infinite shapes and shadows were seen by my eyes, all of them mere illusions caused by the unknown and the fear.

But as i got close to my objective, a strange silhouette stared at me. Next to the well, a hooded figure was standing. A woman perhaps? A woman holding something in her arms. A small body covered in bandages, with shining eyes on its face. Eyes red as a ruby. As i stood there frozen, the silhouette ran away.

I returned to my bed, scared. Couldn't sleep all night. I had to do something about the mystery. But what? I talked to the man living in the house crossing the road. Felipe. Odd name. He told me it was all in my imagination, the crying, the woman. The red eyes. As a way to help me, he told me he had a rope. We were going to see the insides of the well, at night. So confident was he about the topic, i could not refuse.

I think it was around 12:46 A.M. when it happened. The sky was beautiful, i could finally see it clearly, as there was no fog. Holding a small torch, Felipe tied his rope to a tree's root and descended into the well. I felt as if he was being eaten alive by a strange beast. He went as deep as he could, eventually disappearing into the black hole the well was. The light of his torch vanished. But i could hear him. He told me the water level reached his hips and asked me if the light allowed me to see him. I told him there was no light. Then, he told me he could feel a small hole with his foot, but it was too small for a person to fit inside. That was the last thing i heard of him.

The minutes passed, becoming hours. I heard nothing. Where was he? Was he joking with me? I decided it. I should go inside the well. I firmly grabbed the rope and started descending into the pit of shadows. Soon it was impossible to see. I felt my feet touch water. I was at the bottom of the well. The splashing sounds of my own steps disturbed me. I could feel my own hands touching unknown materials as i blindly searched for Felipe. Suddenly, a light ignited from nowhere, illuminating the walls. An inscription was carved in the stone:

-And so ends the world of man, and theirs start. The shapeless. The formless. The ones that inhabit at the edge of nothingness. The ones who roam beyond great, burning cities, consuming the strings of reality. Pray to them, so they don't show their true faces. And let them be. Their eyes stare at worlds beyond limits. Their blood bathes the spiral of chaos in the center of our land. And they see it, the truth. The everything-

And as i finish reading the senseless note, i see them. The bodies. Babies. Dead corpses floating in the water, as porcelain dolls with cracked skin and white eyes. So many i can't count. Rotten to the bone. Smiling in their lifeless existence. I scream. I cry. I escape.

I can't fell my own body as i climb the rope. My heart about to explode. My throat dry. My hands wet. As i climb, my shoe is pulled below. Something grabs my foot. I look behind, into the dark, hollow world that well was. Eyes. Red eyes, as a ruby. Something touches me. Something not human. I climb as fast as i can and eventually came out of the well.

Why? why me? Is this the sin of the human nature? Should our curiosities damn us to broken minds? This is not right. It can't be right!!!

It didn't end there. The disappearance of Felipe was obvious. The police found it. His body. In the well. They say it was disfigured beyond belief, twisted in a grotesque form resembling a screw. It was trapped inside a small hole at the bottom of the well. A hole too small for a person to fit. What happened that night? What was in the well? Why they didn't see the dead bodies or the inscription?

But they found my shoe. I was blamed. The doctors told me i was mad. They locked me into this white room, with this white shirt. They tell me i'll be fine, i'll never hear or see stuff again. But they are in there. In the shadows of the night. I see their eyes in the walls. They look at me. The others. I heard the cries. They sing in strange languages i can't understand. They show me things i don't want to know. All nights. I want to be free of them, just one more night.

I'll be free. We all are going to be free. The fires shall purify us all.........."

The remaining of the note is illegible.