's 2018 Horror Write-off:

My Root Cellar

Submitted by Justin Best (email)

My Root Cellar

My name is Curtis Winslow I’m 41 years old. I have a wife name Linda who’s the same age as me, and we have a daughter Katie who’s 13. Until recently I was working as a carpenter in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, that was at least until it happened. An event I’m not even sure I believe .

It started five years ago when we were living in your typical two story, yellow, town house in a tiny neighborhood at the edge of town, It had all the usual things, a kitchen, living room, a dining room all that stuff but there was one thing about it that was always just a little off.

Down in our basement right next to the storage area was an area that had been blocked off with a bunch of boards. At first for the longest time we thought that it just led to a part of the basement that hadn’t been finished.

But then we started running out of room in our storage area, so I began slowly but surely remove every board. And when I was done we found a small white door that had been locked. Linda asked, “What do you think it could be?”.

Katie suggested “Maybe it’s a gateway to a magical world”. I chuckled and said, “Or probably just were whoever lived here before us wanted to hide stuff he didn’t want people to know about”. Katie asked, “Like what daddy?”

I replied, “Oh guns, magazines stuff you probably shouldn’t look at”. I then found our crowbar and then removed the lock on the door, and when we opened it we saw nothing but darkness and dirt. “Huh so it’s a root cellar” Linda said.

I replied still skeptical “Why would somebody go through all this trouble just to hide a root cellar from everybody?”. Linda said, “Maybe there’s something in there they didn’t want anyone to know about”. I joked “Like what rotten turnips?”

The next few days everything was normal until one day I was at home with Katie when I realized I didn’t know where she was. I called out to her “Katie, Katie where are you”. I looked all over the house from top to bottom, and when I couldn’t find her in the first or second stories I looked in the basement.

When I got there, I found Katie right outside the root cellar, but she wasn’t scared or hurt. It looked like she got back from a movie or an amusement park and had the time of her life. I said, “There you are Katie what were you doing?”, and Katie replied, “I was playing in the root cellar, and I was right dad it is a gateway to a magical world”.

“Well next time tell me or mom before you play in it, I was worried about you” I replied “I’m sorry” she said. “That’s okay I think you mom’s just about home, come on we’ll all get ready for dinner”, and we got upstairs.

The next day Linda took Katie to her job at the craft store, so I had the house to myself. I got bored and checked out the basement to see if there was something to do, and I saw the root cellar. For some reason I was drawn to it, so I went inside.

At first it looked like nothing but then when I got to what I thought was the end that’s when I thought I saw the end of the root cellar open to reveal a cave, and I went inside. After a while I saw a light and followed it. When I got out I heard the most beautiful singing in the air.

I looked around, and realized I was in a forest, with a bright blue sunny sky, lush green trees, and sapphire blue streams and lakes. As if it didn’t already look like a fairy tale enough they were little people with wings flying singing beautiful music and making other beautiful sounds.

I saw what looked like mermaids swimming and playing merrily in the streams singing more beautiful music. I saw little gnomes making little houses out mushrooms, and old fruit, and vegetables. It was as if I had died and gone to heaven or at least a Saturday morning cartoon.

Then I saw them all look at me and say, “Come Curtis, come play with us”. “Stay here and you won’t have to worry about anything ever again”. I thought about it just staying here in this strange but wondrous place but then even far into this weird place I thought I heard Linda, and Katie come home.

I said regretfully “Sorry everyone I have to leave maybe me, or Katie will come back next time”, and I walked back to cave, and went out the root cellar. I thought to myself “No way that didn’t happen did it?” But I just shrugged it off and went back upstairs.

I want to say that was my only trip to that strange world, but I’d be lying. One time while we were watching a movie I randomly said, “Oh hey I think I left something in the basement”, and walked off to go to the root cellar, and go to that strange, and wonderful dimension it led to.

Once again, all the little tiny fairies, and gnomes were once again playing to their songs, and asking me to join with them. We danced and sang for what felt like forever. But soon I grew tired and wanted to rest.

Then the fairies, and gnomes told me “Hey Curtis we’re going to have a feast soon one we only have every 100 human years” I replied “Huh that sounds good” they replied “It will be, and we want to invite Katie with you we just love children at our feasts”.

I thought about it and said, “I don’t know I’ll have to ask her, but I still go”. The fairies, and gnomes started singing and dancing again” and I remembered “Oh right Katie, and Linda”, and I left for the cave while behind me the fairies, and gnomes sang “Come back soon Curtis, everyone comes back”.

I didn’t think about what they said or what I agreed to until one day when me, and Katie were alone again Katie kept bugging me to say “Daddy, daddy it’s time to go to where the fairies are for the big feast”

I shrugged her off and said “Hang on sweetie in a minute” thinking she was just playing pretend. But she ran off to the basement. After five minutes of not hearing her I called out “Katie, Katie, Katie” I remembered what she said and went to the basement.

After I couldn’t find her there I looked in the root cellar, and when I got to the magical forest where the fairies lived I saw her playing merrily with the fairies, and gnomes. She looked at me and cried out “There you are daddy”.

The gnomes, and fairies looked at us and said, “You folks are just in time for the feast”. Then they brought out all sorts of plates, and pots, and utensils, and we all at the delicious meat they had served us. We ate until our belies burst.

When we were finally full I asked, “That was delicious what was that stuff”. Then the fairies looked at us and said “Us, silly”. I asked worriedly “Wait what?”. And they all pointed to where a pig faced goblin was scrapping the flesh of a leprechaun’s stomach with a knife while saying with a French accent “Hold still you little imp so I can get to work on my cutlets”.

While the leprechaun who acted more like he was being tickled then disemboweled simply laughed “Aye I would if you could actually hold that thing worth a flog”. I almost puked right than and there but then the fairies, and gnomes looked at me, and said “Okay Curtis you, and Katie ate us so now we get to eat you”.

Me, and Katie screamed “WAIT, WHAT”, and like that all of them sprouted fangs like somebody had shoved garbage disposals in their mouths. Then their teeth started spinning around, and they started coming towards us with the intent to devour us. I screamed “Hurry Katie let’s get the hell out of here”.

We ran and ran as fast as we could while the fairies, and gnomes screamed out “Come back here, you can’t escape, we will taste your delicious flesh”. One of them tried to jump at us but I took off my belt, and whipped it, and they screamed “Iron, Iron they have iron”.

The fairies, and gnomes then ran away as fast as they could. But before they left they cursed out “You may have escaped but they’ll be others we’ll always have food to feast on as long you humans are around”. We then found the cave and went back to the basement.

When we got back we locked the door and boarded it back up. I then looked to Katie, and said “Okay Katie I know me, and mom tell you not to lie most of the time but this time I need you tell mom that when we were in the basement we found a pack of wild animals or a dead body in the root cellar, and that’s why were freaked out, and blocked it off’.

Katie asked, “But why dad?”. I told her “Because I don’t think mommy would believe us, I don’t think anyone would believe us I’m not even sure daddy believes us right now”. Katie agreed, and that was the story we told Linda when she came home.

Nothing strange happened to us afterwards, and eventually we got jobs in Rochester, and moved there but something still bugged me about that old house. At some point I got curious about and did research on it.

The house we used to live later became infamous when it was the site of a rash of disappearances. Not just after we left but before it as well. The worst part was that most of the people who disappeared in our old house with the root cellar were children.