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There's Something in the Water

By ShackleSoul All Rights Reserved ©


There's Something in the Water

“It’s just the rain, it’s just the rain-“

The young woman repeated the mantra over and over as she ran homewards, as if it could ward her from the evil around her. The town of Alpenview was pitch-black, the opaque clouds overhead incessantly weeping that cursed liquid ever since she had made that wish. That damned wish.

She had wished the rain would come and wash this ugly little town away. All her family, her “friends”, her memories, her scars. She had just wanted nothing more than for pure, cleansing waters to take the place of all the pain in her life that day at the old well. Oh God, how she should have remembered what the elder citizens spoke of that old well! There were those who upheld that something unspeakable and unnameable lived at the bottom, stillborn within an eternal sleep, dreaming forbidden things that would raze a human mind.

Why, why did she have to do what she did and scream her wish towards the bottom of that old well, over and over again, and so loud she nearly passed out? But she couldn’t have known, could she? None of the old tales the elders spoke of said the thing granted wishes, and certainly not in such a jeeringly malicious fashion.

By now the rain had reached the level of a monsoon, but the tormented young woman had finally reached her family’s home. As she forced the water-damaged door open, she was absentmindedly beginning to wonder why she hadn’t seen anyone else on her way here when she heard a sound that made her blood practically freeze in her veins.

A slow, drawn-out gurgling coming from the basement.

She didn’t want to think about what might have happened to her family. But all the same, she felt a morbid compulsion to investigate the noise. The young woman made her way down the steps leading to the basement in total darkness, silently cursing the fact that her dad had somewhat oddly installed the light switch at the foot of said stairs instead of the top. At last, after what felt like an interminable eternity of blindly groping in the darkness, she located the switch and flicked it on.

Her father, mother, and two younger brothers were there. The pallor of their bloated flesh indicated death as though through drowning, but that wasn’t even the most surreal part. They were floating in the air, not as though they were flying, but as if the room were full of water, even though she could plainly tell it wasn’t and she herself was still firmly planted on the floor. Their slackened jaws and lolling eyes spoke of people who had perished witnessing truest dread.

The young woman staggered back, bracing herself against the wall as a wave of nausea threatened to make her lose her footing. It was then that she heard its voice, coming from someplace primal and dark. Very dark. But not from the bottom of some old well. The voice was coming from inside her.

“I am not a cruel creature by nature. I granted many wishes in a wholly positive fashion, but yours was the first I heard uttered in malice. You may deny it, but this, this is what you wanted. Truly, this is what you actually wished for.”

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Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...

Shannon Rohrer: This is probably one of the most imaginative stories I've come across in a long time. You have hooking down to a fine art; every chapter has been as engaging as the one before it, the story unfurling in a way that is easy to follow and paced perfectly for each round of events or backstory. Lookin...

Amy E Moore: If you love horror books, this book will fulfill your needs. It will keep you in suspense and wanting more at the end of every paragraph, page and chapter. It is a must read.

duggsy: This kept me intrigued, I only intended on reading 1 chapter but couldn't stop until I'd read the whole thing. The only let-down were a few spelling mistakes hence the 3 stars but otherwise a great read.

E_W_Hemmings: First of all, sorry this review took so long: I've had science mocks recently and then when I came to read this, I made notes to put in the review like I usually do... but then I deleted them. Well done me. As a result, this review is a bit more general than most reviews I write, but hey ho, let'...

Clarissa: Very atmospheric and descriptive language, with good character development. This is a complex and interesting story - definitely worth a read.

Tobi Doyle MacBrayne: I was so impressed with this piece. The slow degradation of the main character into a dark and crazy place is beautifully written. I liked that the characters physical descriptions were not described because it gave me a sense that it could be someone I know or love. The grief that breaks the m...

Sarah_M_G: This story was truly gripping from start to finish. The way the author used Scottish dialect throughout the novel really helped to put you in he in the place where it was all happening. Every character was well described and thought out. How they all fitted together really worked and loved how t...

Kat Paul: I know you mentioned thinking of making this into the introductory chapter of a longer story... What you have so far definitely intrigues me! My favorite bit is the twist about poor Bergen giving the creature the inspiration for its identity. What would interest me the most in the rest of the s...

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Pam Thomas: Loved the story. It left me thinking just a tad bit. Also, it is the ultimate blend of genres that I adore! Continue writing!

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