Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
brian_a_navarro would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

For Whom the Bell Tolls

By brian_a_navarro All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Short Story

Warily fatigued by the long night in bed, Tommy’s eyelids crept open to only a sliver of sight. Even still, through such a small opening he expected to see something, the glow of the candle from beside the bed, the glimmer of dawn coming in through the window, anything, but the quiet darkness that unnerved him and made him feel trapped.

I can’t move, Tommy realized. An itch rose to the tip of his nose begging to be scratched but sorely could not be, leaving him to wiggle and scrunch his nostrils in an effort to ease the annoyance.

His heart gradually thumped a little faster in response. His face growing flush with a chilled sweat curdling across his forehead, like gravy cooling in a pan, as a strange and musty darkness overshadowed his listless movements. Unlike most his age, Tommy refrained from giving way to panic, at least for now.

This could just be the aftereffects of the fever . . . or even the medicine, he started to believe, convinced it was nothing more than a waking dream gone awry. The last thing he seem to recall was his forehead burning hot just before taking the foul, thick as syrup liquid to break the fever, accompanied intensely by a sour look from both his mother and the doctor before falling asleep.

On waking a drowsiness from the medicine lingered, even on his taste buds, seemingly unlikely to pass quickly at all he would have guessed by the way it stuck to him. Even so, despite its effects clinging to his bones and muscles, feeling did slowly return to his body except now from the neck down a strange numbness permeated and aroused such newfound sensations that he was a little bit frightened. But mostly curious.

The first among those growing sensations to rile his senses was the firmness of the surface he rested upon in darkness; his bed had never seemed so bitten, nor rough to his backside that it felt unlikely so. Perhaps the floor then, he warily accepted, unsure of how he got there, but certain enough for the grooves felt like wood from what his hands, resting at his sides like that of a soldier, could gather without moving. His feet, however, would remain quiet on the subject, tucked away in wool and leather, seemingly quite content as things were. All of this made him only more curious. I must have been going out, but where? he seriously wondered.

In the minutes that passed, movement of his lower body followed first, not by much, but enough to scrape his left boot across the floor several times to gather some bearings. Narrow? he quickly questioned after repeatedly hitting a sturdy obstruction with each swipe that in his mind could very likely be the bedpost, solidifying his emerging belief that he’d simply fallen out of bed on his way out.

“Are you sure then?” the boy suddenly heard a woman ask in muffled tones. Is she crying? He continued to listen, waiting for some reply, but only registered a slight of movements from those above him. If only I could see.  “Brother, I—”

“Yes, we’ve been here all night . . . and not a peep,” replied a man with rough speech. Uncle?

“Or, even a toll,” offered another, this time a high pitched tone from a voice he did not recognize.

Tommy needed to speak up, but found his voice absent, the lips moving well enough, but the words clung to the hollowed cave of his throat with only the smacking of flesh to indicate any attempt on his part.

Then it went quiet above him, and his nerves began to tingle over so many unknowns. The darkness, the voices . . . everything about his situation for that matter. Yet, his body woke further, and distracted him with fresh colors amidst the darkness, namely an earthy brown above him and around, like a bedspread draped over, yet the shape of it blurred too much to be certain.

Despite how much that might have intrigued him and left him uneasy, it would be his hands that garnered his attention when he suddenly became aware of something coarse was wrapped about his left index finger. If only I could see . . .

The boy then went to have a look, but quickly met resistance, barely inching up in his first attempt. He meant to try again, only then the voices returned.

“Ok Samuel, that’s . . .” the woman began before gasping all a sudden, swallowing the rest of her words in a single breath. Some time later, the woman found the strength to continue and did, timidly.“That’s long enough. Be with God, my son.”

The boy didn’t understand the woman’s meaning. But before he could make heads or tails, the voices drew silent and only their movements, along with the gentle tolling of the bell before being hushed, could be heard. His heart began to beat faster, his breathing growing heavy due to the unknown festering and leaving him desperate to understand. The boy then sharply pushed through the haziness and saw at last a long white string running out of the blackness from above and down the left–hand side.

“No . . . no.” The sullen words poured out from the boy’s mouth laced with fear, followed quickly by his body heaving upwards, then squirming and wiggling almost instantly afterwards in the obvious tight space of four, brown walls leaking bits of soil drizzling down like rain from above as he slammed his boots against the sides.

“I’ve been buried alive,” he frighteningly knew, which drove him to yank on the string tied to one end of his finger in the hope there was still time, yet it was attached to nothing as the string plopped down onto his trousers, curling up like a snake amidst the bits of soil that followed into his earthen tomb.
Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, brian_a_navarro
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

dragonswilleise: I loved this book, it was nearly impossible to put down from start to finish. It was fast passed without being overwhelming and slowed down where needed. Overall this was an amazing novel that I will definitely recommend to others.

IceWinifredd: Hello there!I have to say that i really enjoyed this story a lot! I'm a huge fan of the Zodiac Signs and the things that come with them or things that we can add to them in literature to make them more interesting. I never thought that Capricorn would be the bad guy. Maybe Scorpio or Gemini or Vi...

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'...

Deleted User: This is an artfully-written horror story which deals with the most frightening monsters in the entire history of the macabre: teenagers. Indeed, the author captures the speech, relationships, and general highly-charged, petty, and competitive atmosphere of high school so well, that you would swea...

Natasha Jade Smail: a good read and keeps you interested throughout the whole story and has some gruesome moments that were well described to get you into the story.

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

Brie Lundy: I have never read a story like this before. It was riveting. It kept me captive. Once I started it I couldn't stop until it was finished. 10/10. I need more of this book. They need to find the Wizard!!

Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...

Evelyn Alonzo: I was up till three in the morning just so I could finish the story! It just really grabs your attention and you can't stop reading it at all! Lol great job, Nick! Can't wait to read your other stories!

More Recommendations

rebelmeow: The events in this story blew my mind. I love writing that surprises me, and this kept me holding on for dear life, with no idea what might happen next. The creatures and situations that are brought to life here are unlike anything else I've seen or read. They are unique to the worlds that Ale...

shadowmaven: At first, the word "Dagon" threw me, making me think that this was going to be a story based on one of Lovecraft's, and was pleasantly surprised--no, make that thrilled--when it wasn't (honestly, I like your mythos more). Your writing is so lyrical, deftly capturing this tiny village and the rela...

drainwater411: such a great read for me. I loved how you had to figure out who everyone was and kind of got a sense of who they were throughout the book instead of just telling all about the characters in the beginning, it helped you really get to know them and grow a connection with them. the relationships bet...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."