Stagnoram is Coming
In our small town in the middle of nowhere, there was a girl named Vita. Vita was known by all who lived there, but not in a good way. Many of the townspeople called Vita and her mother the Water family. Any problem or weird occurrence was usually blamed on the Waters, they had a bad reputation and they were associated as devil worshippers. The reason why they felt this way was because Vita’s mother claimed that her daughter was cursed as a child by some kind of demonic being. This claim alone left many people to start rumors about the family, and once they found out what the curse was the family was then ridiculed and made a joke. Inevitably causing them to keep to themselves.
I always found the curse claimed to be put on Vita rather odd as well, which made the rumors understandable. I had grown up with Vita understanding her lifestyle and becoming what seemed like her only friend. She was a sweet person and she had a strong personality to her. She knew how people in town felt about her and she used it to her advantage. Claiming the devil will “kill” them if they kept spreading rumors. Of course, I learned this was all just a joke to her; her real goal was to get people to leave her alone. She knew no devil was going to kill them, but she did tell me there was one that would kill her.
Vita’s curse is that she cannot be submerged in water unless another living being was in the water as well. It may sound complicated but Vita herself has explained it to me in detail. For example, she explained that she is not allowed to bathe alone. She would always have to have a goldfish or other animal in the bathwater first, or another person in the water with her. Vita says if she follows this rule then she is safe, but claims if she is ever submerged in water without following this rule, the demon Stagnoram will find her and take her.
To help prevent this from happening simple locks were also placed on all the faucets in the home. A simple turn and click could unlock them but this helped deter Vita from turning the water on without being prepared.
The constant use of fish in Vita’s life caused her to be quite fond of them. They made her feel “safe,” she told me. This caused the family to make constant trips to the pet store, as many fish would eventually die due to use. Vita had many, many funerals for the fish, and she cried at every single one. Her backyard encased a small hill and at the base, she had a fish cemetery where the funerals took place.
Of course, this curse did not apply to drinking water; she was safe in that aspect. Only when her body was submerged or covered in water would she be in danger. Therefore, whenever there was a rainy day Vita was always in the dry safety of her home. Due to unpredictable weather, whenever she went out she always carried an umbrella and a rain poncho in a small shoulder bag, just in case she had to cover herself quickly and find shelter to avoid water.
In her house, there were fish everywhere. Around every corner and on almost every table stood a small glass jar with a goldfish in each one. She told me these fish are there in case of emergencies, whatever that means. Besides living by this rule, Vita and her mother had a very normal life, and they were amazingly kind people. If only the people in town could see just how normal they were.
I always wanted to believe Vita, and I told her I did, but deep down I still felt like she could not be cursed. Now looking back, I wish I had believed her...
It all happened one day when Vita’s mother asked me if I would spend the day with her because she had to leave for a work opportunity and could not take Vita with her. She would be gone until the next day, so her mother asked me to look out for her and keep her away from water.
Of course, I accepted and proceeded to spend the day with Vita. She and I started the midday by heading to a local diner to eat out. We chose to order our food then find a nice spot outside in the sunshine. It was a beautiful day that day and the smoothies tasted better than usual.
Sitting at our table near the diner, I began to see a sliver of movement in the distance. Behind Vita emerging from the corner, a group of boys quickly shuffled along carrying a large bucket filled to the brim with water. I immediately jumped into action trying to stop them. “No!” I yelled, but before I could get to them, it was already too late. The boys dumped the bucket of water onto Vita’s head.
She screamed. Her scream was so loud and terrifying that it shook me. Everyone in the entire town probably heard her piercing cry. It caused the young boys to stumble and quickly retreat around the corner, snickering and making jokes as they ran away.
Vita, with her now soaked black hair and drenched clothing, began to panic. Her eyes widened and her face strained in a way I have never seen before. It was as if what they did to her mentally broke her momentarily. Suddenly I could hear a deep sound all around us. It was like a vibration but it coursed through the air. You could feel it pressing against the outside of you like a shirt that you could not see, but you could still feel the weight of it. It grew in volume and intensity when finally, it became what sounded like a voice.
"So that’s where you have been...” The voice emanated from nowhere but everywhere at the same time, almost as if I could hear it, but only inside my head. It was a low whisper but its tone was something unforgettable. It was deeper than any voice I had ever heard, but it could not have been human. It felt sinister.
Vita looked directly at me. Tears in her eyes. “I need to get home. It found me.” The words barely escaped her lips.
“You heard it too?” I asked her. The feeling of fear began to swell within me now. I was not the only one who heard that awful sound. That voice. It sounded pure evil. I was hoping it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Something like this could not possibly happen. It could not be real, this was all just some crazy trick or game she was playing on me.
“He’s coming. We have to go.” Vita exclaimed.
“Who is coming? Are you playing tricks on me, Vita? Is this all some kind of game to you?” She stood up and looked at me. Her face wore a look of disappointment.
“Out of everyone I thought you would always believe me.” her voice cracked as she said it. She sighed and turned away, beginning to walk toward her home leaving me behind.
I stood there for a moment feeling guilty as hell. In her weakest moment, I was not there for her. Then practically called her a liar about her curse. I pulled myself together and began running to catch up to her. I caught up to her and patted her back.
“You’re going to be ok, don’t worry.” I tried to reassure her, and at the same time, I felt I was reassuring myself as well. Vita looked at me and gave a small smile, but sadness still lingered in it.
“Stagnoram is coming to kill me now thanks to those stupid boys who don’t understand. They don’t understand anything. They have no idea what they’ve done to me!” Her voice was stern and harsh now. I could tell that she was first scared, but is now filled with anger at the situation. I followed her silently as we approached her house allowing her to yell and vent along the way.
She shoved the door to her house open as she entered. As soon as she did, the sky cracked and it began to rain.
“Well that’s just great isn’t it!” she yelled in an angry sarcastic tone as she threw her bag onto the couch. I walked in and closed the door behind me. Vita grabbed a towel and began drying herself off.
“You’re gonna be ok right?” I asked her. She turned to me as she was wringing her hair out.
“No. Something terrible is probably going to happen.” As soon as she said it, lightning flashed near the window. The loud crack of thunder echoed through the house. The sound of rain began growing into a noisy static. “Can you check the weather?” Vita asked.
“Sure.” I walked to the living room and turned on the TV, switching to the news.
As soon as it flickered on, I was taken back. “Flooding?” I whispered it. Vita ran over and snatched the remote out of my hand turning up the volume.
“Evacuation efforts have been taken. Nine inches of rain is predicted with some areas facing even heavier rain.” The news anchor spoke as they displayed footage of our town being hit by a major flash flood. Parts just near us were already beginning to have issues as water began entering people’s homes.
“He is on to me... He found me... I know it, he found me.” Her voice was shaky and I could tell she was scared. The sound of the rain began to get louder now. “I need to tell my mother what happened, that he knows where I am.” She picked up the home phone and began dialing. As soon as she did, we lost power and everything went dark.
Vita let out a small shriek in the darkness. I made my way to her as my eyes slowly began to adjust and I could finally see around me. I reached her and tried to calm her down.
We stood there in silence for a long time. Eventually the streetlights outside began to buzz as they powered on, allowing us more light to see. The rain and thunder raged intensely as we stood there.
“Let’s distract ourselves.” I halfheartedly suggested hoping to release the tension.
“How about goldfish?” Vita exclaimed joyfully. She turned to me with a spark in her eye. “I’m totally gonna win” she taunted me as she began setting up the card game on the small coffee table.
“You’re on!” I laughed as I challenged her. The tension in the air seemed to be broken now, and Vita almost acted as if she forgot about her curse entirely. However, the joy did not last for long.
Soon we began to see water leaking through the bottom of the front door. Vita immediately grabbed sandbags from a small closet and began stacking them in front of the door. “Get all the doors leading outside.” She handed me large bags of sand as she asked.
“Where did you get all this stuff?” I asked her as I set bags in front of the back door.
“I’m always prepared for water.” She sighed as she said it. After putting bags in front of every door leading outside, we regrouped in the living room. The bags were working well, keeping the water at bay for now.
All was well but an odd sound began to grow in the distance. I cocked my head to the side and began listening intently. I know this sound; I had heard the same sound at the diner. The deep vibration that grew into some otherworldly voice. Thinking of the voice made me shudder. It sounded as if the vibration was getting closer and closer to the house.
Vita quickly grabbed her bag and put on a yellow see-through rain poncho. She unsheathed her umbrella and began pointing it around like a weapon. “Where the hell are you Stagnoram?” she yelled into the air, looking around in every direction.
“I know you have been waiting for this moment a long time, but I won’t go without a fight!” her face was serious and her poise was strong. She was ready for a fight. Her seriousness brought fear to me. It validated the fear I had felt earlier when hearing that dark voice. It made the situation more real than I ever thought it could be. Yet, even with all this fear, I still deep down felt skeptical of it all.
The sound of the vibrations began to intensify now. It seemed to make the walls shake lightly. I affiliated the cause of the shaking walls with the storm but Vita’s was mind was made up. It was not just a storm shaking the house; it was Stagnoram coming for her.
The walls began shaking even more violently now. It caused me to think maybe it was not just the storm, but before I could express the idea further a loud metallic bang was heard a few rooms away, followed by the sound of spraying water. I quickly ran to the source of the sound. Inside the bathroom Vita’s showerhead had somehow burst. Water was spraying out in every direction. I reached for the faucets to turn the water off but they were not on to begin with. How could this be happening? I began to wonder to myself, completely confused by what was happening.
Vita stood outside the doorway avoiding the spray. “The waters not on is it?” Her voice was calm and collected now. I turned to her.
“No the water isn’t on,” I responded hesitantly.
“Then it’s true... Stagnoram really has found me.” Her voice quivered and shook once again. The words came out almost as a whisper.
I myself began to panic as well. These weird turn of events and Vita’s state of fear began spreading to me. “Like hell he’s not.” I tried to say it with confidence. I then grabbed a nearby towel and tied it in a knot over the broken showerhead. Water still leaked but it was much more manageable now.
I walked out of the bathroom and closed the door behind me. “For now we avoid this room,” I told her. We walked to the living room and things quickly took a turn for the worst. The front door suddenly burst open. Water quickly began filling the house leaving the kitchen already in an inch of water.
“Don’t leave the water!” Vita screamed. She grabbed her umbrella tightly and began smashing the glass jars holding the goldfish. “You thought I didn’t plan for this?” she yelled as she smashed more fish bowls. The goldfish landed safely in the water and swam about.
The water now filled the entire house almost four inches deep. My shoes up to my ankles were completely underwater. Vita looked at me with fierce intensity in her eyes.
“Don’t you dare leave this water without me. I’ll die.” Her tone was something unforgettable. It was something she asked from the bottom of her heart and I felt it.
“I won’t leave you,” I told her. I was beginning to feel many things now. Fear, anxiety, and helplessness. I could not rationally explain what was happening but at the same time, I was already coming up with answers in my head to normalize the situation. Once again, mentally I was not prepared to take the responsibility of keeping her truly safe.
At that moment, the ceiling began to shake violently. Swaying back and forth almost as if the roof would collapse any moment. It was like the universe had read my mind and felt my fear responding to it. Lightning flashed brightly leaving everything white for a split moment. It had struck the roof. Its deafening ring left me dazed for a moment. The roof now was splitting and beginning to crack.
“RUN!” I yelled to Vita, and just as I had the ceiling finally gave way. It came crashing down smashing everything underneath it. I quickly ran out the front door and fell, landing on my hands and knees deep in the water. The impact left me breathless for a moment. The rain was heavy and my entire body was soaked in seconds.
I pulled myself up out of the water and quickly began looking around for Vita. I ran to the back yard. I looked around and then up and finally saw her. She stood on the top of the small hill in her backyard. The water was still up to her feet even on the hill. Umbrella drawn and wearing her rain poncho, she looked upwards to the sky, and I could see in the distance, she began to cry.
I yelled her name, but the sound of the storm was too loud. Somehow, though she managed to hear me. She turned to me and gave a soft smile. In that moment, it was as if time was standing still. I could see every raindrop falling to the ground in slow motion. I felt like everything was going to be ok. As if it were all just a game and that the next day, we would be looking back at this laughing.
That feeling quickly subsided. It all happened so fast but it felt like I watched it for a lifetime. Around Vita’s feet, dark black claws began reaching out of the water. They surrounded her like a mouth about to swallow her whole. It rose higher and higher revealing that the claws belonged not to a mouth but to multiple hands. They were long and skinny with fingers stretched much longer than they should be. Its skin was black and leathery with deep enlarged veins pulsating rhythmically. The hands surrounded Vita and rose still even higher. Some of the hands were reaching almost as high as her now. Still, I could not see what foul body was attached to these limbs.
A dark black webbing made of what looked like thin skin began enveloping her feet around her. She looked at me for the last time. Tears in her eyes. I stood there watching her. I felt powerless as complete and utter fear took over my body. I felt paralyzed by what I was witnessing. Something not of this world, and I did not have the courage to withstand it.
Vita began to say something, but just as she did, she screamed. In a split second, I watched as the long clawed hands grabbed at her body. The black webbing quickly wrapped itself around her ankles digging into her skin. The hands, each grabbing hold plunged her into the dark black water beneath her.
As quickly as she went into the water. A fountain of deep red color rose from where she once stood. It sprayed her blood all across the yard like a sprinkler in the summer. I was now drenched in her blood and the only thing I could do was scream.
I slowly stumbled my way towards the hill and fell to the ground where she was plunged down. I began clawing at the dirt, shoveling it with my hands. I was trying to find her, to find Vita.
In the end, I kept digging for nothing. She was gone, but I didn’t want to accept it. It all happened too fast, and I never fathomed anything like that could have ever existed in the first place. If only I had truly believed her...
Years have passed now and everything is very different. I moved away and started a brand new life. One not associated with what happened on the hill... I sometimes think about what happened those many years ago. The memories seem somewhat distant and foggy now. It is like my brain has suppressed the memory to protect itself.
Besides my now foggy memories and leaving everything behind, there is one thing that hasn’t ever left me since what happened at the hill. My fear of being alone in water. Ever since, I have been living the same lifestyle Vita had for her whole life. My faucets have locks on them, and my house always has a goldfish near and ready.
However, sometimes during storms, I can hear the dark and twisted vibrations again. They slowly pull at my windows and knock at my doors. If I am brave enough I put my ear to the door and listen carefully. Sometimes I can hear it making the strangest sounds. One time I was listening, it even conjured up its voice again. It still chilled me to the bone when I heard it. It only spoke one word, overwhelming me with fear.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Tony Battle PhillipsWrite a Review