LLDavis would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Blessed Be The Tide That Binds

By LLDavis All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Horror

Blurb

“The devil made me do it.” Sara’s words were visibly suspended in small clouds that descended the staircase and condensed on the waiting water. She was standing at the top of the cellar stairs. The cellar was flooded again. Sara opened here arms, released her burden, and fell forward into the murky water. The scarf she wore went taut and pulled her under the flood. She allowed herself to be dragged down and forcibly relaxed into the dark. Her body’s buoyancy pulled upward, causing her feet to float toward the ceiling. She touched lightly the scarf around her neck and imagined small, strong hands that held the reigns and tugged her down. She did not struggle, but reached into the deep for terrible, tiny fingers. When the sense of oxygen-deprived panic struck, she grabbed a hovering baby blanket. It had spilled from one of the two cradles that were now floating in the water. She pushed her face into the sodden material and screamed out her last grief and then sucked in her demise.

9 Weeks Earlier

Frank and Sara set full boxes in the corner of the spacious country kitchen. Sara scrutinized the knotty beams of the ceiling and the five inch pegs protruding from the dark wood. “I think they probably hung dead animals from those beams. They’re probably original and the owners kept them when they remodeled. This was the smokehouse wasn’t it?” she said.

“I don’t know. I hope not,” replied Frank. “They probably installed them for looks. You know-- ‘updated old.’ I wouldn’t leave the remains of anything that had touched rotting, dead things hanging in my kitchen.”

“Just the type of place to be haunted,” Sara said.

“By what, a slaughtered cow? Anyway, I think you called it ‘atmosphere’ when we bought it,” Frank responded.

“Yeah, atmosphere...” Sara repeated thoughtfully.

“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t have bought any place I thought was haunted.”

You wouldn’t,” Sara replied with a wink.

Frank felt relieved but still uneasy. She seemed almost normal, but there was a quickness to her that verged on manic. He preferred this, however, to the depressive deadness of her actions that had, until recently, been controlling her.

Frank opened the door in the kitchen that led to the cellar. He leaned through the door to find the source of the faint glow coming from below and noted again the other entrance to the basement.

“Hey, remind me to get a padlock for those outside cellar doors, Ok?”

“What? A padlock? I don’t think we have one. You’ll have to buy one.”

“Yeah, thanks. That’s a big help.”

Frank leaned further into the stairwell, gripping the door jam for support. He tried to discern the space below. The wooden staircase leading from the kitchen was narrow but solid. Its steps were also narrow and of varying heights. The cellar room was small with a low ceiling, and the walls were field-stone and mortar. Someone had poured concrete unevenly over the original dirt floor.

On the wall opposite the wooden stairs was a second set of wide stone steps leading into the side yard. The walls of this stairwell were field-stone and mortar too and led to double, wooden doors that lay horizontally slightly below ground level.

Frank turned back into the warmth of the kitchen and spoke louder, “I wonder if there is a drain down there. Where’s the light switch? Maybe we could store some boxes down there.”

“I think there’s a light-bulb on a pull cord at the bottom of the stairs, but it’s too damp down there to store much. Come on and let’s finish the kitchen before we get into another room,” Sara replied.

Frank closed the cellar door and a whiff of moldy air escaped with the last draft. He wrinkled his nose.

“Sheeew. Did we get a radon test?”

Sara re-entered the kitchen and unceremoniously dropped a final box of pans on the floor.

“Radar test? For what?”

“Nevermind,” Frank said. “Are you getting hungry?”

“Maybe, what about Chinese? The kitchen’s not going to be functional yet tonight.”

“Internets not up yet, and we don’t have a phone book for the great town of Wakeman, Ohio. Plus, I don’t think there’s a Chinese restaurant within 30 miles of here. What were we thinking?” Frank joked as he reached out to brush wayward brown strands of hair out of Sara’s eyes.

“I think we were thinking that pizza would be fine,” Sara replied crossing the room out of Frank’s reach. “Karen left a phone book for us on the counter. I’ll see what’s available.”

Sara picked up the phone book and then looked out the window. She could partially see beyond a line of trees to the neighboring farmhouse where her friend Karen lived.

Frank crossed the room and followed her gaze squinting through the window. Karen’s house was about a quarter of a mile away. Each property was an acre lot. No other houses were visible. The surrounding property was filled with corn to the east and apple orchards to the west.

“I’m glad Karen could find us this place,” Sara said.

“I think your old co-worker-slash-realtor friend just didn’t want any freaks to buy the house closest to hers,” Frank said. “When you’re twenty miles from nowhere you kind of want to know your neighbors.”

“Maybe,” Sara said looking softly at her husband. Then she looked out the window again to Karen’s house, her kind and beautiful friend.


“How did we fit all this stuff in a one-bedroom apartment? You’d think after two straight days it would look like we were making more progress.” Frank said surveying the boxes stacked chest-high in the corner of the living room.

Sara was struggling to open one of the two, long narrow windows in the room. A solid front door stood between the windows and opened onto a large porch. The window staggered open sleepily, left side then right side, a half inch at a time. As the gap widened a cool, late summer breeze began to seep into the stale room.

“I think this place looks bigger than it really is,” Sara said. “But it’ll work. Can you grab that other window?”

“Yep,” said Frank. “I got it. You know this place is going to be perfect for Halloween. When I first saw this house I thought the front looked like a face. Since the bedrooms are off the back, the porch slopes kind-of low like eyebrows. We can put eyelashes on the front windows and paint the door red. What do you think?”

“October…I’m not sure.”

Crack!

“Dang it!” said Frank. “I broke a window pain.”

“It’s ok. You can replace it.”

“I don’t think so. It’s that old glass that looks watery.”

“I saw some antique shops a couple of miles away. I’ll ask around. Just cut up a box and put cardboard in it for now.”

“Cardboard we have plenty of," said Frank. "Hey, about tomorrow, I think we at least have most of the boxes in the right rooms. I hope that helps. I go back to work tomorrow. Will you be ok?”

“It will be good to get some time to myself here, in the new house. I’ll be fine. Karen doesn’t go back to teaching for a couple weeks. Maybe I’ll stop over there.”

“That would be good. You should,” said Frank. “Hey, um, I have to return the rental truck today. There are just those few boxes still in the truck. Where do you want me to put them?”

He hesitated approaching the raw subject, “I mean, if you’re sure, we should just get rid of the stuff. If you change your mind later, we can get new stuff. I think right now it’s just bad memories.”

“Bad memories! That’s all you think it is?”

“No...I didn’t mean it like that,” Frank said. “I just mean right now it just brings up difficult memories. A fresh start is always good.”

Sara said flatly, “Just put the boxes in the second bedroom.”

“Sara, listen,” Frank’s voice was gentle. “Someone can get some use out of the stuff...a new stroller, new baby clothes and blankets...that stuff is expensive, and it might really help someone out. Let’s just donate it for now.”

“I said, just put the boxes in their room,” Sara answered softly and surely.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

trippix1963: Not really a big surprise at the end, but it's pretty well written and fun. I liked the characters - they were more developed than in some successful published books I've read. A few typos but I've seen that in published books in the last few years.

Ginger: I like the idea behind this; the idea and story itself are great, However, I'm finding typos periodically and some of the sentences could be worded a bit more clearly. You might want to 'show' a little more than you 'tell,'

AudreyInAshes: I think this book is a really great modern-age thriller. The idea of the drug and its symptoms were explained generously, and while I did really enjoy this I just want to add that there is some mild gore and the killing of a pet (sorry to spoil, but I like to be prepared.) It is very interesting,...

DarkWolf .12: Very interesting plot! Had me up for the entire night. Keep up the good work 👍

James Lawson: I enjoyed this so much I immediately bought (and read) the sequel from Amazon.ca - and am eagerly awaiting the third installment.Since this is a review and not a synopsis, I'll share my impressions rather than write out a condensed version of the plot.There were enough plot twists and turns to ke...

Nishant Jain: I felt as if i am watching a movie,not reading a book. The story was definitely interesting. It was more of action than horror for me. There are a few grammatical and spelling errors I came across and at times I found it difficult to imagine some things which the author is trying to convey, but o...

More Recommendations

Deleted User: Your San Quentin episode cuts an incredible parallel to something with which I am involved. Sounds real enough. Read just the four chapters thus far. Looking forward to continuing. Roy Jenner.https://www.inkitt.com/royjennerFinished now, Great read. Well done Steve.Enjoyed it to the end.re Plot...

Kashaf Azmat: The concept is excellent everything is well defined that you can picture the whole scenario which makes you feel connected to the plot and this is the thing that catches my eye and this what i am looking for in every novel.Keep it up

iann4701: I'm no expert but I know when I have read a good book and this was one. From the beginning it had me wondering where it was going next and what the outcome would be. If you fancy a read with a slightly different perspective from the norm then I would certainly give this book a read. I will look o...

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

Warren Bull: I thought this was a fast=paced thriller with elements of several other genres woven seamlessly in. It hooked me early and held my attention throughout. I liked the humor and surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the novel. I am not a big fan of romances or paranormal works,but when those ele...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.