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The sinking bell tower (standard:horror, 927 words)
Author: jopoguerreroAdded: Aug 23 2008Views/Reads: 2145/1001Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)

“It lies behind the stars and under hills. And empty holes it fills.” -
JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit 

Albert slowed down his car as he approached the bell tower; he parked
not so near it so that he could still have a full view of the 
centuries-old edifice. 

He checked his watch: twenty minutes before three in the morning. Albert
reclined the driver's seat, took a deep breath, and intently watched 
the building peppered with chipped bricks and wild plants. 

The massive forty five-meter bell tower was built in 1612 through a
bloody forced labor. Hundreds of young men who were unable to pay the 
falla, or the daily fine, died while working on the bell tower - mostly 
due to excessive beatings by soldiers and friars. 

It was called sinking bell tower because of its sandy foundation. Thus,
it was believed to be consistently sinking into the ground – especially 
that the area was a hub of frequent earthquakes. 

Albert never gave a damn about the bell tower; he didn't care if the
grandpa of all local baroque buildings was sinking or shrinking or 
floating. For him, the stories about the sinking bell tower were mere 
contrivances of politicians to increase their dubious incomes. But his 
attitude toward the building changed all of the sudden after Vanessa 
left him. 

Albert and Vanessa had a happy family life: he was a very successful
engineer; she was raking huge profits in her beauty products business; 
and their two kids were both topping their classes in the grade school. 
All bliss, all sunshine, until Ricky brought to them the raining 

Ricky was Vanessa's classmate in UP Diliman; and they were each other's
first love. 

But right after graduation, Ricky left without even saying goodbye to
Vanessa – some said that he joined the New People's Army, others 
believe that he married his rich professor who had a deep crush on him. 
It was Albert who soothed off Vanessa's pains. 

After sixteen long years, Ricky resurfaced. It turned out that he went
to a far-flung town to write loads of quality poems, short stories and 
novels – he was now the bestselling author who assumed the nom de plume 
Raining Darkness. His picaresque writings made ladies go crazy over 
him, especially Vanessa. 

Ricky and Vanessa eloped the day Albert gave the local church a hefty
thanksgiving donation for their successful family life. 

Since then, Albert frequented different drinking holes to try to forget
the betrayal, the pain, the defeat, the darkness. 

One night, while downing his seventh Coors, a man in pale suit
approached him. His hair was streaked silver; his beard was grayish. A 
rough, square face with dark, piercing eyes. The suit looked nice, 
except for the spiked inverted cross pinned on his tie. 

“You are thinking of a way of getting even without dousing your hands
with their blood,” the man smiled at Albert. “I know a way, if you are 
ready to believe.” 

Albert frowned. “What the – ” 

“Hell?” the man in pale suit cut him off. “That's where you will be
sending them if you do exactly what I say.” 

Albert felt a sudden deadness in his body; he tried to argue but his
mind shouted believe, believe. 

“Of course, my dear Albert, you are aware of the famous sinking bell
tower,” the man continued. “It is not only sinking – the earth swallows 
it every three ‘o clock in the morning. Why? Because it is the gate of 
hell; the earth must temporarily swallow it to make way for the dark 
souls to slide into hell. I have made an arrangement with Satan for you 

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