Voices in the dark.

Sebastian was glad to be away from the crowds, but as they turned down yet another empty street he began to feel uneasy. It was quiet—silent even, and not a creature stirred on the road they were on besides them. The breeze blew a chilly evening wind as it passed over the grates of a cistern, and Sebastian shivered deeply. The feeling was so heavy that Kahina too took notice of it, and seemed concerned.

“I do not like this street, Sebastian,” she said, wringing her hands as she glanced about. “Let us be off it as quick as we can.”

Sebastian nodded as best as he could manage behind his bags. He was about to suggest they return to the main street and find an inn, but he felt the blood drain from his face and his words fail him as an unearthly voice crooned.

Help…

The voice was of a woman, and it sounded like it came from everywhere all at once. Kahina stood closer to Sebastian and they listened closely as the voice repeated the word, and then some.

Help, must help…” it called again.

This time, Sebastian could pinpoint the direction of the plea more clearly, though it sounded just as unearthly. Or was it a plea at all? The words were right, but the tone… sounded somehow anxious, not fearful.

“Well?” Sebastian said to the sorceress.

Kahina’s eyebrows pinched together, but she understood his line of thought and nodded.

They followed the voice. It flowed from one street to another as the sky grew dark, and still they followed it, compelled. Sebastian and Kahina turned the corner once more and came to an alley which was a dead end. Sebastian set down his bags and walked slowly down the path. There were no other exits, no place that someone could hide; but who had called them?

At the end of the alley was nothing but a square well, sealed with a metal grate. The rogue sat upon the well’s edge and looked around, but could see nothing out of the ordinary.

Help…

Sebastian’s blood froze. The hairs on his body all rose and unison and he turned his head. Slowly, so slowly he turned, afraid of what he had heard.

He looked at the grate stopped.

There was a hand, pale and corpselike, pointing up the alley from whence he came. And behind the hand—eyes—hollow, sunken eyes. Its voice was quiet as a whisper, quieter now, so silent that he was afraid the beat of his heart might drown it out.

Help… her.

“AAAAAARRRRAGGGGHH!” Sebastian bellowed, nearly tripping as he drew his sword. He spun to face the nameless voice behind the grate, adrenaline overcoming fear. But the hand was gone, and so too the eyes. The rogue breathed heavily, hyperventilating as blood rushed back into his face. He did not dare blink as he stood, staring at the well. After what felt like an eternity his breathing calmed and he sheathed his sword.

“Are you okay!?” Kahina asked, quite concerned.

Sebastian walked briskly past her and picked up the bags he had set down.

“There was someone in the well,” he whispered.

“What? What do you mean?” said Kahina.

“I told you, there was someone in the well!” Sebastian whispered tersely. “Or something—I don’t know! But I want nothing to do with it. Let’s get out of here.”

He stomped off ridiculously, fuming to himself over having startled the way he had. Kahina watched him with a puzzled look on her face and followed, glancing back at the well which had terrified her bodyguard.

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