F3, Cycle 101: IS ANYONE THERE?

Prompt:  Use the picture as your inspiration.  This is the view as you and your guide close your eyes for the night.  When you wake up however, you’re alone.  Your guide’s gear is there, but he is nowhere to be found.  You hear a sound that sends a chill down your spine.  Is there someone, or something, down there with you?  What do you do now?  And, what happened to your guide?

Genre:  Horror.

Word Count:  1,500

I haven’t written much horror in a really long time. It was nice to try it again. I’m not sure if what I came up with is a scary story but hopefully I’ll give you a few chills.

I found coming up with an original scenario to be the biggest challenge. The “lost in a dark cave” idea has been done quite a few times in movie’s recently so I really had to stretch to come up with something unique.

I also just realized that I deviated a bit more from the prompt than I had originally intended. I knew I wanted the guide to be female but completely forgot about the noise. Hope this is OK.


BELOW (1401 words)

Sometimes she had to remind herself why she stayed at this job.

She loved the adventure. She loved the physical exertion. She loved the mystery and the exploration.

She just hated the creeps who wanted a weekend getaway so they could add “extreme sports” to their list of hobbies on

“OK, so you snap that there and pull here and make sure everything is snug…” she told the overweight nerd who had spent a small fortune either to explore this cave or to be able to spend a night with a hot girl. She assumed it was the former as a prostitute would have been a lot cheaper, but every time she felt his breath on her neck when she helped him into his gear she had to wonder. He looked nothing like your normal spelunker. Most of the guys she got were frat boy jock types. Those she could deal with. She had no clue how to fend off the awkward come-ons from this nerd with the wispy goatee and pudgy abdomen.

It wasn’t her fault she had a nice athletic body. Well, maybe it was. You don’t get into such great shape without exerting a little effort.

She didn’t know how the hell he thought he was going to get around down there, but it was just her job to be a guide; not to judge the clientele.

“OK. Are you ready?”

“Mm-hmm,” he said. He adjusted his glasses and peered down the hole. She gripped the rope and explained the physics of the jump to him one last time.

“Follow me,” she said and hopped down the hole. She gently held onto the rope as she made her descent and prayed that his flabby arms would keep him from crashing to the cave floor.


I was holding her in my arms and kissing her. We had removed our wetsuits and I could feel her warm body against me. The damp cave was cool and her heat felt great. She wrapped her legs around me and whispered in my ear, “I want you inside me.” I was nervous. I hadn’t been with a girl for a really long time. And I didn’t have a condom. I didn’t want to catch any diseases.

I slid myself into her and she groaned in pleasure. Unfortunately that would be the only groan she would have time to make as the mere thrill of penetration was enough to make me climax. A wave of embarrassment washed over me and before I could try to say something to dispel it…

I woke up on the floor of the cave with a wet spot in my crotch. It was only a wet dream. I hadn’t actually been making love to the superhot spelunking guide who had brought me down here and showed me the time of my life. I could be glad that the only embarrassment I had to suffer was from a nocturnal emission and not a premature ejaculation. I doubted that you’d even be able to notice anything happened in these wetsuits.

I sat up to examine my mess. Just as I thought, the suit didn’t betray my secret at all. She wouldn’t notice anything and I’d just have to deal with some mild discomfort. Before too long it would dry and harden, but by then we might be back in the water.

I stood up in the dim cavern. There was a flare still burning as well as several of our glow sticks. When I looked toward her sleeping bag I noticed that she wasn’t in it. Her bed was made neatly and all of her gear was sitting right where it was supposed to be.

But my guide wasn’t there.

There’s no need to panic, I told myself. She probably just went around the corner to empty her bladder. It’s no big deal. In fact, I think I needed to do the same thing.

I picked up a glow stick and headed deeper into the cave. I would just go up around the bend. She had told me not to wander off by myself, but I didn’t want her to come back and see me with my penis out. That would be more embarrassing than soiling my wetsuit.

I made it around the first corner and was surprised at the gravity of the darkness. Even with the glow stick I could see no more than ten feet in front of me. Beyond that was total blackness. It wasn’t like the dark in my apartment when I had to piss in the middle of the night. Then there was always the glow from the streetlights seeping into the halls. This darkness was the complete absence of light. There was no sun down here. No streetlights. No fire. All I had was my glow stick.

And when I went to remove my member from the suit I dropped it into the stream we were following.

And in my panic to get back to it I pushed it further down the underground creek.

It was no big deal. I was a big boy. I knew there was nothing down here to be afraid of. We hadn’t seen much of anything down here. No bats. No bugs. No inbred mutant cannibal killers.

And no light. That was the worst part.

I could see my glow stick about twenty feet ahead so I just moved in that direction; keeping one hand on the wall to my right and trying hard not to lose my balance. The world was different down here. The ground was slippery and I didn’t know what the next step would bring. I could stub my toe or stumble down a thousand foot precipice. If I took it slow I should be okay. My light was only a few yards ahead.

But as I got closer to it the current shoved it off the stone it had been lodged against and it floated downstream. I ran to catch up, but the stream grew deeper and my feet went out from under me. Before I knew what had happened my light was gone and I was alone with nothing but the sound of the water to keep me company.

Still, this was no problem. I would just mosey upstream. That would get me right back to where I needed to be. But in the darkness I couldn’t see anything. This was what it was like to be blind.

I only took three steps before I slipped again and the current carried me. I had no way to know how far I floated as there were no visual landmarks to judge distance by. It was only about thirty seconds I guess, but the stream had become a river by this time and I could have gotten pretty far.

I was scared. I called for my guide and the darkness taunted me by echoing the name back. I yelled again and it just spat my call back in my face. How would she ever hear me? The dark wouldn’t let my voice carry through these tunnels. I tried screaming but quickly abandoned that idea also.

The darkness held me while I struggled to find good footing. Then it laughed at me when I slipped and drifted farther down river.

It followed me everywhere I went in that cave. The darkness was worse than any monster could have ever been. It didn’t sleep. It didn’t eat. It didn’t hide around corners and jump out to startle me. It surrounded me. It crushed me. It was everywhere. It was nowhere. The complete lack of light was more torment than a bat would have been. Or a bug. Or a flesh eating subhuman beast.

The dark followed me and echoed my voice. After a while the darkness didn’t just surround me. It found its way inside me.


When she returned from going to the toilet her charge was gone. He must have had to go too. Then she heard his desperate calls for help and knew he had gotten lost in the vast underground maze.

Hopefully he would wear himself out screaming before too long so she could finally get some rest. She hadn’t been able to get comfortable earlier for fear that the creep would do something to her in her sleep. It was nice to be able to just enjoy the adventure for once.


About Zack

Associate Degree. Music Lover. Blogger.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction Friday, Horror, Noir and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Below

  1. jedthomas409 says:

    Nice story! I really like how differently the two characters think. Well done.

  2. Pingback: F3, Cycle 101: Is Anyone There? | Flash Fiction Friday

  3. Mike Young says:

    Well – that was a surprising ending! I like the two POV’s you showed, and how the real monster was his fear.

  4. Lewis Peters says:

    The real demons are always within. Really well executed piece. Quality stuff.

  5. I loved the alternating POV! Unlike some stories I’ve read employing this, your story was very easy to follow. I would echo Lewis… ‘very well executed’… with a degree of suspense guaranteed to keep one on the edge of their seat.

    Loved the surprise ending as well.

    The one ‘monster’ we all must live with and face… fear.

    Good one here, Zack!

  6. J.F. Juzwik says:

    I never expected that ending either. The changing POV really helps us to put ourselves right into the middle of the story. I could really feel the fear of having the light continue to move just out of reach and then totally losing control, not knowing how far you’ve gone and what if you can’t get back, and… Your own imagination–the one real monster from which there is no escape. Great story!

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