Then he meets a mysterious woman named Thelma Grippe. What he learns from Thelma shakes him to the core, but gives him the knowledge to free Anne from the force keeping her in the coma. Once he locates the
well house, Ben finds a passage to another dimension, where he searches for Anne. After a long, arduous journey, Ben faces the ultimate evil that holds Anne captive.
The Well House is an exciting, unique and thoughtful story of a man’s fight against unbelievable odds to save his wife. Part drama, part fantasy and part parable, The Well House is a multi-layered tale that takes readers on an amazing journey from the mountains above Boulder Colorado to the depths of the dark zone.
The Well House is the first novel by Michael S. Matassa, an attorney and Municipal Court Judge in Arvada, Colorado. He discovered the well house in the late summer of 1994, standing by a field of corn on a small farm just south of Brighton Colorado, where it still stands today. Mr. Matassa studied at Regis College in Denver and the University of Colorado School of law. He has also written several short stories, a screenplay and is presently working on a sequel to The Well House and a ghost story called “The Baby Carriage.” He writes under the pen name of M. S. Matassa.
The stalk continued to move rhythmically, as if being pushed and pulled.
"Help me," a small voice called out. "I'm over here." It was a young girl's voice, coming from the direction of the moving stalk.
A cold tingling sensation ran down Claude's spine. He leaned on the hood of the Buick for support. He heard the same voice before as a young boy, and it had nearly gotten him killed.
"Help me! Please!" the voice rang out again. "I'm over here, mister."
The pleading voice was like an icy hand closing around Claude's neck, pulling him off the hood of the Buick toward the dense cornfield. He fought the urge to run away. If someone was in trouble, he had to help. He put the pistol in his pants pocket and walked through the stalks, following the pleading voice, his heart pounding in his chest, his hands shaking as the voice grew louder.
"Where are you, little girl?" he said.
Claude heard the child cry out to his left. "Help me," the girl repeated through the sobs.
He stopped and looked through the cornstalks. He saw the young girl lying on the ground, motioning to him with her blood- covered hand. Blood ran down her face from a large cut on top of her head, and her dress was spotted with blood. Claude pulled several cornstalks out of the ground so he could kneel next to the injured child. He looked at the little girl's face and gasped with amazement. It looked like the little girl he had saved when he was fourteen years old.
"Impossible," Claude said. The sun beat down on the back of his head, and sweat ran down his face. Claude wiped his brow with his shirtsleeve and moved closer to the little girl. He wanted to pick her up and carry her to safety, but the bad memories made him hesitate. Claude studied the girl's face closely. Something was wrong. Claude stood up and moved to the other side of the small figure. From this angle, the sunlight shown directly on her cheek. And then Claude saw what was wrong. The skin was somewhat transparent. Claude looked closer and what he saw made him sick with fear. Under the thin transparent layer of pale skin were dark irregular shaped patches.
"Scales!" Claude said under his breath as he looked at the black, scaly skin lying just below the pale surface. He immediately knew this was a trap, but he didn't want to act like anything was wrong.
"I'll help you, little girl," Claude said as he stood up and put his hand in his pocket. He felt the cold steel of the pistol as his fingers moved along the barrel and closed around the grip. In a single smooth motion, Claude pulled the pistol from his pocket and fired three rounds into the small chest, exploding the creature's heart in a shower of blood. The girl's mouth opened and a black beak protruded through the thin lips. The beak opened and a shrill scream split the silence. As the scaly demon ripped through the dissolving skin, Claude fired two more rounds into the ugly head. The skull split in half and the creature fell to the ground in a heap. Claude heard a sound behind him and turned, just in time to see a flash of shiny black scales coming at him through the corn. Claude fired, hitting the creature in the chest, knocking it to the ground. From his left, two more creatures crashed through the cornstalks. Claude turned and pulled the trigger as they both leapt at him with rage in their eyes. The bullet ripped through the first one's neck and struck the second in the eye. Both dropped to the ground as blood and scales poured from the wounds. Claude felt a cold, rough, scaly hand close around his neck. He pointed the gun over his shoulder and pulled the trigger, only to hear a sickening click. He was out of bullets.
"Damn!" Claude yelled as he turned and swung the pistol at the black, scaly head. A guttural groan escaped the parted beak and the creature loosened his grasp. As soon as he felt the scaly hand leave his neck, Claude pulled away and ran through the corn toward the parked Buick. He opened the door and jumped in the front seat just before the creature slammed into the side of the car. The rifle was on the seat next to Claude. He picked it up and put a bullet in the chamber. The creature jumped onto the hood and hit the windshield with its sharp, black beak. A large crack ran across the glass as the demon continued its assault. Claude raised the rifle, aimed, and pulled the trigger, sending a bullet through the glass into the scaly forehead.
"Go back to hell, you bastard," he yelled as the black creature fell off the hood in a shower of glass, blood, and scales. Claude sat still for a few minutes and then opened the door. He walked to the front of the Buick and saw what was left of the creature. He breathed a sigh of relief as he surveyed the cornfield. No movement, no more voices—and no more demons.
Claude got back into the front seat and locked the doors. He reached under the seat and pulled out a loaded clip that he slipped into the pistol.
"Man, that was crazy. What have I gotten myself into?" Claude said out loud.
He knew Ben would soon need his help, but figured he had time for a short nap, so he laid his head on the seat back and closed his eyes. Claude mentally searched the underworld and saw Ben was safe, so he withdrew his mind and let sleep overtake him.
Claude felt the car seat move ever so slightly, and he opened his eyes just in time to see an evil, scaly face staring at him in the rear view mirror. Claude tried to grab the pistol, but the demon in the back seat was too quick. The black beak came down in a wide arc, splitting his scalp with a dull thud. Bright blood gushed from the top of Claude's head as a dark veil closed over him and he fell into unconsciousness.
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