“Something’s wrong!” Standing inside the well, a weird feeling came over Wang Wenlong. It felt like he had sunk into the deep ocean and his body was slowly submerging. His chest felt congested. He did not dare dawdle. He bent down to pick up the nametags.
When his fingers brushed the bottom of the well as he picked up the nametags, Wang Wenlong discovered there was something underneath the sand. It was about the size of a thumb.
“Is this some kind of trap?” Wang Wenlong was cautious. He did not touch the thing that protruded out of the sand but moved the sand around the thing away.
“What is hiding underneath here?” His fingers had made contact, and the touch was different from the slippery sensation of sand. It was something softer and colder. As the sand fell away, a human face surfaced, and the thing that had protruded earlier was the tip of face’s nose.
“F*ck!” Wang Wenlong quickly pulled his hands back. He had looked around closely before he jumped in and did not find anything weird. “The boss sure is immoral. He hid this underneath the sand!”
If he knew there was a ‘body’ hiding underneath the sand, Wang Wenlong would not have jumped into the well, at least not alone. He panicked and tossed the two nametags out of the well, yelling, “Pei Hu, pull me up quickly! There is mannequin inside the well as well!”
“Mannequin inside the well?” Pei Hu shone the phone into the well, and the face within the sand looked up at him. He shivered and reached into the well. “This is weird, when you jumped in, the well did not seem so deep.”
Wang Wenlong gripped Pei Hu’s arms, and his feet climbed up the clawed wall. Just as he was trying to pull himself up, he felt something cold touch his ankle. His legs gave, and he fell back into the well.
“Wenlong, what’s wrong?”
“Something touched me earlier.” Wang Wenlong looked at his ankle, but there was nothing there.
“Could it have been a lizard or tiny bug?”
“No clue.” Wang Wenlong looked around him and realized that even without his intervention, the sand around the ‘body’ would slip away on its own. Soon, half of the mannequin’s upper torso was revealed—it felt like the mannequin was trying to sit up.
“It knows how to move on its own? This can’t be an actor! It would have made some noise when I fell on it earlier if it was a real person.” Wang Wenlong’s mind started to get muddled. “Pei Hu, quickly pull me up!”
Outside the well, Pei Hu heard his voice and quickly reached down. “Grab onto my hand!”
This time, Pei Hu acted courageously. With one hand on the flashlight, he extended his other arm into the well. The thick arm looked weirdly comforting.
“Okay!” His teammate’s voice made Wang Wenlong feel much better. He grabbed Pei Hu’s hand and started his climb out of the well. He leaned against the wall and tried to jump out in one go. When his body had almost reached the mouth of the well, his legs that were in the air were gripped tightly by something!
“F*ck me!” He was pulled back into the well. Wang Wenlong turned to look behind him with disbelief, and the scene that he saw caused chills to run all over his body. The face in the sand was looking at him with its eyes open!
“It was the mannequin who dragged me down?” Wang Wenlong looked at the mannequin in the sand, and for some reason, he felt the eyes were following him.
“This is too much.” His body leaning against the wall, Wang Wenlong looked above him. The light at the mouth of the well seemed to have moved further away from him. “I can’t stay here any longer! Pei Hu!”
“Will you please be quiet‽ I feel like someone is coming our way.” Pei Hu reached both of chubby hands into the well to hold Wang Wenlong. “Let’s give this another go.”
Pei Hu pulled with all his might, but some other accident seemed to have happened to Wang Wenlong.
This time, he was cautious. When he discovered the force on his ankle, he turned to look down. There was nothing on his ankle, but under the spot that he had been standing on earlier, a female ‘body’ had surfaced.
“There are two mannequins inside the well? Meaning I’ve been standing on the woman’s head?” A chilling feeling surged through his heart. “Are there more mannequins inside the well? The person who designed the Haunted House must be mad! Buried the mannequins inside the well and waited for people to jump into it…”
Gripping Pei Hu’s hands, he wiggled his legs in the air, trying to kick the force on his ankle away.
“Stop moving about! I cannot hold on any longer!” Pei Hu pulled again, and his face was red from the effort. He put one of his hands on the edge of the well as support, and while he gave another pull, the bad feeling increased.
Pei Hu kept looking around, and when his eyes swept the corridor that they came from, his heart froze. A girl with her head lowered stood at junction that separated the dark corridor. The uniform that was dark with blood amplified the fairness of her skin.
“That’s the mannequin that I carried out of the classroom!” Even the air that he breathed into his lungs was chilly, and his arms were shaking. “Didn’t she lose her head? Was it the worker who fixed it for her and placed her in the corridor? It has to be—a mannequin wouldn’t be able to move on her own!”
“Pull! Quick! The mannequins have opened their eyes!” Wang Wenlong yelled from inside the well. It sounded like the man was crying.
At the same time, the mannequin at the junction lifted her head creakily, and the face that was purplish with blood spots turned to look in the direction of the old well.
“There is probably some hidden mechanism installed inside the neck. That explains the movement of the head.” Pei Hu sucked in a deep breath and turned back to the well. “I mustn’t be distracted; no matter what, I have to save Wenlong first!”
He tried to focus, but his eyes kept wondering toward the corridor, and when he did, Pei Hu’s heart almost jumped out of its chest. The girl who was supposed to be standing at the junction had moved into the left corridor!
She stood in the middle of the corridor and was looking at him with a smile. Pei Hu’s breathing raced, his palms sweated, and the fat on his body started to jiggle.
“What are you doing spacing out?” His calves felt like they were entwined by seaweed. Wang Wenlong tried his best, but he could not shake the shackles on his ankles off. He panicked when he saw the man and woman mannequins inside the well open their eyes. His only wish then was to get out of that damnable well. “Pull me up!”
Pei Hu yanked Wang Wenlong up another few centimeters. A cold draft came from the corridor, and a light creak entered Pei Hu’s ear. He turned to look out of the corner of his eyes.
In the dark corridor, the mannequin had toppled over, and the head with the weird smile was rolling speedily toward the old well like it was being pushed by an invisible hand!
The face of the girl who had died from asphyxiation slowly approached. Pei Hu’s face was twisted beyond recognition by fear. This time, he heeded the sound of his heart. He let go of Wang Wenlong’s hands without hesitation and rushed into Room 303 with a speed that was disproportional to his size. He then slammed the door shut behind him.
Without the support, Wang Wenlong slipped down the well, and as the surface that was inches away disappeared from his grasp, an expression of abject fear froze on his face!