Author Topic: The Wishing Well (Part Two)  (Read 1187 times)

Offline davidleejones13

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The Wishing Well (Part Two)
« on: June 06, 2008, 04:29:49 AM »
Mischief calls to idle handed young children much louder than it does to teenagers and adults whose imaginations have been dulled through the rigors of living in the cruel world. That is why I was not surprised that my brother and sister were able to pick up on it's siren song just five minutes after we had passed into the western woods. I flashed back to Uncle's warning but the slight guilt burned away quickly knowing mischief was about to be had.

When we arrived at the edge of the clearing an ominous hush had befallen the woods. I experienced this eery effect  because, just a few moments before, my iPod inexplicably quit even though I had just had a full charge.  The air that hung about the trees outside the clearing was still and quiet devoid of the buzzing of insects and the chirping of birds. It was as if nature as a whole was awaiting the next move of three unremarkable curious kids.

Being as close as we were from our shared experience within our broken family, the three of us were pretty in tune with each others feelings. And it was obvious that there was a unanimous griping fear as we involuntarily held our breaths.  After a few uncomfortable moments of inaction Steve boldly strode into the clearing puffing his chest out with false bravado. Jennifer tried to reach out and grab his arm, but judging from the paleness of her face, she was too afraid to take a step forward.

The thoughts and feelings of that day have faded somewhat in my memory, but I can still remember that first step into the clearing as if it had just happened this morning. I did not want to falter for I knew how scared my sister was so I did not linger but a second behind Steve. It was as if I had to push past a wall of compressed air before finding myself within. Passing through this "invisible wall" I had to stifle a chill for the temperature inside was much cooler than that on the outside. I experienced a certain anxiety as if we had just sprung a booby trap, but I put on a brave face for my younger siblings.

The clearing itself was a perfect circle of bare earth defiantly refusing any plant life to encroach upon its center. Steve paused a few steps ahead as we both awaited Jennifer as she nervously took her first step straining to force her way through the clearings perimeter. Even now, ten years later, I can vividly remember it was hard to breath the thick heavy air that touched our nostrils with an unpleasant scent of mold and decay. It was hard to keep our breakfast food within the nervously churning confines of our stomachs.

At the center there was an old stone well. The rocks that made up the well walls were worn by countless years of passing time. One side of the well had crumbled and the rotted wood housing for the well's water bucket leaned sickenly to one side defying gravity against a final, fatal fall. A dusty frayed rope disappeared over the side and plunged into the dark depths below.

"Hold on a sec," I grabbed my brothers arm as he reached out to touch the bucket's crank apparatus. "I really think we should leave this place."

"What's the matter," Steve put his hands upon his hips and jutted out his lower lip, "is my BIG brother a BIG baby!?!"

"Shut up butthole!" I shouted and lightly punched him in the arm.

"OOHHHH," Jennifer crooned, "those are beautiful."

We looked over as Jennifer skipped merrily over to a patch of pastel flowers growing a few feet away. My brother and I exchanged a confused glance for we knew just ten seconds earlier there were no flowers there. The two of us  watched frozen in stunned horror as Jennifer plucked one of the flowers and drank in its sweet smelling nectar through her nostrils. We both half expected her to keel over dead from poisonous toxins, but to our relief all she did was sneeze.

"Where in the world did these come from?" Steve and I had asked in unison joining my sisters side.

She smiled and handed each of us a flower, charging our sense of smell with a head swooning sweetness. Jennifer merrily hummed a tune oblivious to the fear she had been feeling just moments ago.

"I was just thinking of mom," she said tears touching her eyes, "when we were standing at the well. We used to go and pick flowers from her garden each morning after you two went to school. Then we would go sit in the kitchen and she would read me stories."

The three of us quietly stared at the flowers before us each locked within private memories of our absent mother. Then suddenly there was a commotion from the tree line on the far side of the clearing. Even though it was just the rustling of trees and wild bushes, the sudden emergence of the noise from the utter stillness was amplified within our young minds. There was someone or something coming.

In wide eyed panic I ushered the other two ahead of me and we made a dash for the side of the clearing from which we had entered. The heart pounding race for the woods shot adrenaline into my muscles and, before I knew it, I had Jennifer tucked under one arm and shoving Steve through the "wall" with the other. My over stimulated mind had our pursuers right on our back heel.

As we raced into the woods I stole a quick glance back at the well and the opposite side of the clearing behind. Later, after a conversation-less trek back to the farm house, my fright charged adrenaline high wore off and freed my mind to concentrate more clearly. It was only then that I realized something odd.

The well. It looked as if it were in pristine shape. I closed my eyes and mentally drew up the last frame of thought I had of it as we hastily exited the clearing.  No crumbling walls, no rotted wood and no dilapidated crank housing.

My consternation grew even more when I recharged my iPod. Right before I put the other two to bed, which they put up little protest after our days adventure, I popped my earphones in. Instead of my music my ears were met with a chorus of whispering voices. It was the background white noise you hear in a room full of chatting people.  My blood ran chill in my veins as I strained to make out what they were saying, but every voice was just below the verge of being loud enough to reveal their secrets.

The days events left me feeling jittery and unsecure. Uncle Ralph would be home soon, so I went around and checked all the doors and windows to make sure they were locked. As I checked the kitchen window I peered across the cow pasture and into the western woods. There, the floodlights from the house highlighted four pairs of red eyes staring at me and following my every move. The skin on my arms and neck erupted in goose pimples and I felt the skin crawl over my skull as I reached over and turned out the outside flood lights. That night, my paranoid mind kept a vigilant watch on the western woods, as I greatly anticipated the return of the man whom early that morning, I could not wait to leave.


Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: The Wishing Well (Part Two)
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 04:11:12 PM »
Lee, this is moving along nice. Have another look and edit. 

I am diggin this one man.

Chris

Offline davidleejones13

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Re: The Wishing Well (Part Two)
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 12:47:47 AM »
Chris,
Thank you, you are too kind.
I have a bunch more planned for this one. I feel this one will be a departure from my normal work. I plan on spending more time fleshing out the characters and relationships. I want to come up with a more dynamic feel in this one.

Thank you for all of your help in making me "see" my work better.

Lee