Serial blogging, stories to tell. Short stories and micro-fiction!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Alone in the well? part three

By: Jesse Edwardson

Richie’s teeth began to chatter, his lips were turning blue, and whatever was in the well with him began to caress his legs.  It felt slimy and every time it touched Richie he would kick and let out a scream.  He knew that it had to be some little fish or something like that, but he couldn’t help being terrified by it.

Through the top of the well, twelve feet above him, he could see a small patch of sky.  It was darkening, he figured it had to be getting close to supper time.  Grandma had probably already called everyone in to eat, and by now they had to know he was gone.  Hopefully someone would be out looking for him soon.  He was near exhaustion.  The chunk of wood he was clinging to was helping him stay afloat, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he would last.

The truth of it was hypothermia was rapidly draining Richie of his strength.  The snow that had covered the farm all winter had only melted away three weeks ago.

Below the surface of the water Richie felt the fish, or whatever it was, bump his left leg again, this time just below the knee.  It seemed to wrap itself around his leg just briefly before he kicked it off.  His kicks were becoming weaker and weaker.  Soon he won’t be able to kick at all because of the icy water.

“HELLLLLLP!” he called out.  “GET ME OUT OF HEEERRE!”

“No one’s coming,” he whispered.  “I’m a goner.”  More tears ran down his cheeks.  Richie rested his head on the chunk of wood and wept silently.

Just then, the thing in the water wrapped around his leg and pulled him down.  The water filled his ears and mouth again, and just as quickly as it pulled him down, it let go.  He bobbed back up coughing and grabbing for the chunk of wood.  His fingers found it and he pulled it tightly to his chest.

“AHHHHHH! cough, cough, cough.  HELLLLP!”  he yelled again.

“Boy, how in the hell did you wind up down there?” a familiar voice called down from the top of the well.

“Grampa!  Get me out of here!  There’s something in the water and it’s trying to get me!” Richie called with tears of relief streaming down his face.

“Alright Richie, calm down.  I’m gonna have to head back to the house and get some rope.  Can you hold on just a little longer?”

“Yes, I think so.  But hurry, I’m freezing and something just pulled my leg!”

“Alright alright.  I’ll be right back.” Grandpa said as he got back to his feet and started running back to the house.

The old man has never run so fast in his life.  He got back to the house, found a rope in the utility room, and quickly explained to everyone where he found Richie.  Of course everybody wanted to follow grandpa back to the well and help, but he told them all to sit tight and eat their dinner.  Grandma ran to the bedroom, came back with an afghan, and handed it to grandpa.

“That boy has got to be half froze.  Make sure you wrap him up in this and carry him back.  I bet he won’t be able to walk too good after a fall like that,” Grandma said with tears of worry in her eyes.

“I will dear,” Grandpa said as he went back outside.  He paused briefly to grab his flashlight that he keeps by the back door.  The sun was almost below the horizon now.

By the time Grandpa returned to the well, Richie was pulled down three more times.  Each time he was held down just a little longer than the last.  The panic was overwhelming.  Richie was sure he was going to die the third time.  The thing had grabbed both of his legs this time and held onto him tightly for almost a full minute before finally letting go.

In the middle of a coughing fit, a bunch of rope fell down onto Richie’s head.  He looked up to see Grandpa shining a light down at him.

“Richie, grab a hold of that and wrap the loop on the end around you real tight and I’ll pull you up!  Ok?” he called down.

“Ok,” Richie answered.  He found the loop in the rope and put his arms through it.  His arms felt so heavy.

“Have you got it around you boy?”


“Ok, brace yourself.  I’m gonna start pulling you up.  If you bounce against the wall just try to walk up it like spider-man.  That will help me a lot,”  Grandpa instructed Richie.

“Ok Grampa.  Please hurry I hate it down here!”

“I bet you do,” Grandpa chuckled as he set his feet.

Grandpa started pulling and the rope bit into Richie’s armpits, but he barely felt it.  His small body slowly started to rise out of the cold water.  Grandpa grunted as he pulled the rope hand over hand.  Luckily for Richie, his grandpa is as strong as an ox.

Just before Richie’s feet left the water, the thing grabbed his right ankle.  It’s grip was so powerful this time Richie thought it would pull him back into the water.  Above, Grandpa struggled with the rope.  It felt like Richie had gotten heavier for a moment.  He let out a short grunt, pulled a little harder, and Richie started to rise again.  Below, just as his foot slipped out of the things grasp, Richie thought he heard a small voice say Don’t leave me, I want to play…

Richie did the best he could to keep the panic under control and try to climb the wall as Grandpa had told him to.  As he neared the top, he could smell fresh air.  It was as if he was smelling it for the first time.

When he reached the top, Grandpa let go of the rope with one hand, grabbed Richie by his shirt, and pulled him onto the ground.  His footing slipped and he kicked the flashlight into the well.

The flashlight tumbled in the air as it descended into the well.  It’s light beam swept down one side and up the other.  It hit the water with a splash and slowly began to sink into the murk.

The flashlight passed through the water casting an eerie green glow.  As the flashlight sank, it’s glow illuminated a shape in the water.  A face, clearly female and quite young.  The eyes were closed, but then opened when the flashlight cast it’s glow upon them.  The open lids revealed milky grey eyes.  Startled by the light, she covered her face and darted into the deeper depths of the well.  The last thing the flashlight shone upon before blinking out was her checkered dress and her patent leather shoes.

the end


Sherry said...

Wonderful Jesse! It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Each story is getting better then the last.
Good Job! Awesome!

Arthur W Edwardson III said...

I liked it very much. The only thing that confused me was the detail of the ghost girl. I think, perhaps, a mention of someone else falling in the well early on in the story would make for more tension when the 'thing' plays with his shoes. I felt his panic and grampa's as well. Very good.

Jesse Edwardson said...

I thought about giving some kind of back story about the girl in the well but I couldn't find a good spot to put it in. So, I figured keeping the thing in the well a mystery until the end was a good way to deliver a punch at the end. The back story is that the girl is the Grandmothers aunt that fell in the well and drowned as a girl.

Arthur W Edwardson III said...

It could be put here, (He wandered out toward the woods and planned to hide behind a tree when he fell through the old boards that covered the old well.) *A place grampa and grama never liked to talk about.*

It is good either way. It's just a thought.

Jesse Edwardson said...

I was gonna put it in the part when grandpa returned to the house but thought that the pace of the story would be slowed too much. Plus, the mystery of her identity adds a little to the end. The reader gets to finish that detail in there own minds.