The Well 2 by Janice Spina
The land was verdant and lush with plenty of fruit trees, elm, maple and oak trees that spread far and wide over thirty acres of land. The old farm house was in ruins now. No one had lived here for fifty years. The place was thought to be haunted. No real estate agent would touch it. It was thought to be a lost property.
In its heyday the farm was thriving and successful. Horses roamed the land, chickens clucked their way around the barnyard and vegetables and fruits, plentiful from the land, kept the family fed through the long winter months. Life was perfect until the well was discovered.
The farmer and his dog were exploring the northern part of his property and stumbled upon a second well. It had been partially covered with overgrown shrubs and high grass. The farmer moved away the overgrowth and looked down the well. He threw pebbles into it to check for water and depth. There didn’t seem to be any water and the depth was not conclusive. He couldn’t hear the pebble reaching bottom. He called his dog and headed back home to tell his wife about his find. He planned to return early the next day with rope and a flashlight to explore it further.
After discussing his find with his wife the farmer prepared to set off early the next morning with rope, flashlight and his trusty dog to explore the well. His wife warned him to be careful and not spend too much time exploring for there was much to be done on the farm. The farmer promised and hurried on his way.
The farmer tied a rope to the nearest sturdy tree and threw the rope into the well. He clipped his flashlight to his belt and turned it on to light his way. He began his climb down stopping to feel the sides of the rocks and examine the walls more closely. He still could not see a bottom. As he got closer to the end of his rope he stopped and looked down. What he saw astounded him. He reached his foot out and kicked what looked like a bone. In fact there were multiple bones hanging from the sides of the well. He raised his flashlight to view this spectacle and cried out in alarm. The bones were not only animals but humans too. The bones were piled up along the sides of the well and reached down as far as his light would go. There must have been hundreds of bodies here. How did they get here and why?
He felt his body shaking from the dampness and cold that seemed to be intensifying as he climbed downward. He suddenly heard voices coming from below him. How could that be? They beckoned him to join them. He quickly grabbed the rope and began to climb upward at a much faster clip than before. All he wanted to do was get away and never come back to this graveyard. He was almost at the top when his dog began to bark loudly.
The next moment was a blur as his dog catapulted down into the well and disappeared. The farmer cried out and looked down moving his light back and forth in an effort to find his dog but to no avail. He was gone forever, swallowed up by this monstrosity of a well. The farmer’s tears ran freely as he grieved for his dog and pulled himself up the last two feet and out of the well. He couldn’t tell his wife about this. What would he tell her – the well took his dog? She would think he was crazy. He did feel like this was only a dream and that he would wake up and find his dog alive and well.
The farmer pulled up the rope and looked down the well once more but there was no sign of his trusty dog. He trudged home and went back to the barn to complete his chores until it was time for lunch. His wife place a large bowl of stew in front of him but he had lost his appetite. He avoided looking at her as he tried to eat a little.
“What’s wrong dear? Where’s Rusty?”
The farmer stuffed his mouth so that he couldn’t answer and kept his head down. He mumbled with a full mouth and kept eating. He felt nauseated.
His wife shrugged her shoulders and went back to finishing up her lunch and cleared the table. She kept her eye on her husband because she knew something was terribly wrong. He wouldn’t look at her and was not enjoying his lunch. That was not like him at all. He always asked for seconds. He had barely eaten half of his stew and now had left the table. She vowed to go look for Rusty on her own and find that well he mentioned.
The farmer’s wife grabbed a flashlight, snuck out of the kitchen and went in the direction her husband had taken earlier that morning. She walked for fifteen minutes until she noticed branches and grass that had been pulled out and scattered around. She knelt down and turned on her flashlight over a dark area in front of her. It was the well. She moved the light over the well’s sides and in the center as she tried to see the bottom. She heard something faint coming from the well. It sounded like voices and a dog barking.
“Rusty, is that you? Where are you boy?” Her voice echoed and was swallowed by more voices begging her to join them. They increased in volume and intensity. The farmer’s wife stood up and turned to get away but found her foot trapped by a root. It pulled her and knocked her down. She gripped the roots and grass around the well and tried to pull herself up. But something below her was pulling her down.
The farmer finished feeding all the livestock and bedded them for the night. He felt ashamed that he hadn’t spoken to his wife about what had happened to the dog and vowed to make amends. He entered the kitchen which was spotless but no sign of his wife. That was strange. She always started supper early and called him in to get cleaned up. She really must be upset with me he thought.
He called out to her in their five-room house without any luck and went outside to search for her. He walked in the direction of the well. He thought he heard her voice calling him. “Where are you dear? I’m coming,” he replied. The farmer ran forward forgetting just where the well was and fell head first into it.
Many years later the farmhouse was sold to another family. The young family couldn’t believe their luck to find this beautiful lot for such a low price. The couple had been out driving around the area when something seemed to draw them to the property. They went into town and found a realtor to assist them.
The realtor mumbled something about ghosts but the couple was so enthralled with this property that they didn’t pay much attention to the realtor. They were happy to finally have a place of their own for their three children. The house needed repairs and the young man immediately began repairing the current five rooms and then adding on an addition of three bedrooms and another bathroom. Their three boys were bored helping their dad day after day and decided to go exploring one morning. Their mother warned them to be careful and come back for lunch. They nodded in agreement and ran off in a northerly direction.