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The Boy in the Well

Tags: mckenzie, boy

Beware the Well on Old Jerry's field

Not long ago, in a small town in the United States, schoolchildren often had to walk past Old Man Jerry's field. Cautiously, they walked by the field every day before and after school. The children walked slowly, taking in the dark magic of the field. Old Man Jerry's field was an old grass field that caught all the townsfolk’s attention. Once a month, Jerry would trim the grass on the field, keeping it neat and clean. He refused to sell it. He refused to use it. Once a month, he maintained his fence surrounding the field, always posting fresh, new signs that ordered everyone to "STAY OFF THE FIELD" or "NO TRESPASSING". No one was allowed on the field, not even his farm animals. Only Jerry and his old dog went on the field, especially at night, with an old flashlight in his right hand.

Perhaps if it were a common field, the tongues in town would not wag so much. Perhaps if Jerry were not so secretive and defensive about his field, people would not be so keen about it. Perhaps if not for the single black stone well right in the middle of the field that stood solemn as a pillar, no one would be so curious about the field, but it was there and it caught the curiosity of the town. Gossiping about the stone well and creating stories became a favorite pastime for parents to tell their children during Halloween. Being that they are children, their curiosity ran wild, and it burned for them to know the truth about Old Man Jerry's field. However, the old man's upkeep and constant maintenance made it difficult for children to sneak into the field.

That challenge delighted the heart of three young boys, Michael, Maurice, and Johnnie. They were mischievous boys who enjoyed playing pranks, getting in trouble, and wreaking havoc on the small town, three best friends, partners in crime and the three mischiefs in a small town in the U.S. of A. One Halloween, during treat 'o ' treating, the three boys declared to the other children that they were going to be the first children to go on Jerry's field and discover the truth about the black well. The other children gasped and begged the boys to dismiss the idea all together.

"Let's just finish treat 'o ' treating and eat our candies later," begged a little girl named Ashley.

"Hush, Ashley! I want to know what is the well is all about," said another boy named Joshua. Some children were just as curious but not as daring as Michael, Maurice and Johnnie. Other children were not as convinced.

"Shut up," said Andrew, Ashley’s brother. "Leave Old Man Jerry alone! Let us get some candy. We are wasting time. We all have to be home at nine." So it was decided by the children. Some dismissed the boys and decided to keep treat 'o ' treating while another group followed the infamous mischiefs to Old Man Jerry's field. The curious group followed the three brave boys to the field. The old, quiet field had a tall fence that surrounded it, pinned on its wall were several wooden signs painted with black or red words. "Do Not Trespass.” If their parents knew what they were up to, they certainly would get in trouble, grounded even.

“How are we going to cross the fence?" asked Joshua. The old well in the middle of the field loomed before the children. Maurice, their leader determined to find the truth examined the fences for a weak point. He kicked the fence panel one by one until he discovered a loose fence board.

"I found it!" he declared loudly. Maurice stood triumphantly before the loose board. The other children, including Michael and Johnnie, stared at the loose board.

Maurice pulled the loose wood to one side, revealing the dark , lone well on Old Man Jerry’s field. Low misty fog danced around its stone foundation. The cold wind crawled up the children clothes whispering into their conscience that perhaps they should return to their trick "o' treating. Maurice remained defiant, "Let's do this."

Johnnie was not as confident, "I do not know. Do you see that well ? There is something strange about it. I think it knows we are here." He said with chagrin. He is a round cubby little boy with short brown hair and playful green eyes. This night, his eyes were filled with fear.

"Stop being a wuss," snapped Maurice, "let's go." He pushed the fence board, and he marched onto Old Man Jerry’s Field. Michael followed, but Johnnie refused. He remained with the others outside of the old field. There is something daunting about the well. As if some invisible force were warning all to stay away from the well. Maurice and Michael slowly crossed the field, keeping particular attention to the well. Johnnie remained with the children outside Old Man Jerry’s field.

"Come back," whispered Johnnie. He did not dare say it aloud for fear that the other children next to him would hear and think of him as a wuss.

“Do you see anything?" yelled a girl from behind the fence.

"No!" Michael responded. Within seconds, the boys arrived at the well. Both boys froze in their steps; no one but Old Man Jerry'and his faithful dog had ever been neared this well. A strange feeling overcame them, a dark frightening feeling of warning; it was making their heads spin.

"What's taking so long?" yelled one of the children standing safely behind the fence. Michael rubbed his hands together, and he blew into his damp, sweaty hands.

He removed his Halloween mask, "Maybe we should turn back. I do not like this feeling."

Maurice scoffed, "Stop being a bitch." Maurice placed his hands at the edge of the well, "Hand me the flashlight." Michael nodded, and he handed him the flashlight. Maurice leaned over the edge and looked into the well.

"You see anything?" Maurice asked as he carefully examined the black waters of the well. Initially, Michael was reluctant to look, but he refused to look like a fool. He ignored the fears in his heart as he peered over the edge of the well.

"I see nothing," he whispered.

Maurice, dissatisfied, picked up a stone from the dirt and threw it in the well.

“There’s nothing," he said, disappointed. Michael peered closely into the water, staring as the water ripples died in the well. The water rippled once more.

Michael tapped Maurice shoulder, "Oh my God, Maurice look!" The boys peered closely into the well and to their horror; there in the well was a boy. Only his head was above the water. He had black large, hollow eyes, and his soppy black hair covered his white, pale forehead. He lifted his head and grinned a wide, large, toothy grin. Michael gasped and fell on the grass. Maurice took a step back, the shock, and horror stole the screams of horror from his mouth.

From inside the well, there was a sound of clawing that echoed louder as it near the mouth of the well. Wet, partially decaying hands curled around the edge of the well, and the boy from the well pulled himself over the well. Maurice stood frozen, defenseless as the boy from the well, wobbled before him. The boy grabbed Maurice by the throat and pulled him towards the mouth of the well. Maurice screamed for help, but his cries of help proved futile. He slipped through the well; his screams ended with a large splash in return. All the while, Michael laid on the grass, mortified at what he had witnessed. He screamed from the top of lungs, running to the children outside the fence.

"Maurice is gone! Maurice is gone!" he screamed. Hours later, police scanned Old Man Jerry’s Field and volunteers searched the whole town for Maurice. Halloween was officially over.

At his home, Michael clung to his mother as she rocked him side by side. He sobbed on his mother shoulders that night, "The boy in the well took him! The boy in the well took him, Mommy!"

His sweet mother tried to calm him, "The police will find Maurice, sweetie. Don’t worry," Michael knew better. Maurice was never coming back. He was in the well, and he was never coming back.

A week passed, and there was no sign of Maurice. The townspeople held a vigil hoping for his safe return. Throughout that week, Michael slept in his parents’ room. Finally, at the end of the week, his father decided it was time for Michael to slowly transition back to his life. After a long, tremulous week, Michael finally returned to school. He did not want to, and as his mother’s van neared the school, he sank deeper and deeper in his seat. When he arrived at the school, he remained frozen in his seat.

"I do not want to go, Mom," he said with pleading eyes. His mother turned off her car and sighed. She leaned over and hugged her little boy tight.

"I know you are still upset about Maurice, but they will find him. Do not worry about. Your job is to go back to school, do well, and grow up to be a strong boy." She kissed her son on his forehead. Michael hugged his mother and kissed her on the cheek. "I love you, Michael," his mother said. He hugged his mother tight and kissed her on the cheek once more. He reluctantly left the car and watched his mother drive away until he could no longer see her van. He sighed. He knew better. Maurice was never coming back. The boy in the well took him.

It was an excellent school day. The other students were elated to have Michael return to school. His teacher even gave everyone in his 8th grade class lollipops in his honor. It was an hour before lunch when Michael looked out his window. He could see Old Man Jerry's farm and the well. A cold shudder ran thru his spine and shook his body.

"Pay attention Michael! This is on the test," his teacher scolded him. Michael sighed and looked at the clock. It was almost lunchtime. He stared out the window and discovered the boy from the well was standing next to the tree. He was dripping wet. His flesh decaying, his right foot skeletal while above his knee was a thick, fleshy, rotten stump. Just as during their last encounter, the boy carried a large wet, wide, toothy grin. The horror Michael felt sank his heart to the floor. He glanced at the clock once more. Once the bell rang for lunch, he decided, he would run for home. He looked out the window once more, and the boy was gone. Where did he go? Michael was terrified now.

Suddenly, the boy hit the windowpane, banging his hands against the pane. It startled Michael right out of his seat. Everyone in the classroom stared at Michael, wondering what had come over him, but that moment the bell rang and Michael shot out of the room. He was going home. He pushed thru the crowds to get to the front entrance of the school. He planned to run straight to his house, to his parents, to the safety of his mother’s arms. As he neared the door, he noticed a familiar toothy grin. The boy from the well was standing at the front door in the middle of the crowd smiling at Michael. No one else seemed to notice him and students went their own separate ways. In his panic, he made a quick turn and entered a restroom.

Inside the stall, he sat on the toilet. He tried to hold back his tears, but he was much too terrified. He covered his mouth to keep the sobs from escaping his mouth . He needed to leave the school, but he did not know how to escape . Finally, he gathered his courage, and he opened his stall door. The restroom entrance opened, and footsteps echoed throughout the restroom . Michael shut the stall door immediately and locked it. He looked under the stall and noticed sneakers. He sighed and left the stall.

There was no one in the restroom. That could not be. He was sure someone had walked into the restroom. He dropped to the floor to check under the bathroom stalls. No one was there. Dread filled his soul like water poured into a cup, and he slowly got back on his feet. The restroom sinks turned on, and black waters spurted from the faucet. A sob escaped his mouth, and he ran to the restroom door. The doors are supposed to push open from inside the restroom, but they would not budge. He slammed his hands and yelled aloud, "Help! Help me, please ! Please!” His words were ignored. He leaned his head against the door and sobbed loudly, "Please, Please." The stall doors opened and black waters flooded from the toilets. Michael turned around and there in front of him inches away from his face, a toothy grin, and black hollow holes for eyes.

All Michael could do was sob. It echoed into the halls and nearby classrooms, followed by howls of pains and the sharp, disturbed cracks of bones. Within minutes, the school securities slammed opened the door but recoiled in horror. On the restroom floor lay Michael’s contorted body, his arms and legs twisted and turned in different and opposite directions. His young face, in a permanent state of horror, stared at the young security officers, his eyes black and hollow, but his mouth forced, stretched into a large toothy grin.

A week later, in the dead of night, Old man Jerry walked to his field to his well. He leaned against the well and sighed heavily. His dog laid next to him peacefully. Old man Jerry leaned began to peel an apple, "Jackson, what did I tell you about hurting the kids in this town?" The old man said. He leaned over and stared at the black waters. The boy in the well, Jackson lifted his head from the dark waters and grinned at the farmer. Maurice’s sneakers floated to the top of the water. The farmer smiled lovingly, "Aww hell! Well, boys will be boys."

The sound of a rusty bicycle caught Jerry’s attention, and he looked up to find Andrew riding with his sister, Ashley, on the handle. He nodded at the old farmer, and the farmer nodded back. They knew Maurice was never coming back.

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