The Watch in the Well

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

The story of a caring daughter and her sickly father

Jessica made the oh so familiar drive, tears began to well up as she pulled into the driveway, knowing it might be one of the last times. Opening the door of the car she heard the reassuring sound of Amy barking. The old dog waddled up to the car and looked expectantly up at Jessica. 'Alright hold on girl', grabbing the bag from the passenger seat and locking the car, she bent down and gave the old girl a pat. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she made her way to the house. A big old property, it had a rusted swing set, in a slightly overgrown backyard. A big oak stood behind, nearly dwarfing the property, underneath it a wel. She walked up the patio steps and entered the front door, the same one she had thousands of times before, this had been her childhood home. 'Dad!' she called out, placing the bag on the kitchen counter, before walking up the stairs. She felt worried, she always was, despite his reassurances. 'Jessie?' came a weak voice from inside the master bedroom. Opening the door, Jess smiled.

'Good morning pa.'
'Mornin' love', it's good to see you' he said, with a weak smile crossing his face.
'It's so dark in here pa' let me open a window.'
'I know love, I wanted to open up, but my arthritis is bad today, and it's painful to move.'
Jessica's face contorted, her heart wept for her father, so strong in her memories, his voice so commanding and reassuring. It pained her to see him like this.
'Sorry to hear that pa' she said sincerely, 'Did you want some pain killers?'
The old man chuckled, a lively sound, a true sound 'You know I don't take that crap love, anyway, the soreness reminds me they've been well used.' And gave her a reassuring smile.
Jess chuckled slightly too 'I know pa, I brought some just in case, anyway.'

'You're a good girl Jessie, a good girl.' his face turned slightly, before he continued. 'Jessie, you know that pocket watch your mother gave me on our 1st anniversary?' before letting Jessica answer, he continued 'Well, the other day, I was out of the well, standing under the tree, I was leaning against the side, just looking at it, and remembering the past.'

'Dad,,,' Jessica started
'I don't want to ask this of you, but you're here and I wanted to give it to you before you left, in case I don't see you again.'
'Dad, don't talk like that..' Jessica started to well up again 'I'll get it no problem, then we'll have a nice cup of tea and some biscuits, I brought some groceries as well.'
'Sorry Jessie, I can't help but speak plainly sometimes, at this age anyway. But I don't like to see you upset. I'd love a cuppa and some biscuits though, I love you sweetheart.'

Wiping her eyes and sniffing quickly, she gave her dad a kiss and headed downstairs, to grab some rope and a flashlight, before heading down the old dried up well.
Tying the small but practical rope around the strut of the well, Amy, barked playfully, before settling down by the tree. Looking up at the window of the master bedroom, she could barely make out her father's face looking towards the window smiling at her. Knowing for sure he couldn't see her with his cataracts. She smiled nonetheless, unlocking the grate and removing it, with quite the effort, she inspected the rope once more. It was old, but sturdy, yanking the knot a few more times to be sure it would hold, she began to climb down. Holding the small, bright flashlight in her mouth, she realized this well wasn't so deep as it had seemed as a child. It was deep, sure enough, but she was over half-way down now and could fairly easily see the bottom. All in all, it was at most 250 feet. Reaching the bottom, it was muddy, but she could clearly see the pocket watch, the glass shattered, she picked it up. And allowed herself a moment to cry, she removed a handkerchief from her breast pocket and wiped it over. Still crying she clung it to her chest. A moment or two passed, and she realized she should really climb back up, before her father started to worry. Beginning the climb up she realized it was quite a bit more difficult, 'take it slow Jess', she thought. She could hear Amy yapping quizzically, 'I'm alright girl!' Jess soothed. One foot in front of the other. Over half-way now, one foot in front of the other. Her foot caught some moss, and she slid down, catching her hands, she swore! Her heart was pounding, she definitely had some rope burns on her hands now. She kept climbing, her foot slid again, this time she couldn't hold on and fell!

Hearing the scream, and Amy barking, Jessica's father shot up! 'JESS!' he screamed,


The wind blew through the leaves of the old oak, as a dog barked a pained sound and a broken father's heart wailed in grief...

Submitted: June 22, 2019

© Copyright 2021 C. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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