Every morning the first thing on my mind is the water at the bottom of the Old Well. The Well is ancient, constructed of stone and failing mortar. There is no cover over the top, and because of this a great many creatures fall or jump in, not knowing there is no way back out. Every month, dozens, if not hundreds, of grasshoppers, frogs, birds, and sometimes even raccoons and possums, lose their lives in the cold, stagnant water.
For years, I meant to fill in the dangerous well with soil and rocks from the fields I worked with my father and brother but, there was always some other back breaking job to take priority and so the well remained, a mark from another time.
After my father's death, my brother approached me wanting to buy my half of the farm. I repeatedly denied his constant requests until it reached the point that we did not speak. This uncomfortable situation lasted all through harvest and beyond. As winter approached, so did my brother with a sheepish apology; an apology and the offer to help me fill in the well. We shook hands and sat up late drinking homemade whiskey and a bucket of beer I had brewed with some success.
Now, fifty odd years after that night of jokes and drink, I sit here at the bottom of the Old Well. Truth is, like the dead animals, I have contributed to the overall pollution of the chest high water. The dead and bloated animals are my only company with the exception of the many spiders and insects who often cling to my fleshless scalp.
I always saw a glint of a killer in my brother’s eyes, but, thinking it only applied to the animals we hunted and slaughtered on the farm, I was still surprised, those many years back, when I felt his hands on my back seconds before he pushed me.
Funny thing was, I was not going to lose my brother over forty two acres and a few steer. I had gift wrapped a Quit Deed to give him that night. I wonder if he ever found it.
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