Timmy in the Well

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Timmy in the Well is another Hollowvale based short story. Everybody has heard about the Timmy in the well legend, but did you know how it really started? It was a cautionary tale.

Submitted: August 09, 2015

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Submitted: August 09, 2015

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It all started when Katie and I heard about the wishing well at the old Hollowvale Miners camp. People said that everybody who had ever made a wish in that well had their dreams come true. So we decided to go find out for ourselves.

On Friday night, Katie slept over at my house so that we could both leave bright and early the next morning. I lived right outside the perimeter of the Mine so it would be easier to get there and back we thought. Our Hollowvale forefathers had once mined for Gold here and it was one of the few things that Hollowvale was known for.

Our Friday night sleepover was the same as usual. Katie and I had been best friends forever. We even shared our birthday. We did each others hair and nails, talked about boys and discussed our plans for our upcoming thirteenth birthday party. As we lay in bed at the end of the night too excited to sleep, we started to talk about the things we might wish for. "A horse." Katie said simply. She had always wanted a horse but her parents wouldn't buy her one. "Just a horse?" I asked, "Where will it live?"

"Oh yeah," she said, and then reworded her wish to accommodate the horse, "I wish to own a barn and paddock with two horses in it" That sounded like a wish that couldn't go wrong.

"What about you Chloe?" Katie asked me. I still didn't know what to wish for. I thought perhaps I might just wish for lots of money. And then whatever, whenever I figured out what it was I wanted I could buy it. I shrugged, "I don't know yet" I said.

When the morning came we were both eager to get started. We packed some snacks and a couple frozen water bottles. We put on some sunscreen, our hiking shoes and grabbed and tuned our walkie talkies. Katie tested the walkies, "CH, This is Blue bird coming in for dirty worm, Dirty worm do you copy, CH" I picked up my walkie and answered. "Negative Blue bird. Dirty worm isn't available today, you have the Phoenix or nothing else. Also you don't say CH into the walkie talkies, they make that sound on their own. Over and out." Katie poked her tongue out at me and threw her back pack over her shoulders. As we walked out the door we fastened our wide brimmed hats on our heads. It was a scorching day.

We needed some more batteries so we took a quick detour behind the back of Hollowvale High towards the main street. As we were walking across the oval we saw Mr Schubert on the ride on lawn mower cutting the grass. Cute Mr Fredrickson, the High school PE teacher was repainting track lines for the school carnival there as well. "Hi girls" he called as we passed him. We stifled our girly giggles until we were out of earshot and then we excitedly ran to the store to get batteries. Then we headed back toward the mine, it was Already about 8.30 in the morning.

Now I don't know if I forgot to mention that nobody was allowed to go into the old abandoned mine yards. The fences were over six feet high and topped with barb wire and prohibited entry signs hung on all the fences. We knew it was an out of bounds place but lots of people sneak in and out of there all the time. We figured it was fairly safe. Somewhere to the far Eastern side of the property somebody had cut the fence so that people could slip in and out as they please.

Once we were through the fence we had to hike over a couple hills. We were surrounded by tall clumps of grass, that were Golden in the sunlight and vibrant green up close. But they were sharp and scratched our legs some. We stomped our feet as we walked to scare off any snakes. It wasn't long before we heard something react in the grass and before we knew it we were sprinting towards the Mine.

We were running flat-stick up the side of a hill when I pulled Katie to a sudden stop on the edge of a cliff. Well a cliff like edge. It was only a few metres up, maybe fifteen or so. At the bottom was a big pool of solid aqua coloured water mixed with some gloopy brown spots floating on the surface. The rocks all around the water were a rusty orange and there seemed to be some kind of red algae on the banks. "That's disgusting" Katie said as we stepped backward. "Whoa, I can't believe we almost fell into that"

"I know," I said a little shaken "We need to be more careful."

As we walked around the Cliff edge toward the ground we found ourselves standing at the miners camps. Old cottages were lined up on each side with tiny little verandahs on each one. There was Graffiti on all of the walls and doors and old rusty machines everywhere. We couldn't see the Well so we decided to sit down on the dusty steps of one of the Verandahs and have some water and figure out what to do next.

"Do you think we should split up?" Katie asked. "We could find it a lot quicker if we do?" To be honest I didn't like the idea.

"What if somebody else is here?" I said.

"Nobody else is here, it's abandoned." She said. I pointed out to her that we were here and other people had been sneaking in and out long before us. "Besides," I said. "We have all day, we don't need to rush" I said.

Katie looked around. The mine was huge. "Well where do you want to start?" She asked. We tried to remember what the kids at school had said. But nobody had said where it was exactly. Just that there was a well here that granted wishes. We walked between the cabins and followed the tyre tracks toward the gated entry to the mine. "It wouldn't be down there would it?" I asked. Katie shook her head emphatically. "No, lets keep looking."

We decided to walk up the big hill to the big chimney stack. We thought for certain from there we could see everything because you could see the chimney from anywhere in town. As we stood at the doors to the chimney stack a cold wind swept up the hill. Even though the sun was shining down on us from a cloudless sky the chill from the breeze was enough to send shivers down our backs. "Over there" Katie said excitedly pointing to the other side of the hill. Behind the chimney stack and down the hill was a cabin on its own. There beside it,the secret wishing well.

We both ran excitedly toward the well. "Last one there is a rotten egg!" She screamed as she took the lead. Katie was always a better runner than me and beat me in many races. I tripped and landed on the sharp rocks but I had always been a clumsy athlete. By the time Katie looked back to see where I was I had gotten back up and brushed myself off. My hands were grazed and bleeding from the fall. The air stung the cuts and my hands felt hot.

As I approached the Well the first thing I noticed was an odd smell. "Gross" we both said in unison. It smelt like dead fish or something. The well was really old fashioned and kind of beautiful. It was a round hole built with grey stones and had a little triangle roof that was covered in hanging bearded moss. If the smell hadn't been so offensive it might have been the nicest place I had ever been.

The shack beside the well was run down and made from old wood. It didn't look like the other cabins. It was hand crafted by the looks of it. Katie and I peered in through the windows to make sure nobody else was there. It was dark. "Should we go inside?" She asked.

We took our flash lights out of our bags and stood at the front of the shack. We slowly pushed the door open. "Hello?" Katie called quietly. There was no answer. We turned our lights on and looked inside. It was a small shack with a few simple furnishings in it.

We crept inside carefully. There was a bed in the corner and next to it was a bedside table with some dead flowers on it in a vase and an old photograph. On the other side of the room was an old basin and a wardrobe. Everything was covered in dust. I walked over to the bed and pulled the blankets back. I sat on the clean sheets. Katie opened the cupboard and looked inside. A few old fashioned mens clothes hung inside.

"This is pretty cool" She said. I had to agree. "I wonder who lived here?" I looked down at the photograph on the table and wiped away the layer of dust. A happy young couple looked back at me from behind the glass. "Maybe they did?" I said. Showing Katie the picture. She held the photo carefully in her hands admiring them. He was as handsome as she was beautiful.

I looked around the room. I could see his clothes in the cupboard. A single cup beside the basin. "I don't think she lived here" I said. Katie looked around. "Why not?" she asked. I pointed out that only his clothes remained and there was only one cup beside the basin. We looked sadly at each other. Had some kind of awful tragedy befallen them? Had she left him?

We put the photograph back on the night stand and headed out into the sunshine. It was very bright outside compared to the shack. That awful smell of dead fish returned. "What is that?" I asked Katie. She pinched her nose a bit and shook her head. I fanned my face repeatedly and said"I don't know. I don't think I want to." Katie looked toward the wishing well and pulled out her silver coin.

This was it. This was what we had come here for. She held the coin against her heart imagining what she was wishing for and then she dropped the coin into the well. It landed with a splash. She let out a deep breath and a huge grin swept across her face."Okay, it's your turn now." She said.

I still didn't know what to wish for. I pulled my silver coin out and held it against my heart. My hand still stung from the grazing and I felt the tightness of my skin as I clenched the coin in my hand. I tried to imagine what I might want. But I couldn't figure it out. "Just wish for anything!" Katie said. So I thought about wishing for money. But as I dropped the coin into the well, my mind thought of the couple in the photograph.

I didn't hear the coin splash into the water but I assumed it did. "What did you wish for?" She asked excitedly. I laughed nervously. "I don't know" I said. This made us both crack up laughing for some reason. "Oh well I guess the well will know what you really want" She said. Katie was keen to get back home to see if her wish had come true.

Just before we left I turned back to the shack, "I forgot something" I told Katie and went inside, As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I looked around for the photograph. "Hurry up!" Katie said excitedly. I put the photograph into my backpack and skipped out the door.

I heard somebody call out Hello?

Katie and I immediately dropped to the ground. Someone was here. Were we busted? Katie quickly raced back over to me and pulled me behind the shack. Staying low we peered out looking for the person who had called out. Then we heard the voice again. It sounded like a little boy. It called out desperately and echoed "Hellloooooo!"

I realised it was coming from the Well. I walked toward it and peered down into the darkness. "Hello?" I answered. Kate looked at me like I was crazy. But then for certain we both heard it again. "Yes!" He said. "Hello? Is somebody up there? Please, Please help me" I couldn't believe it, my knees started to wobble as I realised what was actually happening. "Oh my god Katie, there's someone in the well!" I said. Katie raced to my side "Hello?" She called into the well.

The voice answered back. "Hello" I heard him laugh tiredly then cry a little bit. "Can you help me? I've been down here for so long" He called out to us.

I looked around. I grabbed the bucket for the well and lowered the rope in by spinning the handle. "I'm going to lower the bucket," I yelled into the darkness. "Maybe you could grab onto it and we could pull you out?"I listened to the darkness for a response, but couldn't hear anything over the squeaks coming from the winding apparatus. I stopped turning the handle and waited, listening."Are you there? Can you hear me?" I asked. I could hear some splashing in the water.

"Maybe we should go get help?" Katie said looking back up toward the chimney stack. "If we left now we could probably get someone here in about an hour." I bit my lip and considered the idea. We needed help. We were just kids. I decided that at least one of us should go. But we should keep the walkie talkies going and keep in touch.

We both wanted to go for help and we both wanted to stay by the well so we decided to scissor-paper-rock the decision away. Winner gets help. Loser stays. I won. I immediately reconsidered, "But Katie you are a better runner than I am." Katie put my walkie talkie in my hand and told me to go now. So I did. I ran. When I was climbing through the cut chain link fence on the far eastern side, my walkie talkie made some noise.

"CH, red phoenix this is Bluebird checking in, make sure you stop and drink some water. Over. CH" I laughed breathlessly and doubled over while I tried to catch my breath. I opened the water bottle and let some ice cold water trickle into my mouth. Cool and refreshing. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I decided to let it calm down before I continued. Sitting under a tree on the side of the road I checked back in with Katie.

"Bluebird come in, This is Red Phoenix. Roger that. I stopped for a drink, just having a quick cool down in the shade. Hows the kid in the well. What's his name anyway?" I waited for a reply and then quickly added. "Over."

"CH. The kid in the well says his name is Tim. CH. Over. CH" I laughed breathlessly and decided I was ready to start running again. "You are kidding me? There should be a law about little Timmy's going near the well. Over." I started running again. It wasn't long before Katie's voice came back over the radio giggling. "Roger that." She said. Then reiterated. "I mean CH. Roger that. CH. Over CH"

I raced back to my house but nobody was there. So I decided to try the phone but then I remembered mum said she needed to get more phone credit. I checked in with Katie before I continued into town. "Bluebird, do you copy? Over." Katie answered immediately. "How is it going?" She asked. I told her that my mum wasn't home and I was thinking about heading into town to the fire station. "That sounds like a good idea, they will have long ladders and stuff right?"

By the time I got to the fire station I was far too out of breath to talk. The station was pretty empty and one of the trucks was gone. An old lady who ran the station was sitting behind the desk. She sat me down and offered me a glass of water which I took thirstily. "Now then," She said, "Why don't you tell me all about what's wrong?" Then all of a sudden I wasn't sure what to say. "My friend and I...." I stammered. "We were at the well. There's someone down there. A little boy has fallen in. He needs help." I said. I wasn't sure she was going to take me seriously.

"What well are you talking about my dear?" She asked. I told her how the kids at school had told us about the well at the mine. That if you made a wish there the wish would come true. That we had both decided to sneak in and see for ourselves. Then we heard a voice calling from inside the well and my friend and I couldn't get him out ourselves so we had come for help. She stared at me for a while. I guess she was figuring out if she believed me or not. "Please," I begged. "I'm not making this up." The lady looked at me and smiled kindly, "I believe you" She said, "It's just I don't know if I should call one of the boys or not you see they are far out of town fighting a fire"

My radio crackled. "CH. Red Phoenix this is Bluebird. Come in. Over. CH." I answered the call. "Bluebird, this is red Phoenix, how is Timmy going? Is he still okay?" The old lady stood up and walked over to her desk. "CH. Yes. For now. Have you gotten anybody to come help yet? Over. CH." The old lady came back with some car keys and told me to climb into S.E.S Ute with her. "Yes!" I replied with some relief. "Tell him to hang on, we are coming."

The old lady didn't say much as we drove toward the mine. She turned off on Tipperary road and followed it away from the entrance. "Where are we going?" I asked her worriedly. She gave me a warm smile and told me that we were taking a fire truck access back road into the mine. WE drove almost all the way to Katie's house and as I looked across the paddocks toward her house I noticed something new. There beside her house was a barn I’d never seen before and in the paddock two horses. Excitedly I realised her wish had come true.

It wasn't long before we pulled up in the scrubby bushland beside the shack. I opened the car door and I could smell the horrid dead fish smell again. Katie raced over, but when she realised it was just me an old lady she couldn't believe it. Pulling me to the side she whispered in my ear. "Are you nuts? This lady is ancient how is she going to help him?"

I realised then that I had been blind sided with relief at finding somebody who would help me I hadn't considered how the old lady might help. "Katie," I said excitedly, it's not that I was trying to change the subject I just couldn't wait to tell her. "Katie, there's a barn next door to your house and two horses in the paddock!" Kate looked at me sideways as if I might be playing a trick on her. "Really?" She asked.

"Yes!" I told her. "I saw them! A black one with white feet and a White one with half a...."

"Black face" She finished for me. Realising it to be exactly as she had imagined. She squealed with delight stuffing her walkie talkie into her pocket and then taking both of my hands hands in her we jumped up and down excitedly, before remembering where we were and why we were there.

There was a lot of splashing at the bottom of the well. "Tim?" The old lady called down into the darkness. The splashing immediately stopped. "Anna?" He replied almost in disbelief. His voice sounded much older, he no longer sounded like a little boy "Timmy?" She said, tears falling down her cheeks.

"Whoa," Katie said to me quietly. "She must know him or something?" I thought back to the station. "Yeah," I agreed,"She kind of jumped up when she heard his name? Must be her grandson or something?"

Anna, as we now knew her to be called looked around. "Timmy? How did you get down there?" She asked.

"He said he fell" Katie said joining Anna beside the well. "Anna," He called up to her. "I can't come up there unless somebody comes down here. I miss you," He cried. He really did sound upset.

Anna at us both for a while and then she asked us very seriously, "This isn't a trick is it?" we both vehemently denied it. "No we swear he really is down there and he needs our help." She nodded and then she went to the car. She came back with a new rope. She told us we were going to lower it down to Timmy and the three of us could pull him up together. Anna lowered the rope into the well. "Timothy?" She called. I'm going to lower this rope and we will pull u up okay? You just need to hold on."

I didn't hear a reply but Anna dropped the rope into the well to Timmy I heard it splash as it hit the water. She gave some of the rope to Katie who was going to stand at the front of the line. As Anna wrapped the rope around Katie's arms the fatigue from my run really started to set in. Then Anna wrapped it around her arms and I took the last of the rope. "Okay" Anna called. "Timmy, We are ready".

The three of us started to heave the rope up. He was heavy. We pulled back the line a little bit at first slowly bringing him up. We almost had him all the way up, when Anna called out to him. "Okay Timmy?" She called. The rope suddenly started to give a little and we were all pulled forward quickly as he plummeted back into the water. Unfortunately Katie had the rope wrapped around her arms.

One second The three of us were being propelled toward the well, the next minute Katie was inside it screaming for help. I desperately pulled on my bit of rope. I watched helplessly as the rope started to slip through my fingers the rope burning and cutting my already grazed hands. I started to tremble with fear. "KATIE" I screamed. Anna held the rope fast and slumped to the ground. But the weight of Timothy and Katie was too much. When the rope slipped out of my hands Katie went into the well. I didn't even hear the splash.

I screamed out for her but I got no response. The rope was gone. I was afraid and I didn't know what to do. I raced to the car but the keys were not in the ignition. I tried to work the radio but I had no idea what I was doing. When all of a sudden from the well I saw a hand reach out. I ran to the well and there inside Anna was clinging to some metal ring that had been hanging out of the wall. "Help me" she said breathlessly. I took her hand and this time I don't know how but I pulled her out of the well.

We both lay on the ground breathless for a while. Anna was soaking wet, she cried loudly. "Timmy!" she called. But there was nothing. No response.

Anna called the S.E.S for back up. They pumped the water out of the well looking for the bodies of Timothy and Katie. But nothing was found. They looked at us like we were crazy but we could only swear to what we had seen happen. Because Anna worked at the fire station they had no choice but to take us seriously.

Anna was taken to the Hollowvale hospital and I was sent home that night with no answers.

* * *

A month after Katie went missing, her parents came to visit me. They were leaving the town and moving away. They said there were too many memories here and too many bad things seemed to happen here that they couldn't bare to stay here any longer. They wanted me to have Katie's horses. My mother thought it was a kind gesture. I thanked them sadly and went back to my bedroom.

As I was staring out my bedroom window toward the mine. I thought I saw a figure standing beside the chimney stack. But then it was gone. I noticed my mother standing at my bedroom door.

"I think it's time for you to go back to school honey" she sat by the window tears running down my face. "I think we should at least try." She said. "I want you to get your bag ready for school for tomorrow." She said. Then she left.

I don't know how long I sat there for but eventually I walked over to my bag and emptied it onto my bed. It was still full from that day when Katie and I went to the well. If only Katie had lived to see her wish come true I thought. As I put my walkie talkie on my bedside table it crackled and came to life. "CH." I looked at it. It didn't make another sound.

There were some full bottles of water, some muesli bars and a photograph. I picked up the old frame that I had taken from the shack. Behind the glass were too loving people holding each other and smiling at the camera. I noticed some marks at the bottom of the picture covered by some remaining dust. As I wiped it away with my finger some faded cursive writing was revealed I held it up toward the light. Two names were written there with a date, Timothy and Anastasia, 1951.

I put the photo beside my bed next to the walkie talkie and thought about going for a walk. I tossed a water bottle into a small bag and headed for the door. As I was about to leave the walkie talkie made some noise again. "CH. CHHHHHH" I stopped. It continued to make a white noise. So I switched it off and tossed it into my bag.

As I walked around town I felt confused, without realising where I was going I suddenly found myself at the town museum. "That will be three dollars for entry and sign your name in the book over here" The old lady said. I paid the fee and walked aimlessly around the place looking at pieces of historical value to our rich gold mining history. Pick axes, prop miners, framed newspaper articles. To my left was a living display, there in a mock kitchenette a lady mannequin washing the dishes while her husband read a newspaper.

I didn't know why I was there. I just had a feeling like there was something there I needed to find. An answer maybe. But I couldn't figure it out. So I decided to leave. The bell rang as I walked out of the museum into the entrance lobby and the lady appeared behind the counter. "How did you go, Chloe?" She asked. I shrugged nonchalantly. "You know," she said quietly, "Your little friend isn't the only one to go missing up there."

I was shocked at first. Nobody had tried to talk to me about it, in fact everyone was completely skirting the issue with me completely. "How do you...?" I started. I wanted to know how she knew about it but then I realised that Hollowvale was such a small town. "I recognised your name from the news report" She said offering me the guest book as proof. I decided to leave but as I was walking out the door I turned back to her. "What do you mean? Who else has gone missing?"

The lady stepped out from behind the counter with a warm smile. She offered an open arm and I walked straight into it. She held me for a moment. She smelt like jasmine and she was soft. Her cotton pinafore dress was out of date but then she worked in the Museum. Then said, "Come with Lucy" She said as she swapped the open sign over to closed and she led me back into the museum.

As Lucy walked me through the museum she asked me questions. "Why were you two up at the mine that day? If you don't mind my asking?". I told Lucy about the wishing well legend. "The kids at school told us that if you found the old wishing well at the mine and you dropped a silver coin inside it, your dreams would come true."

Lucy considered me for a moment, "And did your wish come true?" She asked. I bit my lip nervously and looked away. "I don't know. I don't know what I wished for." I said sadly. "But Katie's wish came true. She wished for horses and it came true right away. Nobody believes me though, somehow the wish changed things. It was as though she had always owned the horses, they didn't just appear. So people keep thinking I've made it all up, but I swear when we went to the well that day Katie didn't even own one horse."

Lucy and I walked into an office and she sat down behind an old desk nodding. "Interesting" She said. I sat down at the desk with her. "Interesting? Does that mean you don't believe me?" I asked nervously. Lucy shook her head she opened up the covers of a huge leather bound book and put it in front of me. "I believe you" She said.

Inside the leather bound book were newspaper clippings spanning about a hundred years. "This is something I have been working on" She said quietly. "As crazy as it sounds" I looked through some of the pages. They were all stories of people who had gone missing in Hollowvale. "How does this relate to Katie's disappearance?"

Lucy smiled and then explained. "Katie went missing near or in water and these missing people all disappeared the same way." The walkie talkie in my bag made some noise. "CHHHHHH" I quickly grabbed my bag and turned it off. I could have sworn I had turned it off earlier but I thought I must have been mistaken. I perused the headlines with the radio still in my hand. MISSING MAN DROWNS, HOLLOWVALE DAM DRAGGED FOR BODY, BOY GOES MISSING FROM FISHING CAMPSITE. "I don't understand what you mean? How are these the same as what happened to Katie?These people didn't go missing at the mine?"

"No," she said, "Not all of them, some of them did though" She said as she perused the pages quickly looking for particular articles. "But you see," She continued, "they all went missing in or around water and their bodies were never found. Here, here it is." She pushed the book back towards me and I looked at the page.

It was a story about a miner who had gone missing in the fifties. He was living at the mine with his wife. She said she saw him at the well fetching a pail of water and believed that she had heard him talking to somebody. She looked away for a moment and then he was gone. The well had been drained and searched but his body was never found. Search parties scoured the mine and the surrounding bushland. But no trace of him was ever found. She offered a $500 dollar reward for any information but the case became cold quickly. Then on the opposite page a picture was posted of the couple. "I know these people." I said.

Lucy looked up. "No, sweetheart you couldn't. This was over fifty years ago." I looked at the picture again trying to remember exactly. I stared at it, I had been squeezing the walkie talkie in my hand and decided to put it down on the book and flex my hands some. There in fine print underneath the photograph were the names Timothy and Anastasia. Just like the picture from the shack. "Yes I do," I said excitedly, "They are the same people from the photograph I took from the shack. They guy in the well said his name was Timmy. He sounded like a little boy but then it changed when Anna" The radio came to life with a snap and a crackle. "CCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHH"

"What is wrong with this stupid thing!" I cried. Flipping it over and turning the batteries out of it. I rested my head in my hands tearfully and stared at the picture. Lucy put her hand on my elbow and tried to comfort me. " What were you saying about the voice dear, you said it changed?" I felt the hot sting of tears prick my eyes. The dust from the book had dried my eyes out.

Part of me wanted to leave. To just give up and cry but I stayed and continued for Katie. "It sounded older, and Anna seemed to know him." Lucy nodded encouragingly and produced a tissue from her pinafore. "Who is Anna?" She asked. I blew my nose loudly several times into the tissue until it was beginning to breakdown. Lucy was quick to hand me a few more. "She was the lady from the fire station who came to help us get Timmy out of the well." Lucy frowned and pulled the book toward her. "Chloe, do you know what Anna's last name was?" she asked. I shook my head. I noticed Lucy was looking intently at the picture in the paper. I looked over at their faces. Then down at their names. Timothy and Anastasia. "Oh my god" I said with sudden realisation. "It's her!"

I went straight to the fire station afterward. Lucy didn't come with me because a tour bus full of customers had arrived and she had to open up the museum and run the business. "Call me later on this number" she said giving me a card. "Just so I know you are okay." I pocketed it and thanked her for her help.

The fire station was full today. As I walked through the doors some of the guys recognised me. "Chloe? What are you doing here darling?" The warden asked. I bit my lip. I wasn't sure what to say or who to say it to. "Is Anna here?" I asked, "I was hoping I might be able to talk to her." The warden face dropped sadly. "Oh, I’m so sorry Darling she's not here at the moment, she's in the hospital"He looked at me with kind eyes and a softened expression. "What for?" I asked. The warden dropped to one knee and looked at me straight in the eyes. "She's being treated for her cancer."

A deluge of tears poured silently down my face as I held my breath trying desperately not to cry. The warden took pity on me immediately. "Please don't cry Chloe, I will tell you what how about I give her a call and let her know you would like to speak to her, would that be okay?" I nodded breathlessly. "Here" I said with a large sob. I handed him my phone number. Without another word I left.

As I crossed the road from the fire station to the clock tower I looked up toward the hospital. It sat on top of the hill at the end of the main street. If I wanted my answers I decided I needed to go get them myself. But first I needed to grab something from my house.

 

As I walked through the automatic doors into the empty waiting room I started to second guess what I was doing here. The nurse behind the desk was more than happy to let Anna's "granddaughter" in to visit. I hoped I could get away with the lie long enough to get my answers. As I walked into the room where Anna was I was surprised to see a frail version of the woman I had met days before. The nurse walked over to Anna and placed her hand gently on her arm. "Anna, your granddaughter has come to see you." Then she left us alone together.

I pulled the photograph out of my bag and put the dusty frame beside her bed where she could see it. "What happened to Katie?" I asked. Anna looked at the photo and then she looked at me. I watched a silent tear run down her face. "I am sorry" She said."I didn't know it would take her too. I just wanted my Timothy back." She pressed the button beside her bed and her bed started to rise putting her in a semi upright seated position.

"Along time ago Timothy and I lived at the Mine. In the little shack beside the well. We had just gotten married when Tim got a job at the mine. One day as I washed the dishes in our little home Timmy went to fetch more water for me. I saw him standing beside the well and talking to somebody. So I decided to go see who it was. As I walked from the sink to the front door, he disappeared. It only took a moment. I never knew what happened to him. He was never found. He wasn't in the well. Just like Katie wasn't in the well."

I listened to her story remembering the story Lucy had told me from the papers. "I already know this" I said sadly and Anna looked surprised momentarily before she flinched in pain. She shifted uncomfortably and took a mask down from above her bed and breathed into it for a while. Once she had recovered she continued. "Years passed and I never got an answer about what happened to my Timmy. One day I heard people talking about the wishing well and I thought what was the harm in making a little wish. I stood beside the well and I wished that before I would die I would know what happened to my Timothy."

Her eyes welled up with tears. "Well, here I am and I am dying. And my wish was finally fulfilled." She reached over and took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. "What I am going to tell you sounds crazy. But you need to know the truth." I took her hand in mine. It was freezing. I rubbed her hand gently between my two hands and waited for her to continue.

"When I fell into the well, it was like I was gone forever. Not just a few moments. I fell into the water and I saw It. I saw its black eyes and its teeth. Rows and rows of sharp jagged teeth and it touched me with its skin. It felt slimy like an eel. Chloe it's an evil thing that lives in the water and it takes people. It takes people so that it can leave its liquid prison. But it can only walk on land in human form for 24 hours for every person it takes. And it can only take one person at a time. Katie went in first, and that's why it let me go. You see Chloe, I got my wish. I wished to know what happened to my Timothy before I died."

I thought about the day Katie and I stood by the well making wishes. I pulled the photograph down from the table and held it in my hands. "I think I wished to know what happened to the people in this photograph." Tears stung my eyes. Had I really caused all this to happen? Is Katie gone forever because of me? "I wish we hadn't gone to the well" I said with a swallow.

Anna reached out to me and squeezed my hand in comfort. " It's in all of the water around here, not just the well. You need to be careful it tricks you to lure you into its reach. I seen it. Its coming for us both." She started to shake and shiver and the monitors attached to her body started to sound their alarms a nurse rushed over to try and help her. "What is it?" I asked her before the nurse started to usher me away from the bedside. Anna squeezed my hand tightly and pulled me back towards her. "uuunnnhhhhhhhhh" she said as her body fell limp and her hand released mine. I fell backwards into my chair. The nurse took Anna's pulse and then looking at me sadly. She apologised . Anna had died.

As I walked home, the afternoon sun burned into my tired eyes. I was thinking about everything that had happened. I wasn't sure if I believed Anna's story or not. I walked all the way home in a daze and slumped onto my bed. I landed uncomfortably on the walkie talkie and put it on the bedside table along with the batteries. As I closed my heavy eyelids I thought I heard a noise come from the radio. "CH". I opened my eyes and looked at it. It sat there silently. I double checked the radio. The batteries were removed and the switch was in the off position. I put it back on the bedside table and rolled back over.

"CH. Chloe. CHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH."


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