The Wishing Well
Mummy says the Wishing well is magic. That it makes all your wishes come true, no matter what they might be. I believe her. The Wishing well is magic. She says the fairies that live there hear your wish, and when you throw money in they collect it and grant you your wish. I’ve never seen the fairies that live there, but the Wishing well is so deep and dark that I can’t even see the bottom. They must live really far down.
Last time I was here, I wished that Barney would come home. And he did! An old lady from down the road found him in a bush. His collar had gotten caught on the bush, and he was stuck. Then she found him, and brought him home! Mummy had hugged the old lady, and Barney wagged his tail so fast I thought it might come off!
Another time, I wished for some money so I could buy another doll to play with. Then, on the way home I found five euro in the grass. Daddy had laughed, and taken me home to get the rest of my money. He brought me to the toy shop and I was able to buy another doll.
And another time, I wished for it to snow. It was the start of the summer holidays, and I was too hot so I wanted it to snow so I could cool down. And it started snowing! Barney loved the snow, and I did too. It was nice and cold, but it stopped after a while. Mummy says it was magic. Daddy did too. Whenever we go to the Wishing well, Mummy brings a picnic. We have sandwiches and cakes and drinks and some fruit. I can’t have some cake unless I eat one piece of fruit and all my sandwiches. It’s fun at the Wishing well, Barney comes with us and he brings his favourite yellow ball, and I throw it for him. Daddy comes when he isn’t working. I like it when Daddy comes, because he gives me money to throw into the Wishing well. Mummy never gives me any.
I’m not supposed to be at the Wishing well by myself. Mummy says it’s too dangerous, that I might fall into the well. But I’m not on my own. Barney is with me, and my doll Susie. I’m not on my own, and I will be careful. I won’t fall in.
It’s cold, and the wind is really strong. The clouds are dark, so I think it might rain soon. It’s not bright, but it’s nearly two o’clock. The dark clouds are covering the sun, so everywhere is cold and dim. Thats how Daddy says it. It doesn’t feel… right. But I need to make my wish, so I have to stay. But I should have brought a coat. I thought about taking my bright red coat when I was leaving, but it was up really high on the coat hanger and I couldn’t reach it. I only have my scarf and my pink rain boots. It is really cold. But I have to stay and make my wish.
Barney is walking around, smelling the ground. He starts digging into the ground, and I laugh. His tail is wagging really fast again, like when the old lady brought him home. Susie is cold too, and I hug her tighter to try keep her warm. I should have put her coat on too. But the coat is really ugly and feels weird, and I like her in her pink dress.
The money is in my hand. I took it out of Mummy’s purse. I know I shouldn’t have, but I need to make a wish. And Daddy wouldn’t give me money, or take me here. So when they were downstairs, I took the money and put Mummy’s purse back where I found it. It wasn’t much. It is only a small brown coin, five cent I think.
I walk up to the edge of the well, and Barney starts barking. I look at him and he runs off into the bushes, probably chasing rabbits. He always does that. But he never catches them. I wish he would, so then I could have a pet rabbit. Jessica from school has two rabbits, and they are really soft and fluffy. Next time I come here I’ll wish for a pet rabbit!
I look down into the well, and the water is dark and disgusting. I can’t see the bottom. I take Susie and sit her on the grey bricks that go around the well. The bricks are really dusty and dirty, so I hope Susie doesn’t mind. I can get Mummy to wash her dress when I get home.
My hands are cold and hard to move. I hold the coin tighter and hold my hand out over the black hole of the well. I close my eyes, and think about my wish. I wish Mummy and Daddy would stop fighting. I wish they would stop shouting at each other. I wish they would be friends again. I wish we could all be happy again.
“I wish it would all stop,” I whisper, and I open my fingers and the coin drops into the well. I open my eyes when I hear the plop as the coin hits the water, and I lean over the wall to look at the little waves in the water. I just watch the water for a while, until the waves have disappeared. Barney still hasn’t come back, but I can hear him barking and running through the bushes, so I know he is okay.
When I get home, will Mummy and Daddy be friends again? I hope so. I hope they stop fighting and shouting at each other. Because they used to be friends, so I hope they can be friends again. And I know the Wishing well is magic, so my wish will come true.
Time to go home now and see if my wish came true. I try to turn around, but I am stuck. I can’t move. Maybe I am frozen here. It is so cold, and my fingers are nearly blue. What if I freeze and become a snowman? There is a bubble stuck in my throat. I don’t want to freeze here. It’s too cold, I want to go home. I want to go home!
“Barney!” I shout, but it hurts to talk. My lips are cold. I still can’t move. Please, please, let me move! I want to go home! There are tears in my eyes, and I try to shout for Barney again. He doesn’t come. I want to go home! I want to go home! Please! The wall starts to shake, and I can’t get off it. I start to cry. Please, I don’t want to be frozen! I just want to go home! Susie falls off the wall and onto the ground beside my feet. Her dress is dirty. She looks all fuzzy. My eyes are blurry, and I can’t see properly.
I want to go home!
I shouldn’t have come here.
Then the wall breaks, and I start falling into the black hole. I scream, and try to grab onto something. But the wall fell in with me and there is nothing to grab onto. I make a loud splash as I hit the dark and dirty water. Everything goes much colder, and I freeze again. I try to breathe but the water fills my mouth and it hurts. I can’t move. Everything is so cold that I can’t even feel it anymore.
No. No, I have to get out! I have to get out!
I try to move my arms but it’s hard because I can’t feel them anymore. All I can feel is the pain in my chest. I have to swim up. I have to swim up and get out! Swim like Daddy showed me. I try to kick my legs, but I don’t know how to move them anymore. I can’t do anything anymore.
Everything is dark here. I can’t see. I can’t look up. I start to cry again, but the water keeps coming in my mouth, and I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe! It feels like fire in my chest and my neck. I have to get out! Please, please, let me out!
There are little lights in the water, floating around me. They are blurry. There is water in my eyes. They float around me, almost like they are dancing. Are these the fairies that live in the Wishing well? Why are they here? Why won’t they help me? I open my mouth to ask for help, but I swallow a lot of water, and the fire gets worse in my chest. It’s really sore! I don’t know what to do!
“This is what you wished for, is it not?” I hear a whisper in my ears. I can’t look around to see who it is. The lights are getting brighter, and swimming faster around me. I can’t do anything. I think something bad is happening… I think I’m dying.
I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die like Nanny did!
“You wanted it all to stop, did you not?” The voice whispers again. What is going on? I can’t feel the pain anymore. I just feel really tired. But I don’t want to go to sleep. I want to get out, and go home, and hug Mummy and Daddy! I want to see Barney wag his tail really fast again, and get Susie a new pink dress!
“Help,” I try to say to the voice, but I can’t. I am full of water, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. Everything is going fuzzy. No, I don’t want this to happen! Please! Help!
The lights slowly get darker, until they are gone completely. Only one is left, and it swims up to my face. It’s hard to keep my eyes open.
“We’ll take care of you, don’t worry little one.” The voice whispers to me again, but it is hard to hear it. The whisper is really quiet. Everything is really quiet. I am too tired to try and get out anymore.
The light is going darker.
And everything goes black.
And I am nothing.
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