Wishing Well Part 3
The hag’s laughter echoed against the brittle brick around me. Every loud shriek of the sound pierced my ears and my hands took on a terrible shake, making it almost impossible for the rope to stay gripped in my hands.
She stared at me and moved her head left and right, her eyes squinted as though she could not make out what I was. Her eyes—cold and manic— grew brighter.
“Lower and lower, my pet,” she said, slithering on the brick like a python.
I wanted to look behind her, curious how she managed to move, to wind around me in such a tight space, but my eyes would not leave her, my words froze in my throat.
“Lower,” she said again, still cackling. She looked down, below my feet and nodded, her amusement disappeared at a command I could not hear. She smiled once—several teeth missing and those still left were black and jagged—before she slid down, to stop at my feet.
“Must be lower,” she mumbled. She took the bucket between her hands and turned it, making the already tenuous grip I held on the rope loosen.
“Stop,” I shouted, but only received a frown from the now silent hag. “Please, I’ll fall.” When she continued to ignore me, continued to slap her hands against the bucket, I lowered into a crouch, winding my arms around the rope. “Please,” I said, though I knew she could not hear me. “God, please,” I said as the walls spun and shifted to become a blur of shadows and dizzying, disappearing light.
Before I closed my eyes, the spin of the bucket and rope now so fast that my hair slapped against my cheeks, I saw a cluster of symbols jumbling together—large red and black letters I could not read and tiny green naked figures danced and gyrated together.
I closed my eyes completely. My stomach twisted and gurgled until I feared I’d vomit.
“Lower,” the hag shouted. “Lower still, my pet.”
I chanced one peek, forcing my eyes open despite the heavy fear I felt pumping my heart into double beats.
This time, when I heard the hag speak, the sound came from above me, the distance made her words barely recognizable.
I could not feel the spin of the bucket, but the whirls of the brick and the green drawn figures around me told me I had not stilled. My hair stuck against my forehead and I could not tell if it was sweat or well water that had dampened it.
I stared up to find no light, no shadows and no mad hag anywhere. There was only the dimness of the well and two small shapes slightly lighter than the cavernous darkness.
They whispered my name, calling to me in soothing, sweet tones before I felt the brush of their bodies wrapping around my waist.