Sunday, September 15, 2013

'It was raining when she fell down the well."

A short mini chapter from a writing challenge my daughter and I are sharing.  We came up with a single sentence and have decided to each come up with a short chapter based on that sentence.

The sentence was:

"It was raining when she fell down the well."


So here is my mini chapter.  Love to hear what you think as always.

Smiles
Julia
 

 

It was raining when she fell down the well.  I saw it all so clearly.  The rain had caused the whole south pasture to become a large puddle of impassable mud. We always kept the animals out of that pasture during the winter.  I wondered at the time if she’d just gotten confused because she was running erratically though that very pasture and it was dark and storming like crazy too. 

At first I thought she was just in a damned hurry to get back into the house, afraid of the weather same as she’d always been.  But as the intermittent lightening lit her up sporadically, I saw that her pace seemed frenzied, almost as if she was running from something.  When she finally got close to the back yard, just about 10 yards from the well, she suddenly stopped and turned around to look behind her.  As she turned back to continue quickly towards the house, another strike of lightening lit up her whole figure, bringing her face into sharp relief. I drew back as if I’d been physically struck.  The expression of horror and fear that I saw there, on that beautiful, oh so familiar face, her full mouth contorted as she worked to let out a scream, will never leave me. 

Whatever pursued her, she was obviously terrorized out of her mind.  It took no more than a few moments for her to cover the rest of the gap between where she had stood and where the well opened, a gaping hole in the ground that she must have known was there.  I swear, if I did not know better, I would say that it looked almost as if she’d jumped into the well instead of fallen.  As she fell over the large opening and vanished from sight, the sound of her shrill scream, finally erupting from her like an unstoppable reverberation from her soul, pierced my very being.

 

¤   ¤   ¤   ¤   ¤

 

I sat up in bed, drenched in sweat, and tried to get my breath.  My hand fumbled feebly at the side table and finally settled on my inhaler.  I quickly took a couple puffs and tried to calm my breathing the way the doctors had been telling me to since I was a very little girl.  In and out.  In….and…out.  My chest still heaved in and out at a crazy heavy pace.  Years of practice and still the breathing techniques never worked after one of my ‘dreams’.  I’d lately found that meditation was helpful in calming my breathing, so I’d been practicing that on a regular basis.  But this dream had me so freaked out that I weakly debated going through the house to find my cell phone and calling my sister Phoebe. 
I finally decided to try to get on top of it myself.  After about twenty minutes, I was able to lay back and rest on my pillows again, my breathing eased by the medicine and the meditation.  And then I did call Phoebe.  Because the woman I’d just ‘seen’ fall in the well, the same well that I’d grown up with my whole life, was me.

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