THE WISHING WELL (DARK SECRET)
WRITTEN BY Nathaniel Anuma (Bright Daniel)
She jerked awake inside a lorry when a thunder rumbled above them as if the firmament was about to fall on them. She stretched her hands up, feeling tired of the excursion that took them hours. She was at the middle of the lorry where she looked front and back to see her fellow students dosing off due to the same fatigue except Mr Chuks, their lecturer, who was fully awake, reading a newspaper. Nevertheless, she averted her eyes from him to the glass of the lorry beside her to see the atmosphere cloudy with lightening. Just then, the thunder stroke again. For a second, she looked down on the topography of the land: far away to fall if actually they have accident. Her mind skipped after the horrible sight of the sloppy high land.
“Kiana, what are you looking at?” a male voice came beside her. That was Juel who also had his eyes on the strange weather.
Kiana glanced at him. “Nothing much. Just the weather. It’s getting me worried” she replied.
“It gonna rain in no time”
“I think so”
Juel smiled at her. “Don’t worry, Ana, nothing gonna happen” he held her palm warmly. Of course she tightened it and returned the smile that exposed her dimples, baby-face and her pointed nose which also contributed why almost all the male students from her department of Biochemistry had their eyes on her. She was naturally beautiful, jovial and intelligent.
Both surveyed the road to see how the driver tried to get through a minor pothole. Suddenly, the lorry shook very hard that all the students woke up with hearts full of qualm. Mr Chuks also closed the newspaper to the sudden hulaballoo. Before they knew what was going on, the lorry began to bend toward the sloppy land like a van jacked up from one side. Students screamed!!
“Juel, i’m scared. What’s happening?!” Kiana grabbed him, terrified like a child to her father’s arms. Just then, a loud thunder stroke again and a heavy downpour escalated immediately.
The poor boy couldn’t reply for he was as terrified as the girl. But one of his hands never left a metal object. He held it tightly as if both were magnects of different poles. Meanwhile, no student was on his or her seat, all screamed, holding one thing or the other until the lorry finally fell down the slope like a rolling ball. Luckily, it stocked on a palm tree thereby flinging some students out to different places through broken glasses of the lorry. Of course, some died while many sustained injury.
Blood kept dripping on the floor of Federal hospital as many injured students were rushed in by rescure team. One could see them on their dark yellow with red cross uniform, handing the victims over to the nurses and doctors. Others were still on their way. Their ambulances never seized to indicate blue, red and yellow light plus the siren that set the city in a big shock of terror and sadness. What could bring about such a drastic accident? Was the question in the mouth of everybody.
Dr. Danny, the Head of Department of the affected students could be seen, briskly walking out of the hospital with Jumbo, the head of the rescure team. Both had the same height but totally different in complexion: Dr. Danny was darker. Suddenly, the sound of a flying helicopter paved above the roof of the hospital.
‘How many students set out for the excursion, sir?” Jumbo’s voice came loudly in order to subdue the sound of the helicopter .
Dr. Danny used the same degree of tone. “Sixty-two students, excluding the lecturer and the driver, sir!”
“Our statistic is: Forty-nine injured students, while nine dead!” he stopped at the entrance of the hospital with a sad expression. His voice became calmed as the sound of the helicopter gradually faded off. “We still have four more students missing”
“Well, you have to find them either dead or alive”
“My men have searched every nook and cranny of that land, sir”
Dr. Danny, in his big belly like a pregnant woman, placed his two hands on the waist, spacing out in the rain. He suddenly glared at Jumbo with a cool mean voice. “Well, Mr man, i don’t know how you gonna do it, but i want the missing students found before night-fall, while i find out the cause of the accident from the driver” he walked out.
Back to the land, Juel could be found beside a flowing river which current was very high to carry a human being. He laid lifeless by the side of the river until he felt water puffing out of his mouth through CPR. When he opened his eyes, he saw two persons standing before him.
“Are you okay, Juel?” one of them asked him.
He didn’t reply rather staggered up in the rain and whipped out dripping water from his face. He was able to recognise the two people who were a boy and a girl from the same department. ‘Nancy…” he called, taking a deep breath. “Anderson.. what… uhm..” he looked around the forest. “Where are we?”
“We don’t know?” Anderson also took another look at the strange place. “It’s not so long we bumped out of the river just like you did’
“Where are others?”
“We are as blank as you are” Nancy interfered. She wore a jean trouser with shortleeve shirt which had been soaked with the rain thereby exposing not only the outline of her bra but also her flat belly. She was black in complexion with the beauty of an african princess.
“What of Kiana?” Juel was still inquisitive.
“Are you deaf?!” Nancy yelled at him only to discover the echo of her voice as the reply to her own query.
Anderson’s voice grew cold and mean. “It seems like you don’t understand what we’re telling you. Come on, we need to find a way out of here?” he led the way followed by Nancy who glanced at Juel for the last time.
The rain had stopped but the three students were still wet and cold regardless of the sunset that gradually began to give way for total darkness. Grasses rattled both far and near just like insects such as crickets chippedvery closely.
“I don’t get it” Juel stopped. “How can we have an accident with sixty-two students and we are the only one wandering about? Not even our lorry can be found”
Anderson turned to him. “The last time i checked, we were carried by a river. So you can’t predict the location of the accident and our present location”
As the two men argured, Nancy sighted a well, pointing at it saying, “Look!”
They hurried to the well to see it with a small triangular roof. Nancy kept smiling as she walked around it magestically. Her motion and expression got the other two boys not only surprise but also speechless. Therefore they looked at each other.
“What?” Nancy stopped, staring at them. “Don’t tell me you’ve not heard about a wishing well”
“What’s a wishing Well?” Juel asked.
“A wishing well is a term from European folklore to describe wells where it was thought that any spoken wish would be granted. The idea that a wish would be granted came from the notion that water housed deities or had been placed there as a gift from the gods. This practice is thought to have arisen because water is a source of life, and was often a scarce commodity.” She explained.
“The last time I checked, you were a science student not History” Juel said. “Well, I wish to be in my bed now” he added.
“Well, it doesn’t work that way” Nancy took a step forward. “You have to look into the well and make your wish within yourself”
The three students looked into the deep dark well then began to make their wishes. Suddenly, a voice came from behind one of them saying, “Your wish is your secret and your secret should be as deep and dark as the well”
All turned to see the owner of the voice; a young looking man, plumpy and creepy. His bushy hair seemed never to see a comb for the past few months. Just as the students moped at him, they saw Kiana, coming behind him.
‘Ana?” Juel called on her.
“Juel!” she wanted to run to him, but the strange man held her back.
“Kiana, do you know him?” Anderson asked.
She looked at the man. “No!” she struggled. “I just opened my eyes and realised i’m here” she added.
“She just came through the same way you came. Just that she was a bit faster than you” the man said seriously.
Juel glared. “Listen, I don’t care who you are. But you have to let her go” he stepped forward like a wrestler.
“She’s mine now” the man said without moving an intch.
“How?” Nancy asked. “Let me guess, she’s your wish” she added.
“Yes, I wished to have her as mine forever” he glanced at the well. “And the well granted my wish” he smiled.
“Oh, my God!” Nancy exclaimed. “You are the cause of our accident! For she to come to you as you wished an accident had to occur”
“Yes, so are your wishes.” The man kept smiling. “For your wish to be granted, one or two lives must be taken” he laughed, while the students looked at one another in surprise for they have all made a wish. They also wondered how the man knew Kiana…
THE WISHING WELL
WRITTEN BY NATHANIEL ANUMA
Kiana struggled in the hands of the strange man. He held her like a master to his slave. Meanwhile, the other three students had not come out from the shock of their lives which the man put them.
“This whole shit is getting weird” Juel spoke unabashedly still in his wresting posture. “Where is this place and who are you, mister man?”
“I’m a man who only came for a wish, and it’s granted” the strange man replied. He turned to Kiana then continued with a bedroom voice. “You’re the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I will take care of you, my queen. Please, follow me” he cares her cheek with a hand.
“Leave me alone!” the poor girl screamed like one being tormented by a ghost. She flung herself off from the man then ran to Juel and others.
“Run!” Anderson took on his heels first followed by Nancy before Juel, but all hesitated when they noticed Kiana didn’t join the race.
“Kiana!” Juel called on her, yet she kept staring at the strange man who held his throat like one being strangled with a rope. Seeing that, all came back to watch the man fell beside the well and died instantly. Everywhere became as quiet as a grave yard except the chirping of insects from nearby trees. The four students couldn’t say anything but looked at one another.
Anderson swallowed hard as his voice came dryly. “This place is weird. I’m getting scared. We need to leave now”
Just as they wanted to flee for the second time, a deep scary voice came from the well saying, “No one leaves my den without making a wish. Therefore, made a wish, Kiana otherwise die”
“What?” Kiana slid her hair backward with a glance at others to know if they also heard the voice.
“I told you this place is weird” Anderson reminded.
“Kiana, let’s go!” Nancy grabbed her hand.
“Wait!” Juel shrieked. “We don’t know what killed that man, so we can’t risk it” he stared at Kiana. “We can’t risk your life. You need to go make a wish. We all have made”
Tears began to drop from her eyes for she was very emotional and delicate in heart. “But my wish will cause someone’s life. What if it will be my parents or any of the people I love?” she cried.
“What of your own life?” Juel asked rhetorically. He had always had his eyes on the pretty girl just like other male students, but never made a move.
Nevertheless, Kiana took his advice, slowly walked to the well like one walking to the point of her death, while others watched in terror. She finally looked into the well and made her wish. Seeing that, Juel took her by the hand to flee for the third time, the voice from the well came again. “Your wish must be confidential until it’s granted and must never leave you after granted otherwise die. That’s what killed Mekus”
“The man’s name is Mekus?” Anderson said deliberately.
“Yes, i think he died not because I figured out his wish but because his wish left him to us” Nancy clarified, while everybody stared at Kiana coz she was Mekus wish.
“Come on, let’s go” Juel took her by the hand as all finally left the strange land to the local road where the accident occurred. By then, darkness had taken the atmosphere. Also, the lorry had been carried out from the sloppy land, but the scars it left remained obvious. The four students could see it: broken trees and spilled soil. They stood on the road wondering how they made it alive from such a brutal accident. Suddenly, Kiana sighted a white paper by the side of the road and took it up.
“What’s that?” Nancy asked her.
“A newspaper” she replied then continued as they stared at her. “I saw Mr Chuks reading this inside the lorry before the accident. Everybody was tired and sleeping, but he was awake”
Silence creeped in among them. They were trying to figure out what she wanted to substantiate. Anderson broke the silence saying, “We already know the cause of the accident. No need to be pointing accusing fingers on anybody.”
“I’m not pointing any accusing fingers on anybody” Kiana took a step away from them. “I only told you a story related to the newspaper” she added, then another silence took in. Surprisingly, she looked at all of them and said, “Why do i have this feelings that I’ve seen Mekus somewhere?”
“You must be joking” Nancy replied.
“His face looks familiar!”
“Well, we might found out later” Anderson calmed the tension.
“Please, we must not tell anybody about the well or the cause of the accident” Juel warned.
“But why?” Nancy asked.
“Because people will like to go there, and you know what happens if anybody should step foot there”
“Yes, they will be in bondage just like we are now” Kiana slid her hair again. “Because making a wish on that well is like putting yourself in bondage. I’m still very afraid” she added.
“Listen,” Anderson stepped forward. “No matter what happens or who dies for our wish to be granted, nobody must know about it or our presence to the well coz it will lead us to more trouble. Okay?”
Nobody replied, but all agreed with him. Just then, a headlight from a vehicle shone from a distance
Dr. Danny could be seen with the driver of the lorry in the federal hospital. He laid on the sick bed with a leg, hanging up at the base of the bed. One could see bandages around it from knee to ankle. Mr Danny sent his condolence. “What really happened, driver?” he asked with a hand on his waist.
“I can’t explain, sir” the poor driver began. “There was nothing that could pull that lorry like that, not even the small pothole I tried to go through. It was as if the lorry was jacked up by a superman”
Dr. Danny exhaled. “This is strange.” he looked around the large ward. “Where is Mr Chuks, the lecturer?”
The answer to that question came behind him. “He has been discharged.”
He turned to see the medical doctor. “Why?”
“It’s a miracle. The man didn’t have a single scratch on him”
“Yes, though I still gave him some medications”
Dr. Danny glanced at the driver, thinking deeply. Suddenly, his attention deviated to a noise coming from outside the hospital. He hurried to the place to see Jumbo, the four students and other press who sought for information. Jumbo shook hands with him.
“Sir, we just saw them on our way back after extending our search to other part of the land” he said.
“Thank you so much” Dr. Danny, for a moment, smiled. He looked at the students then ordered them to go for a check-up. However, they had not said anything to anyone.
The next morning, Dr. Danny met Mr Chuks in his house where he was preparing for school. Of course he knew that he had a big narration to make to the management of the affected tertiary institution coz he took the students out for excursion. Just in the living room, Dr. Danny entred. Both looked at each other.
“Good morning, doc” Mr Chuks greeted and offered him a seat. “You should have waited coz I was on my way to school”
“I came to find out personally what happened” he looked at him suspiciously. “The doctor said you are the only one who had no scratch on his body after the accident”
Mr Chuks glanced up like a man of God in spirit. “It’s a miracle” he said.
‘Really?” Dr. Danny nodded suspiciously again. Of course Mr Chuks noticed but wondered why he was acting that way. Therefore he said, “Doc, I’ve seen the news this morning. I guess I’m not the only one without a scratch on his body after the accident. The four students who were found last night experienced the same miracle”
“Yes, I noticed” Dr Danny touched his white beards.
“Have you asked them anything?”
“Not yet. We shall do that together” he stood up and left after more pleasantries.
Touch-hill university was a private one. Large and magnificent with amazing population of student. It has a news broadcasting department which Kiana was in charge as the school press. She collects news about school activities and broadcast it through a newspaper called ‘The Touch’ One could see her entering into her control room, sat before a desk-top and began to do her work. There were papers of all kinds, hanging almost on all the walls of the room. Suddenly, she shouted, “Oh my God!” and called Juel on the phone who arrived with Nancy and Anderson. All stood before her, waiting to hear the reason of the urgent call.
“Ana, you sounded urgent. What’s it?” Juel asked.
“Has any of your wish been granted?” she asked.
“No” all replied at once.
“Okay. I told you Mekus face looks familiar. Look at what I found” Kiana zoomed a picture from the computer screen. Though the main picture wasn’t Mekus.
“But that’s not him” Nancy objected immediately.
“I’m not talking about the main picture. Look at the two people shaking hands behind the main picture”
The three students fixed their eyeballs on the screen.
“I took that picture after a meeting held by all the lecturers” Kiana said.
Juel straightened up in surprise just like others. “That’s Mekus shaking hands with Mr Chuks” he said.
“Yes” Kiana replied. “That means, Mr Chuks must had known about him or the accident” she added, while they remained silent….
THE WISHING WELL
TO BE CONTINUED
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