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Rain Water

“Help me.” A voice called out softly in the rain, weaving through the broken trees. “Help me. I need your help.” It spoke like a whisper, but more excited, echoing just past the entrance to the woods on the far side of White Ross field.

Even as the rain beat against the plastic hood of his raincoat, Darren heard the voice. He had been sloshing through the grass—his rain boots slipping from his feet—hoping to find some crawlers. His feet made loud noises beneath him as he walked. Darren had purposefully given himself a soaker, and the way the water splashed around sounded a lot like a toilet. Darren had thought that was pretty funny stuff, although now he was focused on the voice in the woods.

“I need your help if you’re out there,” the voice called again. “I’ll die if you don’t help me. I’m in the well just past the entrance to the woods.”

Darren moved quickly towards the sound of the voice. Overcast skies had willed the trees and the grasses grey, clouds and wood and leaves merging effortlessly at the skyline. Shadows cast themselves beneath dim ashy trees, pine needles hidden in the dark and by the weeds. Darren was uneasy.

“Help me, please.” Darren could hear the voice becoming louder. No, not louder—closer. Even at the entrance to the woods, noises felt like they were coming from all around him, especially in the rain, quiet as it was.

Like the voice had told him, Darren found White Ross well no more than a few steps into the woods. The old cobblestone had begun to turn the rubble, it wasn’t very deep, and so it had a tendency to flood and spill in any sort of rain. If anyone was in there, they couldn’t be very far down.

The voice echoed again from inside the well. “I can hear you out there. I can hear you walking. Help me, please.” The voice had stayed calm, not fraying or becoming urgent in the slightest.

Darren leaned over the edge of the well and into the rippling, grey, reflection-less water. Within reaching distance was a younger looking man staring up at him, not at all taken by shadow. The walls and the water were grey, but still visible. Whoever he was, he was hidden beneath the murk, from just beneath his chin to up and around his hairline. He looked calm, and then he spoke.

“Will you help me?”

“I can try,” Darren replied. “But why can’t you get out yourself?”

“How would I do that?” he whispered. Darren watched rain drops collect in the back of the man’s throat.
“Just climb up the stones. The rocks are big and easy to hold onto.” He grabbed onto one himself to showcase how sturdy they were.

“I can’t,” the man said. “The walls are too slimy. I’ll slip right off. Will you lend me your hand?”

“You’re down too far,” Darren said.

The man pursed his lips and continued looking directly upwards. Above him, clouds passed in the sky, identical and grey, casting a dim light into the well and onto the clearing where the well had been built.
Darren asked the man how he had gotten down there in the first place.

“I fell in,” the man replied.

“But how?” Darren was starting to feel worse about the situation; frightened, even.

“Can I grab onto your raincoat?” the man asked.

“If I tie it to something, maybe,” Darren said.

“There’s nothing to tie it to. You’ll have to hold on and pull me out.”

The man had never answered Darren’s question, so he asked him again. How did he fall in?

“I have a secret,” the man whispered, looking past Darren and upwards into the sky. “There are other people down here with me—one for my right leg and one for my left. I can’t swim, so I’m standing on them. Otherwise I’d drown.”

Darren felt all the cold from the clouds and the rain travel up his back.

“I-I-I’d better get… I’d better get my parents,” Darren sputtered, stumbling backwards from the well and back towards White Ross field, the sound of water still splashing in his boots.

“Don’t bother!” The man’s voice echoed up and out the well, scraping against the trees. “I already did!”

Categories: Fiction, Horror
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