By Caitlin C
Editor's note: This is a sequel to the 1995 short story, "The Man in the Well" by Ira Sher. Click HERE to read the original on Commonlit.org.
I was nine when I discovered the man in the well. I’m 24 now and still feel guilty. I was playing with my friends and found a man stuck inside of a well. I don’t know why I didn’t help. I decided it was time to make things right. I made a group call of all my childhood friends and told them to meet back at the well. Wendy was the first to arrive, then Arthur, Aaron, Grace, and Jason. They all had grown up but still had an evil little smirk on each of their faces. Robby was the only one who wasn’t here. He died of cancer when he was 19. “Guys, I think we have to make things right,” I said wearily. “Are you okay?” Wendy asked. Arthur nudged her as if to say, “Stop”. Wendy and Arthur were newlyweds, but Wendy looked unhappy as ever. “I’m going to call the police,” I started. “What we did was wrong to that man, we all know it.” “Listen, Peter, you’re the only one who thinks this, we all think it was the right thing to do. For all we know, he could have been a psychopath. We did the right thing.” Arthur said sweetly. I heard Wendy murmur something to argue, but I couldn’t figure out what she said. We all jumped, startled to see a young man, around our age, and he started screaming like a maniac. “YOU’RE THE ONES! YOU KILLED MY UNCLE!” the guy screamed. “Calm down, please!” Grace shouted desperately. Grace ran over and pulled him in a hug while he introduced himself as Will. “How do you know we killed your uncle?” Jason asked. “You guys are the only ones who know the location of the farm, besides my family, and the corpse I found in the well was clutching a stone with a drawing of a well on it, from the original well,” Will explained between sobs. “What well?” Jason asked, confused. Wendy smacked him in the head, hoping to knock some sense into him. Will pointed to an old well with 2 missing stones on the side that was covered in vines. “Peter, enough of this nonsense! Will, I don’t care about your dumb uncle or some stupid well from 15 years ago!” Arthur screams in frustration. “Since we are revealing what is on our mind with no consideration, whatsoever, I’ll tell you something, Arthur. I’ve liked Wendy forever now. I still love her.” Aaron admitted. Arthur was in shock, and so was Wendy but then Arthur started pushing Aaron, and then, they started full-on brawling. Wendy screamed to try and stop them, but then Will joined, trying to hurt Arthur for calling his uncle stupid. There was chaos everywhere, and the barn animals got loose. A horse walked into the fight and pushed Arthur into the well, with his butt, a chicken falling with him. Arthur’s screams pierced everybody’s ears. Everyone ran over to the well looking over the railing, seeing Arthur and a very angry chicken looking up at them. Arthur tried to speak to try and tell them to help him, but the chicken bit him every time he opened his mouth. There we were. Stuck in the same position we were 15 years ago. Except, this time, Arthur was the man in the well. To be continued...