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15th September
2011
posted by amber

Jonah’s Not Alone

I made it back down to the bottom of the well, still hearing those faint sounds like Jessie calling my name. I’m sure I’m imagining them.

I’m weak, but not too weak to paw through the paniers of my wheelchair one more time, looking for the water bottle I always keep there. And once again, it’s not there, and once again I’m forced to use my sweater to soak up the rank water at the bottom of this well and suck it down. For a well, this sure isn’t very wet, a quality I originally found fortuitous, otherwise I would have drowned right away when Steven threw me down here.

Now – immediate drowning while unconscious seems preferable to what I’m facing.

I do find a couple of those candies that restaurants give you when you pay your bill. Funny that I missed them when I first searched the paniers. I would have appreciated them more then; now my stomach’s pretty much shut down. I put them back into the bags.

There’s a pen and notebook there, as I knew there would be. Time to write my goodbyes. My parents in their Arizona retirement bliss, my buddies, Jessie. I don’t get any further than ‘Dear,’ when that damn auditory hallucination starts again, a sweet enquiring note.

And then something soft lands on me.

Jesus!

I didn’t know I’d become so accustomed to being alone. My arm whips out and knocks whatever it is across the bottom of the well.  A yowl erupts, the sound of an injured or aggrieved cat. Shit – how can there be a cat down here?

But there is, and she forgives me, comes back and rubs against me, purring. I hold her and cuddle her and lie facing upwards, curious about how she got in when the only entrance (or exit) that I know of is the well-fastened metal lid at the top of this shaft.

And I ponder the portion of the well’s wall that I avoided when I climbed because it looked damp and dark and free of the tree roots which had helped in my ascent. And now, to my eyes, that dark circle becomes a hole. And I know why the well is so dry. It isn’t a well. It’s a mine.

I don’t have the strength to climb up again, but this cat isn’t feral, she’s somebody’s pet. And somebody is going to get a note from me.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

To see the previous Jessie and Jonah stories, just click on the category “Jessie and Jonah stories.”

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