Main image
30th September
2011
posted by amber

Jessie and the Cat

The guys finally pried up the lid of this old well and I’m aiming a powerful flashlight down into the gloom, praying that we’ve found my boyfriend, Jonah.

My boyfriend. Oh God, I promise You, if we find him, I won’t play hard to get any more. Even if I don’t believe in You, I promise he’ll be my boyfriend; I’ll be his girlfriend.

The shaft doesn’t seem very deep, and I can’t make out any water in the bottom. Or any sign of Jonah.

Damn!

It’s too much. I’ve been awake almost constantly for the past three days of this search, and I had such hope for this location, this property belonging to Steven’s aunt. That stupid jealous Steven who is the most likely person to want to do anything to Jonah.

“It’s okay, Jessie,” one of the guys says, hugging me. “We’re not giving up yet.”

“Here, have some juice,” another one says as I grey out with exhaustion and despair, sinking down beside the concrete lip of the shaft.

“Just leave me alone for a minute,” I say, taking the juice to make them happy. I’m not thirsty, I’m not hungry, I’m not tired. I’m a finely balanced entity, on the knife edge of hope and despair, of life and death.

“We’ll wait in the truck,” someone says. I don’t know who. My eyes are closed.

The sun is warm, and I hear wind sighing in the trees and birds singing. It would be a nice day, but that’s meaningless to me now. But the cry of a cat rouses me. A mournful, lost sound. Deep and echoing. Is the cat down the well?

I jump up and aim my flashlight down again, just in time to see the cat climbing the tree roots tangled into the sides of the well. She emerges into the daylight and comes over to rub against my leg. A piece of paper is twisted around her collar.

I pull the paper out and unwind it, immediately seeing the words, “My name is Jonah. I’m injured and stuck at the bottom of a mine shaft.”

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 read more of the Jessie and Jonah linked stories, click on the tag line at the bottom of this story.

1 Comment

  1. mary bond
    04/10/2011

    Ah Amber What a cliff hanger!

Leave a Reply