Archive for October 19th, 2011

19th October
written by amber

Jessie in the Well

When I find the little cat with a note from Jonah attached to its collar, all my exhaustion flies away and I run over to the truck and tell his friends, “Jonah is down that hole. It’s a mine, not a well. There was this cat and-“

“Slow down, slow down, Jessie. Show us.” Matt says, taking the note from my trembling fingers and announcing, “Guys, it is from Jonah.”

I lead them back to the opening of the shaft. “See, there’s some kind of side passage. We need to get down there, see where the cat came from. I’m sure she wasn’t down there when we were first looking in with the flashlight.”

We hadn’t told the police or the official search crew that we planned to look for Jonah on this property which once belonged to Steven’s aunt. There was no evidence to point to Steven as Jonah’s abductor, but we were certain he was behind it. So we snuck out here while Steven was at work, to look around the place, into the abandoned buildings and anything else we might find. Jonah’s friends had brought ropes and harnesses, headlamps and shovels, pry bars and axes as well as the big first aid kit from the town pool, where Andy works. “Don’t worry about all this stuff,” they’d told me. “We’re just a bunch of big boy scouts. We probably won’t need any of it.” Now I’m happy they’ve brought the climbing equipment.

Andy struggles into a harness as quickly as he can, while Matt and Luc tie ropes to nearby trees. “What can I do?” I demand.

“Call 911,” Andy advises, but Luc says, “I did that while you guys were unpacking the ropes.”

“Go down to the main road and show them where to come, then.”

I trudge away, chafing at being relegated to the background. I’m not a climber, but I’ve taken rescue courses, I know how to tie knots. But they’re finished with the knots by now, and Andy is stepping into the shaft. I’m not too far down the driveway when I hear, “Shit!” from underground, followed by Matt’s call, “Jessie, come back!”

I run back, terrified. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Andy says, climbing back out of the shaft. “I can’t fit down the side passage is all. And Luc’s too claustrophobic to even try it.”

“I would try it.”

“Of course you would. And so would I,” Matt says. “But if you freaked out down there, or if I went in and had an asthma attack, we’d be no good to Jonah, would we? Jessie, are you cool to going down there?”


The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted 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, click on ‘Jessie&Jonah stories’ below.