Posts Tagged ‘Jessie&Jonah stories’

19th October
2011
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?”

“Absolutely.”

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.

30th September
2011
written 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.

15th September
2011
written 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.”

2nd September
2011
written by amber

Searching for Jonah

The search is in its third day and I know the authorities want to call it off.  If the police hadn’t found signs of a struggle at Jonah’s place, I bet they wouldn’t have even started a search. And I’ve heard that some of the cops don’t think the broken door and skid marks from his wheelchair are signs of a struggle – just signs of clumsiness, Jonah not too good at being a cripple yet.

Which makes me want to scream – “Jonah is not clumsy, he’s graceful and strong and not crippled in any important way!” And when I do express these emotions to my friends, the friends who’ve been bugging me for weeks to date Jonah, they looked shocked and say, “Jessie, are you in love with him or something?”

I don’t know the answer to that question. I won’t know the answer until I can see him again, until he’s found. I’m scared as hell that it’s all my fault, dating that Steven just to prove I’m ready to date again, not realising he’s obsessed with me, not foreseeing that for a guy like him, my preference for a man in a wheelchair would be impossible to accept.

I know Steven did something to Jonah, but no one in authority seems to be taking me seriously about that, and there certainly isn’t any evidence to point to him, clever bastard that he is.

But Jonah’s friends listened to me, and one of them did an internet search, discovered some property just outside town once owned by an aunt of Steven’s, and we’re doing an under-the-radar search.

We haven’t been here very long but already we’ve found fresh tire tracks next to what looks like an old well, sealed up with a metal lid. The guys are working to lift the lid now.

God, I hope he’s not down there. I don’t think I could bear it.

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.

Sorry – I did it again, left Jonah down the well for two weeks, not noticing that Thursday came and went.

18th August
2011
written by amber

Jonah Hung Up

I don’t think I can hang here much longer. I’ve tied myself to a large tree root; it’s not going anywhere, and my rope isn’t going to fail. Theoretically, I could hang here forever. I’ve been asleep more times than I can count, and I haven’t fallen. I tie good knots.

But my fingers are bloody from trying to force open the metal lid to this well, and my circulation is cut off from the rope, and I’m thirsty as hell. I’m starting to think about what kind of corpse I’ll make, and I think I’d rather be found lying composedly at the bottom of the well than being a horrible bat-like hanging collection of bones and rags.

Yeah, real positive thinking, Jonah. Way to give up and let the other guy win.

Steven. I’ve remembered the name of that guy sniffing after Jessie. The guy I beat up. Must have made him mad, being beat up by a cripple in a wheelchair. Would have made me mad when my legs worked.

Thing is, I don’ t know if I can climb down again. Down is hard.

I wasn’t hurt too bad when Steven threw me into the well. It’s not that deep. But I don’t want to fall. And I don’t want to hang here any more.

I want out!

Shit. I’m crying again. Bad plan, it just dehydrates me.

And I’m hearing those noises again. Voices calling my name. Yeah, right, if anyone came around here, this well wouldn’t have had so many damn cobwebs in it, right? Just my stupid imagination, Jessie calling my name.

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.

The Jessie and Jonah stories come out every Thursday.

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