The Wishing Well



a strange wish

On my travels, I see an old wishing well

Behind a derelict country house

Curiosity, my lifelong weakness, draws me in

I push through knee-high grass

The neglected garden like a miniature jungle

I try to picture it in its heyday

Immaculate lawn, flowers in bloom, an explosion of  sweetness

A content family enjoying the fruits of a balmy summer

I smile at my brief and pleasant daydream

Reminding me of my past

My family, my dear family, wonderful people, hearts of gold

Long since departed this curdled planet

Leaving me as one, a lonesome soul

A moment of great loss burns within

Tinkering with my ripened emotions

I feel the need to bite my bottom lip

My chest pounding with melancholy

A silly old sod indeed!


The derelict house stands in cold silence

Vestiges of history simmering behind its crumbling walls

A building that once breathed life

Harbouring countless stories

Catering for many generations

If only the walls could talk

Narrating tales of human existence

I'm such a sentimental creature

One of the joys of old age


The well looks perfect

Bucket and handle in place

Slanted wooden roof

Ageless, defeating the progression of time

I peer down, a chasm of blackness

Absolute hush

How far does it go?

An endless drop?

To the bowels of the earth?

There's only one way to find out

I pluck a coin from my coat pocket

A solitary silver coin

And place my hand over the well's opening

I take a moment to think ... to reflect

To make certain

I close my eyes

And allow the coin to fall

Whispering my wish as it descends

Seconds feel like minutes

A languid, dreamy state

Then ... a tiny splash reverberates

Like a disembodied voice

Suddenly my mind is alive

Draped in images

I see people

My family

Dead yet alive

Alive in my head

They all look so content

They all look so young

Oblivious to my presence

They are in a garden

An immaculate garden

Flowers in bloom

An explosion of sweetness

A charming country house

Thatched roof

Small windows

A happy home

I see a well

A wishing well

A young boy stands before it

He looks so familiar

I watch as he plucks a coin from his coat pocket

A solitary silver coin

He places his hand over the well's opening

Then closes his eyes

And allows the coin to drop

Whispering his wish as it descends

He waits, ears pricked, head tilted

Seconds feel like minutes

A languid, dreamy state

Then ... a tiny splash reverberates

Like a disembodied voice

The boy opens his eyes

He is staring right at me

Eyes wide and startled

He emits a petite gasp

I smile to help ease his nerves

He smiles back at me

I offer my hand

The boy replicates my action

We grip and shake

Then ... he vanishes

There is just me

A young boy

The sound of laughter fills the clement air

My family happy in the garden

I look to the well

The wishing well

My wish complete


It was an odd wish

Most peculiar indeed

For I wished to see the final moments of my life











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