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Stories of a ghost town- Granite Well
A quiet magic resides in the foggy pines in the mountains. Rust now covers the long abandoned wire and deep hole once held a force with crystal waters. Small homes sat in the forest with tulips as trails and trumpet flowers playing songs. The farmers were honest and hardworking and worked from dawn to dusk.
When they came to this land they were tired and very ill but by chance they happened to find the trails of flowers leading the way. They could not believe their eyes when they soft grass and a working well stacked with granite.
The farmers knelt down at the well and thanked graciously, “ Thank you for giving us hope.. We will not stay ,we understand that we are not worthy and will never disturb you again.”
It was then a gentle voice spoke out of the well. It belonged to nor man or woman , was strict but kind , and clear to hear.
“ Your humble words are genuine so I will grant you to stay on my land. You may drink out of the well and be filled with ease and never feel the ache of thirst, for I am limitless. You will have a home , for I have many trees that can make many homes for your families to stay warm.”
The voice continued to speak, “I must command that the strong help the young and old . The strong must work the land and make it plentiful. Through your labor your food will always be bountiful., The last dire command is that you must be just as hospitable to others as I have for you.”
The farmers celebrated and danced with giant pitchers of the never-ending water. They were enthusiastic about making large fields of ripe fruits and savor the scent of honey suckles.
The old were at peace and the young joyful and healthy. The homes were quaint with the perfect summer breeze blowing through during the day and on cold nights a warm fire that filled the whole home.
As the seasons went on the farmers started to grow more restless. “ Yes the well has given us so much but being in the hot sun and covered in dirt is very obnoxious. I loathe feeling sweat on my face and blisters on my hands.”
So the farmers rested more often , sleeping throughout the day. They made excuses to avoid as much work as they could by acting as if they were sick.
The voice of the well heard these men coughing and holding their sides and asked “ Why are you ill? Don’t you all know that you can take one sip of water and be healed immediately?”
The men avoided the voice knowing that it would see through their act.
Winter arrived and the well as gracious as ever to the elderly that had old knees shake or the children with pink numb faces. Each cup was like a warm glass of fresh milk to the families and their worries traveled with the wind. The pines were skeletons as they danced in the white skies. The snow made a beautiful lacy blanket over the fields and the land was still happy.
It was then that they farmers became irritated once again, “ My grandmother is always home in soft blankets.. She is far too old to work or even cook the harvest I bring home. She should stay in a place that actually needs her .”
So the old woman was forced out of the home by her grandson and left out in the cold with nowhere to go. She stood by the well for ease and guidance. The well spoke in the snow as the sound of water ripples echoed in the wind. “ Wouldn’t you rather take some water with you to your home?” The old woman tried to lie to the well but the quaver of her words told the truth.
“ I have no home to go back to , my grandson has no need for me so now I wait till I can find another to live the rest of my days.”, the old woman answered.
The well did not speak for a long time as if it were so furious that words could not be spoken.
It was then that a young child saw the old woman in the snow. He grabbed her pale wrinkly hands and walked her over to their home. The old woman was finally in a home that was kind. Even though they had many children to feed they still didn’t see the burden of adding another.
The well waited for the man to be fast asleep before sending a harsh bone chilling gust to blow his house down to shambles. The man shivered and cried about losing his home and warmth so abruptly . At that moment the man was weak and left to defend himself . He ran to the well and pleaded , “ Great healing water please provide me a home! I am exposed and a victim to a strong force that blew my home away!!”
The well answered coyly, “ Oh what a shame that you lost unwillingly. Reminds me of an old woman who was here earlier in the night. She was so exposed, weak, and utterly alone.”
The man made excuses and begged , “ You don’t understand ! I made the wrong choice but I still deserve to live through the night.”
The well had distain for the man and said his last words, “ You were there when I commanded that you protect the weak, yet you dare to disobey and ask for more. The strong protect the weak but the strong can also destroy the weak in character.”
In shame the man ran in the woods, never to be heard again. The well would not miss him because only the saturated evil ran from their sins.
Many years went by and many more weary travelers joined the families of the woods. They were people who enjoyed simple living and loved the ground below. They sang to the plants and were always honest and grateful.
The farmers from long ago grew envious of the others, claiming that they were only trying to be in the wells’ good graces.
“ They didn’t have to work like we did! They didn’t have to sow the hard clay to plant the seed! They never experienced the fear of rejection like we did long ago.”
One woman quietly spoke “ How about we make them prove their yearning for this land?”
“ They must know what it truly feels to struggle .. if they stay then we know they are worthy of this land!”, chimed a young man. The crowd of people shouted in unison, making an agreement to ostracize out of petty prejudice.
Men surrounded the well to deny the sacred water but the men were not confronted by any ordinary people. Instead of throwing their fists or yelling in frustration the gentle people steadily worked and patiently waited.
“ Don’t you feel the scorch of uncomfortable mortality? Makes you wish you never took a sip of the nectar , that way you can’t ever recall such peace till death.”, the guards mocked.
The new residents stood without putting a fight , when one wise man presented,“ We don’t deserve to not feel pain. We do not deserve to feel entitled while failing its’ simple wishes. If anything we all should face its’ wrath. Yes indeed we all should.. ”
The guards were struck by these words as if they were hexed to certain doom.
The barricades remained and the gentle ones were slowly waning in strength, though not a single one of them suggested the idea of leaving the land. The guards grew to be more brutal and found satisfaction in seeing the wise man to callas and cry out.
The well could not take any more of this barbaric torture and hated their arrogance. So on a random day the sun rose higher than before and beamed down heavily. The trees snapped and fell on houses as the leaves dried and burned. The people panicked as the echoing cracks surrounded them and they ran for help.
“ Please voice save us!! Many are wounded and burned and we need your easing water!”, the men begged.
They did not wait for the well to answer before they dropped a bucket down to take the water. When they pulled the bucket up they were dumbfounded by only seeing grains of sand and clay.
“ Did you lower the bucket enough!?” , a man impatiently asked.
“ Do you think I am fool? Of course I did !”, he was interrupted soon after.
The well spoke calmly as if the chaos didn’t exist.
“ Tell me honestly … have you been working?”, the well asked.
The men made excuses once again but the well could see through their lies and didn’t want to hear anymore.
“ That young man who’s cries I can hear, he is the only one who can draw water.” The other farmers grabbed the aching man with bleeding hands. The man never questioned why the well didn’t stop the other farmers , for he knew the well would prevail.
“ Young man , Are you angry at me for letting you be in pain?”, the well asked.
The man admired the wells’ wrath and love for his people “ You gave me peace and you can take it.”
The young man dropped the bucket and was welcomed with cold clear water . The other farmers swarmed and reached but when their fingers touched the rim the water turned into dust and clay.
The lazy farmers protested and screamed in frustration like children as the fires roared . The sunlight was blinding as the well yelled in a mighty voice.
“ All who have disobeyed and taken advantage of the weak and kind will suffer on this land. You’re only choice is to leave and never come back ! Only the honest and true are allowed to work the land and enjoy its harvest. I deny you the water and you shall thirst forever for what you threw away! Centuries will pass and your descendants will never know true peace but will always crave.”
The people ran in terror from the fire and sweltering sun and vowed to never return. Many homes were rubble and the ground hard and less than desirable. Only the man with bloody hands stayed in the smoke, as the granite well crumbled and lost its luster.
When the fire and sun waned the Earth was cleansed and left to start anew. The man built a home and was gentle with the soil and plants. The well never spoke again but you could still draw water from it.
It was not the same but the man didn’t ask for me because as easily as things are given they can be taken. He was grateful to have this simple life and to have once heard the voice of the well.
He died long into his years and the land seemed to freeze in time with rare visitors. Even though you could only see the shadows of a house that once stood , always residing next to it was the granite well.
Waiting for the day when the fog clears and daffodils wilt.