‘The Whispering Well’ was hidden deep inside a dank forest of ancient English Yew trees. Their thick entwined branches sought to banish any light, but now and then knife-like shards of light escaped. A leaden silence dominated the forest’s interior like a desolate mausoleum.
I thought I was alone when a young man appeared out from behind one of the trees. His dark clothes cast a hulking shadow against the subdued light, and I felt a rush of fear ripple along my skin. I considered heading back down the hill to join the tour bus, but our gazes locked as he caught sight of me. His bright blue eyes were full of amusement at my consternation.
“Sorry, Love. I didn’t mean to scare you. The name’s Jack and who might you be?” he asked, smiling at me.
I tucked my glossy brown hair behind my ears and fought to control my conflicting emotions – an unexpected rampant desire that filled my blood.
“I’m Jill,” I said slowly, trying not to meet his piercing gaze.
He inclined his head as if he was bowing,“Nice to meet you, Jill. I guess you’re on the Crown House tour then? Welcome to the ‘Whispering well,” he said proudly.
He moved to lean against the mottled mildew covered walls of the well and looked down into its depths.
“You know the locals say this well is cursed, and if you happen to look into it, you will fall to your death,” he said. He turned to look at me to gauge my reaction.
I shook my head,“ Curses only have power if you believe in them and I don’t,” I retorted.
He winked, “You won’t be adverse to looking inside then, will you?” he replied quickly. “How about a game? I dare you to look into the well with me. There’s no harm done if you don’t believe in curses.”
I hesitated. The whole conversation was so bizarre but I couldn’t help but be seduced by his charm and mystique.
He extended his hand, “Come on, Jill, be brave,” he said.
I felt deliciously scared but I was irresistibly compelled to stand next to him. We both looked into the gaping maw of the well. At first, nothing momentous transpired, but then, I felt a gut wrenching desire to be a part of that rich Stygian darkness. My mind screamed at me to run and flee, but a host of whispering voices arose from the depths and encompassed me like a warm blanket. I felt calm and almost dreamy, like when you first awake after a deep sleep. The last thing I remember was my hand enfolded in Jack’s large cold hand and a feeling of tumbling down, down and down…