The Enchanted Well is a flash piece which was inspired by the graphic featured below. I wrote the story based on the overall feeling of the picture: an enchanting and magical realm hidden beneath the village well. Since I began playing with this piece, I’ve tried revisiting the source where I got the original picture, and alas, could only find a Pinterest board which included it.
But upon typing enchanted well into the search bar, I found pictures of–quite literally–an enchanted well. Located in Chapada, Diamantina, Brazil, the Enchanted Grotto (or well, or pool), is a natural underground cave pool that offers a truly ethereal way to escape society. All links to photo sources are included at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
The Enchanted Well
Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened in Windfall, but lately there was talk going around that strange beings had been spotted at the forest edge. They’d come at dusk, was what the townsfolk claimed. Appearing as the sun sank below the horizon, barely visible as hazy shapes among the trees.
There were more shapes materializing with the dusk shadows, more coming the last few days. At least, that’s what Tara had been told. She simply rolled her eyes at such nonsense. She didn’t think anything supernatural came out of the woods at dusk, but her neighbors believed in their superstitious notions like she believed in logic. And logic told her it was just the weather and change of season that brought their uneasiness and suspicion of everything around them.
So when Tara walked to the well in the center of the village on a wondrously sunlit Friday morning, she had no way of knowing that her life was about to change forever.
For the townsfolk also whispered about the well; whispers that deep down in the well, deep into the womb of the earth, lay a cavern. And that cavern, Tara would soon learn, held secrets to which humans have sought answers for thousands of years.
Nothing gave away the well’s secret, though, as Tara reached the bucket and began lowering it into the well’s shadowy depths. But then something happened. A faint glow, otherworldly and deep amber in color, began to coalesce toward the bottom of the well. As Tara lowered the bucket the light grew brighter, illuminating the contours of her youthful face, sending luminous amber light washing through her golden hair. It felt warm, warmer than the sunshine.
Mesmerized, Tara leaned over the edge of the well, trying to get a better look. She was tempted to reach out and grab the shining tendrils of light. Silly, she thought, I must be mad. She backed away from the edge, as she was frightened of the implications of falling into that unknown and pulsing light. Still, she couldn’t bring herself to abandon her view–or the bucket–altogether.
She peered over the side once again, but this time something in the light had changed. It had turned an unearthly and beguiling deep emerald, beckoning her to lean further down; so badly she wanted to see what was spinning in that refracted light.
And then she fell. Screams issued from her throat, high pitched and wretched, as she plunged into the whirling light. Tara’s screams were clipped short as her fall came to an abrupt end with a splash. She’d found the bottom.
She kicked to the surface of the subterranean pool, gasping for breath. She was surrounded in deep amber and shimmering emerald. Wide-eyed and speechless, Tara darted a glance left, right, up, taking in her surroundings.
As she tread water to stay afloat, panic seized in her chest: the townsfolk had been right. Something extraordinary had happened in Windfall. Was happening. And she was now right in the middle of it.