The Well

Aug 19 2018

In a town there was a well. But it was no usual ordinary sort of well. It offered no water, but instead was filled with a sort of stuff, a strange stuff, as far as they eye could peek beyond the inner contours of the well. Within the well, a vast cavern stretched away, filled with the stuff. The cavern stretched as far as the eye could see beyond the rims of the well. But not beneath the earth surrounding the well, which was nothing but earth if you dug into it, as far as anyone could dig. The cavern was a sort of illusion perhaps, or maybe the well was an opening to a place that was not the town, an other place than the town.

No one could see how far the cavern could stretch, because no one would dare to lean futher into the well. If you fell into the well you would never come back, and that was known to be certain, because it had been said to have happened to a person or persons some time ago.

But the well would pour forth buckets of stuff, straight into the mouths of the people of the town, and any visitors of the town. The well was always fouring forth the stuff, and the stuff flowed everywhere, all over everything and through everyone, until the relationship between everything and the stuff became kind of mixed and each of the two even became somewhat indistinguishable from the other.

The effect of the stuff was to render everything to be more like the stuff and less like the thing it had been, but the stuff effected each thing differently. For example, the townspeople had built a new bridge across the river, but the stuff in the riverwater turned the bridge to something else overnight. The bridge wasn’t a bridge anymore exactly, although it still functioned as a bridge, but it was some other thing now, which was known as a thing that wasn’t a bridge. And so the people who drank the stuff from the well went away, known as themselves but known to be not themselves. They were some other selves, stranger selves than they had been. But none of them would have ever then been anything other than the thing that they were not.

One day, the well began to crack. It was a little crack at first that was patched up in the ordinary way, but the ordinary way didn’t work. The well continued to crack. The cracking caused crumbling, and the cracks began to spread through the earth, so that where the earth had been only earth, there was now beneath a thin crust of earth the louring cavern of stuff. An abyss of stuff.

As it was obvious that walking on the earth was perilous, he unstable well was barricaded from access and placed under guard. But the cracks continued to spread. Surrounding buildings were evacuated, with little resistance. The guard was unnecessary; no one would want to be near the frightening well. The world had drunk the well, and now the well would drink the world.

A sorcerer was invited from a faraway land. The sorcerer was known very well for sorcery, even as far as the well. The townspeople asked the sorcerer to repair the well.

The sorcerer was a knight in shining armour who rode into town on a mighty steed. He was big and strong, pure of heart and mind and body, and very handsome. Everyone who saw him fell in love with him, but he told them that the well could not be repaired. The stuff had seeped through the earth, it had become inseparable from the earth, and like a decomposing fabric, the earth was disintegrating into the stuff.

The people begged the sorcerer to help. The sorcerer frowned and went to the well. The next morning, though no one knew how it had happened, the well was gone, and so was the knight. There was nothing but the plain earth in the place where the well had been. The townspeople were incredulous at first, and then enraged. They stabbed at the earth trying to get to the stuff, but the stuff was not there, only earth.

The sorcerer was never seen anywhere again. He was gone. He was believed to have fallen into the well before it had closed over. Slowly, the stuff was dispersed, and mixed into things so little within them that the things were once again more themselves than anything else. After a long time, the knight was forgotten, and so was the well.

One response so far

  1. I’ve thought of cancelling my domain registration but since I did a piece of writing, maybe I’ll hang onto it for a while longer.

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