The Magic Well

I am in my village, in the center of a strange patch of land. Unable to sleep, I get off my jute-bed as it makes a creaking sound. I walk out to feel the unusual. Something isn’t right.

Overhead, a starry sky is painted on a black canvas. But the stars don’t twinkle. Moon is unusually close to the earth. It seems as if it’s only a jump away. That I would be able to feel its tangibility. Bright, it makes the path ahead of me lit. I can effortlessly see everything around me – the trees, the crops yonder, the houses and the well.

The well. The same old well that everybody uses almost every day. Water is everybody’s everyday. A perennial constant that every one needs to get on with their lives. I am peering into it now. The reflection of the moon from up above is crystal clear. Stars are lost though.

magic well animation

The gleam dances around on its surface as if someone or something had just woken up its stillness.

Wait! There was something different about the water level today. The water had receded to show a stair in the well. Curious, I climb over to see where it leads. I put down my right foot, the one I trust the most, and find the stair. Then my left foot touches the water. I hesitate at first but then I let go.

I felt myself consumed as I trace myself down one step at a time never letting go of the holes in the well where my hands were planted. I take a deep breath when I am about to plunge to see what’s underneath. But when I do my hands slip and I fall.

It is a solid ground where I have fallen. It is a miracle that I am not wet. I look up to see the opening of the well, and it is still there. The water is hanging in the middle like magic. Not falling down, moving nevertheless. Just hanging there. I could clearly see the moon as it was few seconds ago, smiling down at me.

I look around me and find a path right ahead. A tunnel with fiery lamps on both sides of the wall as if showing me the way. I stand up and start walking towards it. As I proceed I see that it is about to open up into a bigger ground.

I see an old man with his back turned towards me. I think this is it, the answer to the quest I have just been on. Without giving it a second thought, I head straight towards him overlooking two lions sitting next to him. I had taken them to be statues but they were not. They were real and furious owing to my defiance.

One growls at me. I stop, not knowing what to do. If I were to turn around and run, there was nowhere to go. Before I could react one of them prances at me growling in madness.

Just then I wake up.

Check out more stories from The Dream Book.

Special Thanks to Ashutosh Goel

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