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                                The Well of Chayah

An excerpt from The Seventh Trail;

As Bisbee walked slowly toward the Well, he became fixated on the bucket. Pergum had never mentioned it in all their time together, and the writings in the willow box were silent concerning it.

“A bucket to fall... That’s what the boy sang.”

Reaching down, Bisbee picked up the rope. Unexpectedly, the rusty hook broke in two, sending the old pail crashing toward the opening of the Well. Bisbee desperately tried to maintain his grip on the rope, but it was too late. The clanging of the bucket, against the inside walls of the Well, sounded like gunfire ringing in his ears. Running to the opening, he placed his hands on the ledge and looked into the Well. It was empty. Only the smell of rotting moss greeted him. The Well appeared to be nothing more than a hole in the ground.

The longer he stood there, the greater his disappointment grew. No mystery beckoned to him from its depths. No life-changing moment occurred as he stared into the hollow abyss. Just vanilla, without the advantage of shaved almonds. At least the wells back in Harness had water in them, he thought. This entire journey was nothing more than a sad hoax. The Well was as worthless as false gold.

Turning away to leave, his legs lost their strength. As he slumped backward, the jagged stones of the Well cut into Bisbee’s back. He stared into the lilacs. None of the stories Pergum had told him were true. Marnin had led him on a wild chase to nowhere. It had all been a lie. And then, a thought occurred to him.

“Marnin’s never led me astray. There must be something I’m missing. There has to be some key to unlock it all.”

He thought back to his night in the Fenimore House. The boy had sung the bucket song over and over again. Looking up at the broken hook dangling over the Well, he began to sing.

“A bucket, a bucket, a bucket to fall. The bucket, the bucket, is not empty at all. See it rise up, and then watch it fall. The bucket, the bucket was not empty at all. Where shall it go and where must it stand? My bucket, my bucket, a useless brass band.

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