I stood on the edge of the well, looking down into the eternal blackness. The place gave me the goosebumps: if I hadn’t lived here my whole life I would have thought it haunted. But then, maybe it was. This was the first time I had ever been to the south tower, after all, and anything could be down inside that well.
I began to move down the moist stone sides of the well, gripping the small ledges that wound around and around and down and down, perhaps forever. The gaps between the grooves in the stone were rather large, and I struggled each time to pull myself over onto the next landing.
Why was I even doing this? I don’t like the dark and I certainly don’t like creepy places. Just because the voices were louder here than anywhere else in the castle didn’t mean anything. I mean, surely they were all in my head? There can’t actually be anything down in this well.
The air was growing thick around me, tasting stale, almost like old bread and cheese. The moisture on the walls was getting thicker, causing my hands to slip. I couldn’t see the top of the well anymore, not the end of the black abyss below me. Perhaps there is no end. Maybe it does go on forever. Then I felt my hands slip from the slimy walls.
I began to fall, the air pushing all around me. I didn’t want to die, I was just curious about the voices. I had been told my entire life to never go inside the tower, but I didn’t listen. Who really does at my age?
I think I was right all along. I must have been falling for hours, and there is still no bottom. I can’t see anything but my worst enemy: the dark. The voices are growing louder, I can make out their words now.
They are saying come to us, your family is in danger. If that much is true, then I should have stayed out of the well! Maybe I could have helped them.
I landed on the bottom of the well with a thud. I didn’t feel any pain and I could move around without incident. Perhaps that is because I already died. Perhaps it is because of magic.
Then I heard the voices again. They were right next to me, whispering in my ear, telling me things that I didn’t want to hear. I wanted to die at that very moment, I wanted to join my ancestors in the great heavens above.
That was when the torches were lit, and I found myself surrounded.
“We’ve been expecting you for some time,” a voice said. “A very, very long time.”