In the garden where I played in the early days, an abandoned well sat in the corner with an empty spring. When we moved into the house, my father had promised my mother that he would cover it. Soon after the move his fate fell ill and we were forced to say goodbye to him. My mother abandoned us for the sitting room on the second floor on the east wing. At his wake, in the traditional way inside of our home, I held my sister's hand, beeswax melting our pain, we watched our mother place her heart onto his chest, pulverizing, particles of light bleeding into his pith.
My sister and I tended to the garden where seeds were sown. A wild brush of ivy began to cover the well. We played there everyday, but I was the only one to hear the ring. I clipped away at the corners of the ivy every time the chime rang. By morning, a new cluster crept and covered the hole.
I hurried out to the garden at twilight, watching the columbine drink the rain. I waited to hear the ring. It slid into my ears, taunting, tickling my drum. After supper for endless nights, I set the dishes and spent the last hour sitting on the benches in the garden. Flipping pages of Frances Burnett, I tried not to listen. Hampered by wonder, I watched pebbled stones fall into the hole.
The silhouette at the bottom spoke in a cold whisper. She said that she wished to touch my hair. She said that she had a bell, one that was heard only by the most fortunate ear. I told her that I had listened for weeks. She said that she knew and that she could not be without my tangled hair. She asked that I lean in, for her voice was too harsh to do more than whisper. I leaned my head in and my lungs filled with myrrh and spearmint and pepper. She reached out a hand. The tips of her fingers were purple and pale. I didn't hesitate. I felt a loss of wind as I entered the tunnel. My head hollowed and her face nestled into my hair as she pulled me, still and swift, underneath the water.
TWW: hamper, pulverize, taunt