could feel the stares from the other kids and hear the whispers as the bus
bounced along the backwoods road. The driver seemed to be quite adept at guiding
his vehicle into every possible pothole. Finally the boy next to him broke the
a pretty weird house," he said to Jerry. "Did you know that no one has lived
there for over 10 years?"
was stunned. "What are you talking about?"
is your house, right? The one with the blue shutters?"
Jerry said slowly. "What do you mean no one has lived there for years?" His head
was suddenly swimming. The house did not look like it had been abandoned to him.
But why would this kid make up such a story. If it had been vacant for so long,
why hadn't his mom told him?
girl who looked about six or seven years old sitting behind him broke in, "Some
kid died there. Fell down the well and never came back out."
first kid continued, "They say he was playing football with a some of the other
neighborhood kids and just fell in. His parents were so sad they just moved
away. They tried to sell the house, but lots of people feel there's something
too spooky about living in a house where there was such a tragedy. They’re kinda
superstitious about that stuff."
the girl said, "Bobby, tell him about the other kids, about how they all
disappeared one at a time over the next few months."
first kid, Bobby, continued, "Yeah. There were five other boys there that day.
None of them really liked Chris very much. That's the kid's name who lived in
your house, Christopher Pritchard. Anyway, he was kind of a bully. They say that
sometimes kids would play with him just so that he wouldn't pick on them as
much. Lots of other kids tried to get the details from these five guys and they
would never talk about it. The grown ups always told us that they were just too
upset to discuss it. Always seemed like such an exciting story to keep to
yourself. Then, about three months later, the first kid vanished."
was starting to become annoyed. He looked the kid beside him in the eyes and
asked, "Are you kidding me? You expect me to believe that some kid died in a
well in my yard, which by the way, there is no well, and that the house has been
empty since then. Then all the other kids that were with him disappeared. Do I
look like an idiot?" Jerry asked.
jumped in to the conversation and said, "Jerry, there is an old fashioned
well in the backyard."
there is. It's in those bushes in the back corner," Becca countered.
couldn't come up with anything to say. Part of him wished that the story might
be true. This was just the kind of creepy story that 10 year old boys loved.
But, no. Next they would be trying to tell him that his house was haunted.
The spirits of the lost boys still wander the house at night looking for a
soul to take with them to the great beyond. He wasn’t buying what they were
selling, but then again…
had even less interest in going to school now. He was itching to investigate the
backyard. Finally, to his sister, Jerry snapped, "How would you know anything
about a well in the yard?"
answered, "Mom wheeled me out in the yard the other day. Since there are no
sidewalks, she pushed me around back to get a closer look at the trees. When we
got almost to the woods, I saw it. I asked mom to take me over there, but she
said it was off limits and showed me where our well is now. It just looks like a
plastic pipe sticking out of the ground with a metal hat on top."
Bobby went on, "This isn't some kind of joke." An older red haired kid sitting
in front of them shook his head. "After the first guy disappeared, no one
suspected it had anything to do with Chris. But then the youngest one, a 4th
grader turned up missing. Last place anyone saw him, he was headed into the
woods with his dog. That night the dog came home, alone! Now there are only
three left right; and it's a snow day. It’s about three weeks later. Schools are
closed and an ice storm has pulled down the power lines. All the parents are
home from work. So kid number 3, Daniel Patterson went out to get some firewood;
he was never heard from again. Finally, the last two boys’ parents just can't
stand it anymore and they moved out of town. They were brothers and lived in the
house across the street from you, the one with the green swing set in the side
was dumbfounded. There must have been some kind of conspiracy to play a really
nasty trick on the new kid. Who would ever believe such a crazy story? The first
part about the kid falling into the well was one thing, but they were describing
his house as if it had a curse on it. No, Jerry wasn't falling for this story.
He wasn't superstitious, and he definitely wasn't going to look stupid. "I don't
believe a word of this!" he snapped. “What is this; pick on the new kid day? See
what we can get him to believe?" He turned away from Bobby and the girl and just
looked up front. Some of the other kids were looking back at him, but they
weren't laughing. He looked away and tried to just watch out the front window.
Slowly, however, he became aware that even the bus driver was staring at