The Wishing Well Girl
|Genre||Fantasy / Children
|Submitted:||Monday, 6 December 2010
|Read by:||79 different readers
Written in the style of a traditional fairy tale, the story finds a young boy living with his father and step-mother in a small house, deep within a forest. The step-mother has malevolent feelings towards the boy and secretly torments him. He becomes very discouraged after his fatherís continual failure to defend his innocence, so one night decides to run away into the forest. Upon his journey the boy discovers a glade, which is home to a wishing well. Overwhelmed with sadness the boy rests beside it and begins to cry, unaware that his tears are flowing into the well. At that moment a spirit rises forth, taking the form of a little girl whose essence is made of a delicate mist. The boy is alarmed by her appearance, but she soon comforts him and they form an endearing friendship. They dance and play long into the night and as morning approaches they fall asleep together, but when the boy awakes he finds the girl has gone. He later discovers that she is a night spirit, for sunlight transforms her back into the essence of the forest. Upon her departure she whispers to the boy: ďReturn to the well where night shall redeem the tears you bring forth to awaken meĒ He finds new hope in his friendship with the girl and regains the strength to return home. He continues to endure the torment from his step-mother day by day, with the hope in his heart of spending the night with the wishing well girl.
Over the course of the story the boy discovers the beauty and wonders of both friendship and the forest. Eventually the step-mother becomes suspicious, so one night follows the boy into the forest. Remaining well hidden, she witnesses the arrival of the spirit in the glade. She is filled with a dark hatred and returns home to conjure a wicked plan. The following evening she places enchantments on the boy and the father, causing them to fall into a deep sleep. She then intends to kill the boy by setting his room on fire while he sleeps, but not all goes according to plan. The boy is awoken and manages to escape. He is desperate to put the fire out and save his parents, so he runs to the wishing well to fetch water, but the step-mother pursues, determined to kill the boy. In a tragic climax she pushes him down the well. She now believes that all of the fatherís love will be hers, but upon returning finds the house burnt to the ground, with the father still inside. She is inconsolable and runs off into the darkness.
The story ends with the girl and boy, now in spirit form, beside the fatherís bed, calling forth his spirit to join them. It is then revealed that the girl had been the spirit of the boyís birth mother and the family are reunited. The very last image is the family standing between the smoke and embers in the morning light. As the sunlight shines upon them, they slowly rise into the heavens to spend the rest of their days in happiness together.
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