“Is he dead?”
“No. He is alive, but poor soul what happened to him?”
“Did you say he crawled out of the well?”
“It’s true mother. I saw him, he looked like a monster.”
Lucian could hear the voices but he could barely speak or move. He couldn’t even open his eyes to see the people talking about him. Crawling out of the well had taken the last amount of strength that he had left.
“He is breathing.”
Lucian could feel someone touching him, even trying to lift him up.
“Help me! We should take him home and tend to him.”
“We can’t just take a stranger home.”
“Are you suggesting we leave him here to die?”
It was quiet for a moment. “I didn’t think so. Now help me.”
As more hand began to grab him the voices slowly became distant before they disappear completely and he fell into the darkness that he was so used to by now.
Light. Light poked his eyes and forced him to open them. He had to blink several times and rub his eyes before he could see clearly.
Lucian looked around. He didn’t recognize were he was. He found himself in a little room, surrounded by dark wooden walls. To his left there was a small table and a chair, and just right above a small window from which the sunlight peeked through. In front of him stood an empty bookshelf and to his right there was a door and a old cabinet covered with dust.
The bed he lay in could barely fit him. His feet dangled outside the bed and if he tried to turn, he would probably fall down.
Lucian made and attempt to sit up but to no avail. His muscles gave in and he fell back with a groan. Every part of his body ached and he could hear the unsteady rytm of his own heart. Was he going to die? Because it certainly felt like he would.
Lucian closed his eyes. The pain, the tiredness, the confusion was too much and he didn’t have the strength to fight it, so he let the darkness sweep him away once again. After that everything was a blur, he kept falling in and out of consciousness not knowing how many days passed since he came to this place. Sometimes he would hear voices and one day when he woke up he even found a little girl observing him. She had the most innocent eyes he had seen and they widened when she realized he had woken up. Before he could speak to her she had run away.
Another day he could feel someone tending to his wounds. “This man heals very fast.” It was a woman speaking. “I mean he had several injuries over his whole body now all of them are almost healed.”
“Maybe he is the well-monster.” A little girl’s voice whispered.
“There is no such thing sweetheart.” The woman assured. “It’s the dirt that makes him look like this. He could use a bath but he is not waking up.”
“Did you examine his head?” It sounded like an older woman.
“Yes. No injuries there. I wonder why he is not waking up.”
Lucian tried to listen to the rest of the conversation but his frenemy darkness came to take him and he followed obediently. Next time he woke up he was surrounded by people. Strangers.
“You are awake.” A woman to his left said with a smile. “How are you feeling?”
Lucian looked around. A middle aged man, two young girls, a little girl and an old woman stared at him with curiosity.
“How are you feeling?” the woman to his left repeated. He turned his head to look at her. She looked back at him with a frown.
“Maybe he is a foreigner. Maybe he doesn’t understand our language.”
“I am fine.” Lucian replied with a guttural voice.
The woman sighed with a smile. “Thank God. We thought that you were almost dying when you never woke up.”
Lucian just looked at the woman.
“We should probably bring you something to eat.” The woman said nervously when he didn’t reply. Then she nodded toward the others and they left him alone in the room.
Lucian pushed himself up and strangely this time he could sit up without any problem or pain. A strange feeling washed over him, a feeling of energy and power. He felt somehow strong, as if he could do anything he wanted and it scared him a little.
Getting out of bed he looked down at his body. He was covered with dirt and was wearing nothing but a piece of clothes on his lower body. There were no wounds on his body, he had healed completely. The people who tended to him would probably wonder how he could heal so fast and why he didn’t have any scars. What would he tell them?
Before he could think of something the woman came back with a tray of food and laid it on the table. “You should eat something then probably take a bath.” She said turning to him. “I’ll bring you some clothes.” She smiled then left.
Lucian slowly made his way to the table then looked at the food. The first word that came to mind was poison. He was poisoned. Pieces if his memory came back. He remembered being poisoned, stabbed, thrown into a well. He remembered the pain, the physical one, the one of being betrayed and the one of...the one of... something else he couldn’t remember.
He shook his head. He didn’t want to think of all the pain right now. Right now he was hungry so he sat down and began to eat. The whole time he was eating he knew that the little girl was watching him hiding behind the door.
“You can come in if you want.” He said without turning back.
He heard her gasp. She was clearly afraid of him.
He turned around slowly and she peeked from behind the door. “How did you know I was here?” She whispered afraid.
He shrugged his shoulders.
“Are you the well-monster?” She spoke the last word lower than the others as if she was afraid to say it.
“Then why were you inside the well?”
“I fell inside by accident.”
Lucian could feel that she was contemplating whether to believe him or not.
“What’s your name?” He asked.
“Elle, why don’t you come inside.”
She hesitated for a while before slowly walking in, but she kept a good distance between them.
“I am Lucian.” He said extending his hand. Elle stared at his hand for a while then approached him slowly before placing her little hand in his.
Lucian couldn’t help but smile at her. She was a brave one to come near him even though she was very afraid. Lucian knew that she wanted to appear unafraid to him.
“How old are you Elle?”
“Seven.” She drew back her hand and stared at him calculatingly with those innocent brown eyes. “Did you see the well-monster when you fell inside?”
Lucian shook his head.
“Then who hurt you?” Elle asked curiously.
Lucian tried to come up with an answer.
“Elle, don’t bother him with your questions.” The woman from earlier came back with some clothes and put them on the bed. “Why don’t you show him where he can take a bath instead.”
Elle seemed less afraid as she showed him the way. It wasn’t far from their home, but the people staring strangely at him, some even disgusted made it seem like forever.
“Here.” Elle smiled as they arrived.
Lucian looked around was confused. This place looked nothing like a bathroom. In fact it wasn’t a room at all, it was just an outside place with walls.
“You can take water from there.” She said pointing at a pumping faucet. “and you will find scrapers in that box.” She explained then ran away.
“Wait!” but she was already gone.
Lucian was still confused. How was he supposed to bath here? He went the box with the things she called scrapers. Grabbing one he looked at it. How was he supposed to use this? And he had never used a pumping faucet before.
Lucian sighed with frustration when he heard the creaking sound of the door opening. An old man walked inside and began undress.
Lucian observed the man and tried to follow his steps. He filled a bucket with water, took a thing that looked like a stone from one of the boxes to wash himself and the scraper to scrub the dirt off. It was really a strange way to bath Lucian thought as he rinsed off everything with the clean but cold water.
Lastly he dried himself then slid into the new clothes he got from the woman he still didn’t know the name of. When he walked outside he was surprised to find Elle waiting for him. Once she laid eyes on him her mouth fell open and she stared at him wide eyed.
Lucian raised a brow questioningly. Why was she looking at him like that?
“Is something wrong?” He asked.
She shook her head slowly eyes still wide, mouth still open. Lucian decided to ignore her reaction.
“Shall we go back then?”
She nodded and without a word she led the way.
On their way back everyone they passed had the same reaction as Elle. They kept staring at him, following him with their gaze until he was out of sight. Lucian knew this time they were staring with fascination, not with disgust. People were literally ogling him especially the women. Some of them even smiled at him flirtatiously.
Lucian was used to attention, especially from women but he never got this much attention before. It was as if the people got hypnotized by him.
Ignoring everyones attention Lucian followed Elle quietly. When they arrived they entered the small house and found Elle’s family gathered in a circle speaking of something.
“Mother we are back.” Elle informed interrupting their conversation.
As everyone turned to look at them their mouths fell open as well.
“Oh good Lord!”