This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Once upon a time in a land less far far away than long long ago there was a dried up well, that as legend had it, would trade a wish for one's most valued trinket. This wishing well sat on the border between two of the king’s most honored knights’ land. Sir Caleb Hughes and Sir Warburton Kenly, this however, is not their story. This is the story of their sons, which has long been forgotten, until now. This is a tale of their sons’ adventures, their trials and tribulations and most of all their love.
The young Padraig Kenly with his jet black hair rushed through tall green corn stalks away from his family’s farm. His face was rounded, with a strong jawline that was already showing. He was nine years old. His entire life so far was about becoming a knight just like his father. The boy knew one thing, he was brave. Everything else he could figure out through that.
Padraig dropped a brown sack on the ground. He was a tad bit plump but had the potential to become a strong man. He leaned over the wishing well wall and looked down into the darkness.
“I wish...” he said bluntly, digging into his bag for a trinket. He let his fingers slip, dropping it down the well. Padraig whispered the rest of his wish as quietly as possible.
He sat down on the edge of the well after he finished wishing, crossed his arms and waited. Nothing was happening. He waited, and waited, very impatiently, huffing he grew agitated. He stood back up to lean over the well. He looked down at the darkness of the well again.
“I said I wish...” and again he reached into the bag pulling out another trinket dropping it into the well. He whispered the rest of his words as gently as he could. He sat on the ground against the wall this time, twisting his leather boots around in the dirt and fiddling with his shirt sleeves. Waiting for what seemed to him like hours, still his wish was not fulfilled. He grabbed the bucket and rope from beside the well to set it up.
“You must not have heard me the first two times, do I have to come down there?” He said bravely. The boy put one foot in the bucket grabbed the sack and started to lower himself down into the well.
“I wish...,” He attempted again as he lowered himself.
“I wish...” echoed his voice getting deeper down the well, then he hit the bottom. He twisted his head fast and hit it on the wall letting go of the sack and its contents.
“Ouch.” The well echoed. He had wasted all his energy slowly lowering himself down the well, so when he tried to pull himself back up, he could not. His ego was bruised as his head grew a lump.
“Uhm, I think I change my wish. I wish...” He teased and whispered the rest of his new wish. Again nothing happened.
“Is it because I’m whispering? I wish to be out of this well.” He demanded.
“I wish to be able to fly?” He questioned.
“I wish to go home, how about that, will that work?”
“Fine I give up I wish for help please, please someone help me... it is cold and dark down here. I hit my head, there’s a bit of a lump growing.” And fortunately enough for him another boy about his age was also approaching the well when he heard the wish for help.
“Is someone down there?” The new voice said.
“I am, can you please help me out?”
“Who is I am?”
“My name is Padraig.”
“Hello Padraig, I’m Galloway. I am going to start pulling the rope up, do you have a foot in the bucket?”
In a few pulls of the wishing well rope the boys met face to face. Galloway had eyes so blue they glowed and light blonde hair. His face was thin and long. Galloway was a half a year older than Padraig. Deep within his eyes you could tell within a few seconds that when it came to figuring out the way the world worked, he was already light years ahead of his new friend.
“That lump looks painful.”
“It isn’t so bad, it could have been worse.”
“I think we have met before.” Said Galloway.
“At court, your father is Sir Hughes.”
“And yours is Sir Kenly.”
“Yep that’s my father bravest knight in the kingdom.”
“Brave enough to climb down a wishing well?” Galloway gently mocked.
“Uhm yes but he would have been able to get out too.”
“You got out with some help, you were very brave. How long were you down there for?”
“A few minutes, there are plenty of bugs down there and it’s a bit moist, but you are right I was brave.” Padraig smiled
“I was going to make a wish.”
“I think this well is broken, we will have to find another one.”
“Huh? Wait what did you wish for...?”
“It doesn’t really matter it was something silly.” Padraig said pushing his wish to the back of his mind.
“Alright but promise to tell me one day?” Galloway said.
“As long as I remember and you swear to be my friend and ally.”
“Of course we will be knights together and roam the kingdom saving it from every foe we can.”
“Deal.” Padraig spat on his dirty rope worn hand and extended it to shake Galloway’s. Galloway looked a little bit disgusted but did the same and they shook.
A half a year passed by like a lightning storm.
The boys had grown closer in the time that passed, almost inseparable. Their father’s, Sir Warburton and Sir Caleb, began to take them to the castle. They were set to the task of playing hide and go seek with the king’s daughter Yvonne. She was about five years younger than them. She had tight curly black hair so tight she could never get it into ponytails. The two would always be forced into losing as the princess knew the castle with all its nooks and crannies.
Galloway and Padraig had ruled out most of the castle for this game all they had left to search was the library. Padraig lifted chairs and moved aside tables as an out of place book caught Galloway’s eye. He walked over sweeping his blonde hair out of his face. He felt the spine of the book as Padraig stood closely behind him. Galloway pushed the book fully onto the bookcase. Clicking noises could be heard from beyond the wall. Galloway jumped back as the bookcase swung open. Padraig caught him and stopped him from falling onto the ground. Cobwebs snapped as the void behind the bookcase grew.
Yvonne screamed, popping out from her hiding place. As she passed them they were both met with the coldest wind they had ever known, it was not after them however. She ran like lighting as the boys chased her keeping close. The frigid wind right behind the trio. Hallway after hallway, corridor after corridor she led them right to the king’s throne room. Inside King Charlatte La Rue sat alone looking over some documents. As she ran for her father the gush of cold wind swept in slamming the doors of the room behind Padraig and Galloway. It was so icy cold they could see the blue crystals hanging in its surge. It picked her up for a brief minute holding her in its frigid arms then dropping her. Her mother’s hairbrush came tumbling out of her dress and went skidding across the floor. She cried shivering as King Rue ran to her in terror. That was the last day they were to play with the princess.
To keep themselves from causing any more mischief they asked their father’s to put them to work at the king’s stables. This took up a good chunk of their day from then on out. They would work a hard day cleaning, tending to the horses as well as the riders that came and went.
Another few years passed as the boys became teenagers.
One day when their father’s along with the rest of the knights were out, there was a fire in a hut nearby the stables. Padraig, growing braver and stronger by the day rushed right into the hut as Galloway watched seemingly frozen for a minute. Galloway bolted for the town well yelling for help the whole way there. When he returned with other villagers and buckets of water Padraig was outside. He had saved the family of four.
Galloway led the bucket brigade to put out the smoldering smoking hut. In the end, the hut was still standing, it had been saved along with the lives of two children, their mother, and their great aunt. Galloway took a bucket over to Padraig and helped him wash his face off.
“You could have died you know.” He said
“If I didn’t do something they would have died.”
“True, I didn’t act very fast.”
“You really helped though, I just rushed in, you went to get help. We make a good team.”
“Yes I guess we do,” Galloway said hesitantly.
“I will see you tomorrow Galloway I need to go wash off, my mother will kill me if I show up all ashy to dinner.” Padraig said walking away.
Galloway walked home on his own, thinking over the fire and how he should have acted faster, he should have been braver. The first thought he could think of is that he wanted to run away, that was his instinct.
“But Padraig rushed right in to save people’s lives.” This thought played in his head on repeat.
His father had come home that night in time for dinner. His mother placed hot soup in front of him and his father sat down nearby. They both looked at their son as they ate.
“I heard you and Padraig saved some lives and a house today. You will be knights in no time.” Sir Caleb said.
“How do I become brave?”
“You helped saved someone’s house today, and their lives, you are brave.”
“No I panicked and ran away, not like Padraig, he rushed right in and pulled the family out.”
“Well we are each brave in our own way, and it is up to each person in which manner they will be brave.”
“When did you discover your way to be brave?”
“When I met your mother I found my bravery, she was being held captive by a dragon. She inspired me in a way I had never been inspired. I tricked the dragon into a lake and tied a stone to its tail underwater so that it drowned. She still inspires me to be brave every single day of my life.”
“How old were you?”
“Only a few years older than yourself, sixteen at oldest. Son do not fear you will find your bravery, you will find your strength I promise.” Sir Caleb said, and Galloway went back to eating. His mind was thinking thousands of thoughts a second, which was pretty typical for him. These thoughts all focused on finding courage, finding his way to be brave. He finished eating and went up to his bedroom. He kneeled down by his window so that he could contemplate with the stars.
There it was right in front of him, a way to find courage...
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