This story is by Des Sixon and was part of our 2018 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
– The Wishing Well – 879 Words
The town of Springville had a fairy tale Wishing Well and everyone threw a coin in to make a wish. At night a green glow came from the well, said to be from phosphorous in the water. Charlie O’Toole and his friends, Jack Murphy, and Joe O’ Neil played touch-football near the well in the evenings.
One evening Charlie left his friends and wandered over by the well to lie on the grass and gaze at the stars. His thoughts drifted to musing about what he would do if he was wealthy. He decided the first thing he would do was take a holiday in Las Vegas.
His grand holiday would include a party complete with gourmet food, lots of booze and a bevy of glamorous strippers and hookers.
As he was in the middle of the imagined party he saw the green glow coming from the well. Curiosity overcame fear and he looked down into the deep water. He could see a red figure rising to the top then it broke the surface and jumped out.
“Hello, Charlie I would like to have a little talk and make you an offer.”
Charlie recognized him as The Devil, Dante’s Satan, the fallen angel, Lucifer.
“What kind of offer?” he said his voice shaking but half thinking it was just a devil’s costume.
“I know of your wish to go to Las Vegas and I am going to help you get there.”
“What’s in it for you?”
“I have taken a liking to you, Charlie, so this is a freebie.”
“I don’t believe you, you’ll probably want my soul.”
“Let’s let that ride Charlie, I’m going to help you and we’ll talk again further down the road”
“Gotta fo now Charlie.”.
Charlie wondered if he really saw the devil as he disappeared back into the well. He stood in icy silence his face ashen, his body trembling but his soul now at peace.
He would always wonder if the Devil had a hand in his success but whoever was responsible he was now the owner of a large car dealership.
He had also won the award for selling the most cars in the country. The award included a free trip to Las Vegas for him and his top salesmen.
Jack Murphy burst into Charlie’s office to tell him, saying,
“You know what they say in Las Vegas Charlie, my boy?
“No, what do they say?”
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
“What does that mean?”
“You know, Charlie, girls and stuff,” he left Charlie’s office with a wink.
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” Charlie repeated excitedly.
That night Charlie packed his suitcase and retired with his wife, Patty. As he thought about his holiday he looked at her as she lay there in peaceful repose l and innocence.
He woke up in the middle of the night to see the Devil’s face leering at him. The Devil started bobbing up and down like he was playing. Charlie thought he lost his mind when the Devil smiled at him with a quarter-moon toothless smile. But his evil eyes betrayed his smile and penetrated Charlie’s very soul, then he spoke,
“Charlie, I visited your friends and they agreed to let me come along on your Las Vegas trip”.
“Why would you want to come with us?”
“Just to watch the debauchery and then harvest a few souls.”
Charlie now knew he was about to make a deal with the devil and lose his soul.
He looked to heaven praying for release from the devil’s control then heard himself say,
“In the name of God, I denounce you Satan and damn you back into Hell.”
With those words, the Devil slowly faded away, then vanished.
As the Devil departed he was shrieking Charlie’s name over, and over and louder and louder.
Charlie awoke to discover the shrieking was only his alarm clock waking him up.
He got up and made a pot of coffee for his wife, Patty, and himself.
He also vowed to lead a better life and be a family man.
Then his cell phone rang, with Jack Murphy at the other end.
“We’ll meet you at the airport Charlie, Joe O’Neil and I are heading there now.”
I’m not going Jack, as I have a bad feeling about this, and advise you guys to cancel out.”
“No way, Charlie, we’ll be thinkin’ about you as we’re doin’, you know what, and remember,
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Those were his last words before boarding the plane.
A week later Charlie was waiting to pick up his friends late at night at the airport. As their plane was landing a huge gust of wind caused a downdraft and it crashed in the adjacent park. He ran to his car and drove to the crash site near the wishing well using the flames from the aircraft as his guide.
He also saw a green glow from the well and knew the Devil had harvested the souls of Jack Murphy and Joe O’Neil from the smoldering wreckage. When he looked into the well he saw hell’s portal with a neon sign flashing the message,
“What Happens In Hell Stays In Hell”.