“I don’t think anyone else is going to make it,” Dakota said, kicking the dirt road that was to be the path to a party unlike any seen before.
“You know, that’s cool. Short notice, remote location, it makes sense,” Wallace said, trying to make his sister feel better.
“Still, would have been nice to have shown this to the group,” Dakota waved her hand over the flowing green grass, pebbled road and endless horizon and orange glow of the setting sun, slipping away ever so slowly.
“Hey, do you see that?” Wallace said, one hand raised to block the sun the other pointing to the distance. He started walking toward the object he found so interesting.
“Where are you going?” Dakota asked before seeing the item. “Where did that come from?”
She joined Wallace in his walk.
“How did we miss this before?” They asked in unison, a skill they most commonly used to ‘freak out’ their mutual friends.
Before them, in the middle of a patch of brilliantly green grass under a weeping willow tree, stood a stone well. A bucket connected to a metal chain hanged from a spit ready to be sent downward to retrieve crystal clear water. The siblings had spent the entire day and most of the previous weekend scouting this spot for a mid-summer’s party. They knew the setting backward and forward, but this well had evaded their perception until this very moment when the sun was low and the sky was clear.
“I swear I’ve stood in this exact spot already,” Wallace said.
“Goodness, Wally, do you think?” Dakota almost could not bring herself to say what she was thinking, “do you think it could be a magic wishing well? Like in the movies?”
“I hope not. Those always come with some catch, don’t they? Like a masonry version of an genie who gives you a millions dollars, but it comes from a bank heist,” Wallace was awfully distrusting of something so mundane.
Dakota pulled a coin from her pocket.
“Where did you get physical currency? Why do you have physical currency?” Wallace was awfully confused.
“I’m going to make a wish.” Dakota walked to the side of the well, made up of large rocks glued together by gravity, sticky moss and deteriorating cement, and tossed her coin below.
“That took quite some time to make contact with water,” Wallace noted.
“I wish for happiness for my friends and family!” Dakota shouted into the well. Her voice echoed a few times before silence returned to the cavern.
The siblings heard the plucking of a harp and a voice called up from the well. “Well, golly geez, kiddos, that sure was a nice wish. I’ll do what I can, but no promises. Have a swell day!”
The voice was magical. Pleasant, soothing, and sounded like it came straight from a cigarette commercial in the 1950s.
Dakota and Wallace looked to one another, shocked and hoping more than anything they had another coin.
“I found one! What is this thing?” Wallace asked.
“It’s a dime, dimwit. Toss it in.”
The harp music returned. “Hey kiddos, still here, huh? That’s just swell. What are you wishing for this time?”
“Free cheeseburgers from the Burger Hut for life for both of us!” Wallace shouted.
The mystical voice laughed, “now that’s a good wish! Well done, buckaroos! I’ll see what I can do. Have a swell day!”
Wallace stepped away from the well shaking his head.
“What? What’s wrong?” Dakota asked.
“You see what its doing right? This thing is not a wishing well. We don’t have free burgers in our future. It makes no definite promises and then wishes us a ‘swell’ day? It’s a wishing swell. I’m out of here.”
Dakota’s smile left and she too stepped away from the well. Her confusion grew of the moment grew rapidly. “Wait, wait just one second. You couldn’t identify a dime but you know the difference between a wishing well and a wishing swell?”