This is the short story I entered in the Friends of Harrogate Library competition. I have not heard anything, so I’m assuming it did not get anywhere. Hope you enjoy. It is called:
It was one of those moments, when you wake and wonder if you had been dreaming. Then he heard the knock again.
Rap rap rap!
“Hold on a moment” he shouted, as clambered out of bed.
Rap rap rap!
“I’m coming, I’m coming”
He glanced at the clock as he stumbled blindly across the room. It was five thirty am. It must be the milkman. What could he want? He opened the front door. No one was there. Grabbing his torch, he ventured out into garden. Nothing! Not a soul about. He turned and started back to the cottage. It was then he noticed the cellar door was slightly ajar and flapping. “I’ll have to fix that properly in the morning” he said to himself, thinking that it was the door banging that had made the noise.
He went down the eight steps to the cellar, and tried to close the door, but was prevented from doing so by a couple of small pieces of wood fallen against the door frame. He carefully picked them up and cautiously entered the cellar. He never saw the open well. The cover had been lost a long time ago, and had been replaced by a couple of small pieces of wood. He must have fallen about twenty feet before hitting his head, on a piece of wood jutting out from the side of the well, and blacking out.
When he opened his eyes, he realised where he was. The torch was still lit, and he felt lucky that most of the well had been filled in with rubble. Still he was about thirty feet down. The piece of wood that he had hit had his head, was the remnants of a shelf that was used as a priest bolt-hole during the catholic persecution of Elizabeth 1st reign. He had read about it when he bought the place.
He shouted for help, but quickly realised that there was nobody to hear him. He checked his watch. It was six am. There wouldn’t be anyone around until about 9 o’clock he thought. Most people passed the cottage when they went to church. He would try then and in the meantime, would just have to make the best he could. It was not cold this time of year, so apart from the hard uneven ground, he wasn’t too uncomfortable.
He had bought the cottage six months ago, with the intention of renovating it during the weekends, and then letting it out to a professional couple from Leeds or Harrogate. The recession put paid to that, and when Joseph, his boss told him that he was ‘supernumerary’ he realised that the luxury two bedroom apartment in Follifoot would have to go. So he ended up living in the cottage whilst renovating. Being an architect helped, and he was getting some freelance work. Although he was not allowed to contact them, nothing prevented his contacts getting in touch with him.
His head hurt still, but at least it had stopped bleeding. He would have to get it checked out at the hospital when he got rescued. Head bumps can be nasty he remembered. He felt himself drifting off to sleep and as there was nothing else he could do, he did not fight the urge.
He awoke to the sound of a car door banging. He looked at his watch. It was 5 thirty am.
“Help” he shouted “I’m in here. I’ve fallen down the well. Help me.”
Why can’t they hear me? The door is still open. “Please help. Heeeeelp” he screamed. He stood up thinking that his voice would be louder from a standing position,
“Somebody help me please. I’m in the well. I need some help”
He frantically started banging on the wooden shelf, with the torch handle. Rap rap rap.
Rap rap rap
“I’m here” he shouted.
Rap rap rap.
In the distance, he thought he heard a voice shouting “I’m coming, I’m coming”.