Heritage Time Travel Romance Series Book #3
“Okay, so who is gonna hold the rope?” Jeff asked.
“Wait a minute! Who says you’re going down there?” Dave argued. “I think I should be the one.”
“Why’s that? I’m the one with climbing experience,” Jeff said.
“Yeah, climbing around on rooftops,” Dave barked back.
“Well, I have the safety harness and line and pulley in my truck bed right now so I guess I win,” Jeff countered, trumping any argument Dave might have had in the wings. The testosterone was heavy in the air. I decided I needed to put the kibosh on the direction this conversation was heading.
“No one is going down there,” I insisted raising my voice loudly. “We are simply going to turn on the camera and lower it.”
The four of us stood on the precipice of the black void of the abandoned well, with a pile of old wood and a large concrete disk tossed to the wayside. We had found it about two hundred feet back from the road after I had led the way as we had climbed between the strands of barbed wire and up the barely discernible gravel drive.
The old homestead was completely gone, but as we walked I was replaying the time warp in my head and mentally recalling when I had looked back toward the drive. I could recall standing before the original house, as I described to them the journey Lindy and Coyle had taken, as the others followed along behind me.
Just beyond where the house would have once been and walking in the direction the barn had once stood, we found the well fairly quickly. It was covered by a large concrete slab and it took all four of us and two shovels as levers to get it to slide off the cavernous hole.
The guys were not willing to simply take finding an old well as evidence unless I could find some other traces that would make it indisputable. After an hour of scouring the sites that I felt for sure once held the house and barn, I'd had to give it up. Besides, Allen’s buildings from his 1904 homestead had been razed again at some point after 1981 when I had visited this old farm with my dad.
There was absolutely no sign of any structures. So here we stood, as Dave and Jeff had now decided that the best evidence would be to go down the well and see if they could find any of the girls’ physical remains.
“Risk the camera? Nope! Not happening. We don’t even know how deep it is,” Jeff snapped.
“Hey, it’s my camera and I don’t care if we risk it. You think it’s better to risk one of your lives rather than a three-hundred dollar camera?” I snapped back. “We don’t even need to do that. Let’s just keep looking for remnants of the barn or the house. The house was back that way about a hundred feet.”
“Torie, we’ve been looking for an hour and have found nothing substantial. The only way to know if this is the place is to try and get to the bottom of this well and see if we can find anything. If the girls really are here, we’ll find bones; at least a skull,” Dave said firmly.
“Carrie, help me out here,” I whined. I gave her a wide-eyed silent plea to help me rein in these idiots before it got any more out of hand.
“Let’s grab one of those large rocks over there and drop it down the well,” she said as she pulled out her smart phone. “We can time it and then I can find,” she paused and turned her phone to show us. “Got it—a calculator. I love technology! It states that it’s accurate to within twenty or thirty feet allowing for the variables of the weight of the item being dropped, gravitational pull…yada, yada.”
“Carrie! I wasn’t kidding! No one is going down there,” I said again but as I spoke, Jeff went to grab the rock and Dave fell to his knees beside the hole.
“It’s our best option for being sure we have the right place and proving that your dream really was a warp,” Dave said, and by the tone of his voice I could tell I was going to have an uphill battle to win against the three of them.
“No, I vote to just dangle the camera down there and pull it back up and see if it catches anything,” I said firmly. “None of you are going to put yourselves at risk.”
“Hardly a risk if we are lowered in a harness,” Dave argued. “We can back my truck up and hook the line to the trailer hitch and just lower one of us…”
“No!” I said. “That’s crazy! We have no idea how deep it is. It could be full of water. There could be dangerous gasses. The walls could collapse.”
“Doubtful,” Jeff called as he came back across the scruffy weed-filled farmyard with several rocks in his hands; he was juggling them as he approached. “Okay, let’s do this, and I’m going to be the one to go down,” he corrected Dave. “It’s my harness.”
Carrie sat on the ground near the lip of the well and flexed her index finger at me. “Come on, we need your ears, Torie. We all need to listen for it to hit bottom.”
I resigned myself to accepting the plan and joined the others at the well’s edge and I got goose bumps as I looked down into the pitch blackness. The chill air that wafted out of the depths smelled eerily familiar. I could recall the cool earthy odor as Lindy Smith crashed through the wooden cover. I could even remember the feeling tightening in her middle as she tumbled. That feeling like when you go down the first big hill of a roller coaster and your stomach seems to be dropping out.
“First a smaller one just to see if we hear water because if it’s full of water, then any remains of the girls will be history,” I said with a heavy sigh of resignation.
“I agree,” Dave nodded.
Jeff crouched beside us and took the smallest of the rocks, about the size of a peach, and dropped it down into the inky blackness. We all listened carefully and heard a flinty dry sound as it landed in just seconds.
“No water,” Dave confirmed. “So now a large one and I’ll time it.”
Jeff chose a rock about the size of a brick.
Dave studied his watch for a few moments and then ordered “Now.”
Jeff let it go and the depths returned a loud echoed reverb as it struck bottom.
“About three seconds,” Dave announced and looked at Carrie.
She quickly typed the information into her phone. “Okay, with variance for gravity, weight of the rock, and the time it took for the noise to bounce back it’s roughly two-hundred plus feet.”
“Whoa,” Jeff chuckled and jumped to his feet, slapping his hands together to remove the dust. “Okay, show time."