... Coming out of the reminiscences, she found that Jacob had slowed down the car. His car was now approaching slowly to a castle. Stella was transfixed, looking at the castle, with her mouth partly open.
It's the same castle, which once I saw in my dream...
A picture of Gibson coming out of the castle flashed through her mind.
"The same Castle..." the words came out of her partly open mouth.
Stella looked around; the farm around was grown wildly.
"...The same place." She continued.
The car stopped in front of the Castle, Stella and Jacob got down. Jacob carried two torches from the car, one he kept with him and the other he handed over to Stella,
"We’ll need this in"
Jacob headed towards the Castle. In confusion, Stella followed him, fiddling with the torch, still not sure what he was up to.
"Did you come here before?" Stella asked.
"Once... with Gibson." Jacob replied.
"Around 15 days back ... Come this way." Jacob steered her to the well, which was on the right side of the castle, just adjacent to it. As they came to the well, Stella was transfixed again. The scenes once she saw in her dream ran before her eyes, in which she stood at the edge of the exactly similar well, surrounded by the black rocks and boulders. At the same time she remembered a charcoal sketch of a well kept in Gibson's folder.
Jacob took her further ahead to the edge.
"It seems the well is not used for years together. " She figured out, looking at the surrounding.
"This is not a well.." Jacob interrupted.
"Come... look inside" Jacob said taking her still further to the edge. Stella anxiously went to the edge. Jacob leaned over and helped Stella to look in.
"...Will you just focus the torch in...?" She suggested.
Jacob focused the torch in and Stella looked in.
"You will not see anything, other than the dark. ..The villagers here call this well, a black hole." Jacob said.
She asked, looking at him in amazement, " Black hole? ... What is inside this?"
Jacob did not answer, just stepped back two steps. Stella also followed him.
"Now, be ready. ... We have to jump in this black hole. " Jacob said.
"Jump in!... Are you nuts?" Stella said widening her eyes, assuming he was just joking.
Jacob stood besides her, stared her, waiting for her affirmation.
"I hope you are kidding" Stella said reading his expressions.
" I am serious... We have to jump in. Come on. Come with me." Jacob said with equal seriousness.
Jacob pulled her gently towards the well holding her hand. "No... No ... I can’t. " Fearfully, Stella stepped back retracting her hand.
Jacob thought for a while, touching his temple.
"Well, do one thing.. You just wait here. I demonstrate it to you."
Jacob stepped towards the well. Stella unbelievingly stared at him. Jacob looked back, smiled at her and suddenly jumped in the well.
Original Novel By – Sunil Doiphode
English Version By – Mugdha Apte