It was one of those summer days which you would want to spend outside in the sunlight and fresh air.It was a small town and everyone knew each other and they weren’t scared to let the kids wander off to play. For Jimmy, Peter and Charlie it was another day they got to spent together weaving stories out of thin air and acting out the characters.
They were on their way as soon as they could get out of their homes to spend the day in their favorite spot which was the edge of an abandoned field where all that was left was an old well. Most of the well was covered up so that no one would fall in. The three boys went on with their games. Today’s story was a reenactment of a war scene. Being too young to realize the real horrors of war they just saw it as a time where they got to use, or pretend to use, big guns.
The day went on and it was almost time to go home. The boys laid down on the grass gazing at the sky. Each was lost in his own thought.Peter sat up and said ” Men, We had a great day. Now we’ll leave the guns here as we have won the great war. No more violence”. For any other kid to talk like this would have seemed strange but Peter always talked like a grown up and they were used to it. Jimmy believed that this was the outcome of reading too many books and often said so when his friend started talking too much in his own way.
Charlie, who was still staring up the sky, asked ” What do you think we’ll do when we grow up?” Neither Peter or Jimmy had any answer. This was the first any of them had given actual thought to the question. Charlie answered his own question ” I think I’ll be a pilot and fly big planes. I’ll be up there in the sky and I’ll see new places. What do you think?”.
Jimmy replied that it was a good idea. He looked at his friends and gave his own answer ” I think I’ll still like using big guns when I grow up. They will let me use actual guns! I’ll go join the army like Joe.” The others knew that his big brother Joe was Jimmy hero. Though they both were in awe of Joe, who they thought looked exactly like soldiers in stories, they were a little scared of him.
It was Peter’s turn and he used his usual grown up voice to answer, “I’ll write books. People everywhere will read them and they’ll love it.” Jimmy thought that it wasn’t such a great plan. He’ll never have any adventures but didn’t say so because he knew Peter will always be strange when it came to books.
Charlie sat up quickly and had a look on his face which the others were familiar with. He had some idea which the others will have to take part in without any option of quitting. They had learned long ago that it was useless to argue when Charlie had that look on his face. Charlie began telling them his idea, ” We all know what we want to do so we’ll write it in paper and throw it in the well. We will become what we planned to be”. Jimmy and Peter were silent they were waiting for the rest of the plan. It took them a few seconds to realize Charlie had finished and it surprised them, he usually came up with hare-brained schemes which got all of them into trouble.
Knowing they can’t get into trouble for this they went along with it. Peter always had pen and paper with him in his bag so they wrote down what their dreams jobs on it. Then slipped the pieces of paper into the well and stood there as if waiting for something. They heard someone moving and turned around to find a man standing behind them. They hadn’t seen him come up the ground earlier but at that moment they didn’t wonder about it. He was dressed in a suit and was looking down on them with a smile. He asked them in a strong voice “Were you making a wish?”
Charlie answered him with a simple “Yes”.
The man continued to smile and answered It’s getting dark, shouldn’t you be going home? And don’t worry, your wishes will come true” The kids looked at each other and then picked up their stuff and left. When they looked back the man was still standing there looking at them.
It was fifty years since that day. Peter had come back to visit his childhood town and stopped by the old farm ground. The well was still there. He stood there recollecting memories from the day they dropped the pieces of paper down the well and the strange man they met. That’s when he realized they never bothered to find who the man was. He was never seen again but his words had proven to be true. He, Peter was now an author. Jimmy and Charlie too had their wishes fulfilled. Peter continued to stand there by the well, looking up at the sky that was tinted pink from the setting sun, wondering who the man was.