Though I’ve never seen a proper, functioning well, with its picturesque ring of stacked stones and attending chapeau, I used to drink water from one at the last house I lived in. I guess it was because of the peculiar feeling of lost time I used to get after I finished brushing my teeth, or the way I’d sometimes perceive an unnatural shadow collecting at the foot of my bed on the nights I’d boiled water, that I was interested in taking the well-water scrying class.
Our instructress for the evening was Maeve Widdershins, a ghost well loved for her sprightly disposition, despite her uncertain status between here and the hereafter. Tonight, her normally bright and verdigris eyes were matte black, and when she began speaking, her characteristic chirrup had been replaced by a guttural whisper:
You will know your double by the way it keeps to the periphery of your vision. It is unlike your shadow because it knows its own mind. It will reveal itself to you in its own time, like a piece of luggage in a darkened hallway reveals itself to be a black cat. When it does, take heed, because a double’s appearance in life only ever has to do with death.
Miss Widdershins’ eyes resumed her usual luster, and oddly, when she returned to her regular self, the scrying class seemed to be well under way. My fellow classmates were already peering into the well and hemming and hawing over the moonlight writhing in the black water. Miss Widdershins herself seemed unaware of her recent auguring and shrieked with delight when one of her students spotted a beckoning hand in the settling water.
My eyebrows furrowed a moment before rising over widening eyes when I espied a distant silhouette about my size and shape at the far end of the field.
[Editor's Note: This is the sixth installment in the "Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference" series. Trace our story's roots by catching up with the first, second, third, fourth and fifth posts.]