axayashinoceres: I'm so sorry for the delay!! I was having trouble with the parents about using the internet and stuff! They nearly banned me from using my own laptop... *sigh*

I'm also a newbie in this area so I don't even know if I did the right thing. Anyway, here goes the story! Thanks so much for the reviews everyone! They kept me going even though my parents threatened to keep my laptop from me... I hope to hear from you again!!!!!


"So I'm going back to the old well later and you guys are coming with me," said the young man. And his friends reluctantly agreed. So that afternoon, they met up and went o the old well together. The young man was carrying a bigger, heavier picnic basket. He could see that his friends were really scared.

"If this doesn't work, at least we can have a picnic!" the young man said, thinking it would lighten the mood. Only, it didn't work quite well since his friends only gave uneasy smiles. They really are nervous and now the young man is getting nervous as well.

They finally arrived and everything seemed normal. The reluctant companions breathed a sigh of relief. But the young man spotted the picnic basket he left by the well. It was empty of the leftovers he left. His friends, sensing his distress and apparent tension, looked at him and asked what was wrong. He pointed to the picnic basket.

"I left that here yesterday. It wasn't empty."

"Well, it's empty now," a friend said.

"Maybe someone ate the contents," one tentatively offered.

"I left that for the girl to eat. But maybe someone else ate it, leaving her no choice," said the young man.

The five of them looked among themselves and the four gave an exasperated sigh. "But you said she isn't exactly here. How could she eat the contents?" the boldest of the group asked the young man. But the young man was busy, frantically calling the girl.

"Miss? Miss! If you can hear me, please answer!" but there was no response. Only nature made itself heard.

"Forget it! It seems it won't work unless you're alone." Then they all froze. There was a slight noise. And then they heard it. They heard the girl's sweet voice. She was calling out to the young man. And it was getting louder and clearer.

"Wait! Don't go!" the voice said. The young man's friends were stupefied. The voice was sweet and innocent. But they were afraid of what this spirit girl can do.

"I thought you wouldn't answer me. We've been waiting for you," the young man said, to assure the girl that they haven't left.

"We?" said she, puzzled. "Who's 'we'? You're not alone?"

"No. My friends came with me. You can't see them?"

"No. I can't – wait!" she exclaimed suddenly.

"What is it?" asked the young man worriedly.

"Is she mad?" whispered his friend from behind.

"No. Of course not! Why would she be?" he assured them. But it didn't seem to work.

"Are you still there?" asked the girl.

"Yes. What happened?"

"It's just that, I saw you and your friends. Though, it was just for a moment."

"I see. Was it alright that I brought them over?"

"Yes. Wait. Can they hear me?" a tremor of something shook her voice. The young man looked to his friends and pleaded them with his eyes.

"Yes, we can hear. You have a very lovely voice," one of them, the boldest, answered her. At first, there was no reaction. And he was beginning to feel uncomfortable, when they heard her giggle. It was soft and pleasant to hear, like wind chimes tinkling. In the end, he admitted to himself that, in hearing that laughter, something inside him grew warm. And it felt great. He wasn't scared anymore. And he smiled, a soft, genuine smile, which surprised everyone into gasping. So he laughed sheepishly.

"She's not so bad," he said by way of explanation.

"Why, thank you!" the girl cheerfully said, obviously pleased.

"By the way," the young man interrupted. "I have something to ask you," he said to the girl. "Did someone come here after I left you last time?"

"No. Why?" queried the girl.

"Remember the picnic basket I left? It's empty now."

"Oh!" she giggled. "That was me. Thank you for the food, although the tea got cold."

The young man was baffled! "You mean you managed to get hold of the basket?"

"Yes. I don't know how, though."

"Can you tell us what transpired since my friend here left you yesterday?" the old one said, feeling worried.

"I'll tell, once you tell me your name," she replied.

"Robert. My name is Robert."

"Nice to meet you, Robert." And so it went; the telling of her experience as of last night. Soon enough, the remaining four became friends with her, no longer afraid. She spoke so sincerely, it could reach everyone's hearts. One by one, they introduced themselves. Their identities are no longer unknown – except for the young man and the girl.

After a while, pleasantries done exchanging, the reality of the phenomenon that occurred last night has finally sunk in. and the young man commented, "I see," definitely still pondering it in his mind.

"I don't know if it'll happen again, though. But please, don't cancel your picnic plans on my account. I'd feel guilty."

"Well… we'll just leave you your share just in case. Good enough?" the young man insisted.

"Better," she conceded, albeit reluctantly. As long as it makes the young man drop the subject. "So Robert, I know that you are his friends. But what made you decide to come with him here and visit me?"

"Actually," Robert began. "We were forced to come with our friend here," they looked ashamed.

"Oh dear," the girl said in a monotone

"Oh! But after we met you we're glad we came, right guys?" Robert immediately tried to smooth it out. And the young man's friends nodded vigorously. They didn't want her feelings hurt.

That seemed to do the trick. The next thing she aid confirmed her better state of mood. "That is good! Being forced to come, and not being pleased about it for the rest of the day would have saddened anyone."

"Well, enough on the dreary subject!" interceded the young man.

"I'll say. The weather is too good this afternoon. We should enjoy it before nightfall," agreed the youth whose name is Peter.

"Now that-," added another youth named Tom. "- is a good idea considering you proposed it Peter," followed by a snicker. Peter huffed indignantly which made the others laugh. Of course, the young girl laughed with them as well. And after they settled down, the younger girl curiously asked.

"So," she started. "What's so funny?"

The men only stood in stunned silence. If they knew where to look, they would have sent her incredulous looks. As it is, it so happens that at that moment, the young girl was again given the chance to see the other side. Therefore, she caught their expressions and asked, "What?"

And right after, she giggled almost uncontrollably. That seemed to have snapped the others from their shock-induced daze. The young man then tentatively asked her.

"Miss, did you know why we laughed before?"

"No idea. But your expressions sure were funny!" she gasped out and promptly had another bout of laughing fits.

"You mean you saw us!?" Jonathan asked quickly.

"I see you still," the young girl said, recovered from her laughing fit.

"Anyway," Robert got back to their earlier discussion. "We were laughing because Peter never proposed a brilliant idea before now."

"Oh, I see. My, I guess that would cause laughter. I understand now, thank you, Robert," said she. "Although I must say, you look quite dashing," she added, causing the man in question to blush.

"Too bad we can't see your face, Miss. For I am sure the only reason Peter had a good idea is because of the presence of a girl," spoke Tom.

"Nonsense, Tom. But my, I never imagined you to look like that. I'm sure you're the only one who can pull off wearing green and blue!" said the girl upon seeing the guy who moved, clad in blue and green, which she identified as Tom through his voice.

Tom's mouth split into a wide grin, chest puffing out in pride. "What can I say, I have fashion sense unlike the others here," he gloated, sweeping his friends a glance with a brow raised.

"Anyway, enough of that. Why don't we take a seat by the well? We've been standing for a while now," interceded the young man still unnamed, ever the peacemaker.

"Might as well," said Robert. "The tree about two meters away is big enough that the spread out branches shade encompassing the area where the well is. Let's sit by the well."

"Uh, beg your pardon Robert," said Peter. "Can you run that by me again? I couldn't quite grasp it the first time."

"Oh," Jonathan, the fourth and the last of the young man's friends groaned out. "Doesn't matter what Robert said, Pete. You know how he rumbles intelligently," and Jon, as his friends call him, took to pushing Peter to where the others were awaiting them, already seated with their backs rested on the old well.

"For the record," the young girl addressed Peter. "I think Robert said that the big old tree over there has very long branches, enough to shade you here by the well."

"Oh, I get it. Thanks Miss!" thanked Peter.

"What do we do? Eat then talk then play? Eat while talking then play? Play the eat and talk? Talk –" Jon was cut off.

"We get it, Jon! If you could be quiet for a second, let's ask our lady guest," said the young man in exasperation. The young girl only looked on at the friends' banter.

"It's okay with me if you eat first," the girl said. "We can talk while you eat. I would love to learn more about you! Besides, I can't exactly play with you, can I?"

"Oh," was the only thing that came out of Jon's mouth.

"Really smooth, Jon," Robert said sarcastically. All of them heard the sad, wistful tone in the young girl's voice.

The young man smoothed out the big blanket he brought, and began setting the food and drinks. They were talking jovially, laughing at jokes and at the young girl's inability to understand jokes. They were much too comfortable to play any physical games. The soothing warmth of the afternoon sun and the refreshing breeze was enough to lull all of them to sleep, including the young girl. The young man would've been glad if he had seen that the girl fell asleep with a happy smile on her lips.


axayashinoceres: Well, there you have it! I don't know if you'll like this chapter though. Personally, I felt something akin to unsatisfaction after I reread it. By all means, be the judge.