Monthly Archives: January 2017

Lake

Below is a rough little something.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

***

Silver water surrounded by massive trees that dropped golden dust; the image haunted her with such foreboding and pain that whenever and wherever it hit Carissa jarred out of sleep or reverie.  But the imaginings were there, stained, behind her eyelids.  She could almost smell the water, the leaves, the moist earth.  

The image itself was serene, so she didn’t understand the fear that came with it.   

“Cari?” asked her friend sitting next to her.  The wooden desk creaked louder than her friend’s whisper and it made a few of the others in the class turn and stare.  

Carissa half-smiled and dropped her eyes.  They turned around.  “It’s okay,” she mumbled to her friend, Tamara.  

She didn’t look convinced, but Carissa fielded her worry and that of Donna’s for the rest of the day. The three of them had been inseparable since elementary school and just now, with this strange scene haunting her, Carissa was uncertain if this closeness was a good thing.  She didn’t know what to say to them when they asked about it over matching lunchboxes and honey greek yogurts with graham cracker crumbs.

“I’m fine,” she said “really.”  But the image stayed with her even as the final bell buzzed over the loud speakers and teenagers streamed into the hallways, voices lifted with mid-afternoon energy born of freedom and relief.  

She was quiet as she mounted her lavender and ivory bike, and her friends’ questions didn’t seem to travel the sharp winds.  The smell of fresh tar made her wrinkle her nose as the three of them turned from the main street to the little neighborhood all of the homes clustered in, under the boughs of large old-growth trees.

As Carissa turned down her own street and waved a hand in route farewell, her friends had finally gotten the point.  They were silent.

Carissa, left with the tangle of her own thoughts and the image of the pond and the fear beating in her chest, pulled her bike into the backyard, locked the gate and began trudging up the long slate walk to the back door.  

On the patio, in front of the glass double doors stood her uncle Hammond.  

She halted before the short stair. “Uncle?”

“Carissa,” he said.  “Happy Birthday.”

“My Birthday was three months ago.”

“No it wasn’t.”  He walked toward her.  No, he prowled.  

Carissa withdrew down the path. The panic rose to choke her throat. The trees in the yard rustled in the wind, and they reminded her of the image.  The vision.  Her skin prickled.  

“What do you want?”

“You are the guardian of the lake.”

“What do you mean?”  But the pond called to her.  It glistened.  It hummed.  Was it truly a lake?

“You always have been.  Your family knows this.  You were borrowed by them.  Now, you must return.”

Carissa turned and ran.  Her fingertips brushed her bike and then Uncle Hammond grabbed her shoulder.  

“Sorry Carissa,” he said.  “I hope the last sixteen years were pleasant for you, but your vacation is over.  You are needed.”

Light surrounded her.  Enveloped her.  Pain.  She screamed, but only silence came from her agony-stretched mouth.

When she opened her eyes she saw the trees overhead and felt the silver waters as if they were part of her.  SHe stretched a hand and stepped up, water coalescing to create her form and falling from her in rivers.  

Yes, it was a lake rather than a pond.  It stretched and stretched.   She felt every inch.  It was her life before that was a dream.  Her friends.  She sank into the water.  Her tears were ripples across the glassy surface.