The Pond

Topic: The Pond, a spooky story written by a good friend of mine who requested me to post it here. As Halloween is approaching, I am more than happy to engage in a little bit of mischief !

Date: October 2020

The pond spooky story

Hello. You found me. Would you like to hear my story?
It isn’t anything extraordinary or uplifting. In fact, it’s kind of sad. Not that I feel that anymore.
Settle down. You can’t leave now. Your breath will have to wait.

I was once like you: young, carefree… Alive. I was the middle child of three. The eternal bumper between my aggravating older brother and my fussy baby sister. We laughed, cried, fought so viciously the bruises would last for days. We lived over that bakery in the middle of town. Life wasn’t particularly hard. Sure, food was sometimes scarce and the yelling at night made it hard to sleep, but we had a roof and clothes. I thought life would always be like this.

My brother would often make up games that took us outside to the woods in the evenings once our chores were all done. Sometimes even before then. We would try fishing in this pond, foraging in the underbrush and cooking at a campfire. Sometimes when the weather wasn’t too bad, and the shouting was too loud, we would escape to our fort for the night.

Ah, I see you are listening now. I’m sure your lungs are burning. It will pass. Just let the bubble go. When I am finished my story, you could tell me yours.
Where was I? Right. The day everything changed…

That day, the shouting started early. My brother didn’t have time to start a game in the woods. He got pulled into the fighting. It was the first time I heard him beg, a sob in his voice. He begged and cried. But when he saw that it was no use, he ordered me to start the game, to get lost in the fog that had rolled in.
And we did. We ran, my hand in my baby sister’s. We ran and tripped and tumbled all the way to the woods. And there we got lost.

Have you ever been to the woods in the fog at twilight? Everything looks different. What am I saying? Of course, you have! That is how you are here now after all.
Ah! There goes your bubble.

Anyways, we wandered, my sister and I, looking for our hideout. We were cold and hungry, hoping with all of our hearts that big brother would be waiting for us at our secret fort. My sister was crying and begging for him to be there. I was no better. But I was older. I had to guide her now.
Suddenly I lost the grip on my sister’s hand. I heard her scream in fright, and then splash! Something fell into the water below. I’m sure you can guess what. I did too.
I scrambled down a bank I could hardly see until my feet met water. Then I dove. I could hardly move; I was so cold. But I had to get her out. I found her – lips blue, clothes too heavy for her – struggling in the water. I don’t remember how I got her out, but I did. I heaved and tugged her to the shore where I pushed her out.
But I was caught in the weeds, numb and tired. I couldn’t get out. I stayed, my own bubble leaving me.

And now you know. You know why the old bakery is haunted by wailing and sobs: my brother warning us to leave. You know why these woods have blue lights on foggy days or at twilight. My sister is searching for us, for our fort. And you now know what they call me. Rusalka. The vengeful pond ghost.
But it isn’t revenge for a lost lover that motivates me. I died too young for that.

No, I protect. I can hear the wails on your skin. I can smell the tears you caused. I will keep you here and you will tell me your story. You will explain to me why. Why I can taste blood on your hands and pain on your boots. Why I can feel the bruises you caused and hear the insults you yelled. And I will know that those you hurt, those you were chasing, will never have to see you again.

I am Rusalka, welcome to my pond.
May you never leave.

Looking for something more cheerful? How about a superhero origin story?

A Spaceship Superhero - A Synthetic Quill story.
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