Beware the Waters, says the sign that blocks the dirt road. The road, winding down to a lake, overgrown and under-kept, lay abandoned for many years. Hollowed lake houses stand withered, their owners vanishing from reality. Nobody can say the exact reason why, but everybody knows to steer clear of Aquarius Lake.
Beware the Waters, say the elders to the naive youth. They frolic and play dangerously close to the chain link fence. The children hear the warning, and they obey, as they trust the knowledge of their elders. They do not know why they listen, but they know to be good, they must be obedient.
Beware the Waters, Ruthie grew up hearing these words. When she was young, these words were to never be disobeyed, as she feared the consequences. As she grew older, the meaning began to fade. At sixteen years old Ruthie’s curiosity led to rebellion, and no longer did she care to be ‘obedient’ and ‘good’. She wanted to know the truth behind the lore, and the concept of consequence would not stand in her way.
And so one early morning, as the sun just began to rise, long before any of the elders had woken up, Ruthie set out to investigate the waters.
She climbs the fence and treks the trail downhill, following the signs. This Way to Aquarius Lake! The trail, barely visible, has been untouched by man for many years. While only being just less than a mile away from civilization, the bosky calamity that surrounds Aquarius Lake almost looks to be in a world of its own. Mother nature reclaiming what is rightfully hers.
Beware the Waters, the voice inside her head says, but she ignores it. Ruthie stands over the crystal clear waters of Aquarius Lake. The gentle waves look calm and inviting, shimmering underneath the fresh rays of sunlight.
Beware the Waters, the ghosts of past elders whisper like the wind through the trees as Ruthie flirted with temptation. In a hypnotic daze, she wanders into the glimmering pool. The water was warm and refreshing, as Ruthie unwinds after her almost mile long hike. The crystal waters wash Ruthie clean, she feels pure, as if she had been rebirthed. How could something so forbidden feel so good? Rebellion feels good.
She notices, at the very bottom of the lake, something shining almost brighter than the sun itself. Her soul feels drawn to the enigma as she curiously swims underneath to investigate. She swims and swims for what seems like forever. Suddenly, she finds herself swimming back up to the surface. Only she is not surrounded by the bosky calamity that was Aquarius Lake, she is surrounded by absolute nothingness.
The world around her, or lack thereof, is simply white. A bright, burning white that shines through Ruthie’s eyelids as the deafening silence rings through her eardrums. All of the vibrant colors, succulent textures, sensational smells and harmonious tunes of the world all vanish as the lake slowly evaporates back into reality. Ruthie panics as she enters the void. She runs, but she goes nowhere. She speaks, but she says nothing. She lives, but she is not real. Forever alone in eternal nothingness.
Ruthie no longer exists.
Credit : Tabitha Lucius
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