Step Inside

August 10, 2008
By Angela Arthur, Lowville, NY

The gray, overcast sky had little forgiveness for all those underneath. The country of Varinthias lay below; its fields of emerald bowed and swayed in the breeze of the upcoming storm. In one of the fields was a pond that gave way to all things unimaginable. Its depths of mercury shed no light as to what lay below the surface. The pond was secluded, away from everything and everyone…perhaps for the right reasons.

As unusual as it was, no trees grew around the pond, or even close to it. There were no streams that flowed in or out of the pond. This pond was isolated from any and every water source, besides its own. As secluded as it was though, it couldn’t forget the day it met her.

A lone traveler, who had been voyaging by night, had wandered from the road that ran along the edge of the fields. The traveler was frightened; there were no stars out let alone the moon, the darkness robbing her of her vision. She was shivering as she stumbled through the dark atmosphere and grass, despite how pleasantly warm it was that night. The girl didn’t know where she was yet she was too afraid to just stand still. She glanced behind, paranoia clawing at her heart. Her foot suddenly met something wet, and she jumped back startled. Slowly she slid out her foot until her toes had water lapping and pooling around them. With her rudimentary knowledge of the landscape, she figured she had just come across a puddle. A bit calmer, she took a step forward.

Her feet never found the ground.

She sank miserably into the depths of the mercury, arms flailing wildly as the water seeped over her head. The girl kicked and clawed for the surface, but the water ate her too fast. Her hands never found the surface and she sank down deep inside the bowels of the earth. The pressure was so great she couldn’t move and she gave up on struggling for her life.

Several small bubbles burst at the surface of the water where the traveler had sunk. A few small ripples danced across the pond before the surface was as calm and as still as glass.

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