Everyone’s afraid of the lake. It’s a beautiful lake. You can see the whole world reflected in it. But I guess that’s what they don’t like about it. They see things they don’t think should be there.
There’s the old woman who used to sell trinkets along the promenade. They often see her face watching them from beneath the reeds. But she never tries to hurt anyone. She just likes to watch and watch, with those large absinthe eyes.
Then there’s the kitten with the bite wound to its neck. He’s the one who scares the younger children. He’s always scrabbling to get to the top, pawing at the surface he can’t break. He gets so excited when he sees people. He still loves to play.
I was afraid of the lake too. I didn’t want to go that day, but Max was going to ask me to the prom, I could see it in his eyes, and I already had my little pink dress ready.
But Max wasn’t himself that afternoon. He was as still as the lake’s surface, and colder. Really, I hadn’t thought going to the ice cream parlour with Robbie was a big deal. We were just friends after all. But Max didn’t see it that way. We had a terrible fight. I thought I’d never forget the rage on his face as his hands tightened around my throat.
But that’s all a bad dream now. I still want what I wanted before. I want to go to the prom in my little pink dress. I want to feel like a fairy princess. And I want Max to hold my hand – not the Max from my nightmare, but the old Max, my Max. That was the promise life made to me. And promises are made to be kept.
The people above the surface are afraid of us. There’s really no reason to be. We’re not the other. We’re just like them. It just wasn’t our time to go.
(Image courtesy of Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo)
Written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto prompt: Beneath