Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2278133-The-Lake
by JJR2
Rated: E · Draft · Sci-fi · #2278133
A very short short story. A dream I had one night about an impossible event in forever.
The Lake

by J.J. Robinson


I’m standing ankle-deep in the unmoving, featureless, mirrored surface of the lake,
despite the incredible, impossible cold.

My friend is nearby. He is lying at the edge of the lake, almost submerged despite the
cold. I feel I should warn him about the danger of the cold, but there is no sound here.

I don’t quite remember why there is no sound.

There is light, which is also impossible. Why? I look up, and the sky flickers from
impossible white to faintly blue, then white again.

They are some distance away. A family, I think. Woman, man, and small child. He is
fishing, with an impossible rod and reel. The hookless end of the line strikes the surface
in a monotonous rhythm, over and over, although his hands never move. There are no
ripples when it strikes, only a small pit in the surface of the lake.

I look at my hands. I am like the others---our unprotected flesh impossibly brilliant
white, wading at the edge of a gelid sea.

Something is horribly wrong. I just don’t remember what it is. It has been horribly
wrong for so long....

The sky flickers to impossible blackness. I remember now, that there were once points of
light---stars---there, a very long time ago.

There is impossible light again, and the fisherman falls. He disappears into the lake and
does not come back. There is a terror in me that makes me want to stay where I am, but
my friend moves toward the family, to the place where the man sank away. I follow.

When my friend disappears as well, I follow.

The bodies! Uncountable millions, packed together on the bottom of the shallow sea....!
Horror floods over me again, as I begin to remember....

I am standing ankle-deep in the surface at the edge of the lake. My friend does not
return, however, and I don’t remember why. The sky is becoming dim. The woman and
child weep noiselessly, and I remember. There is no longer any air. There are no longer
any stars.

Then it is impossibly black again, and it stays that way. I remember. I am in my place
again, under the impossibly cold lake. There is nothing, a darkness so black that the six
others stacked next to me could as well be in other Universes, beyond reach. There is no
sleep, no rest, no further pause in the knowing....

It is black, because even the collected noiseless screams of a million million minds
wrenched with measureless horror cannot sustain the impossible light for more than an
instant, an inconsequential, temporal flash, in an eternity of abyssal blackness.

Cold and black and eternal, with only the flickering, tattered remnants of our failing
dreams between us and the full realization of Hell. If we had known....

...that even the impossible cold would not be enough.

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