Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: THE LEGEND OF BLACK LAKE
By Kevin Rodgers
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The lake is frequented constantly. Every day more and more find themselves standing on its sandy shores, marveling at its pristine beauty. Serenity boasts in its reign, as the lakeís surface reflects its surroundings like an unblemished mirror.
The tranquil presence is more than enough for one to question the lakeís name. ĎBlack Lakeí seems a very ironic name for such a clear and calm body of water. Actually, it isnít its given name at all, but has become known as such by the locals. Legend has it; it is inhabited by an evil curse that has held it firmly in its grasp for many centuries. Though, upon seeing the waterís crystal hue, most pass the evilís presence off as merely a myth.
No one ever comes to swim; just to sight see. After they arrive, one by one, they are pulled closer to the waterís edge by the overwhelming temptations the peaceful lake exhumes. The lake seems to silently call to the watching tourists in subtle ways unique to each one. It whispers with more and more urgency, luring each one farther and farther from the safety of the shores. Eventually, each and every one succumbs to the call without fail. The power of temptation is much too strong for any one of them to withstand.
One by one, they enter the glistening water, feeling the refreshing coolness against their skin. Their bodies seem to become rejuvenated as they frolic about in the inviting waters. Unbeknownst to them, the second they entered, the lakeís evil inhabitants immediately clenched hold of their lives.
They submerge beneath the peaceful surface, as the urge to dive deeper consumes them. Moments later, they become aware of the evil that lurks below as the transparency of the surface is absorbed into the murky depths of the eerie lake. Visibility completely diminishes as the evil makes its presence know to its captives.
Panic replaces peacefulness. Serenity relinquishes its throne to the mayhem that ensues directly beneath the surface of Black Lake. Each victim struggles to free itself from the grasp of the evil assailants. One by one, they retreat to the surface, calling out for help. Some call out to the buoys that bob to and fro. Some call out to the man-made statues that have been sporadically built along the shore. Their calls go unanswered. The stubborn ones call out to no one, for they feel they possess the ability to free themselves from their predators.
Each of these is snatched back into the dangers of the deep, as the evil tightens its grip on its prey. The evil rejoices at the incompetence and weaknesses of each victim it conquers. The ease at which the evil successfully lures in each of its unsuspecting prey brings forth a mocking laughter that echoes through the filthy, muddy water.
While the chaos erupts below, there are a small number whose calls are heard. They do not call to the buoys or the statues for help; they call out to the land lordís Son. The Son patrols the water, as He maneuvers His boat throughout the vast sparkling surface, listening for those who call His name; and mourning for those who donít.
The Son is the only one to have ever conquered the evil that resides in Black Lake; therefore, He is the only one able to save another from it. He listens closely to the calls that ring forth; though numerous and far apart, He hears each one clearly.
Only those who call on the Son for help get saved from the murky water. The Son grabs each one and gently places them by His side. The tears flowing from His eyes, along with the smile that stretches His face, show signs of the joy He feels from saving His friends from the devilish evil that has consumed His fatherís lake.
The boat docks, as one by one, the survivors hug the Son and thank Him for His kindness. He then places each one back onto the safe shore, as He heads out to answer more calls.
Black Lake whispers to the survivors, urging them closer and closer to the waterís edge. And once again, they willfully wade into the cool refreshing water.
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