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Deep in the forest, there is a lake that nobody has seen. Well, at least...they haven't seen it and left alive. How do I know if nobody has left alive, you ask? Well there has only been three people to live after visiting this lake. Me, myself and I. How do you know if it exists then? How do you know I am not just some crazy old bitch that lives in a shack? Well then you go looking for it, but tell me first so I can say goodbye to your sorry ass.
I have been cursed with being the dreaded lake's damned caretaker. Why? Because nobody else wants to do it and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's why! No more questions from you.
Anyhow, this lake, you see, is a lake of souls. Some souls go to the underworld, some go into the sky and may live on, some are trapped here on Earth to forever wander...but this lake, is a lake for murderous people. The people who lived satanic lives filled with rage and disgust, and maybe even a little bit of hurt. The most corrupt and vile souls get delivered to my lake, to forever swim in a circle where no life is able to grow. No fish, no insects. The trees around the bank are just dry wood now. Any animal unlucky enough to walk too close to the edge of the eerie, light blue water gets pulled in, skin melting away the instant it comes in contact with the water. For these souls are always longing to get out of the burning water that picks at their remains. Souls feel pain too. Where do you think the 'heart' is? If a soul didn't feel pain, what use would Hell be?! I am getting a bit off track, my apologies. Where was I? Oh! The point. There may have been one other person who had a death caused not directly by the lake per se.....A boy. You see...this boy and his mother were outcasts. Hated by their village. For what reason? Oh, I do not know, but they were amiable people. Actually, the village who sent them away is right outside of these woods. I believe they were framed. I do not talk to anyone, so I never know their reasons for strolling through my woods. I just wait until they fall death to my lake. Everyone seems to find the lake, perhaps the souls whisper seductive words to the wanderers. Any soul can talk to a person if they are close enough, burrowing their voices deep in the stranger's (victim's) thoughts.
All the souls are anxious to see a human face, because then they may be able to pull themselves out of the water and take a form replacing their place in the lake with another body, to finish their unfinished riot paused by death. Of course, the souls can always wait however long to leave, if they really want to stay in water that feels like fire.
Watching over my woods one evening, I happened to notice a middle-aged woman and her young boy as they stumbled through the piles of leaves on the ground. They managed to encounter upon the only other cabin in these woods besides mine; I may have felt sympathy. May have. They looked so innocent and lost and maybe even a bit terror-stricken.
This small, run-down cabin, in which they made their home, was only their home for a few weeks before the woman's mind seemed to begin to wander. The woman had brought pages, pictures, which she stored under the floorboards, and, while her young son was out hunting, she would stare at them for longer and longer periods of time before returning them to their bleak storage area. The son hunted and cared for his mother, and the mother picked berries and cared for her son. I watched as the mother stumbled upon my lake, but she did not fall in. She seemed as if she was aware of what she was doing when she approached the incandescent, unbroken surface of the water. Staring at the surface that only broke to the taps on the surface from below from angry souls. She knew what this place was. I could say I was quite impressed. She ran back to her son and told him to never look under the floorboards of the cabin and told him she would be back. What her plans were, I will never know.
Whether I have been cursed with agelessness or not, I am still human. Being human, I can only be in one place at once. I chose to stay at the cabin and watch over the boy, because I knew he would not be able to hold the urge in to peek under the rotted, mossy boards.
Unfortunately for me, he waited as patiently as ever for his mother to return. Boring decision I had made. Until a few hours passed and the boy became restless. He began pacing the floor and I could tell he was becoming a bit fretful. He left to look for his mother, she should have been home by now. Oh, and that boy managed to track his mother all the way to the lake, to where her footsteps ended (he had become quite a tracker in the short time they had lived in the woods), and he peered in.
"Hello my son," rang a voice. High and clear. So clear that the boy didn't budge before answering. The face looked so vivid and familiar....her beautiful long hair flowing in the fluorescent light, her flawless skin, and her vast, crystal eyes.
"...M...m...mmm.....mother?" he stammered, "What has become of you?"
"My son, help me, I cannot get out, please, help me. Give me your hand."
The boy reached his hand out for the woman in the water to grab, moaning souls passing her through the water.
"That's right. Mommy loves her son."
"I love you too, mother."
The woman said nothing back and her left eye twitched unnaturally. Something was not right about his "mother."
"Mother...you...." he pulled his hand back and the woman clawed the air.
"You insolent boy! Give me your hand!! Don't you love your mother?! GIVE ME YOUR GODFORSAKEN HAND, SON! HELP ME! MOMMY LOVES HER DAMNED SON! HELP ME!"
He jerked his boy back as the woman jumped at him, but she fell back in the water, contorting her body into disgusted shapes.
Poor, confused little boy. He ran back to the cabin. He did not understand. Where was his mother? That was his mother, yet, it was not. He was so young. He did not understand. He fell to his knees once inside the corroding cabin. Silent tears rolled down his red cheeks. There was something discomforting about the woman's face. It was so dreadfully like his mother's.
He lifted the floorboards of the cabin, and saw what his absent mother had been hiding. Photos? Just photos? He picked them off the dirt ground that laid below the floorboard and flipped through them, hoping he would find one of his mother, so he could remember her face, because he apparently did not. One of his father, one of his grandmother, another of people he did not know. One of his mother and....a twin? His mother looked so elegant and graceful, sitting on a bench in the black and white photo. Was this what she looked like before they had moved to the woods? He could no longer remember. The image of the withering woman in the lake was haunting his mind. It almost sounded as if he could still hear her heinous voice. "Help me.."
The twin sported a black X on her face. Through the ink of the faded X, you could almost see the twin's eyes boring holes into your skin as she stared at you. The boy flipped over the aged photo and read:
"Me and Anna,
Twin electrocuted after gruesome murder of parents and first son, two brothers, uncle, and grandfather."
"Add my sister on that list for killing me," hissed a voice from behind the crouched boy, "and her brat son who wouldn't help me out of a hell hole of acid water. Too bad your poor burning mother won't be here to watch"
That poor little boy, a bloody mess everywhere. I walked into the deserted cabin, but I could not even find his face in the smears of organs. At least he hadn't been tricked to join his mother in the 'hellhole of acid water' for me to look after.