Just Another Story (short story)

Every one usually has a story they don’t usually share. For me my story has yet to be completed yet one can learn much from reflecting on it. Though I believe I am best to recount my tale I do so not to entertain, the format may appear to be of a myth, it is to bring to light who I am, no longer embracing the shadows…

I walked through the forest, I was tired. The moon hung overhead, beaming its glow and finding its way through the branches, helping me see through the darkness as I waved away the mosquitoes that continued to bombard me. I ran out of water a mile back from where my car broke down. “Just take the shortcut, you’ll get there like an hour earlier than expected.”, so I thought. The branches and leaves crunched as I made my way, pushing away bushes and vines that lay in front of me. It was a good thing it wasn’t a cold night, though I had been walking for about two hours now, I knew for sure I was lost. I reached into my left pocket. I pulled out my cellphone, clicking the power button and seeing the time, 11:40pm. “Great!”, I muttered the word, mad at myself as I knew I was hungry and thirsty, still with no sign of civilization anywhere. I continued walking.

I saw what appeared to be a light in the distance. A soft glow seemed to appear from a clearing that was coming up. I couldn’t tell what time it was as my phone finally had no charge for the past hour. I could notice know what the light was. There was a small lake, the light from the moon reflected on the waters surface. Without hesitation I rushed to the edge to grab a handful. Such sweet delight I thought as I lifted my head after taking huge gulps of freshwater. I didn’t pay mind to the thought of the water not being safe to drink, for some reason I just felt drained, thirsty, exhausted beyond belief.

As I lifted my head I noticed something peculiar on the other side of the lake. There was an old man, standing, looking down at the lake. “Finally some help” I could hear the words escaping my mouth, ” excuse me sir, hello, can you hear me. My car broke down awhile back like a couple of miles due west, I can’t exactly pinpoint the direction, all I know is that it was somewhere along the shortcut to get to the city.”. I talked trying to explain my situation to the old man and walked to greet him. The old man didn’t even flinch, that was odd, most people would jump at the sight of a complete stranger appearing from out of no where, especially within a forest. I etched closer to the old man, He appeared to be quite aged, yet there was something familiar about him, though the night couldn’t help me clearly see him, even with the moon light. “Hello? Sir, my name is David, my car….”, I stopped beside him. The old man seemed to be fixated at something within the water. I reached out to touch his shoulder, “Look David.”, the old man spoke is a raspy voice, slowly lifting his hand and pointing to where he was looking at. I knew and watch too many horror movies to stay and wait for something to happen, yet every part of my being wanted to look to where he was pointing at. I started looking away from the old man’s face to where his finger was pointing to.

Upon the water was the reflection of the old man, I looked for my own only to be left bewildered, it wasn’t there, no other reflection was there, not even the moon’s, yet there was a glow upon the surface of the water. I looked at the old man’s reflection as the water seemed to be moving by ripples. I stood beside the old man, mesmerized now for some reason. After awhile I could see something else in the water, a small boy, I looked up and noticed that there wasn’t anyone but the old man and myself. I looked back and saw the little boy, he seemed to be smiling, but still I couldn’t make out the face, yet he as well seemed familiar. After awhile the lake seemed to come alive with images as if it was a television, I could see the scenery change behind the boy, he was in a playground now, he appeared to be leading a group of kids and shouting, fighting what appeared to be invisible enemies, he seemed happy. Another ripple and the scene changed again, the boy now was surrounded by family, they were all laughing and talking, the boy held a woman close, hugging her and smiling. The ripple came again. The Boy’s face was cold, he didn’t smile, he looked at the woman inside of a casket and looked up at the other woman who was holding his hands.

Ripples.

The boy seemed older, taller, he was talking to an older man and appeared to be watching TV. The boy hugged the older man and waved after awhile as if signifying he was leaving. The water rippled again slowly. The boy held a box of things, he lifted a wallet and a book from the box and hugged it, crying, he looked down. From behind the boy or from the water I could not tell something dark was coming. I could slowly make it out,it appeared to be within the water yet it also seemed to be a part of what I was seeing. A snake rose to the surface and circled around the boy. The snake was black, with pitch black eyes. the water started to get darker everywhere except from where the boy was. The snake stopped, it seemed to catch my gaze, it stuck its tongue out as if sniffing the air and sensing my fear and dove underwater again. I looked at the boy, the boy turned his head towards a dark figure that appeared beside him, he was nodding his head and then after awhile stopped and looked up, a sly grin crept up from the Boy’s face before the lake went completely black.

I looked up at the old man, his gaze still clenched at the reflection I no longer could see. I decided I would break his gaze at least and looked down to see a rock beside my feet. I bent down, picking it and and getting ready to throw it in the water. The old man spoke, “Look David.”, it sounded even more ominous than before and I looked again at the reflection that now seemed to appear.

The boy was no longer a boy, he was a young man, seemed to be in his teens. Something about him seemed off yet i couldn’t clearly see who he was, yet again, I felt like I knew who that was but I couldn’t figure it out. The young man seemed cold, he had no expressions on his face as if he was robot. He carried a binder in his hand with weird symbols and on his left arm were weird markings. I saw the scenes change and the young man was now in front of a group of other teens, they seems to be doing graffiti and I could tell the young man was smoking something as he has it lit up in his mouth while holding a bottle of something and a spray can in the other. Every time the young man smiled and looked around I could feel a cold shiver down my spine.

Ripples.

I could see now what appeared to be the young man sitting on a car, he didn’t have that cold expression anymore, only sadness, he seemed to be looking up at something, then closing his eyes, tears rolled down as his lips were moving as if he was speaking. Ripples started again but this time it seemed more intense, the water started to clear up and I could see the snake again rising from the water. It looked at me as its head finally came out. The scene changed around the snake, passing as flashes, watching the young man grow into a man, finishing what appeared to be high school, passing nights with friends, crying alone as if heartbreaks, and jumping to seeing someone I could clearly make out. It was her. I couldn’t believe it, within the reflection of the water, the woman I loved, my girlfriend, why was she there? I saw her smile and could see the man go to hug her as she came through a door, i saw him hug her outside a movie theater. Ripples again as I now saw the snake advancing towards me. I saw the man, smiling again like he did as the boy, he looked up and pointed to what appeared to be the snake. The old man yelled, “Now David!!!!!”, without realizing it I gripped the rock I still held in hand. The snake slithered ferociously towards me, I slammed the rock at his head. It didn’t have time to lurch itself at me, I seemed to move on my own.

I looked up at the old man, I could start making out why he looked so familiar. I looked at the reflection on the lake as well, it was me… I tried to speak, the old man looked up at me, smiled and started walking away. “Wait, what just happened.” I yelled out still stunned as I also noticed the snake turned to a black ooze that washed away from the ripples the lake now made. “Always follow the light David, no matter how lost you think you are, no matter how dark the road may be, we lose our path at times, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be found, always follow the light, let your heart reveal who you are, and let the truth set you free.”, the old man was speaking as he made his way to the forest, stopping by a tree. “Learn to reflect what you’ve been through to remind you what you’ve been through, though you have seen the darkness you are no longer a part of it, the light is always by your side, remember that. Learn to reflect what you have now as well, it is a blessing. Reflect not only in what is within but learn to reflect that is true, that is love, out. We can see it all within our reflection and so can the world. Take care David….” The old man walked away, disappearing into the forest.

I looked at the lake, I could see my reflection now upon the water. I smiled. I remember, I remember who I am, what I’ve been through, my beliefs, my love, everything. I looked up at the moon and then back from where I came from, I saw a light in the distance through the trees. I stated making my way there. As few minutes flew by I noticed I arrived at the road where my car broke down, “that’s not right I thought.”. There was a tow truck next to my car,” hey you buddy, your car mess up on you?”, a man in his late 40s called out to me as I came out of the forest. “Yes, sir!”, I rushed to greet him, still trying to figure out what transpired moments before. “Can I get a lift to the city, once there I can pull some money out an ATM and pay you.”, I was relieved. “Sure, hop in.” The guy waved at me to get inside as he set my car up to take it with us.

As we drove closer to the city my thoughts raced of what occurred, I told the guy I was lost for a couple of hours and that I came a cross a lake, to my amazement he told me there wasn’t a lake for miles it was all forest stretching out, that I would have had to walk for days for at, he thought I was nuts. I don’t know what I experienced but e message was clear to me. I smiled. I looked at the time in the truck, 12:00am, I chuckled. The guy looked at me funny and pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. I rolled down my window and felt the air brush against my face. I could see the city as we got closer, the lights illuminating the night sky. I looked at the moon . . . . always follow the light. I looked at my phone in my hand as it was charging, it was just turning on and I could feel the vibrations of all the messages and notifications of missed calls from my girlfriend, “oh boy, I’m dead” I dialed her number and could hear it ring. “Hey babe, sorry….” She interrupted me going on a rant how I was ignoring her. I could see myself smiling in the reflection of the side mirror it was another moment I understood my reflection……

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