Journey | Haunted Lake

I decided to do something new: write a short vignette about the image below, similar in style to Erin Morgenstern’s flax-golden tales (I love them!). The difference? The shorter vignette fits into a larger story, which I will continue to write until the characters tell me I’m done.

Feedback always appreciated.

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Fog covers the lake. You can make out a few things, but they’re just blurred patches in the distance. Even when you try to focus, nothing is all that clear.

That’s how I know Father and Sasha do not see me. I can hear them, but I’m not really sure where they are near the lake. And because I am silent, crouching low, I know I am as close to invisible as I will ever be.

“We can’t stay,” Father says for the fifth time. I hear how he chokes them out, and I know there is something unspoken there: We want to stay. We would stay. We just can’t stay.

“You should,” Sasha replies. Her voice always sounds more forgiving with him; with me it is playful and bright. There’s something soft about their interactions – like love, but not quite.

Is it pity?

“We can’t,” Father says. No one is convinced by this.

“Why not?” Sasha exhales. “What keeps you from staying?”

“Rose,” Father replies. The name brings tears to my eyes, and there is a long silence.

Sasha explodes.

“Rose! Like she’s out there, waiting for you? She left you, Chase. Rose walked away, and no one has seen her. You said yourself there was no sign of her, and no one here’s seen her. Give her up. She already did.”

“No sign of her dead, either,” Father says. “I know she’s out there. Maybe she forgot the way. It wouldn’t be right to Grey. We’re a family.”

“You could be happy here.” Sasha’s words are an ultimatum.

“I never could be, thinking she might still be out there,” Father says.

We leave the next morning. Sasha does not say goodbye.

Fog still covers the lake.

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