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The Painted Lake
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The painted lake
Series Moments in Time - Fable Stories by Ben McQueeney (Teethman, Wes Green)
Writer Wes Green
Chapter Chronology
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From the series of short stories "Fable: Moments in time". I really enjoyed writing this lovely little short story. I hope you do reading it!

The Painted LakeEdit

The night was clear and the stars were shining bright. A light breeze rustled the leaves in the trees around the caravan site. The gypsies had all but gone to sleep and the last glowing embers of their fires were starting to die out. The moon could be seen reflected on the lake in the distance. It looked like the most amazing painting, calm, still and beautiful.

The young boy sat at the foot of the caravan, that he had started to consider his home, stabbing at the little fire with an iron poker. His dog was curled up in his little bed looking at him with unconditional love. As the boy tried to tease out any remianing life from the fire, he heard the woman approach.

“What are you thinking about boy?” the woman said with a warm comforting tone.

“Nothing… I’m just…. Keeping warm…. That’s all.” The boy didn’t look up at the woman standing next to him.

“Something pains you child. I can see it clearly in you.” She knelt down beside the boy and warmed her hands on the fire.

“You don’t see anything.” The boy said abruptly in frustration, poking the fire with increased vigor. His face contorted with anger.

“I see enough child. I know you're thinking about her.” She placed her hand on the boy's shoulder. The boy’s mood relaxed.

“I’m sorry….. It’s just so unfair…. I hate it…. I miss….”

The young boy placed his head in his hands and started to cry. His dog immediately jumped out of his bed and ran over and placed his head in the boy's lap and began wagging his tail, doing all he could to help his young master feel better. The boy stroked the dog's head.

“Thanks boy. You’re a good friend.”

The boy faced the woman, who always seemed to have a soft welcoming feel about her. He would always notice her smell, a mixture of an earthy and sweet aroma. Which he joked a few weeks earlier was “all the smells of the forest combined into one, including the bad ones”. She gently moved her arm from his shoulder and lightly stroked his arm.

“I know how you feel child. Many others wouldn’t have been able to cope with the ordeal that you have gone through. You have a choice on how to deal with it.” The woman moved closer to the boy and placed her arm around him. He could feel the warmth of her embrace.

“I keep having these nightmares. I don’t want to sleep my dreams frighten and remind me.” The boy’s face was muddy and the tears had cleared a path down his cheeks.

“In time you will become strong. You will be able to set things right.” The woman whispered to the boy as she started to rock him gently.

“How? How do you know this?” The boy said getting frustrated again.

“I’m just a little child a frightened pathetic little child. I’m even scared to go to sleep!” The boy closed his eyes and allowed the woman to rock him.

“I know because I see.” The woman whispered softly.

“You don’t though.” the boy said hardly audible as a single tear made its way down his face.

They both sat there beside the fire for a few moments. In the distance the sounds of the nearby forest was the only thing that broke the silence. As they continued to rock back and forth, the woman began to speak again.

“I know because I see. There is a destiny and a path. There is also a horse and a passenger. The horse follows the path, the passenger rides the horse, and the path leads to the destiny. Just like in your daydreams when you return to him filled with rage and vengeance. You are tall and you’re strong and you make all this right. That’s your destiny. How do you think you can reach it?”

The boy hadn’t told anyone about his daydreams. How could the woman know about that? A guess maybe? The woman continued holding him.

“In your nightmares, you see her. You see her face and you can feel her fear. You hear her take her last gasp of breath before her life slips away. Before you get a chance to go to her you feel an explosion of pain in your chest and then you’re falling. You’re falling forever. You feel like that now, like your free-falling, but you are not.”

The boy couldn’t believe how the woman knew exactly what he was experiencing in his nightmares. How could she? She stopped her rocking and firming hugged the boy.

“The path I picked you up off was the beginning of your journey to your destiny. I will lead you down this path, I have seen what happens. I have seen your world and I have seen your legacy. I can lead you back to her. You will save her and you will save us all.” It was at that point the boy realized that woman doesn’t see anything she actually sees everything.

They sat there among the caravans. The breeze had stopped and the fire had gone out. The boy lay there in the woman's arms. He then sat up and faced the woman.

“I’m not scared anymore, I’m going to go bed. Good night” He said it with confidence and authority.

He then got in the caravan and closed the door. The woman sat there for a moment petting the dog. She smiled and then whispered to the trees and stars. “I know you're not.”

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