Beware The Lake

Beware The Lake by Frasier Armitage

I walked for miles through the glade
And went so far, I lost my way
But found a clearing, where I lay
Below a weeping willow’s shade.

Reclining on the grass I lazed
To gaze across a crystal lake
Which shimmered in a gleaming jade
Where mountains met the sweeping bay.

The chipper sound of birdsong came
In echoes down the valley plain
To greet me in a sweet refrain
As idly I lay by the lake.

But on the shore where I remained
Were footsteps in some monstrous shape.
The lapping tide caused them to fade
And disappear without a trace.

I rubbed my eyelids in dismay
Believing I’d made some mistake.
No creature could such footprints make
Of frightful size and wicked gait.

Was I alone there by the lake?
Or did a monster lurk in wait
Abiding in some secret place
And biding time to stalk its prey?

Afraid that I may be too late
I stood and turned to ascertain
The danger, but saw none and stayed
Alone beside the crystal lake.

The sun beat down its mighty rays,
And swooning, to the shore I strayed
To sip the water that I craved,
The fury of my thirst to tame.

So kneeling down with bended frame
My head I bowed and neck I craned,
With open mouth I might partake
To find refreshment, but in vain

For as I neared the water’s face
A voice rang out as clear as day,
And in the breeze I heard it say
“Drink not the water from the lake!”

The words caused me to hesitate
And so I stood and stepped away.
But meditatively I weighed
The warning ’til my mind was made.

I waded in, up to my waist.
I heard the voice call out the same
But this time, little heed I paid
For where’s the harm in just a taste?

No sooner had the water grazed
My lips, the ground began to quake
And bubbling up, a foaming spray
Now burst in one gigantic wave.

It crashed on me, my body swayed
As I was pulled into the fray.
A downpour lashing like the rain
Was set on me with deadly aim.

I staggered to the shore amazed
That I’d survived, though I was dazed
And felt myself begin to faint
So closed my eyes and slipped away.

***

The next I know, I start to wake
And rise from where I sleeping ache.
But on my feet, I feel strange
And stumble in my weakened state

To peer into the water’s frame.
The image that I see portrayed
Reflected as the waters wane
Is full of horror, full of pain

For what I see is not my face
But something ghastly takes its place.
The water has affected change
A monster have I been remade

With sharpened claws and fearsome mane
And wild, burning eyes aflame.
A sight repulsive and depraved
And I am trapped inside this cage.

Transformed, I cannot bear the shame.
Into the water’s depths I wade
To bathe in sorrowful malaise
And roam the deep, my new domain.

But left behind, my footprints take
A grotesque form, a monstrous shape,
And calling out, my voice I raise
“Drink not the water from the lake!”

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About the Author

  1. Avatar Frasier Armitage (1 story )

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    I write science fiction, which is another way of saying I'm a total geek who spends far too much time scribbling about things that are impossible. I won the 'Matthew Cross Writing Contest' twice, and Matthew has featured my short stories on his website. I've also been included in an anthology released by an indie publisher to raise money for the Dyspraxia Foundation.

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