The Water Bearer

The scene that greeted him was not as he remembered.

The pond had shrunk under the hot caress of the sun, leaving a wide margin of thick, black ooze that faded into a lighter, scabby mud. The water huddled in the middle of this was brackish and thick, clotted with water weeds and algae.

Bedraggled cattails slumped against one another on the far end, and even the trees seemed to lean away from the remains of the little pool.

Jim nearly gagged on the stench, a hot, rich miasma of decay, as he stood flabbergasted on the crest of the hill.

But more than that...there was a feeling, Jim told me, a feeling unlike what he had experienced there before. Then, he had felt a seductive atmosphere clinging to the glade; a becalmed, lazy sort of sensuality.

Now, however, all he felt was hurt and betrayal and a lingering, seething layer of resentment. He felt this all in the space of the first few seconds he gazed down at the ruin of the pond.





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