Dating : The Pond

h2>Dating : The Pond

Lien Huynh
Red Moon During Night Time by Pedro Figueras on Pexels

There is a legend in the town of The Hollows about a graveyard hidden within the Lurkers Pond. It would rise from the freezing waters every blood moon. If you sneak into the park of the pond at exactly midnight on the night of the red lit sphere in the sky, you will be greeted by the Grim Reaper who guards the water grave. The only way to make it out alive and visit the grave is if you have an acceptable gift for the cloaked guardian and for the ones who have passed.

Not one living soul there was willing to take the chance, but that does not mean anyone outside was the same. One night ago, the moon shone its orange tints in a clear ash black sky. The lonesome black cloak floated a few inches away from the pond’s low tides, like a blanket hanging out to dry on invisible line. Their reflection could not be seen, only the reflection of the blood moon engulfed the pond. The cloak turned around at the sound of boots scraping against the pebbles. The hood of the cloak slipped down from the turn, revealing a floating skull with no lower jaw and a scratch stretched around the frontal lobe and no eyeballs rolling inside the eye sockets.

A young freckled man in a long trench coat with the collar covering his mouth and sheepskin boots strode on the pebble shore. He was embracing a bouquet wrapped in loose news pages.

When he stopped in front of the Grim Reaper, he smiled and said wistfully, “Pleasure to see you again, old friend.”

“Ronald?” The Grim Reaper called out in gravelly. “Is that you, Ronald?”

“It is I, you floating bone sphere.” Ronald joked with his arms spread wide like he was waiting for a hug.

“My head is not round.” The Grim Reaper stated and tilted their head like a confused pup.

“Grimmy, don’t ruin my joke. Give me some credit here.” He laughed heartily that it echoed through the trees and playfully punched the cloak. His fist passed through the fabric like it was thin air. “Now, I got the Ronald special, Rooty-Tooty Elixir.” Ronald pulls out from his trench coat pocket a small bottle the size of his palm. “Grape flavored, just the way you want it.”

The Grim Reaper turned back to face the pond. Ronald walked forward, stood beside the figure, and placed the flowers down behind his feet.

“I’m sorry.” The Grim Reaper said abruptly while Ronald was kneeling down.

“Beg your pardon?”

“I can’t accept your gift.” The Grim Reaper hollowly replied and floated a few feet away from the kneeling man. Ronald stood up and shoved his hands in his pockets, along with the elixir.

“What’d you mean, old friend?” He shouts with a few shivers.

“I can’t accept your gift and allow you into the graveyard.” Though their hollow voice echoed endlessly through the sleeping trees, the Grim Reaper maintained a voice of clarity.

Ronald stood where he was. “Why not?”

The Grim Reaper floated back to Ronald with their skull looking down, like a child about to be punished. “It’s gone.”

Ronald leans in. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

“The graveyard, it’s gone. I can’t raise it if there isn’t anything for me to raise.”

Ronald took a few steps back, tripped over the flowers he brought, and fell on his knees to the ground. The Grim Reaper staggered closely behind. Ronald covered his eyes with his chilling hands and wept. His cries filled the air. The Grim Reaper offered their cloak but Ronald didn’t accept or notice it.

“Winter was the only season we could be together.” Ronald whispered, sinking his bottom to the rock-sprinkled earth below. “That was one of the few words they wrote to me in their journal before they passed away.” His voice brittle and soft spoken while shivering.

The Grim Reaper sat down, resting their chin on the pebbly surface besides Ronald. “Ronald, I’m sorry.”

Ronald looked down at the skull with a solemn smile. “No need to apologize, old friend. But, can you stay here with me for just a moment?”

The Grim Reaper did not reply back, but sat down beside the human in silence until the sunrise.

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