Ring Around The Rosie — Fiction
The grass was thick, deep green, and soft to the touch. The trees were tall, their branches swaying in the breeze. Light pushed it’s way through the thick foliage and danced over top of the pond that was hidden below. A quiet meadow. It was the kind of place you could sit, and swear you were the last person on Earth.
Laughter came cutting through the air. A little girl’s giggle; bubbly, and happy. She came bouncing up to the pond, her feet bare and dirty. Kneeling down she peered at her reflection in the pond, light reflecting off the water, making her skin glow. Little tendrils of her dark hair fell forward and lightly touched the water. Reaching her tiny hand out for her mirrored image, a smile began to appear on her sweet face. Each movement so slow and calm, it was as if you were watching a moment captured in time. Suddenly, she slammed her hand into the water violently; splashing and squealing with delight. The act stood out in contrast to the serene environment.
She stood up and looked around. Slowly scanning the surroundings, searching for something. She sighed, as if bored. Humming to herself, carefully placing one foot in front of the other, she began walking around the edge of the pond. She stopped and looked down at the water, smiling, as if she knew the punchline to an untold joke. Her tiny feet hit the water and she hesitated. The water was shockingly cool. Continuing her walk into the pond, she kept a steady pace. Farther and farther until the water was just above her knees. Her white dress soaked and clinging to her thighs. Brow furrowed, mouth set and eyes focused on the water ahead of her, she continued. As the water got to her shoulders, she stopped to look down at the reflection of her face, her eyes locked with the eyes gazing back at her. A silent conversation between her mirrored image and herself. It seemed to be a hostile debate, and it was hard to say who was winning.
“I hate you,” she whispered, there was that smirk again.
She flung her head into the water, her body completely submerged, she began swimming underneath the glassy surface. She grabbed the slippery plants below, ripping them out of the mud they grew in. Leaving a trail of uprooted plant life floating in the water behind her as she swam along. Looking at the pond from the surface, everything was tranquil and quiet; untouched by the little girl under the water.
The quiet was broken again by the sound of splashing. Face down in the water with her arms and legs thrashing around her, the little girl appeared to be fighting an invisible force to come up for air. The eerie sight continued for several minutes until suddenly the water stilled. Bubbles rose to the surface of the dark water, and then all was quiet. She was still face down in the water with arms and legs fully extended, white dress completely soaked acting as a thin transparent veil on her skin, and her black hair like thick snakes floating lifelessly in the water. Everything about that once beautiful meadow seemed tainted. The breeze whistling through the trees, the blades of grass twitching, even the light seeping through in golden beams- all seemed ominous, and to spotlight the lifeless body drifting closer to the shore of the pond.
Her little hand brushed against the dirt of the shoreline. Suddenly, her torso rose up and the little girl leaned forward, knees and hands deep in the mud. Her hair fell in front of her face like a long black curtain, a small dirty hand reached up and pulled back one side of the curtain. Lashes wet, and clumpy, face splotched, and lips blue. She slowly stood and stepped out of the water. Her dress clinging to her body, she grabbed the hem and tried to ring it out, the water puddling around her feet. Straightening up and rubbing her arms for warmth, she looked around the meadow, teeth chattering. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Opening her eyes, she smiled and began to skip out of the meadow, singing “…ashes ashes…we all fall down..”