The Mirrors in the Lake

There was a lake at the edge of the woods

(the same woods I ran away into once, but the other side, and I never made it that far. I ran down our hill and across the street, into the trees. There was a sewer pipe that carried water under the road and down the rocky incline, probably down into the same lake. I was hiding in the sewer drain, listening to the mother screaming at the edge of the forest until I decided to go back, and the father, who never knew what to say, who rarely spoke below an argument, gave me You didn’t pack a bag? You can’t even run away right? which was supposed to make me smile. But I haven’t seen him in 6 years and I’ve moved twice since the last time he had my phone number, so it looks like I finally learned, ha ha.)

and there were mirrors at the bottom of it. On clear nights the moon would reflect off the surface and then again off all the mirrors below. As the wind died down the waning crescent in the sky would explode into a flock of herons flying up through the waves.

There was a group of girls who would come to the lake at night, although no one ever saw them. They would undress in the tall grass and slip down into the water. With a sudden inhalation and quiet splash they would dive down to the bottom, and with sharp little rocks they would scratch their names into the mirrors.

I don’t have a story to tell about it. Just that.