The summer morning crept in slowly. Martin didnâ€™t feel any different though, but he felt a strange sense of calamity. He warded off this feeling and said to himself, â€˜I will be conquering the lake in the woods today!â€™
Martin was 17 years old and lived in the village just outside a bustling city. The boys of the village had a strange story about the lake in the woods that was fond only of those who would want to look for the truth. None of those who spoke about the legend of the lake had ever seen it themselves, but the stories were believed to be true.
He came out of the shower with a shiver like never before. He felt as if today was his day, and this shiver was just a sign that heâ€™d make it. Setting out in the open, he was carrying a bag with some fruits and a cross between a harpoon and a spear, for protection as well catching the big fish of the lake. He began walking into the wood, the entry was a bypass from his backyard.
The shadows of the trees blocking the sun were immense and intricate. Martin was amazed by the tranquil he felt in the woods and the constant cacophony of birds chirping making all those different sounds couldnâ€™t make it any worse. He went on with his bag of apples, and the spear in his hand, following the trail he always did. The lake was supposed to be in the heart of the forest, somewhere between the house of the dwarf and the famous old tree. The dwarf was a villager, but he wasnâ€™t welcomed to stay inside the village premises due to his weird antics. Martin passed the dwarfâ€™s house silently, careful not to make too much sound while passing by. He tried to peek inside the window, when he saw no one, but a peculiar sense of touch on his shoulder spooked him. He turned to look around and there was no one. He saw a strange light inside the house, when he spotted a face looking right at him. He took the cue and started walking towards the old tree.
The tree was a huge oak tree whose trunk was carved with letters and symbols by the passing villagers each time they went in search for the lake. It was a mandatory ritual of sorts to put an initial or some symbol to make validate your entry. Martin quickly got his spear up in action and drew up a triangle. He didnâ€™t want to waste much time as the silence grew towards the inner parts of the forest. He took a look to the left, the trees looked as usual. But when he looked to the right, for a moment, the triangle had disappeared. He blinked to check again, and it was back. It is said that the symbol or initials are checked before a person is let to pass. Martin was just being curious.
As he went on, the birds fell silent, but only one crow seemed to caw. The same crow he thought, but the sound was scattered. No fluttering of winds, only cawing. Martin hurried, ushering confidence to himself. He was getting a bit restless now, searching in all directions for the lake. It ought to be somewhere he thought.
Blink. Thud. Silence.
The shadows of the trees were suddenly taken by a light, bright enough to call it divine. Martin woke, to the sight of a serene lake. The perimeter was surrounded by trees and the water clearer than glass. He sat up, trying to process what happened, when it struck him, heâ€™d found the lake!
â€˜Hey! Iâ€™m here! I found the lake! Iâ€™m a hero!â€™ he exclaimed, just as he felt a slight shudder. He lay in the wake of the lake, realizing that he didnâ€™t know how to return, as he never marked anything except the old oak tree.