The moon was huge and full, surrounded by millions of twinkling lights dotting the black, endless sky. Through gently swaying trees, the orange glow cast strange and wonderfully beautiful shadows upon the damp ground. There was a slight nip in the air as dried leaves danced endlessly to the night songs of the crickets, the frogs adding their baritones. Little wisps of fog swirled lazily upon the icy black surface of the pond. Pussy willows bowed gracefully to one another. Encircling a small opening leading to the water’s edge, the trees of the forest stood tall, protecting it from outsiders.
Suddenly, as if God himself had spread out his arms to quiet all creation, everything went deadly quiet. Not one cricket dared resume its song. Not one tree limb dared to sway. Even the fog, as if suspended in time, now lay still on the water.
The eerie silence was shattered by the distant crunching of dried leaves. The sound grew louder as a dark figure emerged slowly from the blackness, moving steadily into the full light of the moon.
Her faded blue jeans clung tightly to her slender legs, revealing the gentle curve of her young hips and the slight bulge of her small buttocks. A baggy blue sweatshirt hung loosely from her petite shoulders. Her crystal blue eyes, the twinkle of life extinguished, stared into the darkness—deep into the depths of the night.
With her small hands stuffed into the front pocket of her jeans, she slowly crossed the few yards of browning grass. As soon as her white tennis shoe touched the sandy shore, the winds began to howl, catching her long blonde hair. The golden strands, caught in the moonlight, whipped fiercely about her pale face, encircling it with an inferno of fiery red light.
Each tiny step took her closer to the icy black water. A blackness so intense that it swallowed up all the light and life around it. Her tiny foot touched the water’s edge. No ripples. Like stepping into a sea of acid, her foot just seemed to dissolve away.
Faster and faster her heart pulsated. Adrenaline surged. Slowly, the blackness pulled her down. Her heart began to pound in her head, warning her of the danger. She did not falter—drawn forward. Deeper and deeper she went. Louder and louder her heart pounded. She never stopped or even slowed her pace. She was lost . . . consumed by the endless void of night.