Written By Atishaya Gupta (Grade 7)
I walked out, a putrid smell lingering over my nose. A dead plant bowed to me as I tread over the perfectly shaped, ball-like pellets of fruit. I gazed upon the tall skyscraper – like trees, their lush green leaves happily dancing forth. The eerie sound of ‘creeeak!’ rang out from the swing breaking the deafening silence that hung around, as heavy as a stone over Jefferson Park.
It was just another day for me and the park, as I slumped on a broken bench, twiddling my thumbs as I looked at the first drops of starlight. I let out a heavy sigh and walked over the expanse of water or the as the residents called it, the Lake. It was surrounded by a titanic pile of garbage and slimy creatures. It was home to an exotic variety of slugs that would have kept ecologists ogling over it. The lake itself, was dark and murky, covered with a jet-black covering on the top. It was at least a 100 ft deep and 50 ft wide, making it by no means a typical small lake, you might find at a normal park. It carried a sense of loyal foreboding and the waters calmly whispered to each other. The atmosphere was taut as if every stone knew that there was a human presence there.
I shuddered, thinking of the murky, deep, and dark creatures below. Sitting upon a rotten pile of wood, I started skipping the stones in the Lake. There were tiny windows of insects wavering wondrously on the bark, tethering on the very brink of death. Sap oozed out and it and it seemed as if the bark let out one final sight, leaving from the park it served so well. I stood up and humming a little tune to myself, leisurely strolled on a wooden bridge standing across the lake. This was rotten too, with parts of it sagging under the birds’ nest that made it home. It begged for mercy and was full of despair as it held on its final strands of life. ‘Snap!’ A sound as clear as a rifle shot ran across the abyss of the park. I glanced down, and to my horror, noticed I was standing on nothing. I tumbled down into the vast, menacing yawn of the Lake.
The cold water stung my skin. It felt me like 100 bees were attacking me from all sides. There was a tingling sensation all over my body. Strangely, I heard the gurgling of water and the sounds of fish. The water tasted sweet and the smell was enchanting – not like the stench I had assumed it would be. I slowly opened my eyes. A delirious scene met them. The pure, blue water rushed all around, engulfing me. Fish of various shapes and sizes, pranced around, laughing and enjoying. Every type of species was there; there must be 50 fishes at all. Coral reefs on the floor danced, shimmering and dancing. Millions of pearls dominated the floor with tiny fishes weaving around them. The water crooned and I knew this would be the closest I ever came to scuba diving. The fish was completely ignorant about me. It was a marvelous sight.
Time passed at the speed of light and soon I was above – gasping for air and thrashing like an eel. The muck and garbage were again around me and I floated on the lake’s black surface. But now, I saw all of this from a new light. The garbage had protected the lake’s marvelous secrets below its surface. I was grateful for that. I waded across the lake and trudged back home, dripping wet but soaked in high spirits.
A month had passed and not a day had gone since I had visited the Lake. I was soon accustomed to all the different types of organisms that lived there. I topped my class in Biology and when my astounded teacher asked me how I managed to remember all the species of different fish, I said nothing with just a twinkle of my eye. After all, it was my lil’ ol’ secret.
Featured Image Courtesy – DeviantArt