Listen children as I tell you a story. The one story you must be told and must believe, and with the one moral you must always follow.
And the moral is so important I will say it at the beginning and I will repeat it at the end: Do Not Call Them.
Once, long ago, in this little town, there were a group of misfits. It was in the 1970s and in those times, people called hippies were everywhere. They spoke of love and kindness but often their lifestyles were dangerous and licentious and false. In our town, particularly so, for the leader of the hippies was an evil man. A man drunk on power and control. A cult leader, if you will.
Cults are things that are ultimately bent on their own destruction. People join them thinking they will be saved, but never so my children, never so. And not in this case either.
The town grew tired of this evil man and his hippie followers and his constant demands – for attention, for power, for money. He was barred from town hall events and was denied a voice in local council meetings. In time that made him paranoid my children – that means he began to mistrust everyone and everything, even his own followers.
And so, like all of his kind, he decided that he and his people were destined for greater land, a kingdom of their own, beyond the waters, as he said. He preached about a place beyond our world where they would thrive and live free and purposeful. And in time he convinced them all that they must follow him through the gate, to this glorious place beyond.
Ouside our little town you know of Lake Regret. That was not always its name, but we renamed it once he and his group walked, as one, into its depths, until all their heads were covered in the waters, until all of them, one by one, drowned.
And no, little ones, they did not make it to some glorious land beyond. There was no such thing. Only watery death awaited them.
But there is something about water, my children. Something maybe even the evil man knew. Souls get trapped in water. They can’t rise to heaven if they’ve chosen such a watery grave. But they can rise, in other ways. As some of the unfortunate townsfolk found – the parents of some of the hippies, crying and lamenting at the water’s edge for their lost sons and daughters.
Because, once called, sometimes they came back. Dead, haunted, ghosts – wraiths, and they demanded a bounty to be raised from their watery sleep. One that grieving parents often willingly gave, to be dragged down with their lost loved ones, into the water.
They are still there, under the water, my children. So listen when I tell you and listen well, the moral of the story – if you are to live and live happy, do not go to the waters and do not call them. Never call them.
Because if you call them, they may come.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2019