A bowl filled with liquid; it had always been so.
The bowl looked as if it was heavy needing a substantial stand and yet it was suspended just feet above the foliage that caressed its underside.
It filled from an unknown spring, but how? My deductions and observations failed me.
I watched as creatures bounded to the bowl leaving refreshed and apparently younger.
A colorless butterfly dipped and as it rose it appeared as if the sun had painted each color filled line to perfection. It dripped feathery gold drops as it fluttered away.
The bowl filled instantly again with cool refreshing water.
A sweet voice would call to me.
“Drink”, it said. “Go ahead just one sip.”
Day after day as I took copious research notes, I heard it.
It was like a Siren beckoning me closer to the rocks of the unknown harbor.
I wore ear plugs that worked at first but slowly failed.
Loud music was drowned out by the sweet, melodic voice “DRINK.”
Then one day a promise carried over the hush.
A fawn dragged her lifeless, bloodied leg. She was almost spent. She left healed.
The flora clapped as the fawn departed.
“You will be more. Just ask one thing. It must give it to you.”
This bowl of unquenchable water was the fountain of youth, it was the healing pool of Bethesda, it dripped the gold and silver of Midas’ valued touch.
“I’m a scientist.” I growled. “I ‘m here for observation only.”
I heard a low laugh that withered with the night.
And then one day it happened, I fell. As I picked myself up, I noticed a thorn in my leg. Absentmindedly I removed the thorn. It was nothing.
Later that day, my leg began throbbing. I set down my notepad. My leg was three-times its normal size.
“Now you must use the waters.”
The once sweet voice was cruel.
“I cannot!” I struggled to project resolve.
“Then you will die.”
Stubbornly, I dragged my leg about.
I don’t know how many days I did this.
I held my head that was growing fuzzy in hands I could not feel.
I knew I would never get out alive.
“What must I do?” I wailed.
I hobbled closer to the bowl than I had ever dared.
A hush covered the forest. It was as if nature waited.
I looked about it and then I looked in the waters.
A face stared back at me.
It was death loosely hanging over bones that once resembled a face.
“Is that me?” I trembled at the thought.
I dipped my head into the bowl.
“Heal me from this poisonous death,” I begged
I looked at the bowl as it refilled.
Moisture dripped from my face.
I put out my hand to catch the drops.
It was blood – my blood.
“I now have what I have needed for eons.”
“Human blood – fool!”
It ran freely. I could not stop my life dripping from my pores.
“Now you see what you can do with this curse.” The once sweet voice had a different tone. Strong, more than human and then it was gone.
I felt cold and alone.
I could no longer feel my legs or my arms. I felt so heavy.
I looked up into a concave reality.
I had become the bowl.
Cursed to quench but never have my thirst quenched.
To heal and never be healed unless it was at the sake of another poor fool.
~ Leslie Moon
© Copyright 2014 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.