The Bowl

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.


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About moondustwriter

Thank you for visiting Moondustwriter. In 2019, we have an exciting project. We are developing elementary curriculum for Ugandan children. As a writer, it is a thrill to help children who want to learn. Along with the curriculum, we hope to develop simple fictions about Uganda for the children to read at school. Trust me books are in short supply. We will use our trusted story tellers: a butterfly and a lion to make the stories come alive. Stay tuned as Bethany and Me put pen to paper. I've been part of the blogging community for more than 10 years. Some old timers may remember the award winning (2012 Twitter Shorty ) blog community - One Stop Poetry. I was the (quiet) originator of the idea and co-producer of One Stop Poetry. I am a published writer, poet, artist and photographer. I have written, as well as edited, for periodicals, radio, blogs and fellow writers. There are many facets to this moon - thanks for stopping by.

40 responses to “The Bowl”

  1. ladysknightl says :

    what sinister thing lives in the bowl?
    A great contrast of living and death, hope and despair.


  2. slpmartin says :

    Wonderful write…enjoyed reading this much.


  3. Joseph Pinto says :

    Great story, Leslie! In my head, it conjured a diabolical mix of the fountain of youth and, for some reason, the mirror from Snow White. Your scientist character succumbs not to curiosity but ultimately necessity. Loved the twist at the end!


  4. Hunter Shea says :

    Absolutely wonderful. That was an ending I didn’t see coming. All along, I was wishing there was a bowl like that near me. Glad that wish wasn’t fulfilled.


  5. dragontailsandscalesd says :

    that’s a harsh prison.
    note to self “don’t peer into the looking glass”


  6. weshootcrime says :

    I think I’ll pass the fountain of youth…


  7. imdanim says :

    you paint an interesting picture of “life.” It may be beautiful to the on-looker yet the ” life” is a blood sucking curse.


  8. sue says :

    You paint such a lovely scene. The ending stunned me. I cursed


  9. blazemcrob says :

    A wonderful story, my friend! To be a nurturer and healer and then be allowed to do for oneself after so long must be a wonderful feeling. Not so much for our scientist friend, however. He now has plenty of time for cognitive thinking, though. 🙂



  10. Christopher Liccardi says :

    I enjoyed that very much. Now… off to find this bowl and leave it in my office for some poor fool to use 😉


  11. Thomas Brown says :

    A most strange and disturbing story, Leslie! I loved when the protag. regarded themselves in the bowl for the first time and saw their deathly face.


  12. ranu802 says :

    It sounds so philosophical ,Leslie.


  13. dweezer19 says :

    wow. what a great fable styled tale. I liked it a lot.


  14. Renee TennisMcKinley (@2old2tap) says :

    Nicely told. Poor scientist, he tried so hard to refuse. Inevitably trapped by his will to live. Well, now he lives forever…..


  15. knightsheart says :

    Lipid pool of dreams
    Reborn on nightwings horror
    Mirror of monsters
    I will never drink at another water fountain again! Great horror twist at the end!


  16. Steve says :

    Mmmm, dark and deep. I love this story! Beautifully written and very captivating, well done! 🙂


  17. zkullis says :

    Fantastic story! This story made me wonder how much it would take to push even the kindest and most gentle soul to the brink of this kind of treachery and deceit.

    I enjoyed this story Leslie, thank you.


  18. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Leslie! This is fantastic! Part of me almost wanted it to be the fairy tale it was seeming it might be, but you, my beautiful lady, did not disappoint! This is an incredible jaunt along the path of discovery, just not the one your character (or the reader) thought it would be. Excellent piece, Leslie! I really enjoyed it – extremely well constructed and delivered! Bravo 🙂


  19. mari wells says :

    That was good. I didn’t expect that ending but somehow I did.


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  1. The Bowl | Moondustwriter's Blog - February 20, 2014

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