Author of suspense and thriller novels that can be found on Amazon!
When a stone is thrown into the water it sinks to the bottom after making a splash. There are ripples that flow around like tiny waves that will eventually crash into the shore. Every once in a while, when a stone is thrown at the right angle and with enough force to carry it, it skips across the water as if it were a ball bouncing on the pavement. The stone may skip a few times on the water before the inevitable, or it may travel half-way across the lake before it runs out of steam, but its fate is already sealed as soon as it touches the wetness below it. No matter how hard the stone was thrown, it'll sink to the bottom of that water never to be seen again.
A fate where nobody could ever bother that stone again.
It was free.
"There you go, look!"
Out in the woods next to the large lake stood a man and his son. It's an early morning with dew on the grass and shrubs, along with a hazy cover of fog surrounding the area. Tall trees hide this peaceful scene that would only be looked upon by the deer or other forest animals that roam about. On this morning though, Little Roger and his father have made it a day to remember as they skip those stones over the water. The boy was getting better at it, much better than all of those other stones he's sent plummeting towards the bottom of the lake.
"I did it, dad!" Little Roger screams with his arms in the air. "Can you believe it?"
"Way to go, Little Roger! I'm so proud of you," his father said with a large smile.
Little Roger loved spending the day with his father. Whenever they would come out here to the lake he would be the happiest kid on the face of the planet, or so he would tell his mother when they returned home.
Earlier, the boy only wanted to spend the entire day inside of his room playing video games while eating a bowl of ice cream. This was a perfect day for Little Roger who never wanted to think about the normal life he always lived: going to school, playing with his friends in the park, and getting yelled at by his parents when he wakes them up in the morning for playing his video games too loud.
That was how Little Roger planned his Saturday, but then his father rushed into his room to change those plans.
"Hey there, Little Roger!" He always called his son "Little Roger" when he was in a good mood, and those wide eyes plus a large smile showed that he was.
It was a little after four o'clock in the morning which meant the sun hasn't even risen, but Little Roger had his bowl of ice cream and favorite pair of socks on. Those socks had four turtles plastered all over them, so he must be a fan. He pauses his game and looks over at his overly excited father.
"I say we head out of here for the lake, today? How does that sound to you, Little Roger?"
His father was just so happy today.
There was a moment in time when Little Roger felt a don't-bother-me sigh building up inside of himself. At first he didn't want to leave the safety of his room for the cold outdoors that would likely greet him at the lake, but after thinking about it and wondering whether or not he could even pass the level he's been stuck on for the last couple of days in his game, he decides to put all of that on hold for a relaxing day at the lake.
He nods. "Yeah, let's do it!"
His father raises his arms in the air and cheers like he's just won the lottery.
"Yeah, Little Roger! Now get ready for a day of fun!"
A slight laugh from Little Roger at his extremely excited father. Why is he so happy, anyway?
Time has passed during this day of fun and the sun was right above the both of them, now. Little Roger was enjoying his day along with his way too happy father. The last stone he'd tossed into the lake would be striking the bottom right about now. It would be covered in the muck at the bottom of that lake, and it would be gone forever never to be touched by human hands again.
It was free.
"Okay, Little Roger, I want you to throw it like this. If you lean into it a bit more you'll have better success at it skipping."
Little Roger was watching his father who was now tossing the stone-hard. There was a grin on his dad's face that he's never seen there before; a strange look which seemed to soil the happy feelings he would normally have with his father.
"You see! Just like that!"
There was a strange discoloration in his father's clothes, a color that Little Roger couldn't quite place his finger on.
His father's stone skipped multiple times over the water before finally crashing down into the lake where it would be lost forever. The grin never leaves his face as he looks down at his small son.
"What's the matter, Little Roger?" He said while messing his son's hair with his hand.
"I... I was just wondering...," he trails off not being able to complete his question.
"What's on your mind, guy?"
His father kneels down onto one knee while gripping his son by the shoulders. There was no look of concern in his eyes at all, but only that same grin that wouldn't go away. The discoloration in his clothes was much worse near his shoulders and upper chest, more so than any other part of his body. A strange smell also comes from his mouth every time he exhales, almost as if something had crawled up there and died. This stench causes Little Roger to cringe.
"I... what happened to mom?"
The grin on his father's face was still there; it seemed to grow in size when his son finally got the question out.
"What do you mean?"
"Well... before we left home I saw her on the floor in the kitchen. She wasn't moving at all. Was there something wrong with her?"
His strange father exhales some of that bad air from his lungs. The discoloration on his clothes didn't make any sense to his son when he first saw it, but now as his father tells him what happened, it all makes sense.
"Oh, Little Roger, she was trying to take you away from me. You see, there were some problems that we were going through, problems that you wouldn't understand, but now all of that's in the past. There are no more problems, and we don't have to worry about your mother anymore."
And the grin never left his father's face.
"Because I killed her, Little Roger. I killed her to stop her from taking you away from me. She won't be able to make us sad anymore, and you and I can live together forever out here."
There was no home anywhere out here for them to stay, not even a tent for them to camp out in. So where was he actually talking about? Where were they going to stay... forever?
"Yes, son, out here. But first, we have to enter the lake and skip across it towards the other side. Just like those stones we were throwing. It won't be that hard to do. Just stay focused and believe that you can make it. Believe that we can make it."
And he stands up while taking Little Roger's hand. They both face the lake and then take the first step forward.
"Don't worry, Little Roger, nobody will ever be able to bother us again! We're finally free!"
They both enter the lake with a skip, but much sooner than later, Little Roger and his father will sink to the bottom of that water. Just like all of the stones they've tossed into that lake, neither of them will ever be seen again.
They were free...
© 2020 Edwin B Lowry