Pause

June stood very still by the shore of the lake, its water smooth and returning clear reflections of the mountains surrounding it and of the little boat in its centre. It could not have been more than ten minutes that June stood like this, unmoving and watching the surface of the lake. To her it seemed as though she herself was on hold, a pause button pressed by an unseen onlooker to freeze her to the spot on which she stood.

Lake

None of her limbs moved, she was not breathing, her eyes had not blinked and yet, the surface of the lake before her had changed. It had appeared frozen at first and she had felt herself wanting to step off the shore onto the icy surface but unable to move. The little boat rose up out of the centre of the frozen lake and with its emergence melted the ice and transformed the lake into a mirror creating twins of every object that existed on it, above it, or around it.

Once it had emerged from the lake’s centre, the boat stood as still as she did as if it wanted to but could not move nor breathe and was like June herself suspended in time. The air itself seemed to breathlessly admire the beauty of the stillness and could not be felt on June’s pale cheeks nor did it appear to touch, nudge or rock the boat out on the lake.

“Has the lake died?” June asked the puffin and his mirror image both of which appeared before her eyes just like the boat had earlier. Her lips did not move and no sound came from her throat. The puffin seemed to understand her words as she spoke them through her unblinking eyes. It responded not with sound but with a sudden powerful movement, a somersault followed by a clumsy dive which cracked the lake open and broke it into two halves splitting the little boat right through the middle.

Then it got dark, pitch black dark. “Is this the end of everything I have seen?” June asked the darkness through her eyes. The darkness whispered, “Not if you open your eyes at the click of my fingers, my dear.” The darkness clicked and June opened her eyes to the brightness of a light bulb dangling from a blue cable above her.

Then came the sound of roaring applause and a microphone was held to her trembling lips. She blinked at the fake-tanned face of the white-robed man thinking full red lips really don’t go with fake tan especially not in a man. “Tell us what it was like, June,” the fat lips parted to reveal a top row of white teeth, the fake kind of white that is meant to dazzle and deceive. “These people here,” his arms swung out toward the darkness which surrounded the cone of light he and June and the microphone inhabited, “these people here and millions of people watching us from their sofas in millions of homes worldwide, these people, June, all need to know.”

(c) Ash N. Finn, 2013

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