And so the Legend Fades

At the edge of a marsh there is a waste.  At the edge of the waste, there is a silver grove.  And at the edge of the grove, there is a pool of water.  The waters of the pool run crystal clear, save for the very center where the color turns inky black.  Small, dark tendrils reach out into the transparent depths.  They never get very far.  But they are always there. A very definition of lurking.
            And always, always, when a passerby dips in and swims too far, the tendrils drown them.
            It is only natural that stories born of 'always' transform into legend.  So it is that the myth of such a pool travels on the backs of the tales of those who would be victims, saved only by the failings of their unlucky fellow travelers.  And picked from the tales, unraveled, and restrung, the legend spreads, until it reaches the ears of those inclined toward adventure.
            Thus, the pool shows no surprise when a champion of brute strength descends into its waters.  On the hero's back is the feeling of a heavy destiny, a knowing that seems to offer strength to rip the darkness from its deeply rooted hold.
            The pool shows no surprise when the champion drowns.
            There is no metaphoric lifted brow on behalf of the waters at the sight of the clever one, so crafty with aims of spreading a wily poison to flush the darkness from the liquid mirror.
            And, too, there is no widened eye as the clever one winks out among the black depths.
            But there is a hint of a tingle in the air, when a soft voice carries on the wind that sweeps across the ripples to the pool’s center.  A delicate shift moves in the patterns of the enchanted weight that has long hung about the marsh and waste and grove.  That voice calls out in gentle kindness.  And poses a request.
            A note of wonder rings lightly as the darkness moves and sits upon the edge of the water’s bank.  The darkness watches the swimmer for a little while.  It offers a smile, then disappears.  And so the legend fades.

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