Micro Fiction: Vol. 1 June 2009 Entry #3

06/10/09 - Two randomly generated terms: Lake/Star

The stars were just beginning to fade as Ipati and Gregor rowed their canoe out to the center of Lake Innokenti.

It was summer, but night's cold chill was yet to leave the dark surface of the water.

Ipati was a regular visitor to Innokenti, but hadn't visited the lake since his wife died five years back. For Gregor, this was the young boy's first trek up to the lake. "Their little slice of Eden," Ipati used to say, and Gregor couldn't have been more excited to be going fishing with his Dad.

Ipati had trained Gregor well. The young boy was only 12, but he was out of bed like a lightning bolt this morning and was geared up and ready to fish as the last vestiges of the icy stars poked through the dawn sky.

Innokenti had a beautiful sunrise and Ipati wanted to make sure Gregor missed none of it. The light had a way of catching the forest's surface midst as it rose off the trees, reflecting silver beams of warmth onto the glassy surface of Innokenti's gentle water. It was unlike anything Ipati had ever seen.

"Beautiful, isn't it son?"

Gregor said nothing, he just smiled that broad grin and bounced up in the boat.

The pair cast their first lines of the day and the bobs fell into the water with a stereophonic plunk! Ipati and Gregor sank back into the canoe drifting off into a peaceful silence as they embraced the calm beauty of the lake.

"Is this where you used to take Mom?" Gregor suddenly asked.

Ipati broke from his reverie. The lake was beautiful today. "Yes son, why do you ask?"

"I remember her saying she liked coming here when I was younger, is all. She'd always say, 'Gregor the water up there's so pure, it's like it came from God's pitcher itself. The Lord sure had messed up with men, but Innokenti, that place was just about as near perfect as anything could get.'

"She loved it here, didn't she, Dad?"


Gregor recast a line and father and son looked back out into the calm water. The Ukleika weren't biting today, but Ipati caught a few smaller shads before he called it a day, reeled in his line and paddled with his son back to the lake's distant shore.

The sun was riding low in the sky when their canoe was finally tied to the dock. Tendrils of the forest's midst refracted the light of the setting sun onto the lake in a wild fashion, throwing beams of pink and orange everywhere. Innokenti's stars were just beginning to come out. It was beautiful.

"Do you think it's true what Mom said about the Lake?" Gregor suddenly asked.

"How do you mean?" Ipati said.

"You know, about God getting it right with nature but missing the mark with man."

Ipati smiled. "Your mother said a lot of things, Gregor. During the war she'd ask me how a god could let all this happen -- all the violence, all the chaos. The world can be a harsh place son. And God's no different. He took your mother earlier than I would have liked, for one.

"But what was I supposed to say when your mother asked me that question? Was I suppose to dispense with some sage philosophical platitude about the nature of God's divine plan? Should I have told her everything in the world would work out? How did I know what would happen? So I said nothing. And I think your Mom was disappointed. She was looking for something, anything to convince her the world wasn't as horrible as she thought.

"So that weekend we took our first trip to Innokenti. My idea, of course. I don't know much about God, but I do know there's just something about this place. The warm waters, the gentle midst, the stars, the sunrise. It's something out of a fairy tale. A world removed from all the chaos and hate of the world. Our little slice of Eden, I told her.

"And I'll be damned if this place wasn't exactly the answer she was looking for. It changed her. I don't know if she ever stopped hating God, but she loved it here. The water gave her comfort. And when she was dying, she asked to be brought here, son. Innokenti was the only truly good thing she'd ever seen in the world, the only pure place, she told me.

"I miss her, Gregor. More than you can imagine. But when I saw the determined fire in your eyes as you fished today, I thought of her. When I heared you laugh, I thought of her. And when I look into your smile -- I see your Mom. And I carry that with me into the world, Gregor. I carry you and her with me wherever I go.

"The world's a harsh place son, but here on the lake ... here's we've got our own little version of Eden."

Gregor smiled and joined hands with his Dad.

"Now let's go fry up these fish."

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