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July 25, 2012
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Sta.sh Writer
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I remember the day we first arrived in our new home clearly. My father parked the car before the house, his gruff voice announcing our arrival. I was in the back seat, my sketch book open in my lap as I drew whatever came to mind. My younger brother Ben crawled right across my lap and pressed his face to the car window, looking out at our new home with awe. Irritated that he'd interrupted my drawing, I snapped the book shut and got out of the car, slamming the door in his face with no remorse.

I was scolded for my behaviour, but being sixteen years old, I didn't really care.

The house was old and worn, in dire need of repairs that my father promised to take care of. A double story building with a dark red, slanted roof and grey walls. My mother said it looked like an old Victorian mansion, especially since it was surrounded by a forest. I thought it looked like a rancid old mansion one would expect to find in a horror story, and yet somehow this observation drew me to it and I began to sketch it. Ben began to explore as our father carried our bags and our mother fumbled to open the front door.

"Josh! Josh!"

Ben's voice called to me from somewhere around the house. Groaning slightly, I closed my sketchbook and walked around the large garden to find my brother crouched at the edge of a very large, very deep looking pond. Ben waved to me excitedly, telling me to come and check out his great discovery. I warned him not to get too close to the edge of the pond; Ben wasn't exactly a very good swimmer. He just laughed away my warning and pointed to the centre.

"I think there's something floating there," he observed. "But I can't see what it is!"

I glanced out over the water, taking note that it appeared to be almost pitch black but for a light ring of sludgy green and brown around the edge. Seeing nothing in the centre, I lightly rapped my knuckles on Ben's head and told him to go help mother and father carry the things in. He ran off, and I intended to follow when I heard a slight splashing sound from behind me. Turning quickly, I stared out at the ripples emanating from the centre of the pond. Still, I could not see a single thing, but something had caused those ripples....but what?

Later that evening as we all sat around the newly crafted dinner table, I asked my father about the pond. He only shrugged and said it had always been there, apparently. He also warned Ben to stay away from it, and a pointed look sent my way let me know that my parents expected me to keep an eye on my brother. I could only scowl down at my food; why did I have to watch over him all the time? Ben was eight, surely he could obey a simple rule to stay away from the pond, right?

The days from then on were filled with unpacking and getting used to our new home. It was large and old, and naturally the house made plenty of noise every night. While I was perfectly fine with this, since I knew very well it was to be expected, Ben did not take these noises well. More and more he wound up running into my room and waking me from my sleep, frantically informing me that there was something after him. I told him to stop being childish, and that there was nothing wrong with the house at all.

"But Josh!" he cried out once as I tried to push him out of my room at twelve. It's a good thing my parents slept on the other side of the house, or else Ben's wailing would wake them up too. "The thing from the pond is after me!"

This made me pause, and I stared at my brother sceptically. Ben truly looked scared; but he'd always had an over-active imagination. Sighing, I grabbed his hand and walked with him back to his room, telling him to describe this supposed 'thing' along the way. He said that it looked like a person, but they were dripping wet and its hair was covered with slimy leaves from the pond. Its skin was ashy grey and slimy looking too, and Ben said that when the moonlight hit it, its face was revealed to have gaping holes instead of eyes, and a gaunt mouth that spewed water and sludge down its front. I listened with one ear as Ben continued to describe his fear.

"Perhaps now you'll stop watching all those horrors before bed," I said offhandedly once he was back under the covers. He looked devastated that I didn't believe him. He cried more, begging me not to go back to my room. I once more told him to stop being silly and left without looking back. As I passed by a window, I glanced out and saw the black pond. There was a perfectly clear reflection of the moon, and I felt that the scene was beautiful and worthy of a sketch. How could Ben imagine something so dark about something so lovely?

As the days continued on, Ben grew more and more afraid of his imaginary monster, and he refused to set a foot near the pond. This didn't bother my parents at all, who were pleased that they wouldn't have to worry about him drowning. But they were concerned about his nightmares. I simply ignored them and their worries; Ben was surely going through a phase and being foolish. Meanwhile I continued to sketch the pond and the surroundings, but the pond was my favourite. I would sit outside in front of it, drawing its black surface into my book with as much detail as my skills would allow. Soon, almost every page of my sketchbook depicted the pond from one angle or another. I added some things to it in some, such as myself sitting at the edge, and once I even drew Ben standing at the edge with a horrified look on his face. It was rather mean, but he didn't have to know now did he?

One week, my parents had to go away for a few days. A conference for their work or something of the like. They left me in charge, putting trust in me to make sure Ben got to bed on time. Since it was the school holidays still, I didn't have to worry about that. Ben was upset that they had to go, but I assured them I wouldn't ignore him the whole time. That first night alone, I made Ben's favourite dinner and he actually smiled for once. Once dinner was done, we played a board game and Ben managed to win. He was finally acting a little more like himself, and I guess I can admit that it was a relief to see. When it was time for him to go to bed, he got scared and asked if he could please sleep in my room. I don't know why, but I got extremely irritated. I told him to stop being stupid, to grow up and stop letting his imagination get the best of him. He screamed and cried that he wasn't lying, that the creature from the black pond was real and it wanted to hurt him. He sobbed and wailed about how he barely got to sleep, and how he had to barricade his door. I only yelled more, telling him he was being irrational and that he needed to stop this game. Forcefully, I took Ben to his bedroom and left him there in tears as I closed the door behind me.

Still feeling the lingering anger, I decided that I wanted to draw the black pond in the moonlight. I stormed to my room and went to my desk...but my sketchbook was not there. I searched through my drawers and my entire room, but it was nowhere to be found. I wondered angrily if Ben had taken it at some point, and was on my way to his room to yell at him some more when I glanced out a passing window. The black pond was still, but in the moonlight I saw it; lying beside the edge was a small white slab....my sketchbook.

Confused, I went downstairs and stepped outside into the chilly night air. My skin prickled and I shivered, rubbing my arms as I made my way through the slightly damp grass and to the edge of the black pond. The water was still and beautiful as always, the moon reflected clearly in the surface. I gazed at it for a moment before crouching down and picking up my sketchbook. I frowned; it felt damp....far too damp to be reasonable. The grass was a little soggy, but not to the extent that it could make my sketchbook like this!

Frowning, I peeled open the first page and groaned at seeing some of my earlier pictures were smudged and ruined. Sighing, I continued to flip through it, seeing more ruined images until I came across the first image of the pond.....

Something new was in the picture.

My eyes widened as I stared at the wet and slightly smudged page; in the centre of the pond was a gaunt face, almost shimmering with the water. My heart skipped a beat as I turned to the next image. Something was rising up out of the water in the image, but I had not drawn that! The next image held a similar addition, and the next showed another face with more detail. My heart continued to thud in my chest as I flipped through the pictures before coming to the more recent ones. The one where I was sat at the waters edge now held a dark figure standing beside me, looking over my shoulder. My breaths were becoming short as my heart continued to race, and the sudden chill around me seemed to get worse. With a shaking hand, I turned the page over to the last image; the image with Ben's terrified face.

The creature was behind him, one arm wrapped around his torso and the other covering his mouth. Yet I could still see the terrified eyes; eyes that I had drawn. I covered my mouth, feeling sick and horrified at once. The cold only got worse and I took a step back, almost dropping the sketchbook. Then something caught my eye...on the next page was a discolouring...the type that occurred when one used a too dark and too thick marker on the next page, and it showed through.

With great apprehension, I turned the page.

The sketchbook fell from my hands as I stared at the soaked page. In sludge and mud was a single sentence.

'You should have believed him.'

"BEN!"

I turned and ran as fast as my legs could carry me, bursting through the door. A yell escaped me when I slipped and landed hard on my back. Frantic and panicked, I pushed myself up and gasped when I saw muddied prints leading inside and heading down the hall...towards the stairs. A desperate mantra of 'God, please, no!' was running through my head as I scrambled to my feet and ran. Every step took too long, every breath came out too short, every heartbeat signalled a wasted second until finally, finally I was skidding around the doorway into Ben's room.

His room was calm and quiet, and his blankets were bulging; he was asleep in his bed. Panting from my sprint, I slowly approached him and tried to calm myself.

'He's alright,' I thought, 'He's perfectly fine.' I reached down, rubbing the side of the bulge mainly to feel comforted that he was indeed there.

My smile dropped and I pulled my hand back. It was wet.

With a gasp I tore the blankets off only to find a mound of sludge and seaweed piled onto his mattress. My blood was frozen in my veins as I backed away in horror, staring at the pile. Suddenly I heard a sound that would forever haunt me:

Something splashing in the pond outside.

With a speed I did not know I could possess I was racing downstairs again, my heart in my throat and panicked tears forming in my eyes. I darted out the back door, heading right for the pond. As I got near, I saw the top of Ben's head sink under and I screamed.

"BEN! NO!"

Without hesitation, I dived into the black water and started to swim. It was icy cold, chilling my already frozen body to the core. My shirt and my pants clung to my skin, weighing me down as I cut my way through the water, heading right to the centre. Sucking in a deep breath, I went under and began to feel around for any hint of Ben, searching...searching....searching for my little brother who had needed me.....

My tears mixed in with the black water as I continued to search, ignoring the screaming of my lungs for air, the ache of my limbs for relief, the cry of my body for warmth...I continued to go deeper, to search and feel and seek and swim until finally, finally....

I blacked out.



It was sometime later when I was roused from the darkness by the feeling of someone shaking me. A stinging sensation arose in my throat, and before I could even open my eyes I was coughing. The sound came out as a sputter, and something wet dribbled down my chin. I rolled over and hacked up more water, my body shuddering as I tried to get some air. Once more I felt the presence from before beside me, hitting my back with wet slaps. My ears popped as the water dribbled out of them, and I started to take deep breaths, trying to figure out how I came to be on land.

"Josh! J-Josh, say something!"

My eyes widened despite the sting of filthy water, and I turned sharply.

Sitting beside me on the grass, soaking wet and sobbing quite violently....was Ben. He clutched at my sleeve, tears joining the rivulets of water that ran down from his hair.

"I t-thought you were d-dead!" he wailed. "I t-tried my b-best to get o-out, and when you jumped in to g-get me I tried harder! B-but then you passed out and I g-got so scared!"

I couldn't stop myself, nor did I want to. I lunged and grabbed him, pulling him close in a tight hug as he sobbed into my shoulder. I didn't ask how he had managed to escape from the creature; I didn't ask how we were both saved somehow. I just held my little brother close, thanking the heavens that he was alive, that we were both okay. My own tears were hidden, but I didn't loosen my hold as I looked up. My eyes caught the sketchbook lying a few feet away.

It was open on a brand new page, and in that same, muddy scrawl:

'Now will you believe me?'
Just a random little horror/creepy story I wrote after listening to Cry's reading.....that man has a very, VERY good story-voice.......aah~ I wonder if he'd read this one? *wishful thinking*

As for the ending...well...I'll leave you to interpret it. :meow:
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:iconsociallyakward413:
sociallyakward413 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm... I like it! It's something I would definatly read over-and-over again. It would be interesting to see a drawing of what the creature looks like. And the siblings. *gasp* CAN I DRAW THEM!? OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE?!?!?!??! :iconkirakiraplz:
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:iconjuuria66:
Juuria66 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, I'm glad you like it! Thanks for reading it too!

Of course you can! I'D LOVE IT if you did! 8D in fact, I'm asking YOU if you can draw them~ :meow: I'd love to see~
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:iconsociallyakward413:
sociallyakward413 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay!!! *dances around like a tard*

:iconlegaspplz: ME?! IM HONOURED!!!! Although I dont have a scanner atm...
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:iconfullmetal-gary:
Fullmetal-Gary Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
It's a shame for Ben, but Josh got the shit scare he deserved. The guy is, quite clearly, a prick. I'd still let my little brother sleep in the same bed as me now, if he asked, and he's only a year younger. But Ben is EIGHT!! I don't give a shit if you believe him or not, suck it up and move over for fucks sake. That's the first night alone. And as for when the parent left, he was fucking CRYING. I don't give a shit how pissed you get, your little fucking brother needs you so you should fucking be there. If that was me, Ben would've been in my bed every fucking night until he felt like he could sleep on his own. I don't give a shit how long it takes. Brothers like this piss me right off. There's a reason you're called an OLDER brother, you COLOSSAL fuck.

Right...... rant over......

The ending. I would like to think that it was just Ben being a little shit and trying to get back at Josh for being a twat. However, my gut feeling tells me it's something else. Plus, I've seen the Skeleton Key, so I think I pretty much know how it ends....... I fucking hate Josh....... It's a shame Ben had a fuck-up of a sibling.

This was AWESOME, by the way. I got to the end WAY too fast for my liking D: Like, it was the perfect length, but I didn't want to stop reading..... FIVE STARS!!!! I LOVEZ ITZ!!!!!!!! :D
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:iconjuuria66:
Juuria66 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You really seem like one of the awesome big brothers in the world; the type that tolerate their younger sibling despite being older, wiser, and often knowing that what plagues the child is something silly. .... I take my hat off to you good sir and, just this once, I will say that siblings like you are indeed the best older siblings. don't let it get to your head, I still say that sometimes the younger sibling CAN know best!

Ah, the Skeleton Key hmm? :meow: If I am remembering the correct movie, and I do think I am, then I'd like to hear more detail about your interpretation of the ending....because I think you may be close to what I originally thought as I wrote it....maybe~

:D Aaaand once again, you've managed to make my day so much better with your encouraging support and feedback (and with Shortpencil's awesome fanart for the story, my day went from shit to fucking brilliant! XD)

So THANK YOU!

I'm still feeling kind of inspired to write things like this....maybe I'll do another one....Cry has an amazing 'story' voice, so when I wrote this I imagined what he might sound like reading it. I really wish he would, but I'm too nervous to send him a link suggesting it since I feel that would be kinda pig-headed of me plus this might not match up to his standards of 'worthy' video material....should I take the shot anyway?
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:iconfullmetal-gary:
Fullmetal-Gary Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
"SEEM LIKE?! I AM one of the awesome big brothers in the world!! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I AM wiser, too!! And younger siblings CAN know better? Can they FUCK!!!"
Is what I would like to say, but.... I dunno, I can lose my temper a bit too easily with him sometimes. Very rarely, but when I do I'm a COMPLETE twat :/ And sometimes HE is wiser than ME, sadly :/ And I know first hand that younger siblings can know better....

I haven't seen that movie in YEARS, but I'm pretty sure I'm remembering it right. THAT ending was: The Old Woman was trying to steal the Young Woman's body using some creeepy witchcraft shit (which depressed me, because the kids she stole the body off orgiginally were trapped in the old people's body and got the witch punishment :/). Anyway, so the Old Woman got beat to shit, broken bones and everything. Then at the end, they swap bodies and the police and paramedics come, take the Old Woman in the Young Woman's body away to safety, and the Young Woman in the Old Woman's body got sent to prison. BUT, she couldn't say anything because the change over messed up her voice :/

SO, I think the ending of The Black Pond is either A) The monster dragged Ben into the pond and took his body. B) The monster dragged Ben into the pond and they SWAPPED bodies (big difference) or C) The monster trapped Ben in the pond and changed his appearence to look like Ben using some kind of trick with the reflection of the pond or something. If that is the case, then the monster was trapped in the pond the same way by some curse or the last monster that was there and waited for someone new to come along.

I like C the best, coz it's got more of a backstory to it, but B makes sense, too. A doesn't really, because if he just TOOK his body, Ben wouldn't have anywhere to go, which wouldn't explain who wrote the note at the end.


.......Sorry, that took too long :/...........

YAY!!! I'm glad (That was amazing, right?! It actually looked just how imagined it :D)

YOU'RE WELCOME!!!

YES!!! DO ANOTHER ONE!!!! Just don't depress me with the ending in that one though, please. I still feel like pushin bamboo sticks under Josh's fingernails for being a prick :/

I think you should take the shot because I think this is bloody brilliant. So do other people. But, if you're worried about being pig-headed, you could always pretend to be someone else and message gim like: "Oh, hey, just wondering if you would do this awesome story I found!" Or, if you don't wanna do that, I could send it to him. I don't have a clue how to find him, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. What's the worst that could happen? If you don't ask, you won't get. If you ask and you still don't get, it's not like anything has changed.
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:iconjuuria66:
Juuria66 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's only natural don't worry. All siblings have that...and trust me, it works the other way around too. :L (I probably lose my temper at my sister more than the other way around, but I am rather short tempered...)
Oh? How do you know first hand~ :meow: Please enlighten me on this matter~

Ah yes, we were thinking of the same movie then! (Good old Kate Hudson, I believe~)

Hahah okay, so we were actually thinking a liiiiittle differently, but still, your interpretation is also awesome! (and frankly I left it so that each interpretation could be true, to better leave the reader deciding whether the end was as happy as it appeared...or not. :iconscaryrenaplz: )

^_^ (*nods excitedly* It was! I was soo happy when I came home and saw it!)

:iconletmehugyouplz:

Ahahaha..haha........ha..................... :iconeeekplz: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that's gotta stiiiiiiing

Hmmm well..... *shrugs* It can never hurt to try! I'll send him a pm through Youtube with a link and just ask if he would please take the time to at least look it over and see if he'd like it enough to make a Read of it...if not, well, at least I tried!
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:iconfullmetal-gary:
Fullmetal-Gary Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012
Oh I KNOW it works the other way around. He loses his temper with me SO often. Even when I don't do anything.... makes me sad :iconcryplz:

I.... I actually can't think of an example.... He is more mature than me, better at maths than me, and various other things but I can't think of a time when he has been wiser. He's been wise, but not wisER. SO, insteead I will use this chance to tell you how I, as an older brother, helped my younger brother be SMARTER. You see, in Year 9 they put us into three sets in Science based on ability. Top set get to do Triple Science, everyone else does Dual. They put me in middle set and gave me a target of a C for core science. Tehhy gave us six modualr tests throughout Year 9 and 10 and I got 4 As, 2 Bs and a C. (Meanwhile, some guy who was a massive prick and did fuck all in lessons got the same results as me so they moved HIM up to top set and not me. He pissed about in lessons then complained the work was too hard and got moved back down. He was moved up the same time they told ME that it would be impossible for anyone from middle set to move up. THAT pissed me off) So, by the end of Year 10 I finished Core Science with an A. So, they saw me kicking ass at Science, looked at my little brother's target of a C in year 9 and went "Hmmmmm, Gary was good at Science when we targetted him a C so....". So that Jammy little prick ended up in top set Science. -.- But I have never ONCE held that over him. Probably coz I'm too pissed to wanna think about it....... ANYWAY!!! The point it, my brother is better at Science than me..... even though Science was my favourite subject and I tried really hard :iconcryplz:

OH YEAH!!! It WAS Kate Hudson :D I forgot about her.

NO. You have to tell me your interpretation now. I told you mine. Be fair. Besides, I want to know.

Yeah, it's a known type of torture. Chinese, I think. I first heard about it when I was playing Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc when I was 7. For some reason, some of the monsters were shouting around about they wanted to eat my brains, poke out my eyes and shove bamboo sticks under my nails :/

THAT'S THE SPIRIT!!! :D
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:iconjuuria66:
Juuria66 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
...I'm sorry for you. :(

D: Wow that's seriously unfair.....like, it's good for your brother but unfair for you.... :icontouchplz: There there Gary...

Ah well, I guess it is only fair. But just remember that I left it open and vauge so really all interpretations could be correct, this was just the sort of idea I used as a semi-guideline on how it would be written out.

Anyway, my semi-formed idea was that the creature was real, but it was a manifestation of Ben's fears, as well as his wishes for Josh to listen to him and just believe him...being only eight, he didn't exactly have total control, and didn't even realize the creature had come to be because of him...but after getting pulled into the pond and Josh trying to save him, he does gain some form of understanding of his amount of control. (somewhat explaining how he may have gotten them both out of the pond when Josh blacked out) and as for the ending, since he is now aware of his link to the creature and therefore his control, the fact that 'Now will you believe me' is written down is a vague way to indicate to Josh that Ben was, in some ways, the monster as well as the victim.

...... Huh. My interpretation doesn't make a whole lot of sense now that I look at it in written form. :L Oh well, all the more reason to leave the readers to decide! XD
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:iconfullmetal-gary:
Fullmetal-Gary Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012
Ah well, I'm pretty much over it now. Having left school, it's in the past :D

OH, I SEE!!! THAT'S WHAT IT WAS!!! So Ben was all right in the end!!! .......kinda makes me feel like a pessimist for thinking it was a bad ending.....

I think it makes sense. It makes more sense, though, having seen The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, where something similar happens....... a lot.
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