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The Little Boy Who Went Out To The Lake


Once upon a time a little boy went out to play by the shore of a nearby lake disregarding the many warnings he had received from his mother that the lake’s shore was dangerous and that she always accompanied with a reminder in the form of a slap in the little child’s head. The two of them lived alone in a big house in the suburbs of a little town that was so small that was almost dwarfed by their house. Of the little boy, whose name was Billy and had no father, was said around town that he was the offspring of the marriage between her mother’s excessive liking of men and her lack of restrains and standards regarding coupling, although the townspeople referred to this fact in a much less circumlocutory fashion that required the use of only one word. When the little boy arrived by the sandy shore he gazed to his waving reflection in the black waters of the lake that legends said to be haunted. And those legends might well have some true truth in them, because the good things the little boy had inside of him were trapped under the cold waters of the lake and remained there when the boy left, tired and bored of looking at his own face for hours.

When the boy arrived to the big house where he lived with his mother he wasn’t the same boy that had left that house just a few hours before to go and play by the shore of the lake. He had changed, albeit the change could not be detected with the naked eyed, for it had happened somewhere inside his body and his physical appearance remained unchanged. An unfortunate circumstance, because the boy’s physical appearance was nothing anybody would want for themselves and any sort of change would most likely have been considered an improvement. When he crossed the door that gave access to the house’s expansive parlor her mother was waiting for him with a smile on her face and she swiftly rewarded her son with a slap in the head for his unauthorized outing. She didn’t notice the change undergone by her son because, as we said, it was invisible to the naked eye, although we have every reason to believe that an eye wearing a sock would have even less of a chance to detect it.

Since that fateful day the little boy could hardly sleep and would wander the house during the night frightened by bizarre dreams and inexplicable occurrences. He would see ominous invisible presences inside the mirrors and hear silent voices speaking through the walls in an incomprehensible language that sounded like gargles. Then he would spend the next day dozing off at school exhausted by the sleepless night, not unlike he did before all this strange incidents started to take place. The little boy began to lost weight and grew paler than he used to be, a fact the other school children didn’t fail to notice and in which they found an endless source of amusement.  Her mother, noticing how much weight her poor son had lost, slapped him in the head, fed up as she was of a boy that always lost everything: his homework papers, his toys and now his weight. But her efforts to help him proved useless, the boy kept losing weight and his nightmares, of which he said nothing to his mother for fear of further head slapping, continued and even increased, both in number and intensity. The little boy woke up every night, sometimes disturbed by bad dreams populated by dark figures that looked human but probably were not, and sometimes by screams and moans filtering through the walls of his bedroom. Sometimes those sounds were emitted by gentlemen spending the night in her mother’s bedroom, but many times they were not. The little boy realized that nobody believed what was happening to him, specially because he had told nobody about it, and decided to confide his story to the deaf gardener, the only adult he trusted because he never slapped him in the head. One day, while the gardener was burning some dead leaves in the backyard the little boy went to him and when the man saw the little boy coming he ran away, never to be seen again, an odd reaction that to this day remains a mystery. The boy was left alone to face his fears all by himself and driven by despair and loneliness he tried to confide them to the kitchen’s coal stove that never answered his questions but seemed to follow the boy’s monologue with a silent dignified interest, never interrupting him to slap his head.

Winter came and the countryside was buried under a subtle three meters thick mantle of white snow, while the waters of the lake the boy had visited in spring froze turning into the frosted graveyard of his reflection . The house become more isolated from the town, and just a handful of  desperate men attempted the trip back and forth during the night to visit his mother. The little boys’ nightmares continued unabated, and during one particularly chilly night, he wake up at the icy touch of a bony dead finger in his forehead just to find his room empty, although the incident  terrified him for was unusual for the little boy to be awaken by nothing other than his mother’s accustomed slap in the head. He left his bed and approached the wardrobe from where a characteristic and intense reek seemed to propagate, a smell not unlike decomposing human flesh or the stench of his mother’s armpit. When he he opened the door of the massive wardrobe the blood in his vein froze solid and he emitted a piercing shriek that caused the snow accumulated on the roof to avalanche and smash the greenhouse’s glass roof. Inside the wardrobe he had found an old faceless woman with a strangely shaped head and clad in a stained grayish gown who was washing the teeth in her hears. When the hideous creature saw the boy it disappeared in a puff of black pestilent smoke not before slapping the little boy in the head as farewell gift. The boy’s mother alarmed by his screams rushed from her room to slap him in the head followed by a man in shorts who speeded down the stairs in panic and would be found next morning in a road ditch frozen stiff. This incident unleashed all sorts of speculations around town regarding the big house in which the boy lived with his mother. Male visitors stopped to visit the house and the boy’s mother found suddenly herself with extra time to spend slapping her son’s head for the destruction of the greenhouse roof.

The strange supernatural manifestations and appearances soon spread and became more frequent and uncanny. One day the mother found her son in the kitchen ceiling eating cookies and in several times a repugnant black fluid seeped from the little boy’s ears, although only the first event deserved him a slap in the head for the presence of repugnant matter in the child’s ears was so common as the morning sun. The mirrors in the house became alive with the frightening presence of screaming creatures causing the poor little boy to choke with his toothbrush a number of times. The walls of the old mansion were creeping with fearsome stains and the wallpaper had to be replaced in several places. The whole house was pervaded by the presence of a horrifying curse equal in power and malevolence to an unpaid mortage. The anguished mother could take it any more and left the house for a vacation but forgot to take her son with her. The little boy was left utterly alone in the house to endure the evil presences all by himself but was elated by relief when he realized his mother wasn’t there any more to slap him in the head.

Nobody has been in the haunted house ever since, and the superstitious villagers believe that the spirit of the luckless child still inhabits between the crumbling walls of the abandoned mansion, that nobody dares to visit for fear of a slap in the head.

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