As the water engulfed her, her skin tingled from the sharp pain, like ice entering her veins. Empty eyes gazed up through the dancing surface of the lake and saw the smoky spherical sun gazing back at her. It’s ironic that everything is grey today, she thought in her tomb. Not only was the sky and water colourless, the trees, rocks and faces of those watching were too. She remembered the words they prayed over her before her entry into the lake. They were kind; they spoke of hope as they shunned her, banishing her to the icy water. She wondered what they were thinking as they silently watched her slip under the blanket of water, the blanket that would suffocate her sins and regrets forever. No pain, no panic, just silent gazing into the face of the son, who watched over her with pride. The girl’s fingers floated quietly, crossed over her chest, longing to peel back the cloud preventing the warm shafts of light from warming her heart. Death clouded her vision and evil slipped through her soul like a shadow. She wanted to scream: this was always more than just death, this is life. Let me live. A tremor slipped through the water as if responding to her plea. She could feel herself drawn to the rocks on the bottom of the lake as a creature tore from her chest. And she died, always to remain tormented under the water.
The shroud was drawn from her eyes, and a brilliant sensation filled her heart. She emerged from the womb of water as would a new born child supported by a hand brandishing authority and offering nurture. The mask that was torn off her body and banished to the bottom of the lake left her skin raw and pink, softer than an infant’s. Her lungs burned as she inhaled the first breath of air from this world and her eyes were drawn towards her onlookers. The smiling faces on the beach welcomed her, rejoicing in her birth. As she walked towards her new life, a sliver of sun emerged from the thick menacing cloud, illuminating her path. And she lived.