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Stay Good No Matter What

We need to stay strong regardless of what happens. Likely everyone on Earth has heard a similar phrase spoken in their native tongue. Such words are so overused that they begin to lose meaning. Maybe hearing a story with fantastical elements will help us rediscover something we tend to overlook.

Adrian was 17 years old when he entered the dense woods near his grandparents’ house. On that rainy fall day, the overworn white Nike shoes he had on took the job of a kitchen sponge. The wet socks were embraced as Adrian purposely got lost in the woods. For many people it was coat weather, for him it was another day to wear his red hoodie. There were only so many hours left in the day. Mist began to appear. After an attempt at heading back he came across an unfamiliar river stream with murky water.           

From the water arose a young pale woman with long, wavy black hair and she had on a white see-through nightgown. She flirtatiously smiled at the teen as she stood. 

Adrian slowly moved closer and asked, “Who are you?” 

The woman replied, “You will find out if you come closer.” 

But he hesitated at first. 

“I need a strong man such as yourself. Please don’t leave. It’s so cold and lonely in this river.” 

He slowly moved forward, asking, “Do you need help?” 

The woman stroked her black wavy hair. As Adrian moved closer, he noticed that both eye sockets appeared bruised. Those brown eyes of hers were dilated and lips were blued. “Yes, I need help,” whispered the woman. “Someone more powerful dominated me.” 

She slowly exited the water barefooted. Adrian felt her bloodless hands on his chest. That touch paralyzed. He then saw an enormous field of yellow flowers. That same woman no longer appeared pale and wet from the river’s water. She said, “I wish that I could have accomplished more.”  

The shoes became even more soaked from the travel, Adrian repeated the simple question of “who are you?” 

It was as if the maiden didn’t hear a single word. “I only know how to revisit this field. When I’m here the same exact sunny day always repeats, but I still feel the cold river.” She aggressively hugged him.  “A good heart can easily be recognized.”

He pushed her away, causing her to fall on the ground. The scene changed once more. Both of them were standing near the river’s edge. The rusalka glared.

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