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The Lake

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03.2010 | Upper-Intermediate | Andrei Koval

It was a usual morning. Mao woke up in a good mood. There was a very good weather and he was ready for his usual day. His boat was prepared for fishing and he hoped to catch a lot of fish that today. He got up from bed and went out from his hut. All people in his village did the same as usual. Some of them were going to go fishing, other were repairing instrument, and women were cooking breakfast and playing with children.

They lived in very beautiful valley, on the bank of a lake. Their village was surrounded with green forest and high mountains. The lake was full of fish. It was the best place to live in.

Mao went through the village to his girl Oki. She was very beautiful and Mao thought about their wedding next autumn. He went and greeted villagers. All were affable, and there seemed to be nothing special. But something was. There was something inconspicuous in the air. Something, that made this day special. That day was a day “choice”.

Every year one of the inhabitants of the village had to leave. He was supposed to go to a far gorge, stand on a big stone and after that he would disappear. After that nobody would ever see him again. Every villager knew if nobody goes there would be a great disaster to their village. And that day all people had to choose the one who would have to leave this year.
Mao came to Oki. She ran towards him from her hut. As soon as they embraced, a loud bell has sounded. It was a signal for the Meeting. Mao and Oki went to the center of the village.

When they came, all people were there. All were worried and scared. The shaman began the ritual. He started his wild dance. There was something primeval in that dance, something from animals. It was a fascinating spectacle. At the end of his dance shaman had to show who would go this year.

Suddenly shaman stopped his dance. He walked through the crowd and pointed to Oki with his spear. The choice was made. Mao couldn't understand. All his life was broken at once. Oki became pale, but seemed calm.

Oki said good bye to the relatives, hugged Mao and went to the side of the far gorge.

Mao stayed alone. He stood and didn't know what he could do. After several minutes he also went to the far gorge. He followed Oki. And as soon as she approached the big stone, he jumped on it instead of her.

All around him turned dark. He didn't see and didn't hear anything. After several seconds he appeared in a very strange place. He was standing over an abyss and a lot of flying rocks were flying under him. He didn't know what he could do further. After several minutes he realized that he had to get to the other side of the abyss. He started jump from one flying rock to another. It was very difficult. Several times he almost fell. But in the end, after a great deal of suffering he reached the other side of the abyss.

As soon as he jumped down from the last rock, the world around him darkened again.

And, thus, he appeared on the next strange place. It was a flat plateau. And nothing was there. Suddenly, somewhere from behind the rocks a huge monster jumped to Mao. Monster tried to catch him and Mao ran. Monster almost caught this little man, so Mao had no choice but to climb the rock. He understood that the rock wasn't a problem for the monster and that he had to do something to save his life.

Abruptly, he saw a big stone from the other side of the rock. He went there and started to call the monster. When monster came, Mao pushed a stone on the head of the monster. When the monster was no longer moving, a strange sound appeared and something like a huge window opened in the sky.

Through this window Mao saw the large creature that looked like a man, it stared at Mao. The creature was sitting in the strangest place of those that he had ever seen in his life. This was something even more amazing than the flying rocks and the huge monster…