Lake Nans

A thunderous crack of lightning awoke the darkness and ripped the sky open. Two women, draped in silken robes, struggled to stand in a small boat on the raging waters of Lake Nans. A gaping hole loomed above them hemorrhaging chaos and swirling as it grew larger.

The younger woman chanted and moved her arms in great arcs, her fingers traced out complex patterns as she struggled against the Void to hold the rift open. Her mother heaved a great sword wrapped in leather above her head and watched the gap grow, waiting for the right moment.

Before she had a chance to hurl the weapon into the rift, an enormous shadowed hand reached out of the Void. Grotesque fingers darted out and groped around in the darkness, searching for their target.

The boat lurched and the women lost their footing. The mother gasped as the ghostly hand grasped at the air mere inches from her face. When she reached down to help her daughter up, she winced at a trail of blood that trickled down her daughter’s face, quickly looking away before her daughter saw the tears swelling in her eyes. Before she could change her mind, the older woman braced her legs against the sides of the boat and launched the sword toward the shore where the Elder stood, stiff and focused in meditation.

Instantly, the Elder’s hand appeared from his cloak, catching the leather wrapped sword and swung it over his shoulder and into his pack in one fluid motion. His wrinkled fingers steady and swift.  In a heartbeat, he was motionless again, but a low murmur emanated from his lips.

The younger woman got to her feet, but her chanting took on an urgent tone and the rift responded violently. The vortex’s churning reversed and the hole into the darkness shrank in fits like the chopping of the lake. The disembodied hand flailed wildly and smashed down onto the boat, sending splintered wood flying to the shore. A huge wave crashed outward, sending great ripples pulsating across the lake.

Suddenly, the rift imploded with a resounding pop.

The lake was once again calm and clear in the full moon light.

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