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The Town of Darkwater

A Parable With a Dark Side

By larry chambersPublished 4 months ago 7 min read
Image by Christin Chambers

Once upon a time, there was a young investigative reporter with a unique ability to solve bizarre and unusual mysteries. He lived for the adventure. He believed human society to be out of balance and have lost its connection to the spiritual world. He believed that unseen negative forces that have been left unchecked were causing mischief in the natural world.

He spent years traveling around the country looking for evidence of strange phenomena that might validate the existence of such unseen forces. His quest took him to big cities and small towns, friendly communities, and faraway places. But he never found any objective evidence that could verify the existence of these dark forces.

Then one day, he heard about a town where people would be strolling along, doing nothing when suddenly they’d be swallowed up and carried away by a river of dark raging waters.

The town of Darkwater was not far from the reporter's home. It was tucked away in a valley on the other side of the mountains.

When our investigative reporter finally arrived in Darkwater, he checked into a motel near the edge of town. It was still light when he arrived. He figured the best place to get information was at the local courthouse. He was about to go inside when a striking-looking red head hurried past him with her hands filled with papers. As she ran down the courthouse steps, she didn't seem to notice that behind her was what looked like a giant wall of black rushing water. The young reporter stood in shock at the wall of bubbling water, maybe twelve feet tall, which seemed to be growing in size.

After she glanced over her shoulder, the woman started running faster to get away — but the mass of black churring waters increased in speed until it enveloped her from behind, and she disappeared.

The investigative reporter had seen all types of bizarre happenings but nothing quite like what he had just witnessed. That night he called his editor and told him what happened, his editor didn't believe his story.

That following day, our reporter decided to eat breakfast at a little restaurant the motel manager had recommended as the best food in town. But when the reporter strolled in, the first thing he noticed was the cook arguing with one of the waitresses. The cook looked agitated. The waitress flung off her apron and stormed past the reporter and out the front door. The cook followed her out the door and into the street. The reporter watched through the window as they stood there quarreling, unaware of a dark mass of water bubbling up from the ground around them, until it was too late and they both disappeared in its current.

The investigative reporter rubbed his eyes in disbelief. He asked the other waitress if she had seen what had just happened.

“No,” she replied nonchalantly. Then she went back to wiping down tables as if nothing had happened.

The reporter marched out the door without ordering.

“You lose your appetite?” the waitress asked without lifting her head.

On the way back to the motel the reporter saw another woman strolling towards him. She was talking to herself while pushing a shopping cart filled with her possessions. She too hadn’t noticed the bubbling black water following her.

“Look out!” the reporter shouted. She tried to run, but the bubbling wall of water caught up to her and then she was gone.

Story or no story, I’m getting out of here.

The reporter ran back to the motel, paid his bill, hopped in his car, and headed out of town. As he drove past the Darkwater bus station, he spotted four people sitting on a bench. It was the striking-looking woman; the cook, the waitress, and the woman with the grocery cart — only now they all looked disshuffelved and wet.

Too rattled to talk to them, the reporter continued on his way. Up ahead was a railroad crossing with its red lights flashing. On the other side of the train tracks stood a tall woman waiting but not paying much attention to the passing locomotive. The reporter could see the same wall of bubbling black waters between railroad cars growing in size behind her. He began desperately honking his horn and waved his arms, trying to get her attention, but she never looked up.

After the train rolled past the railroad crossing lifted, the rushing wall of black water surrounded her, but she didn’t try and run away. Instead, she said something, then made a hand gesture like she was swooshing away a pesky fly, then continued on her way. Suddenly that wall of water collapsed and disappeared.

Boy, do I have a story to tell?

Instead of leaving town, the young investigative reporter decided to stay and interview the people he’d seen carried away by the wall of raging water. His objective was to discover what had occurred in the moments before they disappeared.

His first interview was with the striking-looking woman. She told him that her husband had just lost all their money gambling, and because of that she had barely enough to buy food for her family. She was afraid of what her friends would say if they found out her husband has a gambling problem. She told this to her best friend, who agreed with her, added her own version of terrible things about him, and supported her decision to file for a divorce. She had just left the courthouse when that raging water wall sucked her under.

* * *

Our reporter's next interviewed the cook and the waitress he’d seen arguing outside the café.

“That day, I’d decided to confront him,’ the young waitress began, pointing at the cook.

“I guess I thought I could trust him. But he sweet-talks every woman that steps into the café. She started spying on him after work, but even though she didn’t find that he was doing anything wrong, she couldn’t stop thinking about him chatting up every young woman that enters the café.

Next, the reporter asked the cook for his side of the story. The cook told him how they had been getting into progressively bigger arguments until, finally, that day in the café, she accused him of cheating on her but that was not true, still he lost his temper and told her he wanted to end it.

“It triggered all this rage I had been keeping bottled up inside,” he admitted.

“Okay, I love to flirt with the pretty women, I always have but I never acted on it. But she had no interest in hearing my side of the story,” the cook went on. “She made me feel like some kind of pervert and all these feelings of anger began building up inside. The last thing I remember was we were standing toe to toe in the middle of the street yelling at each other when bang.”

Our reporter asked the woman with the grocery cart what was she thinking just before the waters hit her. She told him about her teenage daughter staying out all night drinking. Her daughter had threatened to run away so they had got into a big argument, and both said hurtful things, and she couldn’t stop thinking about what they said.

Just as the reporter finished his interviews he spotted the woman who had parted the wall of dark waters. He thanked the group and took off running after her.

“Miss, Miss! Wait up.” When he finally caught up to her, he asked her if she knew what just happened back at the railroad crossing.

“What do you mean?” she asked calmly.

“So far today, I have witnessed four people disappear in a wall of raging waters. You said something?”

“Well, I was in deep thought about all the reasons why I shouldn't take this new job when I heard the train horn blasting. For a moment, it shook me. But it also woke me up. I have taught myself whenever I hear negative inner chatter, I stop and tell that voice to go on ahead without me.”

“Wow, that’s amazing. How did you come up with that strategy?” the young reporter asked.

“I noticed there is no voice in my head when I come upon a beautiful rose, and there is no inner conversation trying to justify my innate response to its beauty. A rose doesn’t come with reasons why it's beautiful. It is just a beautiful rose.

The End


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