“There’s something unholy in the pond,” he said, and then he grabbed me with his ancient claw, rolled his bone white eyes around his shrunken head and died.
He hadn’t been popular so few came to the funeral and even fewer stayed behind for the wake. I drank cheap rum with his last three friends.
“He said there was something in the pond the last time I saw him,” said one. They turned and looked at me. I was the only remaining occupant of the house. Had I seen anything in the pond? I smiled and reassured them that the pond was cleaned every month and, as yet, there had been no discovery of any hidden treasures.
After they left, I unhooked my coat from behind the door and trudged down the garden path; curiosity had gotten the better of me. Had he seen something? He had been particularly agitated in his final weeks and he had been out there when he’d had his heart attack.
The pond was the size of a small pool and quite deep. I bent over the side and gave the water a quick stir, shifting the water lilies to get a better view of the depths. Beneath the green scum, on a ledge below the surface, just out of reach, I could see it. It was a child’s hand. The tattered skin around the bony fingers fluttered like white lace in the murky dark. I looked around the sides of the pond and found a rock about the size of a baby’s head. I dropped the rock into the pond. It quietly splashed through the dark water and fell as if through treacle upon the ledge. I watched the tiny fingers delicately thrum a final tattoo before being pulled down to the bottomless-black of the pond by the gently settling stone.