Somewhere in the boondocks of America there is a small town called Waterfall; this was a unique place because of the lake. The lake looks like it has a life of its own There was glow that one could see at night, it is as though the lake had its own living aura. Legend says the lake has its own spirit. What’s for sure is life flourished in and around the lake. Even people from the surrounding towns as well as the residents of Waterfall camp out at the lake side and spend some quality time with their loved ones. That is the way it used to be.
Unknowing to the residents of Waterfall their state elected officials were corrupted and they sold their souls to the devil in the guise of an economic developer broker. This developer was given the green light to lease the land around the lake to the highest bidder. Whoever won the bid is suppose to develop the land; however the type of development for the soon to be leased land was not planned. Because of that the developer unscrupulously leased the land to a company that planned to build a factory on the site. Construction of the factory took its toll on the environment; some of the waste was not deposed of properly and a lot of construction waste made it into the lake. This was the start of a slippery slope leading to the degrading of the lake.
So now the factory was completed and it was opened for business. Pretty soon the smoke from the smoke stacks filled the once clean air; and unfortunately the factory owners illegally dug a small trench so that some of the lake’s waters will go into the factory to cool down the machines. Clean water goes in, dirty water goes out ended up into the lake.
Gradually the lake became polluted, it wasn’t evident at first but some people did take notice and when they made some noise their palm was greased and they became silent. Many of Waterfall’s residents did not say anything because either they were employees of the factory or somebody in their family was. In essence they became dependent on the factory and they loved their increased ability to purchase material products; all at the expense of their crown jewel, the lake.
Pretty soon the lake lost its aura and when that happened the fish started to die and the other water dependent animals went away to other locations. The lake now looked lifeless, not even a cricket, or the water’s current could be heard in the lake area. So now the lake appears to be dead.
With the death of the lake the whole area started to look and feel different. Now all you see in the surrounding woods are shadows of despair. Then it seems that karma struck back at the factory because pretty soon business was no longer flourishing and the factory started laying off people. The first hired hands to go were those from Waterfall who are the people who was suppose to look after the lake. Pretty soon the factory closed up it’s doors leaving the building abandoned.
Sky Cloud who is a descendent of the Native American Indian tribe who used to inhabit the area was passing through. He was on some sort of pilgrimage visiting the lands where his tribe used to occupy before they were driven out by the U.S government. There were various legends about the lands that was passed down to each generation. Sky Cloud enjoyed those stories and carried them with him in his heart.
While doing his pilgrimage Sky Cloud found himself in Waterfall; he could feel that the lake’s spirit was calling out for his help; this is when he felt that the tribal legends of the land that was told to him were no myth and that since he was a descendent of the disposed tribe he felt it was his duty to at least convince the residents of Waterfall to rehabilitate the land.
Sky Cloud went and partitioned for a land reform grant from the Federal gov’t and was successful. However when he returned to Waterfall to get residents to participate he did not get a lot of cooperation. Since the land developer and the factory owners and corrupted officials used and abused their trust they no longer trusted the word of outsiders. They didn’t care about Sky Cloud’s ancestral link to the area. But lucky for Sky Cloud the legend of the lake’s spirit was still floating around, even among the current people inhabiting the area. This gave Sky Cloud an idea; he called upon a film maker friend of his in New York and told him to get his buns out to the boondocks and bring his film equipment with him. Then together they made a special film footage.
Now Sky Cloud will put his idea to the test. Him and his film maker friend got an old projector and in the dead of night they played the short film footage. It was Sky Cloud dressed up as a spirit ghost telling the residents of Waterfall to clean up the lake and rehabilitate the surrounding land. The residents of Waterfall started to gather themselves together and they organized to clean up the lake and rehabilitate the land. Each night Sky Cloud and his friend projected the short footage they made of the spirit ghost.
On a bright moon lit night while projecting the short footage; someone was walking their dog in the woods. The dog stopped, he smelled a familiar scent of a squirrel that he loved to chase. The dog bolted chased the squirrel, it went up a tree and the dog jumped in the bushes in a bid to climb the tree. The dog couldn’t climb the tree, but he manage to knock over the hidden film projector where Sky Cloud and his friend was projecting the made up film footage of the spirit ghost.
So now Sky Cloud’s scheme was discovered. This put Waterfall’s residents at arms. They were furious that they were tricked into taking action to clean up the lake and rehabilitate the surrounding land. The crowd gathered around, it was almost as if Sky Cloud and his friend was going to be lynched.
Luckily for them one of Waterfalls activists stepped in and gave the crowd a speech and lecture about it takes a stranger to see the value of what they have and he only did what he did for Waterfall’s own good. So now the crowd became ashamed of their actions and they vowed to do the cleanup.
It took a couple of months to get all the garbage out of the water, fill in the old illegal trench going to the abandoned factory building and once the lake and surrounding area was free and clear of debris and garbage Mother Nature did the rest. The lake’s water slowly became as clear as it was before and gradually the lake’s aura came back and once again the lake became a symbol of life.
On the political side the land was declared a historic landmark so now no development could take place on that land. It was recognized and respected that Sky Cloud’s tribe were the original inhabitants of the area and the Waterfall residents allows a delegation from the tribe to do their traditional rituals in the area at certain times of the year.
One darken night as Sky Cloud was driving past the lake off to his next destination his car suddenly stalled when he was as close to the lake as possible; then he saw a bright light illuminating from the lake and an indescribable figure walking out of the water and stood in front of Sky Cloud’s car. The figure made a gesture of appreciation to Sky Cloud to thank him for his efforts and then after a few minutes it disappeared back into the lake.
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Written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo photo prompt challenge