No Writer Save Flynn

A short story by a non-anonymous contributor:

no writer, not even the accomplished Mike Flynn, can draw deep water from a shallow pond.

Moonlight flashed off the still surface of the pond where the OFloinn stood hesitantly with the wooden bucket in hand. Full moon. He cast an eye about the woods and adjoining meadow and let out a cautious breath. Things walked the night under a full moon’s embrace; but at least you could see them coming. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? Or was it only a thing.

Plumblack Pond was hardly deserving of the name, being more puddle than pond. Faith was not required to walk across it, as one would sink at most to the ankles. It was not deep enough to harbor frogs, let alone fish, and insects skittered over it in fearless abandon.

The Shadow, Seancey Wight, required a bucket of water from the center of Plumblack Pond taken at the seventh hour of the night; but it seemed to the OFloinn that a bucket would empty it out entirely. He sighed and glanced at the handle of the little dipper and judged by the celestial clock face that the appointed time had come.

He had tied a two-fathom length of sturdy hemp to the bucket’s handle so he could throw it into the center of the pond without stepping through the sucking mud. Now he swung the bucket experimentally and, on the third swing, let fly.

The bucket fell dead center in the pond and sat there. How can I draw deep water from such a shallow pond? the OFloinn wondered.

But just at that moment, the water beneath the bucket seemed to give way and the vessel sank out of sight. Well, he thought, that solves that problem, although he did think it curious that the bucket could go under in such a shallow pond.

He began to haul back on the rope to collect the water, but the bucket proved remarkably heavy. He grunted and strained and the lip of the bucket just broke the black surface of the water.

But for just a moment. The two hands as dark as hunter’s green emerged from the pond and seized the bucket by its mouth and pulled it under. The OFloinn had a moment to ponder this sight when he was reminded that he had wrapped the rope around his arms for leverage.

The rope pulled him into the pond, sliding across the mucky pond-bottom, plowing from its slimy embrace grey worms and nameless creatures, drawing him toward the center where the rope was raveling rapidly under the waters.

But that is impossible, he thought. Unless…. Unless the pond were the surface of an n-dimensional hypersphere and he, like an unfortunate Flatlander peeled from his 2-dimensional sheet, were being pulled into a fourth dimension.

How can that be? he wondered. This is a fantasy, not science fiction! That’s mixing genres!

But the only answer was the maniacal laughter of the Wight, who had tempted him into this misadventure. At the last he realized the truth. The pond was not plum-black, but plumb-lack, and its waters were very deep indeed.

no writer, not even the accomplished Mike Flynn, can draw deep water from a shallow pond.

Sez who?