THE FOUNTAIN

by joey aristophanes




He'd taken to long walks on Saturday afternoons, out in the thick woods that lined the edges of their little house in the country. He would meander the forgotten trails up one hill and down the other, never following any set route, save that which his feet took him.

One day, his feet led him to a small pond he'd never seen before. As he stood beside it, suddenly the water broke into merry bubbles that danced on the surface, then rose into a glistening little fountain. And a voice from within the fountain laughed gaily, "Edgar, welcome to the Fountain of Youth!"

He stood back in sudden fear, even as the fountain grew until it soared over him. Unbelievable music now filled the air. The voice called again: "This is the Fountain of Youth, Edgar! Drink!"

"What will happen to me if I do this?"

"Youth will be yours!" the fountain replied.

"I mean, yes, I understand that... but how young? What exactly are we talking about here? 40? 30? 18?"

The fountain swirled and sang as it danced higher and higher. "Youth will be yours!" it repeated.

"Is this a going-back-in-time kind of youth? Or do I just get younger? Will anyone recognize me? Will I remember everything? What about my investments? My bank accounts? My 401K? I'm supposed to retire next year will this screw it up?"

"Youth will be yours," the fountain repeated, somewhat fainter now and sounding more than a bit annoyed.

"Look, just tell me this: has anyone else ever done this? Anyone I might know?"

"Okay, fine. Whatever." The music faded away. The fountain vanished, and the pond was still once more.

"Did you have a nice time on your walk today?" his wife asked over dinner that night.

He shrugged. "The ponds around here are pretty amazing."

"Well, dont even think of taking a drink from one. Who knows what's in that water."

He nodded, with a sigh.

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