His Master threw him into the vortex of the lake. Immediately the water swirled and gurgled about him, pulling him down. He fought against it, his Master’s words mostly drowned out by the rushing water all about:
“D- — fi–t i-.”
All about the pool began to appear the faces of people he once knew: people he had left behind on this journey. They were ghosts now, apparitions, and when he tried to reach out to them, they turned their backs silently.
That was right. They had made their decisions, and he had made his.
Finally he turned to the last apparition. It was himself. No… not he as he was now. It was his former self. The self that had longed for all those other ghosts that had let him down.
His former self shook his head before voicing out words. In the silence that hung between the past and the present, the present understood what the past was trying to say:
His past did not turn his back on him. Instead, it simply vanished. And he, in turn, stopped struggling: he let himself be pulled down into the swirling, glowing depths of the mystic blue lake.