Isn't that a beautiful? It's a perfect representation of how I see Ecstasy Lake. Surrounded by trees, the water is cold enough that a mystic looking fog drifts over it as the sun rapidly warms the air.
The world is still and quiet, except for the wildlife that move around just out of site.
I used to go camping in Norther Ontario years ago and it's like another world up there. The air is fresh and clean. I can think about it and feel my stress levels drop. When I started imaging a small town, it was only natural for it to be located in one of the most beautiful places in the world to me.
Esctasy Lake is a small town nestled into the side of Algonquin Park. It's not unlike other tourist towns, the population explodes in the summer and then shrinks to the locals in the winter. You won't find a more open minded community. Polyamorous relationship are common enough that someone vandalizes the Welcome sign every spring by spray painting a '3x' over the Ecs of Ecstasy Lake. But this town has it's secrets.
Regardless of what they look like, many of the residents aren't human. They found their way to this town when they needed help and then stayed on. Most believe that it's Fate that led them to this sanctuary. There are all manner of creatures that live here and every time I take a stroll down main street, more and more introduce themselves to me.
One of my favourite parts of Embraced By Fur is when Carol McKade is looking over the lake trying to decide what to do with her life.
“How the hell did you sneak up on me like that?”
The man tilted back his head and laughed. The booming sound echoed over the water and reinforced the Viking image that first crossed her mind when she looked at him. “I’m afraid that you were caught up in your own thoughts. I tend to stomp when I walk. Here. I brought you a coffee. Double-double right?”
A large takeout cup was placed in front of her. She recognized The Shack’s logo on the side of it. “How did you know what I took in my coffee?”
“Catherine told me. She asked me to bring this to you.”
“That was very thoughtful of her.” I’ve only picked up a coffee once or twice, and she remembered what I like in it? She’d been going to the same coffee shop in the city every day for five years, and she had to tell them every day how she took her caffeine. Not for the first time this morning, she questioned if she was doing the right thing to even consider going back.
“I saw the look on your face as I got closer. The lake has that effect on people.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Sure you do.” He leaned a hip against the rail next to her and sipped from the cup in his large hand. “I was simply passing though when I first spotted that big black puddle. I sat on a rock and thought of things I hadn’t wondered in years. Next thing I realize, five years had passed. I had a home I didn’t know I wanted, and a family I wasn’t born to. You look too close and it will make you question everything you think you know.”
“What if you don’t know the truth or have any answers to the question?”
“Then keep looking.”
A hawk screeched and dove toward the lake, plucking a fish from its surface. “Oh my god. Did you see that?” She turned to the big man, but he was gone. She looked back and forth, scanning the length of the boardwalk and up the stairs behind her. He was gone. Curiouser and curiouser. But then this was Ecstasy Lake, and she was fast learning that things were much different here than anywhere else in the world.
I have three books written about this unique place. Caress of Fur, Embraced by Fur and Wrapped in Fur will be released December 19th.
Do you have a favourite place to visit or somewhere that holds special memories for you?