Published by HarperCollins, "The Dark Pond" is a 2004 horror tale written by Joseph Bruchac. Without drawing from any one legend in particular, Bruchac's story is inspired by traditional tales told by American Indian nations, such as the Senecas and Shawnees. These tales play a pivotal role in framing the events that play out in "The Dark Pond."
Armin Katchatorian is the main character of "The Dark Pond," a young man of Shawnee and Armenian descent. Armin attends a prep school in upstate New York. He is a loner whose main connections are with animals. He has an ability to "feel" things. His extrasensory ability is conceivably the reason Armin is "contacted" by an eerie pond in the middle of a forest. The pond reaches out to Armin through horrible dreamlike visions and instills a yearning in him difficult to resist.
Initially, Armin is unable to resist the call to the mysterious pond and almost enters the water until he is prevented by a fox. When he comes to his senses, he notices that animal tracks lead to the pond but do not return from it. Afterward, Armin recalls the Native American tales of lake monsters that his mother had told him when he was a child. He begins to suspect that there is a connection between them and what lurks in the ominous pond.
Armin meets Mitch Sabattis, a Native American graduate student in zoology who is working on the grounds crew at the school. When Armin tells Mitch about the pond, Mitch confesses he felt that same force from the pond and tells Armin to stay away from it. The two begin to unravel the mystery of the pond but from radically different approaches. Mitch looks to science and pragmatism to understand what is happening, while Armin sticks to what he knows: his uncanny ability to feel things.
The Pond Standoff
Rather than taking off for a spring break destination like the other students, Armin decides to investigate the pond. When he arrives at the site, he comes face-to-face with the monster. The creature is trying to pull Mitch into the depths of the pond. Armin rushes to Mitch's aid. They fight for their lives in a battle with the creature.