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Beneath the Waters
Perfect! The best day to go out for a picnic. Freddie and Casey skipped over to their usual picnic site where they constantly had their weekly Sunday lunch. They parked at the side of a huge lake, ‘The Lake of Peace’, as they had named it, and enthusiastically unpacked their food ready to be gobbled up. The grass was of a perfect green colour and the glistening blue water shimmered under the dazzling sunlight. The scattered flowers danced in the wind, showing off their petals which came alive in all sorts of colour. Freddie and Casey sat on the grass and faced the lake, and right across to the other side and past the banks, stood an enormous mountain. It was so high that they couldn’t see the peak. This place was located in a remote land in Scotland; the city was hundreds of kilometres away.
Meanwhile, their schoolmate Bill surreptitiously followed them to find out what they were doing every Sunday afternoon. Immediately, he recognised the area and he knew it was a dangerous place to be in. It was extremely perilous to venture to this area every week. Apparently, as Bill’s grandfather had told him, there was a myth that an unknown creature roamed beneath the waters of the lake, always ready to seize an innocent fellow who happened to be wading in the cool water. Bill’s grandfather also added that there were hundreds of dead bodies on the other side of the lake, namely the victims who had been attacked by the monster. It did seem that the story could be true, in Bill’s opinion, because hundreds of people mysteriously disappear every year without explanation. But Bill couldn’t jump out and warn them now; he was spying on them and they would be as furious as lion should they discover that they had been spied on.
Freddie and Casey were also constantly wondering what lived on the other side of the lake; it was so vast that their eyes couldn’t make out what was living over there. Unlike Bill, they were unaware of the myth and had always considered to swim there and explore the land, but were always too afraid to do it. However today, Freddie was unusually eager to swim across the lake.
“Come on, we’re fourteen this year. And you still think we’re too young to swim to the other side?”
“Freddie, I’m really not sure. I’ve never taken up swimming lessons and there’s no one supervising us –“
“Please Freddie let’s not take the risk, please...”
She didn’t continue speaking; however, as she did notice that Freddie’s face was painted with disappointment and tears were welling up in his eyes.
“Ok...I’ll do it.”
When Bill heard this statement he couldn’t help but to emit a loud gasp of horror. Immediately the couple spun around to find Bill hiding behind a few strands of long weeds. They were both so shocked they stayed rooted to the spot, their mouths unable to emit even a slight whisper. Freddie, agitated and horrified, finally pulled himself together and stammered, “Why are you here? This is our time together. Were you spying on us?” Bill was tremendously angry that he revealed himself. All he could mutter was “Don’t go inside the lake.”
Freddie considered this statement for a moment, and while he was doing so there was complete silence. Not even the wind blew the ruffling trees. The water stopped splashing against the sides and the sunlight began to fade. Freddie broke the silence again. “You think there are sharks in the lake,” he said mockingly, and Casey giggled at his statement.
With that Freddie and Casey undressed and dived into the calm crystal water. They laughed and giggled and splashed in the water, while Bill stood at the side shaking his head in distaste. This had gone on for a few moments until their voices had faded, and shortly after followed a deafening, high-pitched scream. Without thinking, Bill dived into the water and swam as fast as he could towards the middle where the others were. Puffing and panting, he moved his arms as quickly as possible, although water had entered through his nose and down the throat, and the inside of his lungs were wailing as if they were on fire. His vision was blurred by the water because he did not pack any goggles with him, but nevertheless, he paddled towards the sound of the deafening squeal of Casey. By now his arms were aching in excruciating pain and he thought that he would drown anytime and would be attacked by the monster. But his determination overcame his pain. “I must go on! I must go on...”
The screeching sound grew louder and louder by the minute. By now the dark grey clouds had covered the sun and it almost seemed like night-time. The wind was now howling like ghosts and a chill ran up his spine. He suddenly realised that he was lonely, until he could find out where the other two were. At last he saw three other figures, two about the same size and shape as him and one at such an intimidating size that Bill froze in shock for a split second. Then it dawned onto Bill that the whole purpose he swam here was to rescue his schoolmates; it would be unbearable to see them being dragged underneath the water’s surface in front of his eyes. He seized into action, paddling towards the monster. The other two were fighting at their hardest, determined not to lose or give up. However, the black creature was winning; his tentacles – more than ten of them – were enough to squeeze the juices out of two vulnerable children with any effort at all.
At last he reached the monster’s head. Apparently it was unaware about the presence of a third human being; it made no effort at adding Bill to his ‘collection of little people’. He struck three mighty blows at its head, and instantly the monster released Freddie and Casey from its grip. They sprung back straight into action and started attacking the monster. It was now heading for Bill, who was desperately trying to escape the horrible, dreadful beast, roaring like thunder and was infuriated at them. Never in his life had come so close to death, always dodging the deathly tentacles by less than a centimetre. Freddie was now tying its tentacles into knots, and Casey repetitiously aimed powerful, massive blows at the beast. Now howling in agony, it gave up chasing Bill, who was enormously relieved and he resumed striking and kicking the beast’s tummy mercilessly. There was no time to waste; every second was precious and the three of them were fighting for their lives. After what had seemed years of fighting, they all aimed one mighty punch on the beast’s bruised head, and acknowledging its defeat, it sunk down and down, refusing to fight anymore.
The three frantically swam to the nearest bank, scrambling on to the grass, kneeling and gasping for air and panting in fatigue. They were on the verge of collapsing, but they managed to stay strong and not pass out. Freddie and Casey were so grateful they managed to emit a whisper of “thank you”, and Bill couldn’t help it but to grin proudly at what he had done just then. He was heroic, he saved them from drowning, and he saved them from being welcomed by death.
They eventually recovered from their fatigue, and discovered that they were now on the other side of the lake. There were piles of human skeletons on the grass, which, unlike the other side, was rotten brown in colour. The place had a lingering smell of dead bodies, and half-terrified to death, the trio ran all the way around the lake back to their sanctuary; they didn’t want to be involved in trouble again. They finally packed up all their items and left the site in haste, with no intention to return back ever again.
It was not until they started walking had they realised that through this event, the friendship among the three of them strengthened tremendously. Though this incident was one of terror, torture and desperation, it was a memorable one, and a heroic one. After all, they were the first people in history to escape the monster that had claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people for centuries.