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Don't Swim on Sundays

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When I was 6 years old, my family had a nice house near a small lake. It was a nice private community where little to nothing ever really happened. We had been living there for about a month when my grandma decided to come and visit us.

My little brother and I were out swimming and goofing around when we saw her car pull up the drive toward our house and raced to meet her. Grandma always had gifts when she came to visit. This time she brought us fishing poles, but for days we couldn't go swimming. Anxious to try them out, my brother and I took off running towards the lake, poles in hand.

Around dinner time Mom called us back to the house to clean up and eat. Grandma had made us her special Sloppy Joe's and home made chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We ate quickly knowing that grandma would have a new story to tell us. She always had the best stories about how things were created or why things are the way they are now.

For example, she said the reason that a mosquito always buzzes in your ear is to ask if people are mad at them for biting, or the reason wolves howl at the moon is because the mother of all wolves lost a bet to a clever rabbit and was catapulted up there. Her stories usually made us all laugh until our sides hurt. Especially when she would use the funny voices for the characters.

This story was different though. There were no funny animal voices. There was no crazy theory of something coming to existence. This story was scary.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who lived on a tiny island in the middle of a lake. The boy loved to go swimming around his island and would spend hours out there. His mother always told him never to swim on a Sunday but the boy didn't listen. One Sunday, it was very dark and cloudy. The boy decided he was going to go swimming despite his mother's pleas not to.

While he was swimming, a large fish came up and swallowed the boy whole. The boy and the fish were never seen again. You see, the fish had magical powers. It only appears when it's hungry, and only on Sundays. It is said that the fish is the devil's pet but no one is sure. Once the fish digests its latest meal, it will come back and hunt once again. This could be a matter of weeks, months, or years, no one knows for sure!

Needless to say, my brother and I were totally freaked out. We refused to go near the lake on Sundays for a long time for fear of getting swallowed by some mutant devil fish thing. This made my mother happy because Sunday was supposed to be family day.

That was when everything went terribly wrong. You see, my dad smoked in the house a lot. Especially when he was working on a home improvement project. One afternoon he was applying lacquer to the back deck when his cigarette fell out of his mouth and into the pail of flammable liquid. The deck was covered in flames which spread to the house quickly. We all went running out toward the beach to escape the fire as we watched our home burn to the ground. As we were running, I noticed my shirt was on fire. Panic set in and I sprinted toward the water. I dove in without thinking and instantly felt the cool water kill the flame. It was then that I hear what my little brother was screaming. "DON'T SWIM ON SUNDAYS!!!"

That was the last time I saw my family.

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