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"Want to bet I can't land if I jump off the swing?"
It was a Friday night and the crisp fall air nipped at my best friend Sam and I as we swung at a little park on the side of town. We skipped the football game everyone had decided to go to, for the alternative of drinking and hanging out. And, after we got drunk off our bums, we made our way here to the small local park with the halfway broken town swings and pavilion, with countless obscenities and names carved into every inch of it the tables under the roof had no flat surface whatsoever. The town had redone everything two years ago, and it didn't even take a year to get it back to this point.
But that was okay with Sam and I, we liked the rundown feel it had.
"Sam, if you can land that I'll give you the rest of the beer from the house."
Sam smiled at this, and made an okay signal with his right hand, I swear whenever he could he would use that hand signal.
He slowed himself down slightly and I frowned, instantly knowing his plan. He waited until he wasn't too far above the ground, and going at only half the speed as when he asked for the bet, to make his jump. Of course he landed safely with his precautions. He had a wide grin on his face which only grew as he turned and saw my face.
"Never said when I would jump off."
And with a laugh he stretched his arms up, I soon hopped off my swing, soon joining him on the ground.
"Should have known you were gonna cheat some way."
"Yeah, you should have, we've only been best friends for what? Seven years?"
"Eight next week. But come on, let's go get you your beer."
"Yeah! Let's go!"
And with that we were off.
The whole time we walked Sam talked, droning on and on about school and girls. Across the stone bridge it was his homework in Pre Calc. and how good Amy looked in her skirt. And as we walked down main street and then up broad street, he went on about how boring Hamlet was and how he wondered what "Shakespearean babes" looked like, he mentioned googling them later. And when we finally turned onto Vanish street and went to the last house on the right, he went on about how the school's lunch would be so much better if they hired younger women to cook for us all.
The whole time, even as I was pulling the keys from my pocket to unlock the door, I just nodded my head and rolled my eyes, we had probably been over these topics countless of times as his crush on Amy had lasted since ninth grade until now, eleventh grade, and would probably never fade.
I tried to convince him to talk to her a few times but he was too nervous.
I finally opened the door and tossed my coat on the hanger, a thump on the ground let me know Sam took his coat off in his usual way, shrug here, shrug there, straighten arms, and let gravity to the rest.
"Darren, that you?"
I sometimes wondered how my mother could have such a gentle tone, yet have the spirit of a lion. I could still remember one time in the grocery store, when I was only five, her and some other mom got into an argument because they both wanted the same box of cereal and it was the last of its type.
I think it was then I heard my first sentence made up of nothing but cusses. In the end, my mom got the cereal for me though, while the other mother only got an angry five year old to deal with.
"Yeah mom! Just me and Sam!"
Sam and I continued through the two story house then, we weren't planning on staying long though, just long enough to slip downstairs, slip on our hoodies, and slip right out the back door.
Of course mom would kill me if she found out I was sneaking out, but she hasn't yet so I was feeling pretty cocky about the ordeal. But not stupid enough to try anything stupid. That's where most kids made their mistakes after all.
We spent about half an hour in the house, longer than I wanted, but Mom wanted to talk to me about how my cousin Jake was coming to town next week and she expected me and my brother and sister to show him around. Of course I was okay with this, because just like Sam, he was a best friend, more like a brother then my actual older brother. I was the youngest of three kids, my brother and sister are twins. Although they look nothing alike. They were complete opposites in fact, Damien had cropped, black hair, seemed to always stick to himself, and always wore his black hoodie, which you could only barely see his dark blue eyes.
Last Christmas he gave me a hoodie just like his, I had thought that meant we were going to be getting closer, but nothing really changed. My sister, Sierra, however, had blonde hair and a bubbly personality, her green eyes always sparkling, and a warm smile ready for any and all. And while everyone seemed to be repelled by Damian, they seemed to be compelled by Sierra.
After talking with mom Sam and I made our escape, and crossed the back yard. The fog was growing by the minute as the small town of Lakesville, it was settled hundreds of years ago, and a town sprung up around the giant lake in the middle of town, a small river brought the water in through the mountains, it came from a passage under the mountains, no one has ever explored it all however. Something, a quarter of a mile in makes all electricity short circuit and a wind blows out other ways of light.
But this was okay with me and Sam as we loved the mist, we had always loved playing in it when we were children, and here we were now, running down the back allys as the mist gree heavier, we wanted to get the river side before we couldn't see. It took us about ten minutes to reach the river side, and only another two for us to crack open our beers and start relaxing. Both of us had drawn our hoods up as the night air rolled in, binging with it a new coldness. It didn't help the mist made the air wet, as water vapor basically was everywhere.
We laid there just shooting the shit for a good half hour before we heard the sound, we were both confused at first and it took us a few moments to realize what the sound was.
We bolted to the edge of the land, where a small dip was built so people could view the water with ease. It took us another few moments to realize where the splashing was, and right when we saw the large arm sticking out of the water, Sam and I immediately jumped in, we were head of the swim team, so we were able to make it to the frailing figure in seconds, and as soon as we reached it we kicked into action, we had also been life guards at the beach one state over last summer.
We pulled the figure's arms up and over our shoulders, trying to pull it up and out of the water, we yanked and swam forward slightly. I noticed the figure wasn't even trying to help us save it, and I let out a slightly angered yell.
And as soon as I did its fingers locked down onto my shoulder, and then tried yanking me backwards. Luckily I was wearing the hoodie my brother gave me which was slightly too big in the shoulder area but tight everywhere else, and the fingers tore through, setting me free.
I raced to land knowing my hoodie would only slow me down now.
"Man, that was close. Wasn't it Sam?" I said when I pulled myself up, but a quick look to my side made me repeat his name,
I yelled frantically as I turned around, staring in horror at the water.
I could see him frantically kicking the grey figure in the water, but I could also see it was pointless. Water had filled his pants and hoodie. Dragging him down, and the creature pulled him down. I think he knew he was done for too, because as I stood there and watched in horror, he kicked the creature once in the face, raised his right hand, and made his okay sign. The very next moment he was gone. Him and the creature both taken under, out of my view.
I ran home, shaking and stumbling the whole way. My hoodie was tossed into a yard chair, and the door was tossed open. Before mom had even said a word the phone was in my hand and 911 was typed in.
When I began to talk my mother began to cry. Going to the living room. I finished telling the dispatcher what happened, and as I hung up I noticed my brother just standing right inside the back door, his hoodie dripping wet.