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[Dakota Holloway, eleven years old. Drowned in pool because of neglect from lifeguard - February 7, 1999].
Mark: "Did you hear?"
Mark: “You didn’t hear? Cindy was saying she's been hearing splashes in the pool and kids laughing when she closed last night. She’s freaked, man. She thinks she may be the one this year."
Mark was his usual self. Trying to get me into believing this story about how the city pool was haunted. The one is a lifeguard supposedly chosen to die every year according to Greendale Community legend. I’ve heard it a million times, it's because some girl drowned in this pool. What a load of shit. I've personally never seen a ghost in my life.
Mark: “The curse always continues my friend.”
Well my curse is, it's Friday night and I'm once again assigned to the closing shift with Mark by our supervisor Simon. It's the sixth time this month. Maybe instead of "lifeguard," my job title should be called "pool closer."
The reason for me was simple: I'm the new guy.
The reason for Mark: Simon didn't like him.
Mark: "I'm going to go turn off the chlorine. You grab all the toys and fludder boards and put them in the storage, you got it?"
Again. Mark gets the easy job of turning a switch, which is classified as one of the most important duties of closing because if you're not careful you could burn out someone's eyes with a chlorine overdose the next morning. And I get the easy job. Hunting down forty or so floating pieces of rubber and putting them into a bin. Every. Freakin'. night. And I've yet to see a ghost. If there truly is a ghost, do you think you can help me out?
So what did I say about killing lifeguards? Well the thing is, since the 2000's, Greendale community centre has had this urban legend that one lifeguard is cursed every year with being involved in some tragic accident. Whether it be suicide, a fatal car crash, or insanity. Something just real bad. Real tragic. And that all due to coming in contact with the girl that died in our swimming pool and being “chosen” by her to die. Typical campfire shit.
Well, I don’t believe it. Besides not believing in ghosts, Mark’s been with this place for almost two years. Cindy’s been here three summers as well. And Simon's a total asshole, if anyone should die, it should be him! Not to poke holes in a perfectly fine urban legend, but sad shit happens all the time! To everyone really. There's about twenty-five to thirty lifeguards employed here every year. Seventy to eighty if you count the ones that are volunteering to get their license. Out of all of those people, you’re telling me nothing bad is going to happen to any one of them? There’s bound to be one or two! That's just statistics!
Anyways, it was getting close to 8, and I wanted to go home. I walked over to the edge of the pool and starting picking everything up. I was almost done when I suddenly heard something:
I looked around. Nothing but the vast, empty pool area. I kneeled to pick up a giant floating giraffe when I heard it again.
This time I freaked, it was right next to my ear. I looked around hurriedly. Nothing. Could it be my—
Jesus. I jumped. It was just idiot Mark.
Mark: “Are you almost done, man? Seriously dude I have to do some closing paperwork, you clean out the locker room with the mop and don’t take your time! I wanna get outta here by 9!”
Sweeping the locker room was my favourite job. There was just something therapuetic about a menial job you really didn’t have to think about. Just mop, sweep, scrub, repeat. You ponder on life and what exactly got you into this situation. It's a nice, quiet moment for me until Mark shows up, usually to tell me to hurry up. Well I—wait. What’s that?
A splashing sound in the pool. What the—
I ran out the locker room and looked at the swimming pool, at first I saw nothing. But then I saw a form slowly forming at the deep end. It was a dark shadow, rising from the water underneath. My instincts suddenly kicked in and I lunged into the water. As I approached the black form, I paused. It was a little girl. Her face was in the water. How long has she been here? I got closer and tried to touch her, but just as my hand about to make contact, her face looked up at me.
I froze in horror.
The little girl in front of me had a completely white face, as if blood had been drained from her face. She had a corpse face and saggy skin as if she’d been in the swimming for hours, she looked like an old woman but with a child’s body. Purple veins spread across her cheeks visibly, as if she’d been suffocating for hours. But the most disturbing part was, what will make me lose sleep for the rest of my life: was that her eyes were all black. Like buttons. She had no cornea, no pupils, just plain black eyes staring back at you coldly.
Then her mouth began to open. So wide it filled half of her face as she began howling. A screeching sound so loud I jumped out of my skin and swam back to the ledge. I ran for the locker room, but the door was jammed! I used all my might and pulled on it, but it would not budge. The girl’s screaming continued enveloping the whole pool. I started screaming for Mark, but nothing.
Then, as I began to listen carefully, I realized the girl wasn’t screaming. She was… crying. I looked back at her and she was now right in front of me. Her loud howl was replaced by a sobbing sound. And I sat there, stunned and motionless looking at her. With her hands covering her face, as her crying became more gentle. And more and more she resembled just a sad, lonely little girl. I put my hand on her shoulder, this time, making contact. Then she stopped crying. She put her hand away from her face and looked up at me. She smiled.
‘Young lifeguard found dead in Greendale community centre. Cause of death: drowning. No signs of struggle or other motives. Has been deemed by police: suicide.’- February 7 2015