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The Turning Tides

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I blame everything that’s happened so far on my sister and her friends. It was their lake party, I was just invited to it. That’s all. Do you hear me? I had nothing to do with what happened there!

We had just been relaxing beside the lake, playing some music and eating. I could swear that I was seeing something out of the corner of my eye but every time I glanced over, there was nothing there.

I don’t quite remember why we all decided to go for a walk through the thick trees that surrounded the lake. I walked beside my sister, talking and laughing with our friends. It was a sunny day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The lake was dark and murky though. You couldn’t see anything below the surface.

While we were walking, I lost my shoe. It caught on a rock and went tumbling into the water. I had never thought about how deep the lake was until I watched my shoe slowly disappear below the surface. I had no problem with walking barefoot so I took off the other shoe and we kept moving. For some reason, my head turned back to look at where my shoe had sunk.

There was something purple bobbing along in the water. I rubbed my eyes and it was gone. I glanced around at the others but if anybody else saw anything, they didn’t mention it. I quickly brushed it off as nothing more than a trick played by the light. Most of the time, I do that with everything strange I see but I couldn’t pretend that everything I saw that day was an illusion.

I had broken off from the rest of the group with my best friend. We were walking through the trees, admiring the birds when I realized that my friend was no longer beside me. I looked around once in confusion before I heard a soft melodic humming. I knew that hum and so I walked in that direction. I thought that she was trying to play a trick on me.

Until I reached the place where the trees met the edge of the water.

I promised myself that I would never speak of what I saw there.

At first I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. Whatever it was, was hunched over something and all I could see was that it had scales covering it from top to bottom. Dark scales, covered in green slime. It looked like algae. Part of its body was in lake’s murky water, like a fish that was partly beached.

It looked up and my veins ran cold. Glowing eyes. Glowing yellow eyes with slit-pupils. I’ll never in my life forget. They pierced through me, into my soul. I don’t know if it was looking through me or at me. It had a purple fin growing from the back of its head and a dark liquid covering the front body. It looked down at the thing it had been hunched over and then back at me. I could swear that it was trying to smile. All I could see was rows of sharp, pointed teeth. Then I looked down also.

The first thing I noticed were its hands. If you could call them that. They had five long claws tampering off into claws. They too were covered in a dark substance but I knew the reason by then. One of them was digging into the eye socket of my best friend, and the other held her eyeball in its palm. The remains that were left of her eyeball in any case.

I was stuck in place. No matter how much I tried to move, my body wouldn’t respond. Until that thing spoke. A forked tongue flicking out of its mouth.

“Cause a ripple or a splash?”

Its voice was scratchy. Worse than nails on a chalkboard. Worse than polystyrene scraping against glass. It rebounded in my ears and made my eardrums ring. For some reason, that kick-started my body and I ran.

My legs were burning and my heart was racing faster than I ever could. I kept glancing towards the water, expecting to see that thing but there was nothing. I eventually reached the rest of our party.

I must have looked ridiculous. I was gasping for air and trying to tell them what happened at the same time. They all just stared at me like I was going insane. Eventually I managed to tell them what happened but the moment I mentioned my friend’s name, a haze spread over their eyes for a second. They asked who I was talking about.

No matter how many times I told them, it was to no avail. Every time I mentioned the name, their eyes got that hazy effect over them once more. I got in the car first when it was time to leave. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach.

I’m becoming more and more exhausted every day. Since we returned from the lake, I’ve been unable to sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see that creature again, smiling at me with those bloodied fangs. I’m also becoming dehydrated. Those glowing eyes. I can see them all the time. They show up whenever I look at water. No matter where I am.

I’ve never been scared of much. At times I might jump from a loud noise or I’ll have a heart attack when I walk through a spider web but I don’t scare easily. I’m afraid now. Call me crazy but I feel like that thing is following me. I feel – no, I know – that it is watching me. The closer I get to water, the more uneasy I get. It’s biding its time, waiting for the right moment to attack me.

Last night, I was lying in the dark and heard that thing’s voice again. Once more it said ‘Cause ripple or a splash?’ I turned on the lights and I don’t plan on turning them off tonight either. I’m not paranoid. I promise.

I now have proof that I’m not going insane. I found the shoe I lost in the lake floating in my bathtub this morning. I never ran a bath and yet it was full of water. It wasn’t clean water though. It was murky. Like the water that came from the lake. I wanted to reach in and grab my shoe but I didn’t. It took all my willpower but I turned and ran from the bathroom.

My shoe showed up in my cupboard when I was getting changed later on. I want to throw it out but I’m too scared to touch it. I’m scared that if I try to move it, something will happen. I don’t know what will happen but I don’t want to find out. You know that feeling you get when you know something bad is coming? I feel like that all the time now.

I know how that thing is moving around now. It’s travelling through water. I know that sounds completely and utterly insane but it’s true. I’m finding puddles of water everywhere and the taps are turning on by themselves. Wherever there’s water, I see those eyes. This thing – whatever it is – is somehow connected to the water.

That’s not the only thing that I’ve realized. I’ve noticed that people are starting to forget minor things about me. Like my name or my age. It might seem like nothing but when it happens, their eyes get that hazy tone over them. There’s a chance that I might be imagining things but I don’t think so.

In case I start to forget also.

I’ve grown so tired that I fell asleep last night. I had a dream for the first time since I arrived back from the lake. I’m sure that it’s a symbol of some kind. I don’t know what it means. All I know is that I woke up in a cold sweat, which scared me to death. I’m becoming hydrophobic now.

In the dream, I was standing in my room. Something green was hanging from my ceiling. I walked forward until I was close enough to realize that it was kelp. Then the kelp began to shift and peel backwards. At first I was curious but when my friend’s face was revealed – with dark empty holes where her eyes once were and sunken cheeks – I stumbled backwards in fear. There was a sharp pain at the back of my head and I woke up in my bed.

I don’t claim to know if that was merely a subconscious thought that showed itself in my dream or not. For all I know, it could have been real. There’s nothing around that would point towards it being real. My carpet is clean and I’ve looked around for a while now but there are no kelp mummies around.

Slowly, I’m learning more about what this creature wants. I haven’t figured it out exactly but I just hope that when I do, I’m not too late.

For the past week, I’ve been feeling the desperate need to go back to that lake. I don’t know why I want to but I’m going to give in. Perhaps I can figure out something that will save me from the creature.

His voice – I’m relatively sure it’s a male – has been in my head constantly. It’s a murmuring at first but as I get closer to a water source, it becomes clearer. I’ve tried to ignore it but I can’t and it’s time that I figure out what’s going on. I’m sure that everyone will forget about me if I don’t survive.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past few days is that he refers to himself in the third person. He calls himself ‘Turning Tides.’ Whatever that means.

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