Wind swirled around the lake and snaked a cool finger inside the collar of Amy’s jacket. She shivered. Each year, it was harder to say goodbye to her summer home and face the long school year. She knew that school wasn’t bad, but she dreaded the press of other kids with their strange smells and loud voices. Her parents would be astonished to learn that she was often alone. Partly by choice, but also because other kids thought she was different. Amy could see that she made them uncomfortable with her weird observations and strange looks, but she always felt helpless and awkward around other people.
Amy tossed a pebble into the water, watching the circles ripple from the center. Mom and Dad were busy preparing the cottage for winter. Each year, they’d empty the refrigerator, dump old food and seal the windows and doors. Amy tried to help, but at ten years old, she was mostly in the way.
She stared at the water, the sun sparkling diamonds over the slight waves. The bright spots of light wavered in a finite pattern that changed as she gazed at them. Amy watched the pattern sparkle and float, wave and recede. It calmed and mesmerized Amy until she felt as though she was sleeping with her eyes open.
The surface burbled. Amy bit her lip, worried about what was coming and yet knowing. When they first arrived at the cottage in the spring, Amy had been upstairs looking down at the water. She remembered feeling happy because school was almost over and freedom was within her reach. Something dark had burst out of the lake and landed on the dock.
Goosebumps raced up her arms as she realized it was happening again. Except this time, she wouldn’t be protected by walls and windows of the house. There was no barrier between her and the nightmare that was going to emerge from the lake. Amy’s body went rigid, her hands clutching the wood planks beneath her. A buzzing noise filled her ears, similar to the sound of a bug trilling in the afternoon, except stronger and louder. It made her head ache with the intensity.
Amy couldn’t move. She had to watch. Water spiraled upward as the creature burst into the air. Slimy, green body, crimson eyes and claws reached for her. It was a creature unlike anything she’d seen before. Somehow, she knew that the lake was its prison and it wanted to escape. It landed on the dock and pure evil slid inside her mind, shoving everything that was Amy aside. Her mind floated away from the creature, bobbing and rocking upon the lake as she found herself inside the creature looking out. As she sunk beneath the waves, a voice called out to her. Mom wanted her to come in. It was time to go. She watched the body that used to be hers stand up and walk toward the cottage.
This story was generated for the Yeah Write Weekly Writing Challenge. The prompts were an image similar to the one above and the words astonish, crimson and finite. Click the link to check out all of the fantastic writing and vote for your favorites.