The waves were strong along the lake that morning; too strong for any boat to go out on. The winds were so strong and powerful I felt I was going to be blown off the small hill I was watching the waters from. A day like this was very strange for our small village; then again a storm the size of what was coming was unheard of in these parts.
Our village would be considered the middle of nowhere really. It was very small, and very under populated. It had maybe, at most, one hundred people. Everyone knew one another to the point, when a birthday came around, the whole village just held a big party at the village center. Everyone was invited to these parties, well almost.
My family, mostly just me and my dad really, ran the small boat house by the edge of the lake. The villagers didn't particularly care for my dad, and I was shunned for it. They said he was mad, deranged even. Yet they still allowed him to watch over the boats, the village's main food steeple. I personally believe it's just to keep him as far from the village as they can get him.
Sure my dad was crazy, even I was willing to admit it. But he had good reason to be. When I was three, my mother died during a storm. Everyone says she was dragged into the waters by the wind and the waves, or that she got lost or something. But my dad always says different. He's ranted and raved about what happened to her to everyone he sees since as long as I can remember. He says she was attacked by the lake monster.
Now that's all a bunch of fantasy. None of it's true, of course. Our lake is way too small to hold any giant monster. He's just a man unwilling to let go. Those are all things the villagers have said about my dad. Now, at first, I didn't believe them. I was young and I believed my dad. I thought he was right, and I hated the villagers for not believing him and just acting like he was crazy. But I'm older now; almost eighteen, and I understand what they're saying far better.
I've gone diving in that water, taken a boat and slept out on those waters even, and not once have I seen a single sign of a monster. There's nothing in there, nothing more than bass or catfish anyways. There was absolutely nothing close to big enough to eat a person. When I realized this, I was so ashamed I'd ever believed him. And now I really just tried to avoid him whenever I could, which was why I was sitting on a hill near the lake when a storm was rolling in. My dad was bad normally, but during a storm, he went off the wall with crazy, so I didn't want to be stuck inside with him till I absolutely had to be.
So I just sat outside and watched the sky grow dark, watched the winds make huge waves in the lake. I'd never seen such big waves before, never seen how daunting the water can make you feel so close when it's so angry. The way the water splashed and crashed just made it look so ferocious, so alive.
I couldn't help myself as I got up and drew closer to the edge of the water. It started raining by now too. I could feel it soaking through my clothes, my hair, even through my skin almost. It felt so refreshing, so calming. I smiled a little as I stopped just a short distance from the water's edge. The lake had never looked so amazing, and yet so terrifying before.
The waves continued to crash and rise as the storm picked up. I could hear the crack of thunder in the skies, see the flashes of the lighting light the lake. I was so stunned, so captivated I never heard my name being called. I didn't know my dad had come looking for me, I still didn't know he was out here in what terrified him most trying to find me. At that moment though, it didn't matter. It was too late for me as I finally saw the monster my dad warned me about.
There wasn't a monster in the lake, there never was. The lake was the monster! The storm brought it to life, woke it up. My dad had been right all along, and I hadn't listened. But now it was too late as the beast grabbed me, its wave of a hand crashing down and grabbing me, pulling me into its mouth. I could feel the small waves striking against me and pushing me under, like its tongue tasting its meal. But then it swallowed. The current dragged me down, pulled me under and below the surface.
The lake monster ate me, swallowed me hole, and here I was sinking right into its belly. There was no way I could swim up; no way I could struggle back up its throat. I was doomed to be the monster's latest meal, just as my mother had been…
Just as I was giving up, as everything was going black, I saw something break through the monsters mouth and sink right into it. I never saw who it was before I was gone. This was it for me, and it seemed the monster got two meals that morning by whoever the other poor victim was.
The pain that suddenly went through my chest was enough to suddenly make me jolt awake, coughing and choking as a spilled a cup's worth of water from my lungs, grabbing at my chest as I took in a deep breath of air. What had happened? How was I breathing? I lifted my head, if weakly so, and tried to look around. Everything was so blurry and hard to see at the moment. But it started to make sense as I looked around.
The storm was over, the sun was out. I was by the edge of the lake, near where the boats docked. And around me was half the village, all wide eyed and staring. I'd survived! The lake monster must have spit me out! At least that was my thought till I remembered the other person that got pulled in…
The villagers told me everything. I hadn't been spit out, and nobody else had been pulled in. My father jumped in. He'd saved me, at the cost of his life… He'd made a trade with the monster, I know it. I was alive because he sacrificed himself to the one thing he feared most.
At least he was with mom now, and I knew to fear the lake monster.