My sister and I were having a fun day at the lake until the rock skipped back to us.
| The rock glided across the surface of the water, one, two, three, four, and five long skips that ended with a splash by the opposite side of the river bank. My sister and I and our seven-year-old selves howled with laughter and excitement. We laughed until our bellies ached and our cheeks hurt. We sat down on the gravel area we were standing on right next to the slow moving water of the river. We turned our heads towards each other and started reminiscing on our previous trips down to the river. We were too distracted however, to notice the rock skipping towards us.
Our heads whipped to the sound of the rock breaking the surface of the water and spraying it all over us. We wiped the water dripping down our faces and looked out at the river, which seemed to no longer be flowing. We saw four eyes staring back at us. They all blinked at separate times with a yellowish glow, which made them look like four small traffic lights. I was frozen where I was sitting. The urge to leave was there but not the strength to do so. The creature's head retreated back under the surface and leaving ripples as a clue to where it once was.
I stuttered my sister’s name and turned to face her but she was no longer there. I turned to see her bright pink dress running deeper into the woods. An asthma attack suddenly came over me. I patted my pocket expecting to feel the hard, metallic outline of my aspirator but I felt nothing. My face felt hot, and I could feel the hands of unconsciousness reaching towards me. I finally stood up, but my legs were shaking and felt like I was walking on stilts. I took one step, then another. I got a few yards away from the river when my legs gave out underneath me, spilling me onto the rocks and cutting my knees. I didn’t have time to focus on the pain when I heard a hissing sound come from behind me.
My mind didn’t want to see what was lurking in the water right behind me, but my head turned, ignoring what I did not want to do. The creature in the river was a jet black humanoid. It stood at the edge of the rocks, towering over me. Its latex looking skin shined, even though it appeared completely dry. There was a large white scar that crossed its chest forming half an X. Its three fingers and three toes were webbed and were pointed with serrated nails. The face was the most memorable part of it, because it looked like it didn’t have much of one. The best way to describe it was like looking at a mirror that was fogged up. Facial features were present, but something distorted them.
I felt a rush of adrenaline surge through me. I picked myself up and started running, my breathing normal again, but I knew it wouldn't last when the rush of energy wore off. I headed towards the path where my sister also ran, and I heard the thumps of the creature following behind. Speed has been something I always struggled with, but not then. It felt like I was The Flash.
The blurs of trees and bushes passed me as I made my way through the wooded maze. I came across a fallen tree right in the middle of the path, and I went to leap over it but I felt a warm sensation shoot up my back as the creature slashed my back. Blood began to run down and soak into the rim of my shorts. The creature let out another hissing sound as I approached the opening in the trees leading to my backyard where I could feel safe.
I looked down and saw the shadow of the creature looming over me. The feeling in my legs was almost completely gone and the fear of tripping became greater. Every breath was like inhaling fiberglass. The creature let out another hissing sound, right next to my ear. I jumped through the clearing in the trees and tumbled into my backyard. I expected the creature to do the same.
A cracking sound came from the woods that littered the path I followed. I tensed up, and gazed at the trees trying to see movement. I crawled backwards towards the house, my eyes never leaving the brush when my hand touched something warm and wet that startled me. I whipped my head around to see what it was.
Lying beside me was a blood-soaked patch of my sister’s dress.