Down in the Depths

We went down to the hotel pool at about 11 p.m. He was floating face-down on an inflatable raft. We thought that he might have simply been asleep as it seemed that a muscle constantly twitched in his leg. I tried to wipe the dark thoughts out of my brain as images of the horror movie my friends and I had just unwillingly watched flickered on and off. My friends, Andrea, Paul, and Lexi laughed uncomfortably at our hesitance as we collaboratively all stuck our feet in the water at the same time. I felt someone push me from behind as I fell face first into the ice-cold water feeling my breath leave me as soon as I broke the barrier between the chilly night air and the icy water. Shooting back up out of the water I splashed Lexi as she giggled obnoxiously. “That’s not funny,” I whined.

“I don’t know, it looked pretty funny to me,” Paul reasoned in his confused tone as always. Lexi high-fived him and they dove in the water alongside me. The pool was a neon-green color as the bright lights along the walls of the pool shone through the water illuminating the middle of the pool. I swam a bit further as the water turned murky and darker as I drew away from the lights. My head popped out of the water like a prairie dog peering out of its hole. Lexi, Paul, and Andrea were far behind me splashing each other and cackling at their immature games. I scanned the pool for any new swimmers.

My heart stopped and I froze. The man on the small, purple raft had floated away from the middle of the pool and now was at the edge of the pool next to the drain, his head bumping into the wall with each lull in the water. “Shouldn’t the bumping on his skull be enough to wake him up?” I thought. “Guys, come here!” I yelled to the group. They quit splashing each other and started towards me gliding through the water. As they reached me I pointed at the man’s body hitting the wall, and they stared as well.

“Maybe we should go check up on him?” Andrea mumbled. We all stared at each other waiting for someone to take the initiative to check on the mysterious man, but none of us moved. His body looked completely tranquil, as the small ripples in the water caused it to move to the ebb of the flow. I rolled my eyes and stepped forward lightly tapping the man on the shoulder. No reply. Suddenly, I felt cold and the chills ran down my spine causing each hair on my back to stand up. I tapped him once more a little more aggressively. Still no reply. His hand fell off the edge of the inflatable raft, sinking slowly into the murky waters. I stuck my hand in the water searching for his like a lost watch. Finally, I grasped my hand around something cold and frail. I breathed in deeply. Looking back at my friends, Lexi was huddled close to Andrea, and Paul was looking away nervously. I shook the hand lightly hoping for a response this time. Nothing happened. I shook it harder. And harder. Harder once more. Suddenly, his hand jolted awake as if there was an electric shock and gripped around mine tightly. I screamed trying to pull away. He lifted up his head quickly, and gasped for air.

His face was covered in dripping, bright blood and his mouth gaped open. His eyes, tinted yellow, were wide with fright and seemed to burn right through mine. “Help me. Help- please,” he gasped. I still tried to pull my hand away, traumatized at what I had just seen. His head shifted slightly, and I stared at him but he seemed to have moved his gaze from me to somewhere right behind me. Suddenly, he started shaking and he gripped my hand tighter. With his other hand he pointed across the pool into the other murky end. Lexi, Paul, Andrea and I all turned our heads along the line of his gaze. He shivered and pointed, “there.” “He’s still there,” the man whispered shakily.

The murky water at the other end of the pool rippled.

 

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