Writing Prompt #115 — The Child At the Bottom of the Lake

Prompt: You decided to dispose of your old phone by throwing it into a lake. Out of curiosity you can not help but try to call the phone. To your surprise the call is answered and a chilling voice comes on.

“Daddy? Mommy” The child’s voice says over the phone. “Are you there? It’s dark, and I can’t see anything.”

I stare wide-eyed at the lake, where I threw my phone only a couple minutes ago. My hand is numb, and a chill trickles down my back. I’m not sure what to say. “Are you okay? Are you alive?”

“Hello? Sir? I trip and fell into the water. It’s so cold. Can you help me? Can you get my mommy or daddy?”

I search the area. There’s no one around, only the trail, the lake, the surrounding woods. “Look, don’t lose the phone. I’mma hang up and call 911. They’ll get you out.”

“No, wait, don’t, please, sir. Can you help me? Please?”

I want to groan but there’s a kid in the lake, so I push it down. “I’m coming, hold on!”

I toss my new phone into the grass, undress, and plunge into the cold water. The kid was right. It’s murky but I’m diving down at an angle, in the direction of where I believe the phone went. The lake isn’t too deep or wide, so I should find it soon.

But, my lungs are burning, the air lodged in my throat swelling. It must only have been ten or so seconds but it feels like I’ve been swimming downwards for hours. Seaweed or something like it slide over my arms, legs. It’s getting colder with every moment. My heart is racing and my temples are pounding. I can’t keep on. I have to go back to the surface.

I go to pivot my body upwards when the seaweed suction to my legs, entangling them, and I’m pulled down. I’m flailing my arms, and my lips remain sealed despite the scream that begs for release. My feet, ankles, up to my knees are pulled into the sand, silt. I’m being dragged below the weeds. It’s up to my waist and my eyes are bulging from my head, and tears are mingling with the water.

“Thank you for coming, sir.” The voice whispers in my ears, then two dimly lit teal eyes appear in the murk. “You have been very helpful.”

Read my previous prompt, “Three Lives Guilt

Read more of my writing prompts here.

Check out my bibliography for more of my work.

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