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The dream I had the night before still terrified me.
In my dream, I was on a rickety old canoe in the fog of some body of water. I didn’t know where I was going. Hopelessly lost; that’s a good way to put it. The water was pitch black. I kept hearing faint noises; people screaming, sobbing, begging for help. I leaned down out of the canoe to look in the water when the face of a girl stared up at me. I was paralyzed with fear. Her skin was the color of the moon, and her sockets had no eyes inside. I tried to move but I couldn’t.
All I could remember from my dream were those terrible eyeless sockets digging into me, her white hair floating on the surface of the water.
The morning before Halloween, I tried to shake off the fear I had experienced by writing it on my blog. I think I’m the only 15 year old who writes a blog. It’s called “The Anti-Cavalier”, named after my school’s mascot, the Cavalier. As an author, I use plenty of my personal experiences and put them on my website to entertain others. This time, however, I used my skill in script to try to move on from my nightmare.
My lime- green iPhone ringed.
“Hey, Jenna. It’s Sissy. Are you coming to the Fright Night Dance tonight?” It was my best friend, Teresa Andrews, but everyone just called her Sissy for short. We’d practically grown up with each other. Sissy’s known to have a bit of a motor mouth, but that’s what makes her special.
I used to be jealous of her. She’s got the most gorgeous red hair, and I simply couldn’t stand my limp, blond locks. Sissy’s the star of Woodson High’s varsity lacrosse. I’m only on Junior Varsity.
“You bet. I’ve got my dress and everything.” The Woodson High School Annual Fright Night was always hosted at a different site every year in mid- October. This year it would be held aboard the abandoned Princess Calypso ship. The only thing that didn’t swim well with me (haha, no pun intended) was the fact that it was by Pine Crest Lake, and I hate water.
Besides, there had been horrible stories about people drowning every year in the lake.
I arrived at Fright Night an hour late. The frigid October air was harsh on my bare shoulders. Maybe dressing up as an Egyptian Goddess was overkill, especially in cold temperatures. Maybe I should’ve let my hair down, to give me some sort of insulation.
Streamers hung from the inside of the cruise ship, while creepy Halloween songs played in the background. People danced around in all sorts of costumes; a sultry angel here, a gruesome zombie in the corner, and even someone who dressed up as a hamburger. It seemed like a perfect night.
Still, I was petrified. I peered through a glass window. I couldn’t see anything in the fog. My stomach churned; why did this feel so horribly familiar?
I couldn’t enjoy the party at all, even when Sissy found me and started a conversation, because the air was so chilly and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
I don’t like this at all, I thought to myself, Maybe I should leave. I tried to avoid Sissy and my other friends. I didn’t want them to know I was heading home; I was sure they’d try to convince me to stay.
I walked back outside into the night. Turning to head on the pier and walk home, I shivered. Freezing cold. I wandered in the fog for far too long. Then I realized it: I didn’t know my way home.
“Hey, you,” a girl’s voice sang behind me, “Are you lost?” I whipped around, frightened. A small girl, about ten years old, was sitting in a rotting canoe in the water. Her skin was a striking alabaster shade. All she wore was a fading sundress. I swallowed.
“No, I’m not.” I tried to convince myself, but the way the girl narrowed her eyes, told me she knew the truth. I lowered my gaze. “Yeah.” I admitted. The girl’s eyes were a beautiful blue, but that was probably the only pretty thing about her. She was so skinny and frail. It made me wonder if she’d ever had a bite to eat in her life.
“I can show you your way home,” She purred, using a finger to beckon me towards her boat. My brain was telling me to stop: this was a very bad idea. But something about the girl’s voice made me sleepy and submissive to her command.
Soon, I found myself sitting in the old canoe.
“I’m Dulcie,” She told me softly, “What’s your name?” The lake water lapped at the boat, threatening to tip over. I told her that my name was Jenna, and I really wanted to go home. Dulcie stared at me in silence as we rowed deeper and deeper into the fog. I was beginning to feel very uneasy. The tension in my muscles was building up; stronger and stronger, until all of a sudden, the canoe hit a rock abruptly. I yelped.
Dulcie let out a cruel, harsh laugh.
“It’s just a rock, Jenna. What are you so afraid of?” It hit me then how scared of the water I really was, sitting out here in an unstable canoe with a girl I didn’t know; I couldn’t even see more than three feet in front of me.
This time, when she stared back at me, a cold finger ran up my spine. Something was horribly wrong.
“Dulcie, turn the boat around.” I ordered, panicking. Dulcie laughed again, throwing her little white head back. “I’m serious! I want to go home!” I shrieked.
I heard a splash in the water, and Dulcie was gone. This was too familiar. Too wrong. I searched around the canoe, afraid that Dulcie would flip it. I couldn’t swim. I hoped she didn’t know that. I tried reassuring myself that she’d catch hypothermia and would be too tired to hurt me, but something about the silence of the Lake chilled me.
I longed to be back on the Princess Calypso, no matter how boring Fright Night was.
After waiting five minutes, I leaned over the side of the boat, hoping that Dulcie was gone.
But what I saw was worse.
Dulcie’s white face grinned back up at me from the water, her blond hair spreading in tendrils across the water. Her eyes were missing, and her cheeks were bony. I let out a blood-curdling scream. Her skinny hand shot out of the water and latched onto my wrist. Her head lifted itself out of the water.
“Won’t you come for a swim with me, Jenna?”
“No! Let go, Dulcie! Stop it!” I struggled against her, but her grip was like iron. I screamed again, hoping somebody would hear me, but something told me I was too far away to be heard. Dulcie tightened her grip and smiled a horrid smile.
“It’s so lonely in the water. I haven’t had a friend to play with since I fell in. Be my friend, Jenna, swim with me.”
“Let…go…” I shook my wrist, but even I knew it was useless.
The air grew colder and heavier, and soon, I heard Dulcie’s voice echo off of the fog.
“Play with me, Jenna, let’s be friends.” I screamed again, hoping to gosh that someone on the Princess Calypso or even back on the dock would hear my cries and come out to rescue me. I felt my energy and will to survive slipping away, just as Dulcie pulled me in farther, and farther.
“Who-who are you?” I whispered, shivering as her icy hand tightened against me. I was giving up. I stared down into her empty eye sockets and shuddered. I wouldn’t die looking into those. I refused. Dulcie pulled her thin, blue lips into a horrible smile.
“My family forgot me here.” Her voice sent a frostbitten feeling down my back. “I fell in and drowned. They didn’t even try to find me, Jenna! Can you believe that?”
If Dulcie wasn’t so frightening, and if she wasn’t trying to drown me, I might have felt bad for her.
“Imagine: thirty years, just sitting like a clump of dead seaweed in the water. I get so lonely. I try to make friends, but whenever they try to swim with me, they always sink to the bottom. And then they never speak again.”
“You don’t have to drown me, Dulcie.” I pleaded, tears streaming down my face.
“Please play with me, please be my friend.” Dulcie hissed, “Though it isn’t really a request, is it? More of a command.”
All of a sudden, I felt my wrist snap, and white hot pain shot up my arm. I knew it was over.
Nobody heard my scream as Dulcie dragged me into the water.