Selena Madrio, Grade 7
The boy stood in front of a glistening black lake that seemed to stretch out for miles, Spruce trees that reached for the sky clung to the edge of the lake. The boy’s blue eyes scanned the lake, his brown hair flailing in the wind. He frantically checked behind him. Loud, angry shouts grew closer by the second. He glanced at the lake, spotting a brown, wooden canoe with two paddles beside it. Sprinting to the canoe, he pushed it into the water with ease. Grabbing a paddle, the boy carefully hopped into the canoe. He began to paddle frantically. Plunge, move, lift. He repeated the mantra over and over in his head. The loud voices became distant, nothing more than a noise in the background, but the boy didn’t dare look back.
The bright blue sky of day darkened to the navy blue sky of night. Stars sparkled in the night, moonlight shone lightly upon the lake. For hours, the boy had done nothing else but chant and paddle. As the voices evaporated into thin air, the boy gathered enough courage to look back. He had almost collapsed in relief, for he had made it half-way across the lake. Everything that had happened over the course of the day came crashing down on him. He stared into the water, the truth dawning on him. This was no ordinary lake. It was the lake of legend. The infamous, Lake Deltoro. It is believed that a monster lived here. A beast so vile and horrid, it made a tyrannosaurus rex look harmless and playful. Legend says that if you cross this lake, you would never return. The boy brushed the thought aside, it was only a legend after all. Concentrating on paddling to the other side, the boy repeated the mantra.
The boy whipped around. He could’ve sworn something moved in the water. His muscles tensed. He waited with bated breathe for another sudden movement. Nothing. The boy felt like kicking himself. He has been on edge ever since he found out that he was canoeing on Lake Deltoro. A low, rumbling sound reached the boy’s ears. Fear had him rooted to the spot, his hands grew clammy and limp as the sound became louder and louder. The roaring stopped abruptly. Thoughts raced through the boy’s mind, his heart pounded wildly. The air was thick with tension, the night so silent you could hear a pin drop. The water beneath the boy trembled slightly, growing more unstable by the second. Huge, round eyes slowly rose from the water with tiny dots for pupils. The rest of the amphibian-like monster followed after the huge, bulging eyes. Scaly, rough skin covered the vast monster. It barred its large, crooked teeth. The boy was rooted to the spot, his eyes widening at the monstrous beast before him. The beast roared deafeningly. In one swift movement, it snatched up the boy and swallowed him whole. Snarling, the beast descended to the depths of the water.