The Myth Of The Deep
Nicola Lonstein, Grade 8
It was beautiful, like nothing she’d ever seen. Francis was in the middle of the lake, over what she’d heard was the deepest part. “It’s like 300 feet deep,” her friend had told her, “rumour has it, a sea monster lives at the bottom, waiting to eat anyone foolish enough to disturb it.”
Rather than scaring her, this story had made her excited. ‘I’m not foolish,’ she thought, ‘I’m adventurous! I’m too smart to get eaten. I’d escape without trying.’ She pushed these thoughts to the back of her head, trying to focus on the wonderful sight that met her eyes. Thousands of stars, all in one place. Francis didn’t think there were this many stars in the sky, she always thought there were ten or fifteen in each city. But this was magical, she couldn’t tear her gaze from it.
Knock, knock, knock. It was quiet at first, Francis didn’t notice it, all her attention skywards. But then it became louder.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.
She sat bolt upright. Looking over the sides of the boat into the murky water, Francis tried to identify what had caused the ruckus, but she could see nothing except her own reflection. She lay back down in the boat, convincing herself that she was imagining things, that it was the condition of the old boat. She returned to stargazing. But just as she was getting comfortable, a surge struck the boat, nearly cap-sizing it. Accompanying the force was a noise that made Francis’ heart jump.
Francis let out a blood curdling scream, holding on to the sides of the boat desperately to avoid falling overboard. She was scared now, and Francis wasn’t one to scare easily. Sweat ran down her back as she nervously looked around for whatever had created the disturbance. Then, it came to her - the oars! Grabbing hold of them, she started rowing frantically, splashing water in every direction. Francis stopped after what felt like hours, looking around for signs of land. She came to the horrible realisation that she hadn’t moved at all. Something was keeping the boat in its place on the lake. She could taste the vomit rising in the back of her throat and knew she had to try something else. Grabbing an oar, she plunged the end into the water, feeling around for the beast. As she was about to pull the oar out, she felt a tug, and the oar was engulfed by the water.
Francis had run out of ideas. She sat on the floor of the boat, hands holding her knees, rocking back and forth. “You can’t come in,” she was muttering repeatedly, as if hoping that would stop the monster. A slimy tentacle rose out of the water. Its stench grew. It was just inches away when it grabbed Francis’ waist and pulled her into the water. “HELP!” she shrieked, “SOMEONE HEL-” but she was submerged, never seen again. Except for her diary with 4 words written by a slimy finger.
‘I DID KNOCK FIRST.