Emma: Part One
The Eyes Don't Always See What Is Real.
It is a dark freezing cold night, darker than normal and colder than usual. I walk down Leigh Street, which is the street that leads to Cooler's Lake. I head there most nights to meet my girlfriend Emma, who always insists we meet there bang on midnight. Tonight there is something strange about my walk. The streets are shrouded in a thick fog, so thick that you can barely see through it, and the night air has a terrible musty smell to it. I wrap my jacket tightly around me, desperately trying to avoid the midnight chill. A wolf howls in the distance, and for a moment I freeze, fearing that I will be chased even though the wolf is nowhere near me. There is not a single person on these streets. It is so quiet that as I pass the graveyard, I can hear the spirits almost calling me; except tonight, the noise seems louder, making it sound real. A bat flys over my head startling me, I simply breathe and carry on with my journey. I see a shadow in the fog, just as I turn into the park that leads to Cooler's Lake. I think maybe it is a person, but the shadow disappears into the Lake before I can identify it. I think that I must be hallucinating because of the cold, so I shrug off and head to the lake.
I look around but Emma isn't here yet. I check my watch to be sure I have the correct time. 12:30, midnight. Emma should be here by now, though she is nowhere to be seen. I sit on a bench opposite the lake and wait to see if she turns up. Emma is usually on time, she is strict on timekeeping. I was only five minutes late the other night and she almost bit my head off for it. It isn't like her to be late. I feel tension creeping up my back making my spine tingle. There is laughter in the distance which sounds like a female.
My first thought is it might be Emma, but I am wrong.
A female suddenly appears sitting on the bench by my side. I never saw her move toward me, she just appeared out of nowhere. She is medium height with long white hair and, thinly built. She starts a conversation with me.
"Hi, I'm Sarah. Do you sit here often?" The female asks me.
"Hi, I'm Jake. I'm waiting for my girlfriend who is late. She is small with dark shoulder-length hair, and she wears a white jacket. Have you seen her?" I ask, hesitating and dreading the answer.
The female shakes her head. Suddenly she disappears before I see her go.
I shake my head. I wonder if I'm going crazy.
It suddenly gets colder around me. The ice bites into my skin like a knife. I stare at the lake, which seems to be rippling wildly tonight. I can make out people swimming in the lake, which is unusual for this time of year. I can hear them laughing. They appear like normal people having fun, except for the laugh which sounds like snapping ice. I ignore it and carry on waiting.
It has been 2 hours since I sat here on this bench. The fog around me has thickened and I can't see where I am. Emma still hasn't arrived, and I give up hope. At first, I think maybe something has happened to her. However, I shrug it off. Emma is probably working overtime.
Maybe she has just forgotten to call me.
I can still hear laughing coming from the lake. It seems to have got louder, and I wonder who the hell would swim in it in this weather, and at this time of the morning? Out of curiosity, I walk over to the lake and I see three females swimming there one of them is Emma.
Emma doesn't notice me straight away. She continues laughing and swimming with her friends. A potent stench comes from the lake, it is so bad that I have to hold my breath so that I don't vomit. I wonder why Emma is swimming there. She doesn't like smelling foul, and she usually only swims in clean water. This water smells like death, and there must be millions of dead fish in there.
I carry on watching, hoping that Emma will notice me. Emma usually has a soft laugh, but tonight, her laugh sounds icy and cold. Emma continues to ignore me. I walk back to the bench and light up a cigarette, afterwards, I decide to head home; there doesn't seem any point in staying where I'm not wanted.
I get up from the bench after finishing my cigarette. However, I notice Sarah sitting next to me. I jump startled, as I didn't see her before. The moon is bright now, and the fog has lifted so I can see her face. She is extremely pale and her skin appears thin and bruised. I guess her eyes must be extremely dark because I can't tell what colour they are.
"Did you find Emma? Sarah asks me.
I tell her about the lake and explain that Emma didn't see me there. Sarah throws her head back and lets out a loud evil laugh.
"I'm sure you'll find her one day." She replies, then disappears fast, before I have a chance to reply.
I head home. I can't wait to get out of this place. Something doesn't seem right about the lake or Emma tonight. I am sure Sarah is not a normal human being. I still think something has happened to Emma; her behaviour at the lake was strange tonight, and there seemed to be a lot of weird people there. I sleep through the night though my dreams are nightmares about death.
However, I am determined to find out what has happened to my girlfriend. I can't rest until I know...
Part two coming soon...
Did you enjoy this story? Would you like to read more? Yes? Then Vocal is the place for you. You could write your own stories and get paid, or join the fantastic challenges where you can win great prizes. You will also find many other fantastic stories created by our brilliant creators, right here on Vocal!
About the author
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme