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Phantom of the Lake

When you look deep enough, there's always some sinister secret hidden underwater. This lake happens to hold the worst kind

By Dharrsheena Raja SegarranPublished about a year ago 9 min read
Photo by Gage Walker in Unsplash

“I’m at the bottom of the lake...”

“Sorry, what?” asked Naomi.

“I didn’t say anything” answered Lana, sitting across the table from Naomi at the library.

Although it was close to midnight, their campus library still had many students poring over books. This wasn’t unusual during finals week.

Naomi had a huge stack of books in front of her. It was quite difficult for her to hear anything Lana whispered, let alone see her. She pushed the books aside and whispered, “I could have sworn you said something about a lake”

Lana slammed her book shut, “You know what? You’re hallucinating because we’ve been cooped up in here since after lunch. I’m tired too. Let’s head back, get a good night’s sleep and come back here tomorrow.”

As Naomi opened her mouth to argue, Lana gave her a threatening look. Naomi accepted defeat, “I guess you’re right. I’ve actually been rereading the same page for the last ten minutes”

So, they returned the library books to their shelves, gathered their books and belongings, and headed back to their hostel room.

An ornamental park provides a pathway connecting the library and the hostels. All around the park, there are resplendent flowers, magnificent topiary and hand-carved wooden benches.

The only monstrosity at the park was the lake. It was full of algae and seemed like it never belonged at the park. Naomi had always wondered why no one did any maintenance work to keep it clean.

By Jonathan Larson on Unsplash

“I’m at the bottom of the lake...”

Naomi grabbed Lana’s hand, “There it is. I heard it again. Did you hear it?”

“Hear what?” Lana was getting scared now. It was so dark all around. The lights at the park were off as it was close to midnight. Naomi peered at the lake but she couldn’t see anything. The lake was still. There was neither any other sound nor any movement.

Lana shook Naomi hard as the latter didn’t answer her the first time, “What did you hear? Stop scaring me!”

Naomi felt like they were being watched. She quickly grabbed Lana and sprinted back to their room.

Naomi made sure their room door was locked before walking towards Lana who was seated on her bed catching her breath. “Naomi, are you going to tell me what’s going on?!” demanded Lana angrily.

“I heard someone say ‘I’m at the bottom of the lake’. Once when we were in the library and a second time when we were walking across the park”, explained Naomi.

Lana wondered if her friend was losing her marbles before asking, “Have you heard him before this? Or is it a her?”

Naomi paused for a moment before answering, “I’m not sure, I can’t be certain if the voice belonged to a male or a female. They sounded very forlorn but exhilarated. Far away but near. Like some sort of an oxymoron.”

“Naomi, you’re not making any sense. I think you should get some sleep. Both of us have been functioning on three hours of sleep per day since finals started and we’ve been cramming for long hours without taking any break. I think your mind is playing tricks on you.” Lana inferred.

Naomi was getting angry now, “Ugh! Just because you didn’t experience it or you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! I’m not crazy! And you know what? I will go to sleep just so that I don’t have to deal with you anymore!”

Without bothering to change, Naomi got into bed and pulled the covers over her head.

Lana was speechless. She neither meant to imply that Naomi was crazy nor didn’t believe her. She was just worried about Naomi not getting enough rest before the exam tomorrow.

Feeling shitty, she changed, got into bed, and made a mental note to apologise to Naomi first thing tomorrow.

“I’m at the bottom of the lake...”

Naomi was now perplexed. She wondered whose voice was that and why is she the only one who can hear it.

“I’m someone you should look for and only you can hear me because our lives are bonded in a way you couldn’t fathom.”

Naomi did not expect a reply. She was very creeped out. She really wanted Lana by her side and regretted fighting with her earlier. But she was on her own now because even if she apologised to Lana and told her about this, she wouldn’t believe her and hence another fight would ensue.

Naomi thought to herself, “You can hear what I think in my mind? How this is possible? You can read minds?”

“Yes, this is the only way I can communicate, through the mind and thoughts, but only with you I’m able to.”

“But why are you even communicating with me? What do you even want?”


“Freedom? Are you held captive?”

“Yes, something of that sort. Are you willing to help me?”

“Why me? There are so many people from whom you could choose.”

“Ahhh… You have forgotten what I said earlier, my dear. You and I are bonded. So it has to be you. It’s the least you can do for me.”

Naomi knew this was risky business. She didn’t even know this person. They kept saying that they were both bonded. And she didn’t even know where in the world are they. This whole thing seemed ridiculous.

“I’m getting tired of having to keep repeating myself, Naomi. I told you, I’m at the bottom of the lake.”

Naomi almost forgot that this person was telepathic, “So, ermm, how am I supposed to help you out of the lake?

“I can bring you to the lake. It’s the same lake you walked across not too long ago.”

“Whoa, you can teleport too? Then why don’t you just like, I don’t know, teleport yourself out of there?”

“I can’t. It’s too complicated for me to explain now. Find me and I will explain everything.”

“Alright then, bring it on. What do I have to do for this teleportation thingy to work?”

“Nothing, just lie down and close your eyes. I’ll take care of the rest.”

Naomi did as she was told. She knew she shouldn’t do this alone. But just like Lana, no one would believe her even if she asked for help.

Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind. She didn’t know how she is going to hold her breath underwater. So she knew she had to find this person fast as she can.

Then, another creepy thought crossed her mind and the person answered, “I never said I am still breathing.”

“What do you mean?! Are you dead?! Wait! I don’t want to do this anym–“

Naomi’s thought was cut off halfway as she experienced extreme curglaff when her body got submerged in ice-cold water.

She managed to surface quickly and drew a huge breath. She was surrounded by algae. That person had actually teleported her into the lake!

The only thing that she was able to conclude for now was that the person wasn’t human. She started swimming but suddenly felt her body was so heavy. She couldn’t move it. She started panicking.

“Calm down. There’s no need to panic. Took you long enough to figure out I’m not human. And you can’t leave without finding me. You have to keep your word.”

“What if I don’t want to anymore?”

“Well, that would be good news for me. I would have company at the bottom of the lake”
, said the voice smugly.

Naomi knew she had to find them to get away from them, “This lake is huge! How am I supposed to know where to look? I can’t hold my breath for that long!”

“Start swimming towards the center of the lake. I’ll say ‘warmer’ if you’re getting closer and ‘colder’ if you’re getting further”
, the voice instructed.

By Anton Darius on Unsplash

Naomi dove underwater and started swimming.


She had to find them fast and get out of the mess that she’s gotten herself into.


She swam towards the surface for some air, plunged back into the water and changed direction.


She started to wonder if all of this is either a dream if she was asleep or a game if she was awake.

“No, it’s neither a dream nor a game. And you’re getting colder, missy.”

Frustrated, she changed direction again.

“Warmer!” the voice sounded excited now.

She kept swimming as fast as she could.

“WARMER!” the voice sounded gleeful and menacing at the same time.

Naomi’s body came to a halt all of a sudden.

“You found me…” the voice sounded very relieved now, almost grateful.

Naomi couldn’t see anything. The lake water was very murky.

“Come, come to the bottom. You need to touch me.”

As Naomi was nearing the bottom, she could see what she was approaching. She let out an inaudible gasp. Bubbles came out of her mouth and floated towards the surface.

She wanted to get away from there but felt the water pressure pushing her down in a very unnatural sort of way. It pushed her down until she came in contact with the decayed body.

It was a human body at the end stage of decomposition. She felt a whoosh of water current and everything happened so fast after that.

When she opened her eyes, all she could see was the murky lake water. She was still underwater. She must have passed out. But she quickly realized something was very wrong.

She wasn’t in her own body! She wasn’t looking through her own eyes but instead through eye sockets! She was inside the decaying body. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t do anything!

“HELP!! HELPPPP!!” she screamed but she couldn’t hear her own voice. She then had the epiphany that she can only communicate telepathically now.

“You’re awake!” the voice sounded amused.

“What did you do to me?! Why am I in here?! Am I dead?! Who are you?! What the hell is going on?!” Naomi had millions of questions.

“I always keep my word. I promised I’ll explain everything once you’ve found me. See Naomi, the thing is, you killed me and punctured my lungs and internal organs before dumping my body in the middle of this very lake. Pretty smart of you to do that as that made sure my body didn’t float to the surface. ”

“What are you talking about? You’ve got me mistaken for someone else. You made a huge mistake. I didn’t kill anyone!”
said Naomi frantically.

“Yes, you did, but not in this lifetime. Not in this birth. This happened in our previous birth, twenty years ago. After death, I couldn’t crossover to the next realm. Unlike other spirits, I couldn’t roam around either. I was tethered to my body. I was stuck between life and death. I was alive and dead at the same time.”

“Two years after I was murdered, you died. Unlike me, you were able to crossover to the next realm and even got reincarnated. Up until yesterday, I didn’t know your identity. But today, I came up with the idea of communicating telepathically and it worked because we are still bonded. Your action of murdering me created a karmic bond between us.”

Naomi was still in shock, “I don’t even remember any of this. How can I believe this to be true? Even if it was, how is it fair for you to punish me in this birth for something I did in our previous birth?”

“What goes around comes around. There is no escaping our wrongdoings. We will get what we deserve in one birth or another. That’s how the universe works. Now I’m finally able to crossover to the next realm peacefully.”

Naomi watched as a surge of water shot upwards towards the surface.

“Goodbye, Naomi.”


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About the Creator

Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

My mental health decline brought along a lot of Darkness and I embraced it. This Darkness flows out in the form of Horror Stories and Dark Poetry 🖤

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Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (9)

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  • L.C. Schäfer12 days ago

    Silly goose shouldn't have agreed 😱

  • Naomi Gold19 days ago

    So creepy! I have always believed in reincarnation, even before I knew the word for it. I’ve had past life dreams that explain issues of mine in this current life. This was nicely done.

  • Ooh another creepy one. That was tantalizing from the start and I love the way it all unfolded! Such an imaginative world and situation! Poor Naomi, then again, did she get what she deserved?

  • jamie harding7 months ago

    Truly creepy, kept me on edge, thanks for sharing your work ☺

  • Karma in it's purest form. Yes, it could actually fit my story very well!! Great job

  • Made in DNA9 months ago

    CREEPY! How on EARTH did you even think of this???

  • Cathy holmes11 months ago

    great story

  • Russell Ormsby 12 months ago

    I have often wondered if when my world goes wrong could it be karma coming back to me from a previous life once lived. Nice job my friend. May your future be bright😊

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