I held both of Aiden’s hands and skated backwards as I slowly led him around the ice. The massive lake had frozen over completely this winter, allowing the entire neighbourhood to skate again. Some parents were teaching their children how to skate, friends raced each other and couples glided around hand in hand. Even the old couple from down the road were here and they slowly made their way around the ice.
That being said, they were still faster than Aiden and I. He was as slow as a sloth. Though he didn’t know how to skate. I had somehow convinced him to come out this perfect winter. It was a perfect day. Even the sky was finally bright and blue after weeks and weeks of storms.
We made our way onto the ice, and I guided him around slowly. I laughed when his face would turn into a look of horror, and he would clutch onto my arms as he lost his balance. I looked down at Aiden’s feet and tried to correct the way he skated. But my attention was seized by a shadow that passed under the ice. My eyes fixated on the darker waters and followed it go deeper into the lake. Huh. I never remembered the lake being so deep before. Maybe that’s what had been changed.
A few years ago, people in black suits with briefcases had arrived in their black cars. Then the next thing we knew, the area was completely cut off with tall wooden walls. Making sure no one could see anything. For the past few years all we heard were construction sounds from the lake. Along with the warehouse about two minutes’ walk from here. When they had finally taken out the fences, everyone was surprised to see the lake untouched with no changes whatsoever. But I guess that wasn’t true.
I looked back at Aiden when his hands tightened around mine and laughed out loud as I saw him regain his balance from the near slip.
“Hush, I’ll stop skating if you keep laughing at me like that,” he threatened.
I laughed again. “Aww, you kno-” A loud thud accompanied by the shaking ground broke me off. The impact strong enough to make everyone fall down.
Grumbles, screams and cries gave the reaction to the thud some variety. However, everyone’s faces showed confusion.
Another thud caused a large crack in the middle of the lake. The cracks grew in short intervals, like watching a movie when you have bad internet. It was like watching a spider spin its web on fast forward.
Soon people realised what was happening. Screams filled the air as people tried to hurry off the ice. Another thud caused everyone to fall again. And another. And another. It was as if we all were playing a marathon of ‘Ring a Ring o' Roses’.
Unlike most, I was frozen on the ice in shock. My wide eyes took in the entire scene. The spot in the middle had most of my attention. A scream tore through my throat as I saw the ice finally break and an enormous figure reach out of the water. But the scream blended in with the others as the thing fell back in the water, breaking more of the ice.
I stayed frozen.
Then I noticed parts of the ice falling away. Making the hole in the middle bigger. People who weren’t fast enough to get away fell inside. I hastened to get up. But I slipped into my hands and knees and decided to crawl instead. I reached Aiden and shook him out of the frozen state. He finally blinked away from the scene and looked at me with horror in his eyes.
“Crawl.” I stated. His frozen brain registered my simple instruction and followed me towards the edge.
I looked back when I heard Aiden’s scream. The cold water had swallowed him. He doesn’t know how to swim. I made my way back and jumped in the water without a second thought.
The cold water suddenly hit me.
My body stopped functioning.
My eyes blurred but then it cleared like how it does when I finally wear my glasses.
I saw the thing clearly.
It was a shark.
It was shrouded in rosy water. It was facing away from me. It was busy chomping on something that released more of the red food colouring. It hadn’t noticed me yet.
I blinked away from the shark and refused to look in that direction again. My eyes trained to find Aiden. I finally saw him; he was trying to swim his way up. I quickly swam down towards him. A look of relief crossed his face when I grabbed his hand. I pulled him up next to me so we were face to face. I put my arms around him and swam upwards. Only a bit more to go. We both could’ve survived this.
I saw Aiden’s eyes widen and trained to something behind me. He turned us around to protect me with his body. The last thing I saw were Aiden’s eyes before darkness took over.