Written By J.Newell
My story begins with a knock at the door. Two police officers, hats in hands and death in their eyes stood before me. They opened their mouths to speak but I already knew what words would stumble out and fall onto the floor. "Mr. Brooks, may we come in?" "Please take a seat Mr. Brooks." "Mr. Brooks, your wife passed away last night." "Mr. Brooks, the cause of death was exhaustion from swimming, your wife swam right out into the lake in her night gown." But I already knew all this. I knew every detail of what happened, because I watched it happen. I watched from the greenhouse window on the third floor of our house by the lake. I watched while sipping on a searing hot coffee as my deluded, insane wife swam out to the horizon in the middle of the night because of a light. A light. Something that haunted her in her dreams and in the waking world, her words, not mine. Something that she became so obsessed with that she risked, and lost her own life to try and prove to me that she was not insane. She said that the light beckoned her, called for her, needed her, and that she would "go to it, make contact and bring it back to me". A brilliant green light, she said, that pulsated with a high pitched metallic drone.
I watched as she swam out to the horizon and out of sight, swam out in her nightgown in below zero temperatures. She talked to me before that night, talked to me about the light for weeks, months. I had her see specialists, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, I even had electroshock therapy administered but nothing worked, she remained obsessed with the green light on the horizon. In the end it was I who let it happen. After weeks of her begging me and no end in sight of this obsession I allowed her to attempt to make “contact”. When she started swimming in the middle of the night I didn't think it would be long at all until she would turn back, if only because of the ice cold temperature of the water. Yet, she persisted, as the green light persisted in maddening my wife, in taking her from me. No longer did I recognize the woman staring back at me with wide beady eyes, no longer did I care about this obsession anymore. The strong, brilliant woman that I once knew had devolved into nothing more than a monster. I stood and watched that night as she became a blur on the horizon, a thought lingering at the back of my mind, that I was happy to be rid of her. I was happy to finally be rid of this obsession. I was happy to be rid of this "thing" that had replaced my wife. The green light had taken her long ago and I reveled at the opportunity, reveled in the destruction of this imposter. Once my coffee was finished and I was certain that she wouldn't return from the jaws of the lake, I placed my mug on the windowsill, turned off my record player, walked downstairs to the bedroom and climbed into bed, falling into a deep, restful sleep. I was finally free of it all. I was finally alone.
My dreams were disturbing that night. I was a rock at the bottom of a lake and watched as a woman above me dressed in a nightgown slowly lost the strength and the will to keep swimming. She jerked at the top of the water for a moment looking like a cockroach that had just been sprayed by bug spray, before slowly floating to the bottom of the ocean floor, right next to me. It was my wife. Her eyes were still open. Staring right at me. As if she knew I was the rock. The rest of the dream I was unable to move, unable to wake, even when I realized that I was dreaming, I just watched her as she lay still at the bottom of the lake. Watched my wife's pale face and the eyes that I had fallen in love with, slowly drain of life.
The next morning I woke in a panic to a knock at the door and police officers on my couch. That afternoon, the day after my wife was declared dead, when the officers left and as the sun began to set I started to see it too. At first it was weak, a small thing that you thought you saw in your periphery. But after a few weeks of observation, quitting my job in the process to be home during the day and night, the light and sound slowly grew stronger until it made its way even into my dreams. It calls to me now. A brilliant green which illuminates the entire house. No more do I turn on the lights at night. Mostly now I sit in my favorite lounge chair I've positioned in the greenhouse on the third floor of my house and just watch it, my record player beside me covered in dust. No longer do I require the harmonies of earthly sounds, for the light and the ringing is enough. It is everything I need and will ever need. The way it pulsates and emits a slow, beautiful high pitched metallic drone with each gradual beat. It's perfect, even more perfect than my dead wife described. It bathes everything it touches in a warm green light, the water, the trees, the windows, it consumes my entire house, everything becomes green. Gracefully growing brighter the higher the noise rings and then dims, slowly, turning everything back to darkness. It sits there on the horizon even in the daylight but more beautiful at night. Tonight when the night is at its darkest I will swim to it. I'm stronger than my wife, I know I can reach the light. I will not give up. I will swim out to it and as god as my witness, I will bring it back. I will make contact.
SUNDAY TIMES ARTICLE JULY 13TH 1987
LAKE HAYWARD CLAIMS SECOND VICTIM THIS YEAR!
Residents surrounding Lake Hayward were startled early this morning as a police boat was called out in the early hours of the morning to search for a lone swimmer that was spotted by a long time resident of the lake. "I couldn't sleep and was on my front porch looking out on the lake when I saw what I thought was a piece of debris, but when I ran for my glasses and put them on the debris started moving and that was when I realized it was a person! Swimming in the lake, and at such an ungodly hour! I had to call someone!" (Mr. Paul Thomas, a long time resident of Lake Hayward.) The police boat that was called out arrived too late to rescue the lone swimmer and police divers were issued. Residents stood in awe as Mr. John Brooks, a recent resident to the town was pulled up out of the water in a shocking event that has startled citizens of the town as his wife Mrs. Gabrielle Brooks had also drowned in the lake just last month. Police are now investigating a possible suicide. Many residents reported that they had been kept awake all throughout the night from the bright green pulsating light of the medical command boat and the high pitched “metallic ringing” of the cable used to bring Mr. Brooks' body from the lake floor to the surface. Mr. Brooks was declared deceased at 6am this morning.
About the author
I'm Jack Newell and currently reside in Sydney NSW.
I'm 29 and the authors that inspire me are H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King and Ayn Rand.
I love writing about the unknown, the dark and the disturbing.