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Wish Taker

Foggy Waters

By Kaitlyn GilpinPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
(Photo by: Daniel Jensen)

What am I even doing? The question had crossed my mind many times in the past two hours. I’m too old to believe in fairy tales, aren’t I? the fairy tale in question is more of a local legend than anything else. Adults would often talk of the Wish Taker that lived in Lake Hourglass, named aptly from its shape. The Wish Taker dwells well below the narrowest region of the lake. They could grant any wish but would only do so under very specific conditions.

The first condition is you must travel alone. Bringing even one person along can result in failure. The Wish Taker may choose to not grant any wishes or will grant your companion, and not you, their greatest desire. Another version of this states that the Wish Taker will be so offended that rather than grant wishes they will curse you and your company until the end of your days.

The second rule is to go out at one in the morning under a harvest moon. In addition to this, Lake Hourglass must be completely covered in fog. The final condition is that you must start your journey from one end of the lake and finish at the opposite side for your wish to come true.

I had managed the first two conditions. I had rowed to what I believed was the home of the Wish Taker and waited for a sign of its arrival. Having only light garments on, I was getting chilly and impatient. I check my phone for the umpteenth time. 3:30 am. I sigh frustrated and put a paddle in the water.

Something tugs back on the end preventing me from moving it in the water. Surprised, I pull back in the paddle. Was the Wish Taker here?

“Hello?” I called aloud, feeling dumb.

A scratching sound erupts from the other side of the rowboat as it starts to sway with more force than it should in these calm waters. I grip both sides that are closest to me hoping to prevent the boat from capsizing. As quick as the swaying begun it settles back down. I could feel I was no longer alone in my boat.

A momentary curiosity caused me to reach a hand out to try and find the creature within the blinding fog. A searing pain forced me to reel my hand back. I sat stunned for a moment. Was this real? Could the Wish Taker really be here? Did I offend it? The lingering dull pain seemed to confirm some, if not all of the questions swimming in my head.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

No response. I dared to speak once more. My voice increasingly shaky.

“I heard you grant wishes and I came to ask you to grant mine.”

The rowboat creaked and swayed. I could hear soft drips of some heavy liquid hitting the wood in front of me. I could hear the raspy breaths of the creature mere inches from my face now. I shriveled as far back as I could on my side of the boat. I closed my eyes and took a few breaths to try and settle my nerves.

“I wish to know what I’m supposed to do. I’ve been at a loss for so long. Everything I try seems to fall through. I’ve prayed and was left unanswered. So please, Wish Taker, grant me clairvoyance.”

The raspy breaths stop. Replacing it is a sound I could only compare to a frog’s croak. Was it… laughing? My thoughts are cut short by the newest sound. Scratching on wood all around me. I hear the wood start to splinter and peel as the ravenous scratching multiplies. I have to get out of here! I reach for my paddles but find none. They’ve stranded me!

The cold rush of water pools around my tennis shoes. With no where else to go, I brace myself to stand. The croaking laughter continues as if the creature is amused by my struggle. I take a big breath and jump into the freezing water.

In the water, I’m grabbed by several unknowns. Hands, claws, it was hard to discern in my panic. I kicked and flailed, attempting to free myself. As some relent their grasp, many more find purchase on other areas of my body. They start to drag me downward. My head sinks from the foggy surface to the pitch darkness below. Adrenaline is burning through my veins and I desperately reach for the surface once more.

Bloated fingers rip their way into my mouth, forcing the lake water in. I chomp down and gag as the feeling of bone crunches between my teeth. More water is sucked in. My lungs and eyes are burning. I kick harder and harder. I have to get out. I…have...to…

My thoughts slow and blur. My body feels lighter. My vision starts to focus. The moon’s light breaks into the water. I see… myself. Its floating above me, still. Just as I can begin to contemplate being dead, I watch my body lurch. I watch my eyes open and focus on my presence below. It smiles at me. Then, it turns and swims easily towards the surface. I try to follow upward but am halted. I look down to see hundreds of animate bodies in differing stages of decay clambering onto one another and myself. I scream and struggle. There are too many. The darkness returns and I am enveloped by the masses until the next person visits the Wish Taker.

urban legend

About the Creator

Kaitlyn Gilpin

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