Short Stories

Blue Lake

Blue Lake is a creepy story about a man who goes on holiday with his wife and child. When his son falls into the water, the man is horrified because he is unable to swim.

Blue Lake

He awoke to the brightest, bluest morning he had ever seen. Through the window beside the bed, he could see an almost incredible sky. George slid out of bed quickly, wide awake and not wanting to miss another minute of the first day of his vacation. But he dressed quietly so as not to awaken his wife. They had arrived here at the lodge- loanded them by a friend for the week of their vacation- late the evening before and Wilma had been very tired from the trip; he’d let her sleep as long as she could. He carried his shoes into the living room to put them on.

Tommy, their five-year-old, came out of the smaller bedreoom he’d slept in, yawning. “Want some breakfast?” George asked him. And when Tommy nodded, “Get dressed then, and join me in the kitchen.”

George went to the kitchen but before starting breakefast, he stepped through the outside door and stood looking around; it had been dark when they’d arrived and he knew what the country was like only by description. It was virgin woodland, more beautiful than he’d pictured it. The nearest other lodge, he’d been told, was a mile away, on the other side of a fairly large lake. He couldn’t see the lake for the trees but the path that started here from the kitchen door led to it, a little less than a quarter of a mile away. His friend had told him it was good for swimming, good for fishing. Swimming didn’t interest George; he was afraid of the water because he had never learned how to swim. But his wife was a good swimmer and so was Tommy.

Tommy joined him on the step; the boy’s idea of getting dressed had been to put on a pair of swim trunks so it hadn’t taken him long. “Daddy,” he said, “let’s go see the lake before we eat, huh Daddy?”

“All right,” George said. He wasn’t hungry himself and maybe when they got back Wilma would be awake.

The lake was beautiful, an even more intense blue than the sky, and smooth as a mirror. Tommy plunged into it gleefully and George called to him to stay where it was shallow, not to swim out.

“I can swim Daddy. I swim well”

“Yes, but your mother’s not here. You stay close.”

“Water’s warm, Daddy.”

Far out, George saw a fish jump. Right after breakfast he’d come down with his rod and see if he could catch a lunch for them.

A path along the edge of the lake led, he’d been told, to a place a couple of miles away where rowboats could be rented; he’d rent one for the whole week and keep it tied up here. He started toward the end of the lake trying to see the place.

Suddenly, chillingly, there was an anguished cry, “Daddy, my leg!”

George whirled and saw Tommy’s head way out, twenty yards at least, and it went under the water and came up again, but this time there was a frightened glubbing sound when Tommy tried to yell again. It must be a cramp, George thought frantically; he’d seen Tommy swim several times that distance.

For a second, he almost flung hiself into the water, but then he told himself: It won’t help him for me to drown with him and if I can get Wilma here there’s at least a chance…

He ran back toward the lodge. A hundred yards away he started yelling “Wilma!” at the top of his voice and when he was almost to the kitchen door she came through it, in pajamas. And then she was running after him toward the lake, passing him and getting ahead since he was already winded, and he was fifty yards behind her when she reached the edge, ran into the water and swam strongly toward the spot where for a moment the back of the boy’s head showed at the surface.

She was there in a few strokes and had him and then, as she put her feet down to tread water for the turn, he saw with sudden sheer horror- a horror mirrored in his wife’s blue eyes- that she was standing on the bottom, holding their dead son, in only three feet of water.

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