The Swimming Pool // One-shot
this will be a oneshot and will not continue further once you've finished reading it. I hope you, the reader, will still continue and enjoy!
Take in as much air as you can. This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath and then just a little bit longer. So read as fast as you can.
This is nothing than a tale of a boy who was told of a girl.
The girl at the bottom of the swimming pool.
That's what Alex's big brother called him when he would tell the frightening story of the kid.
The first time he told Alex the story was when he was thirteen. He'd been having a sleep over and he and his friends were being a little rowdy, hid brother had come in and offered to entertain them with a scary story.
Of course being the young kids they were, they all jumped at the idea of being frightened. So they gathered around in a circle to listen to the story his brother promised to haunt them forever.
And it went as such:
Four years ago – three years before Alex's family moved into the house – another family lived there. A mother, a father, a son and a daughter and while they appeared to be happy to outsiders, the home was as broken as they came. The father was a violent drunk and the mother was a meth addict who was always too high to care.
One night, the father came home in a rage that was more extreme than his usual. He tried taking it out on the mother but that didn't satisfy him. She didn't fight back. So he strangled her to death and kept it moving to the son's room. He was asleep when the father came in which meant the he too didn't satisfy him. So the father lifted his pillow and smothered her with it.
His daughter had been awake during this whole ordeal. She heard her father kill her mother and little brother, and she refused to be next on the list. So while her father was suffocating her little brother, the girl dashed from his room. But she wasn't fast enough, her father was already headed to her room by the time she ran out, so the girl went to the closest escape route.
It wasn't like any other backyard. It was fenced in and consisted of nothing but a large swimming pool. The girl didn't have time to run for the fence and unlock it to escape, so she took a deep breath before jumping into the large pool.
Of course the father knew she was in there, but he couldn't swim, so he stood there and waited. . . He knew his daughter wouldn't be able to hold her breath forever. But he was wrong. He waited for hours for his daughter to resurface, and it never happened. He assumed the girl was dead even though her body didn't come floating to the top.
Guilt filled the father and on that same night he shot himself in the head. Police didn't come to the scene until days later. They found the father shot in his study, the son dead under his pillow and the mother slumped over the kitchen table. They searched the entire house, but they couldn't find the girl. They even drained the pool but no one was found. Finally, the gave up looking.
Some people say that the girl was an expert swimmer – the she had the lung capacity of a whale and that is was completely possible for her to hold her breath for hours. They say she waited until she knew her father was gone and then she escaped. Ran away and started a new life for herself.
But legend has it, that that's not what happened at all. The darker theory goes like this:
The girl jumped into the pool so fast and hard that she went straight through the bottom. All the way down to the under world, and instead of letting her burn for eternity, the devil had another idea. He banished the girl to a life of something he thought was worse, the girl was to spend all of eternity in the swimming pool of the house his family died in. Her head was to never break the surface; she was to spend forever at the bottom of the pool.
Of course Alex's friends complained that the story wasn't scary at all. They rolled their eyes and snapped their teeth, decided to just watch horror movies instead.
Alex on the other hand, was frightened out of his mind. He thought the story was scarier than any vampire and demon killer movie they could ever watch. There was just something so realistic and plausible about the deaths. It bothered him. The commonness of the family's life and struggles were too real not to be scary. As the thirteen year old boy, he couldn't admit to this friends that he was afraid so he tried to ignore it.
That was until a few months later. His father had finally decided to clean out the attic in the old house. Of course Alex and his brother were to help, it was in that very dark attic that Alex found a photograph. After cleaning off the years of dust caked onto it, he saw the picture.
A picture of a family. A family that consisted of a mother, a father, a sister and a brother. The father was big and a scowl decorated his features. The mother was abnormally thin and seemed to be unaware of her surroundings. The sister looked to be in her late teens, she was smiling but her eyes looked wary. The boy looked to be about 13, the fear on his face wasn't hidden at all.
This was them! This was the family his brother had told him about. The ones who'd lived and died in this same house. Alex brought the picture closer to his face with shaky hands.
The Weaver Family
Was printed at the bottom. Weaver family. The dead Weaver family.
That's when he snapped. Alex had his first nervous breakdown in that attic. He couldn't stop screaming, shaking and rocking. He couldn't stop picturing that dead girl's face. His parents took him to the hospital of course for help.
That was his first hospital trip of many. Though the upcoming years Alex would visit many hospitals, talk to many doctors, tell his story to many therapists, take many types of medication that was supposed to help – but non of it helped. Alex never set foot in their backyard again, refusing to be anywhere near the girl in the pool.
Of course his brother was punished for causing the entire thing. But there was only so much they could do, Alex still had his problems long after the incident. Even when the brother was grown and moved out, his parents were worried sick. They thought their son would never be okay again.
That was util Alex turned sixteen; things just. . . changed. The nightmares stopped. The anxiety attacks stopped. He was back to being their boy. All the doctors were baffled that something so serious could just disappear overnight, his parents called it a blessing from God. Their son was healed.
But nobody was happier about that, than Alex. Maybe he could finally have a normal life, he had been taken out of normal schooling at thirteen. He lost all his friends and social skills; he was better now. The home schooling could stop, his parents loved the idea – things were going to be okay.
Until they left Alex home alone one night. It was their anniversary and they hadn't really celebrated in in years. They were too busy taking care of Alex, now that he was better, he insisted they go out. He could take care of himself. The reluctantly agreed, but only if he promised to call if any of those old feelings came back. He promised and they left.
Everything was going well at first. Alex was in his room on his laptop playing Borderlands 2, but then he got hungry. So he paused the game and went to the kitchen for a snack. The backdoor in the kitchen was made entirely of glass, it was a large sliding door. His parents had black blinds put p to hide the pol, but for some off reason – the blinds were open. Giving Alex a perfect view of the large pool.
His eyes locked with the dark water. His breath hitched and he had the urge to call his parents back home. He quickly shook that urge. He was fine, it was just a stupid harmless pool. He wasn't afraid of that fictional story anymore.
“Yeah, right.” The water mocked him. He could hear the liquid in the pool snicker at him. Teasing him of his childish fears.
“I am not afraid.” Alex yelled at the water.
“Prove it.” The water goaded.
He stalked to the back door. Sliding it open without hesitation. He didn't bother to take his clothes off before he was jumping into the cool water. It was surprisingly calm under there, he felt more at peace in the water than he did just sitting in his room. He knew he couldn't hold his breath for long, so he quickly opened his eyes. Just to prove himself, once and for all, that the story his brother had told him years ago was just that. A story.
His eyelids slid open, the rush of water burned them for a few seconds before his eyes adjusted. He glanced from left to right and back to the left. Nothing but water. Duh. What the hell was he expecting? He almost wanted to laugh. Instead he rolled his eyes. His head turned back to the right as he did.
Bringing him nose to nose with a very pale face. A face that Alex recognized from his nightmares. The face of the girl from the picture.
His body jerked to the top of the water. He splashed around. His arms swinging around frantically, his mouth wide open and gasping for air. That wasn't real, none of that was real! He needed to swim to the edge and get out. But suddenly. his body seemed to have forgotten how. He could feel gravity working against him. So he took in as much air as he could before his body dropped back into the water.
The girl was waiting for him when he returned. Alex stayed as still as he could. Not wanting to panic and lose even more of the air he was trying to hold in his body.
He stared into the girl's curious, wide brown eyes. His body shaking with the fear he didn't want to show. The girl opened her mouth, revealing a set of perfectly white teeth.
“Help me,” She whispered. “Get out.”
I can't! Alex wanted to scream. But he couldn't talk. He couldn't open his mouth and let the water in.
“I-I'm afraid.” The girl whimpered.
He thought she was afraid? Alex was pretty sure he was about to have a heart attack,
“You have to go up for air. . .” The girl reminded him.
But Alex didn't move. He couldn't move. He didn't exactly want to move. Because the more he stared at the girl's face, the more entranced he became. It wasn't a scary face at all. It was beautiful. The most beautiful face Alex had ever seen. The girl smiled, as if she could hear Alex's thoughts.
“You're beautiful too.” The girl's smile disappeared. “But you need to go up for air. Now Alex! Now!”
But again, Alex didn't move. He could feel his head getting lighter from lack of oxygen. He could feel the pressure on his chest. But he wanted to keep looking at the girl, he wanted to talk to the girl, to know the girl's name the same way she seemed to know his.
“I'm Megan.” She sighed. “Now please, you have to leave or you'll be stuck forever.”
And then Alex did the unthinkable, he reached out and touched Megan. His hands stroked each side of the girl's face, he leaned in closer - pressing his lips to Megan's nose. When he pulled back, he was smiling but Megan looked sad. Extremely so. Alex frowned then, he didn't like that look. He was ready to leave now, to try to swim again.
“Too late.” Megan closed her eyes.
Alex's parents didn't find his body until after midnight when they got home. They instantly knew something was wrong when they saw the book door wide open. They rushed out to investigate, and that;s when they found him: lying at the bottom of the empty pool. The pool they had drained years ago.
No one every found out what made Alex snap again. What took his sanity in such an extreme way. Experts insisted it was a heart attack that stole the young boy's life. But the coroner's report found an impossible amount of water flooded in the boy's lungs. The mystery still remains.
That is, if you were still holding your breath like I asked you to in the beginning.
You weren't, were you?
You breathed, didn't you?