This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Wilson Bracewell had his waterproof jacket zipped up to his chin, trying to hide from the cold air that was being blown in from the Atlantic Ocean, and he was chattering his teeth together, just to make the strenuous point that he was freezing while he let out a sound of brrrrr every couple of minutes.
After the fourth time of his lips vibrating together, and the constant tappity tap of teeth coming together, Marcus Robson had had enough.
“Will you give it a rest,” he said as he slammed his hands onto his knees. “All night you've been on about being cold Do you not think that maybe I'm cold as well? Do you hear my teeth chattering, or me whining on about it every five minutes?” He asked as he looked at Wilson. “And this was your idea, while you're asking.”
Wilson looked back at Marcus as he recalled in his head the chain of events that led to them being out beneath a blanket of twinkling stars on a freezing November night, and he nodded and smiled as he got to the part where he had asked his friend if he had wanted to night fish Blaise Pool.
“Oh yeah,” he said as he laughed in realisation, “It was me wasn’t it.”
They both turned back to concentrate on their fishing rod’s that were pointing towards the water like a javelin frozen in time, and they both laughed as they did.
Their breath was bellowing out in plumes of dense smoke, which evaporated into the fresh night air, and Marcus began making Red Indian noises as he blew his smoky breath into rhythmic bursts.
“Me Little Bear, you Running Scared, oh wa oh wa oh wa oh wa.”
Wilson looked at him as he placed his fingers above his head to imitate feathers in his hair.
“What are you doing?” he asked him, just as Marcus began war whooping with his hand over his mouth.
“Running Scared is a weak man,” he told Wilson in his deepest Red Indian tribal voice. “He run from woman with rolling pin if she making cakes.”
Wilson tried to hold on to his contempt look, but he failed as he began to laugh.
“What the frick are you talking about Marc?” he asked him, lifting his head as the laugh got heavier. “Run from a woman with a rolling pin, what the hell?”
He continued to laugh as he pictured his mother chasing him with a rolling pin above her head, covered in flour.
His laughter stopped as the bite alarm that his line was attached to burst into life.
The beep beep beep made Wilson lurch forwards and grab out to his rod, yanking it upwards and feeling the resistance as the line tightened with the sudden weight of the fish on the hook.
“We’re in,” he shouted, even though his friend sat next to him would have heard him whisper.
“Take your time, Wilson” Marcus said, as he dropped his Red Indian act.
He watched Wilson’s attempt to guide the fish from the murky depths of Blaise Pool, by keeping the line taught and then reeling backwards when it would make a fresh dart back to its home, and he grabbed the landing net as the dark green head broke the shimmering surface.
“It’s a tench mate,” Wilson informed his friend, even though Marcus could see perfectly clearly.
“Nice fish, Wilson,” he enthused.
As the fish slid into the net, the boys both looked out towards the island that was silhouetted black against the darkness. They could make out the shape of the line of trees that spilt the island in half, and of the rundown church walls that were barely still standing, and they could also hear a noise that bounced off of the trees, a noise that sounded like a hungry baby wailing for a bottle.
“What the frick is that?” Wilson whispered as he froze motionless.
Marcus shrugged his shoulders in reply, scared to talk in case he was heard.
The slapping of the fish on the surface of the water broke the tension, and also stopped whatever it was from making the high pitched wailing noise from the island.
Marcus pulled the landing net in and knelt down to unhook his friends’ fish as it continued to break-dance on the ground, while Wilson placed his fishing rod back on to its rests and knelt down next to him.
“What was that noise?” he whispered, as he held the fighting fish motionless.
Marcus shrugged again as he picked the hook from the 6 pound tench, (something the two friends would normally be going wild with excitement at).
“It sounded like a baby,” Wilson said, even quieter than before.
Something just occurred to Marcus as he jerked his head towards the island.
“Holy crap Wilson,” he said hurriedly, “Maybe they are sacrificing a kid over there or something.”
The sheer thought of that made Wilson take a sharp breath as his gaze leered towards the island, and they both stared into the darkness, with neither of them daring to breathe in case it made the noise again.
“What do we do?” Wilson finally asked; which made Marcus breathe deeply for the first time in at least a minute.
“Pack up and get the hell out,” Marcus said, not realising he hadn’t spoken since the fish had broken the surface. “I don’t like the sound of whatever it was.”
“Sounded dangerous,” Wilson agreed.
The both stood and went about packing their fishing tackle away, only using the light of the Moon in the clear winter sky to illuminate the area around them, and both glancing every so often across to the island; that seemed to be getting eerier by the minute.
A slapping on the water from the island shore changed to splashing, and the boys felt the fear tickle the back of their necks.
What’s was that?” Marcus said as he stopped wading out to get his keepnet from the water.
Wilson felt a little scream of fear creep from him as he stared across to the island, and then felt a little leak of urine escape from his penis as a figure began to splash even more in the water.
Marcus’s scream could be heard in the village, some four miles away, as he threw the keepnet into the water and began running (or wading) out of the lake and off towards his bike that was propped up against the fence surrounding Blaise Pool. He was soon joined by Wilson, who had reacted more to Marcus trying to escape the water than he had to the figure splashing on the banks of the island.
“Let’s get the frick out of here,” Wilson said as he grabbed his bike that was leaning against the fence.
“What about the gear, Wils?” Marcus asked as he began peddling away.
“Screw the gear, man,” he replied as he went past him. “We can get it tomorrow or something.”
The boys soon became two lights flickering red in the distance as they headed, at full pace, past Blaise Forest and off toward the village.
It was 2:25am in the middle of winter, and they no longer felt cold.
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