As I walked, the snow crunched beneath my rubber boots. Every so often I would step on a twig, sending a cracking sound into the air as it snapped in half. There was no wind, and almost no noise besides my footsteps, and the birds calling.
Hunting was a big pastime of mine. I would spend hours walking through the large forest, tracking down animals. I would venture out into any weather, it didn’t matter if it was raining, freezing, or blistering hot. It had been snowing a lot lately, which was good news to me, as I loved snow.
I was making my way over to a favorite spot of mine, a large pond in the middle of these woods. As I trodded along, I took in the scenery. It was beautiful, like a winter wonderland. Despite my happy thoughts, I couldn’t help but think of an awful incident that happened ten or so years back. A young man, around the age of twenty, went out hiking in this forest. When he never came home, the authorities were called, and they went out to find him. Sadly, what they found was his lifeless body, sunken to the bottom of the pond. The poor boy had drowned, and every time I went to that pond, I thought about how it was his grave. Since the accident, the children of the town would tell ghost stories about the forest, and would dare each other to see how far they could go out into it.
I reached the pond, frozen and glistening. It was so cold, I knew that I shouldn’t stay out to long. I started to make my way over to a large boulder. I liked to sit on it, and watch for wildlife. As I came to it, however, my foot got caught on a root jutting up from the ground. My body twisted, and I fell over. I fell flat on my stomach, and my rifle flew from my grasp. It landed on the ice of the frozen pond, and slid a little ways out.
I cursed to myself quietly, and stood up. I had to get it back, but I had to be careful not to slip and fall again. I carefully placed my foot on the ice. Then the other one. I started to walk across. I got to my rifle, and bent down slowly to pick it up. At that moment, I heard a loud crack.
Suddenly, the ice beneath me fell into the frigid water, and I fell along with it.
The water felt like fangs bitting into my skin, and my muscles tensed up and became stiff. I thrashed and gasped for air, trying to pull myself out of the hole in the ice, but it was so cold, and it hurt. Water began to fill my boots, making them like heavy weights. I started to sink downwards. I continued to thrash, only wearing myself out. I couldn’t see in the dark, murky water, and I feared trying to open my eyes, as the water was so cold. I couldn’t let myself hit the pond’s bottom, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find the hole I fell through, and I would be trapped. I fought for my life, I didn’t want to die, I didn’t want to end up like the poor boy from years ago.
I became light headed, and knew that it was over. However, just when I thought I was a dead man, I could make out something reaching into the water. It was a hand. I saw it moving, and reaching down within arms reach of me. I shot my own hands out, and grabbed onto it. It pulled me up, and my head emerged from the water. I kept my eyes closed and my head down, and with the person’s help I was pulled completly out of the pond.
“Oh….God…thank you, thank God you were here……” I said in a quiet, raspy voice. I opened my eyes to see my savior, but to my great surprise, there was no one there. I looked around, glancing everywhere, but there was no one anywhere.
I never went back to that pond. Whenever the children would tell ghost stories about the drowned boy in the woods, I would listen, because I was sure that I owed him my life.
Credit To – Mara