Stephen walked up to the deck of the sailboat he had hired for the day long tour after having a drink downstairs. The snow clad Alps at the far north and the pristine transparent waters of the Ward’s lake was as breathtakingly beautiful as he had perceived when he visited the place twenty two years back. The place was still untouched of the modernity and artificiality of the world. The pin drop silence around him calmed him down but it also instilled a sense of fear in him. The sense of fear was unexplained.
He checked his phone. There wasn’t any network. A seclusion in the truest sense. He thought of taking a few photographs before he prepared the barbeque.
Suddenly his eyes caught a woman at some distance trying hard to stay afloat in the water. It alarmed him. Though he was sure he hasn’t seen or heard anyone since he arrived and by no means that woman could just drop from above. She had to either travel on a boat or swim to that place and the sight suggested none. Yet he felt an urge to save her from drowning.
She kept slamming the water and looking at him with pleading eyes. There was something in those eyes. They were mesmerizing and Stephen had a strong urge to look at the face below those eyes which was hidden under water.
He moved his yacht towards the drowning woman who now had only her hands above water. There was a hunch at the back of his mind which told him that it wasn’t natural but he kept inching nearer. He tried to reach her but she kept drifting away. Finally he decided to jump into the water. He stood at the edge of the boat and thought for one last time before he took the plunge. Right before he hit the water, the woman emerged out and finally he saw the face. There wasn’t anything below those eyes but a decomposed skeleton.
As soon as he got into the ice cold water, something held his leg and pulled him in.
Joel and the search team were making rounds of the lake in search of the tourist who rented his yacht three days back for a day long tour. He was apprehensive when the tourist informed him that it was his second visit. But still he let him venture into the lake. Though they found the yacht but the man was nowhere to be found.
It had always happened. Every year, they said that the witch took away a man who had visited the lake before, the Witch of the Ward’s Lake. But they would never know that it was Stephen’s wife seeking revenge all these years for pushing her inside the water when they last visited. Finally she got her man.
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