S: Haunted by the Lake
BC: It was just a dream.....or was it?
FC: Haunted by the Lake | By Tu Pham
1: By Tu Pham | Haunted by the Lake
3: "There is a small neighborhood near the lake. People used to live there, but everything has changed since Anna died. No one dares to go there anymore. The park, the swing-sets, the canoes, along with all the houses, fully furnished, are all still there." my grandma told me while we looked at an old picture we found in the attic. "So why did everybody leave?" I asked. "Well, maybe it's because they don't want their past to catch up to them." she replied. I didn't understand what she meant. Even now, five years later, I still don't understand, and I want to find out.
4: On Saturday morning of my seventeenth birthday, my Grandma and I drove up to that lake. When I saw the lake, I couldn't imagine how anyone would not want to live here. The water was blue and clear. The scenery was breath taking. There was no city noises, and the air was fresh. I was about to go into the water when my grandma stopped me and said, "Maybe it's not such a good idea to be here, Melinda." "Grandma, what's wrong?" "I don't want to be here. Maybe we should just go home." she said. "Are you kidding? It feels so good here! It's relaxing, Grandma. Why would you want to leave?" As I observed her, I could see her expressions began to turn into fear.
7: I kept wondering what is it that made my grandma so frightened about the place. I walked along the lake with here behind me. We didn't talk much. Many times, I would try to start a conversation with her, but she never replied back. When we have walked for about half a mile, I turned back to look at her. She was looking across the lake toward the neighborhood. She squinted her eyes like she was trying to see somebody across the lake.
8: "Grandma?" I asked but she wouldn't look at me. She kept her stare straight across the lake. I followed her eyes to one of the houses and saw a figure of a girl in a dress. She appeared young, maybe around nine, and had brown hair. "Grandma, I thought you said no one lives in that neighborhood anymore." I turned to her and said. She looked at me with a shocked expression, "You can see her too?" I nodded. But when I turned around to look at the girl again, she was gone.
10: "Where'd she go?" I asked Grandma, but she had already ran off toward the car. "Grandma, wait for me!" She climbed into the car and started it. When I had caught up to her, she opened the door and yelled at me to get in. I was too scared to say anything, so I just kept quiet. But in my head, I knew that there is something at the lake that bothered my grandma. Maybe it was the mysterious girl. And why did my grandma asked me if I "could see her too"? Was seeing her out of the ordinary? She looks only nine, so who else is living there with her? All those questions flowed in my mind, and I was determine to find the answers.
13: The next morning, while my grandma went to church, I took the car and drove up to the lake again. Despite the rainy weather, the lake was as beautiful as it had been yesterday. I drove through the neighborhood and toward the house that we saw the girl at. I couldn't help but notice all the doors of the houses in the neighborhood were wide opened. When I got to the house, it was the only house with the door closed. I observed the surroundings. The neighborhood was quiet and weird. "How come the grass is not wet when it had been raining all morning?" I thought. "And how come the porch lights of some of the houses are still on when no one was supposed to have live here for twenty years?"
14: I decided to forget about the unusual things that I observed about the neighborhood. I took a deep breath and went to the door of the house. I knocked on the door four times but got no answers. On my fifth try, the girl came out and opened the door for me. "Hi." I said. "Hi." she greeted back. She was wearing the same dress she wore yesterday. "You are...? "My name is Melinda. I was across the lake yesterday and I saw you. Do you mind if I come in?" I asked. The girl smiled and made a gesture for me to come inside. I stepped into the house, and she closed the door behind me.
16: "I'm sorry. I didn't get your name." I said as I sat down on the couch. "Anna." she said. My face turned pale and I forgot to breathe. Anna? Isn't Anna the girl who died here? Anna? Isn't she supposed to be dead? Why is she here? Or is the person I am talking to is not really living? My head was spinning. I couldn't think of anything to say. Then, for a minute, I couldn't remember where I am, who I am, and why I'm here. I heard my name echoed in my head. "Melinda, Melinda, Melinda....."
19: "Melinda. Honey, are you alright?" When I woke up, my Grandma was at my side. Two men were with her. They smiled at me and told me repeatedly that "everything was going to be OK." I couldn't remember many things such as my location, my school, my age, or even my eye color. The last thing I remembered was hearing my name being called. Then it hit me. I remembered seeing Anna, coming into her house and sitting on her couch. I opened my eyes wide and sat up. I looked around to see where I was but couldn't recognize the place. "Where are we?" I asked. "We are in my old house." Grandma said.
21: "Your old house?" I asked. "Yep, this is where I grew up." Grandma replied. I tried as hard as I could to get to a window. Across the street was a house I could faintly remember. I gasped, "That's Anna's house!" "How did you know? She had been dead for twenty years!" Grandma exclaimed. "I was there! I saw Anna! She invited me into her house! She is thirteen! I saw her...." I couldn't put my thoughts together. I only said what came to mind. But I remembered Anna. I remembered sitting on her couch and she introducing herself. Then after that, I can't recall anything. "Melinda, I found you passed out near your car across the lake. You meeting Anna may have been just a dream." Grandma said.
22: It was just a dream? I couldn't believe it! I only passed out and dreamt a crazy dream. It was really nothing! I let out a long sigh and rested my back against a wall nearby. It was over. Nothing had ever happened. It was all in my mind. I can't believe I would dream of something so unusual and so vivid at the same time. But I am really glad it was just a dream.
24: The two men helped me to the car. Grandma opened the door for me and I got inside. As we drove away, I couldn't help but wonder why I had pass out. I looked around the neighborhood. All of the houses' doors were closed, except for one, Anna's door.