9. Seaweed Lake
I wanted a relaxing life, not a life of running. It seemed that that was exactly what I was doing though.
We ran for about ten minutes I would say. It felt like hours though. The only reason we stopped after that much time was because I tripped and the files went flying everywhere.
I started picking them up fast. Harry just watched me. “Why don’t you look at them?”
“At what? The files?” I guessed.
“Yeah,” confirmed Harry.
“’cause Clyde said not to.”
“How do you know you can trust this Clyde individual?” he asked, picking up the
last piece of paper and handing it to me.
“I don’t know if we can trust him,” said I, putting the last paper in the file folder,
“but I’d rather be out here than in that foster home.”
“Amen to that. But I know if I were you, I’d open the files and look at every single
file in there.”
“Well you’re not me, so be quiet,” I responded, rather harshly. As I said this, I
noticed a small photograph sticking out of the files. Harry noticed it to and was nimble enough to snatch it from my my hand once I had pulled it out.
“What’s this?” he asked curiously.
“None of your business!” I exclaimed. “And none of mine!” I stood up and tried to take it from him.
“Hey, it’s a photograph of you!”
I stopped. “What?” I asked. He repeated. “Let me see!” I exclaimed.
“It’s none of our business though, right?” asked Harry sarcastically. “We should
just put the photograph back into the file. I think that would be best.” He laughed annoyingly.
We wrestled for a minute and I managed to snatch it from him. By then, the photograph was crumpled. I saw the photograph and it was odd because the person I saw was a little over my age. He looked more mature and his jawline was much larger than mine. He had black hair like me and was not smiling. I considered it being my brother for a moment, that is, until I flipped the photograph to see a message on the back addressed to me. It said:
Liam, dead the 4th of July 2026. These files will help you remember.
The two sentences were in different coloured ink; the first in black and the second in blue. They were also in different handwritings.
“Does it say something on the back?” asked Harry, noticing the writing. I told him what it said.
“2026!? That was like 1000 some odd years ago!”
“1000 and 31 years ago,” I specified.
“Do you suppose it could be your ancestor? Maybe your Great Great Great-” “The second sentence throws me off.”
“It’s addressed to me.”
“How do you know?”
“Who else would “you” be? Remember what though?”
“There’s only one what to find out,” said Harry plainly. “Look in the files. If it’s
addressed to you then why not, right?”
“Because Clyde said not to!” I exclaimed. I put the photograph back into the file
folder. “It’s getting dark. Let’s continue running.”
We did so for about ten more minutes before coming to an abrupt halt. There it
was: Seaweed Lake. One could see easily the land on the other side, which was just a continuation of forest. But when one looked side to side, it seemed that the lake was everlasting. I immediately pictured the lake in full, trying to guess how the lake was shaped. I imagined an inflated toothpick.
“Look! exclaimed Harry. “There’s the boat, I think.”
I looked in the direction he was pointing. We walked over to it. One good look at the orange rowboat and I knew that it would be hard to push myself into trusting its stability.
Harry jumped in, making the boat rock. He then untied the rope from a small piece of wood and began rowing. I jumped in, not wanting to be left behind. The water was still and green. It looked more like a swamp than a lake. The trees surrounding the lake were staring at us with a dark aura. I shuddered at the wind passing over me.
I thought of the photograph, and my concern must have shown on my face, because Harry looked at me and said, “Look inside the folder. No one will know.”
“Harry, you know I won’t do that.”
Harry stopped rowing at the ripples of the boat died. I looked around me and noticed that my worries stole my sense of time. We were in the middle of Seaweed Lake. “Why did you stop rowing?”
“Give me the files,” he ordered.
“No! We were ordered not to looked at them,” I reminded him.
“Wrong. You were ordered not to look at them. He was talking to you.” “Continue rowing, Harry,” I said, looking away at the calm water.
Harry stood up.
“What are you doing,” I asked quietly.
“Give me the files, now.”
“Why are you so obsessed about seeing these darned files?”
“Our lives could be in serious danger and I didn’t ask for that.”
“I didn’t either!”
“I would like to know what I’m getting myself into,” he explained taking a step
forward. He tried to grab my folder. I pulled it back but he had a firm grip on it. It was my turn to stand up.
Both standing up and both pulling, we rocked the boat to the point that water started splashing in. I let go. He went flying back and into the water. I heard a splash followed by brief silence. Then a deep breath was taken by panicked Harry.
“I can’t swim!” he yelled. Still holding on to the documents.
I gave him my arm and he clenched it with adrenaline fear. It felt like I was having my blood pressure taken. I pulled him out of the water.
“Are you alright,” was all I could say.
He sat down in front of me. “Leave me alone,” he mumbled.
I left him alone, that is, until I realized that he was not holding the files. “The
files!” is all I said and Harry give me a grave face.
“I must’ve dropped them,” he said quietly.
I lost me temper. “Harry! I exclaimed. I stood up and took off my shirt.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m jumping in!” I exclaimed as I propelled myself off the boat. I hit the water
quite hard. I let myself sink a bit before opening my eyes to try and locate the folder. I found a piece of paper, but when I grabbed it, it became pulp in my hands. I looked down. There it was! The folder sank quickly. I swam as best I could to it but I soon realized that I was running out of air. I looked up to see the surface far too distanced from me to reach in time if I grabbed the folder. I knew though that if I surfaced, the files would be gone. I looked to see which I thought was more important: The files or a breath of cold air.
I did the foolish thing. What happened after that? Beats me. I was gone. To be continued…