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Picture this: a summer camp, the weather outside is hot, there's tons of children running around, and a dark, eerie lake that holds hidden secrets within. This place is Camp Kwahadi, and my aunt dropped me off there for six weeks. Little did she know, everything was going to change forever.

All of the campers were forced to perform swimming challenges, I suppose it was the camp's tradition? Everyone had to swim the half mile it took to get to the platform in the middle of the lake to earn our badge for "accomplished swimmer". I didn't care about those worthless badges, but they were the main reason I was here. My aunt had met all those years ago at Camp Kwahadi and earned every single badges at once, and I was a legacy. It was expected that I earn them all too.

Do you ever have one of those moments where your stomach starts to sink, like your mind was telling you not to do this or that? Well, I got that feeling on the morning of the half mile swim. Everyone lined up on the bank, and waited for the air horn to signal the start of the swim. Campers all ran into the water, casually, and with grins on their faces, I hung back, taking my time, hoping to not tire out midway through the race.

As I swam along behind the kids, I suddenly noticed how murky the water was and how it felt as though the temperature had dropped to twenty degrees. I glanced around to see if anybody else was feeling this cold sensation too. Then without warning, I was pulled under, never to take another breath ever again.

I fought off the unknown creature and paddled my arms, stretching for the surface that was moving further and further from my reach. it felt like a thousand years and like no time at all had passed as I clawed through the water, but never reached my destination. As the calm came over me deep in that freezing water, and the icy fingers wrapped around my ankle to once again pull me under, I remembered all those stories last night around the campfire, just horrifying stories made up to scare younger or newer campers; how wrong I was.

Now I beg and plead with the souls forever trapped in the lake to leave the children alone, but they never obeyed. Every summer, they claim one body as their own, dragging them to the depths of the lake, to spend eternity with us, to be part of the "tradition" that is Camp Kwahadi.

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