They say she only comes out at night to attack. If that were true my story would have no leg to stand on, as it happened in the middle of the day. But I know what I witnessed and I know it was her. She comes out not just at night but any time. Male, only male, children are left unattended. She's in the water, just waiting for a chance to drag her next victim down to a watery grave.

But, unlike folklore stories, she is no mermaid. She pretends to be a drowning victim, body limp and pale, floating face down in the water.

You probably are wondering what I am talking about so, I will start from the beginning.

I was ten at the time and my family owned a cliff side house by the ocean. This was our summer home and it was a great place to play, there was even a path leading down to a small beach hidden from view between two rocky cliff walls, climbing out of the water.

One day during our visit my best friend, Nate's, family came over for a visit. I was excited, and wanted to show him around.

Taking his arm I led him outside and down the path to the small beach. We played on the sand, making castles and creating moats for them and then pretending the castle's inhabitants were at war. Nate eventually grew bored though and wanted to swim. I told him to go ahead but I wouldn't join in, reminding him that I couldn't swim, and even if I could, I was afraid to get into the water. He smiled and teased me about it, saying I was a chicken, but I wouldn't budge. Eventually he convinced me to simply stand at the edge of the water and we could splash each other from there. We had fun with that for awhile and then Nate decided he wanted to go back up to the house.

By then the sun had gone behind a mass of clouds and a cool breeze was blowing up. I didn't want to be by myself down on the beach and followed after him. Maybe you might think of me as a coward but I always got nervous being by myself on that beach. At the time I didn't know why but I eventually found out.

We headed up the path but Nate suddenly paused, looking down over the water.

"What's that?" he asked before I could ask him what was the matter.

"What's what?" I asked him, figuring he saw a whale or something.

My friend pointed out toward the water. I looked where he was pointing and spotted something bobbing in the water near the rocks below. It was black and for a moment I thought it might be a seal. Seals commonly swam by the rocks in the summer, barking to one another as they played amidst the waves. We hardly ever had shark sightings around here so the seals were relatively safe.

"Is that a person?" Nate asked suddenly.

"A person?" I frowned, squinting. Now I could make out more of the figure in the water. It seemed to be a person, a woman, in a wet suit. I didn't see an oxygen tank though, but I did make out a face mask on her head, pushed up from her face. I frowned to myself. Why would anyone be swimming near those rocks? They were sharp and slippery. I knew this because my younger brother had died slipping on those rocks two years ago. He'd fallen and landed on the rocks near the water, impaled on them.

My friend was now heading back down the path. "I think they're in trouble!" Before I could say a word he rushed down the path, across the beach, and dove into the water. I called after him and ran toward the beach, watching him swim toward the person in the water.

I watched him reach the swimmer from where I stood on the shore... and that's when things went from normal to horrifying.

The body moved and, as I watched, it grabbed onto Nate when he drew close. He let out a cry of surprise and tried to swim away, as if he suddenly decided rescuing her was a bad idea.

It held onto him though, and suddenly three extra pairs of arms, no tentacles, grew out of its back and they wrapped around Nate like the tendrils of a vine. Nate's screams grew more frantic as he was pulled toward the swimmer. Water splashed and I saw my friend fighting for his life. I could see the thing's face now, blank except for a row of jagged sharklike teeth.


They were gone.

I stood there for a moment, staring in disbelief at the now calm waters, seeing only bubbles in the water where the pair had been only seconds ago, then I rushed back up the path and ran into the house. I hysterically told the adults in the living room what happened and Nate's dad along with my own ran out of the house and to the beach. They took off into the water and dove under, looking for him but returned moments later without Nate.

My mother called the police and they came soon afterward. Divers combed the bottom for his body for days afterward but nothing, no corpse and no clues. The police questioned me about what happened and I told them what we'd seen, the woman in the water and the transformation from a human to a tentacled monster with those demonic teeth.

Nobody believed me but I didn't expect them to. They all thought I was letting my imagination get the better of me.

After a month the search was called off. The conclusion was Nate had been attacked by a shark and that was why there was no body, but I knew better. Sharks always left something behind.

My family sold the summer home and I have never returned. I can no longer go to the beach or even take a bath. The sight of it brings back images of Nate's drowning and that pale, white face...

Written by lady-warrior
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