There’s something at the bottom of the lake. Ok, wait a second…I’m starting to get ahead of myself. I can’t help it though, I feel like there isn’t much time left before it happens again. Let me rewind a little and start from the beginning.
Four of us friends decided to go boating on our lake. My husband and I have a speedboat, and it’s the middle of summer, so as you can imagine, we are out there a lot.
Yesterday was when everything happened.
I had spent most of the day soaking up the sun and swigging a few beers. My husband had two of his friends out with us, and they had the itch to go tubing. I’m not much of a tuber myself (I don’t like my hair getting wet.) so I decided to be the dedicated flag girl, and thank goodness, I did just that!
We weren’t out there for that long before it happened.
Dylan took his turn first, we took him around a few coves and whipped him around good. He loved it, and the only fear he had was seeing a large wake headed his way.
Max…poor Max, he was up next. I think subconsciously he knew what was about to happen. He didn’t want to tube, he said he just wanted to relax on the boat and puff on his cigarette.
We shouldn’t have convinced him.
We should have just pulled the tube back in the boat and called it a day. My husband was already starting to sport a sun burn, it was the perfect time of day to call it quits and head in for dinner. That’s not how the story goes, though. We made Max go on that tube, we told him it would be a blast, that he’d have fun.
He believed us. We believed us.
He jumped onto the tube and slid right off, obviously uncoordinated. I held the rope taught and instructed him to climb on his belly and hang onto the handles. I went over all the classic tubing signals (thumbs up for faster, thumbs down for slower, palm out for a stop, pointer finger in the air to make a turn, etc.).
He said he understood, and I used my foot to sail him off the back of the boat. It wasn’t long before he had a wide toothy grin on his face. He seemed to be loving it, and with each large wave, he’d go flying in the air.
I held that orange flag tightly in case he fell off, but he never did, he was a professional! We kept a steady watch for any hand signals so we could instruct the driver on what to do, but he kept giving the thumbs up to go faster, so we did.
Now, I don’t know if you have experienced the atmosphere of a speedboat, but when they start going fast, it gets loud. It’s hard to hear anyone talk, and the bumps and turns make you hold on for dear life.
This is the precise moment that the nightmare unraveled.
My husband was driving the boat while Dylan and I sat at the back of the boat. Everything happened so fast. I heard a weird sound at first. It almost sounded like a combination of a whale and a cricket if you can imagine what that would sound like. It sounded muffled though, so I thought the engine was acting up in the boat since we were going so fast.
I thought about telling my husband to stop the boat at that moment, to make sure everything was working correctly in the engine, but like I said, everything happened so fast. I looked behind the boat again to check on Max, and a lump formed in the back of my throat.
The tube started to move towards the boat…faster than the boat was moving. How was this possible? I had no idea. Before I could yell at my husband to slow down, the tube was nearly to the wooden platform at the back of the boat. The rope immediately started to get tangled in the motor, and I could see the horror in Max’s face. He attempted to jump off the tube in that moment, but the rope caught hold of his ankle.
At first, I was in a state of shock, but then I realized that Max was in danger. His body was stuck halfway beneath the wooden platform where the motor was. Dylan was screaming at Max to wiggle his foot out, and I was screaming at my husband to cut the motor. We were going so fast, and the boat was so loud that by the time I could get to the front of the boat to communicate to my husband what was happening, it was too late.
My husband immediately cut the engine, but when I looked back to the platform, he was gone. Dylan was freaking out and in a literal state of panic. I asked him what happened to Max; what had he seen?
He told us that Max had let out a blood curdling scream, then was flung behind the back of the boat and pulled under water.
My husband whipped the boat around the cove in hopes of finding Max. After about two minutes, we heard another blood curdling scream. Max had emerged from the water; thank god for life vests.
We shot the boat over to him as fast as we could and asked if he was alright. We could tell that he was in distress, so my husband and Dylan grabbed each arm of his to lift him into the boat.
I felt my stomach heave in disgust as my eyes met the bottom of Max’s leg. His foot was missing. Gone. Completely severed.
We were in shock by the whole ordeal at first, like I said, this all happened so fast. Adrenaline finally started to course through us, and my brain was spitting commands.
“Lay him on his back on the back seat! Wrap this towel around his ankle and keep his leg in the air!”
Luckily, there is a hospital on the water. Max wasn’t crying, he was just lying on the seat with his eyes wide. I think he was in shock by what had just happened, I mean, his foot was just amputated from his body. I was trying not to puke from the smell of his exposed flesh. The mix of blood and lake water was surely going to guarantee an infection, and the site of the frayed skin and torn muscle being exposed made my knees weak.
Where had his foot gone? Should we have searched for it? Maybe, they would be able to re-attach it if we just took a second to find it. I shook my head in disgust and realized that saving him from blood loss was more important.
We finally reached the shore, and I used my cell to dial the hospitals number. There was no way we could get him off the boat and up to the ER on our own. Everything from that point forward was a frantic blur in my memory.
So that’s my story from what happened. Now, the doctor said he was going to be just fine, and they are pumping him with antibiotics as we speak. They put him in an induced coma for the pain until they can clean up the wounds and get him stable.
When the doctor asked us what happened, he seemed to think we were lying.
I told him again and again that the propeller had got him because the rope got tangled around the platform, but the doctor just shook his head and told me the cut marks didn’t resemble those of a propeller accident.
Goosebumps ran down my back when the doctor explained why that was impossible.
“You know, his ankle resembles that of a bite mark. It is very unlikely that the propeller would have made these kinds of marks and tears. He would probably have other injuries to different parts of his body if he was struck by the propeller. Of course, not every injury is identical, so there is always a small chance that what you’re telling me is true. However, I have been in his field long enough to know better.”
I’m scared to go back out on the water now. What had made the tube move so fast? Like I said, we were on a speedboat going full speed which is about 45 miles per hour. Something under the water had to be pushing the tube to a speed of at least 60 miles per hour for what happened to have happened.
My logical mind played around with this concept for a while. Maybe the inertia of our turns and the wake of other boats sent the tube flying forward, but that didn’t make sense. I had been boating too many times to know that things like that just didn’t happen.
I don’t want to believe that something took a bite out of my friend’s foot. I don’t want to believe that something pushed the tube that Max was on at ridiculous speeds. I don’t want to believe these things because if I choose to believe the facts of the matter, I think we are all in danger.
If what I fear is true, that means that something big is living at the bottom of the lake, something that can swim faster than any boat on the lake, something that can overpower any human and go undetected for all these years.
I think I’m done boating for the year.