Icy Waters

Date: 4/25/2017

By Kazuko

I stare out the window of the stranger's car, "H-how much longer?" I shutter; my brown orbs scanning the dark, icy landscape. "Just a bit. I need to get to the very edge." The woman behind the wheel replies, not taking her eyes off of the 'road'. I shoot a look at her, "Are you insane?! This vehicle is will fall straight through!" She glances in the review mirror, her dark brown eyes looking at mine, "I know this land better than you do. The ice will be thick enough to withstand the weight of the car." She replied before looking back out the windshields glass. The other passengers stayed silent. Either shivering, reading, sleeping, or looking out the window. "Well.. If the car is gone by the end of whatever we're doing, I swear I'm gonna kill you." I growled, looking back out of the glass. "If the cold doesn't kill us first, sure." I snap my head back at her, staring with wide eyes. She didn't just say that! I thought to myself before slowly turning my head, looking back at the frozen tundra. We've been on the road for a few days now. The temperature has apparently dropped drastically, though it feels like a nice spring day to me. The snow showered down around the car, pelting the earth with a thick blanket of white. The sky was a mixture of dark indigo and pink, making my eyes burn as the white specs blew past the vehicle. The ground around our vehicle was almost completely smooth, almost completely untouched. The only evidence of life was the few prints and lumps in the snow that I could spot from the car. "Night is going to fall soon, you should get your flashlight ready." The woman behind the wheel said to me, reaching down before tossing my small back to me from beside her. I gulped, nodding as I unzipped the fabric. Ropes, stakes, scissors, and a single flashlight were all I had left. I grabbed the torch, flipping it on to make sure it worked before strapping it to my belt. Suddenly, the people within the car began to stir as the car slowed to a stop. I looked around, "Are we there?" The driver nodded, "Johnny, go take a look around for us while we unload the raft." She said, turning the car off and unbuckling her seatbelt. I followed suit, opening my door to feel the oddly warm winds hit me. Looking around the area we were now in, my heart dropped as I spotted where the road of ice had stopped. "You stopped A METER FROM THE DROP OFF?!" I snapped at the driver, looking back at her. She ignored me, watching the others get the boat down from on top of the car. "It would have been different if it were a ways away, but THIS CLOSE?!" She glanced at me, "Stop whining, you'll attract predators." She smirked as she watched my expression turn from angry to frightened. "I.. I'm sorry. But I don't believe this is safe.." I said after taking a breath. She shrugged, leaning down and telling the others what to do with the raft. Crossing my arms, I walked over to them. The sound of the ice cracking slightly could be heard under the crunch of the snow. I gulped, "Oh God.." My voice shook as I prayed that it would hold our weight. The others began pulling the raft up and into the water, one of them holding it in place as the other went back to the car. "What are we even doing?" I questioned. The woman whom was driving smiled, "Something that very few humans ever dare to do." She smiled as a shiver went down my spine, "This is a bad idea. If it has to do with rowing a raft out into the middle of the ocean at night, then hell no." "So you would rather stay here with the car alone? Not even knowing where the nearest town or village is if you were to drive away?" Looking over the horizon, the sun began to descend behind the earth as the sky grew darker. "Er.. I don't know." "Just come with us. Nothing bad is gonna happen." "Now that you said that, something will." The woman laughed, "Whatever. Just come on." I grunted before walking to the raft, freezing as a large cracking sound could be heard from under my feet. I slowly looked up at the woman, whom simply smiled. "Jump." I frowned, "What do you mean 'Jump'?! There's no way in hell I'm jumping into a blow up raft." She sighed, "Just do it." "N-" "Johnny, hurry up! The sun is about to set!" She frowned. I whimpered before bucking my knees, landing half in the raft--half in the water. I gasped as the liquid touched my skin, oddly feeling like a warm bath. "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD-" I squeaked, pulling myself fully into the raft. The woman laughed, "It's so weird that a Pacific Islander is scared of water!" I frowned, "Whatever! I'm only Pacific Islander through my blood, not my life experiences." I sat across from her, folding my legs and resting my head on my knees. She sighed, "Well.. Let's hurry." The others got into the raft, the few items we had left in their hands. I looked down, "We're gonna die here." Shuttering, I tried to ignore the fact that I was now on the ocean. The snow fell hard enough that I could almost imagine that the ground was just really dark and too warm to keep snowflakes in shape. I closed my eyes as the others began to row the raft, their paddles splashing in the water with every stroke. Hours felt like minutes as I finally opened my eyes, finding that the raft was now being brought close to an extremely small area of ice. I sat up straight, "That isn't where we came all this way to go, is it?!" The woman stayed silent, staring at the ice sheet as the raft rammed into it. I began to panic as the force from the collision made me loose balance, leading to me falling into the water. I flailed my arms as I held my breath. Opening my eyes, I seen a seemingly endless void of dark colors. My chest felt like it was going to blow as my eyes widened. I was so vulnerable. Flimsily, I managed to turn my self. Popping my head out if the water, I began to hyperventilate. "H-Help!!" I squeaked, tears beginning to drain from my eyes. The crew leaned over the raft, taking my shaking hand and pulling me onto the ice sheet. I shivered, though I was not cold. "We can't stay here!! W-Why are we out here anyway??" I shuttered, wrapping my arms around myself as I sat down on the ice. The woman smiled, "To do exactly what you just did." I frowned, feeling a drop of water roll down the bridge of my nose, "What? Be brought out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of strangers?!" I snapped, taking deep breaths in attempt to calm down as much as possible. She sighed, suddenly beginning to undress. I gasped, "W-What are you doing?!" "Getting ready to swim." She looked over at me, smiling when she seen my surprised face. "You don't even know what's in there!" I shrieked, flicking my head toward the water. She chuckled, "That adds to the excitement." I growled, "Take me back." She ignored me, continuing to strip down to the bathing suit she hid under her layers of clothes. The other people that came with us followed her actions, stripping down to some swimming trunks. I shivered, staring at them in awe. These people are insane! They are gonna die and I'm going to be stranded! "You're coming with us." One of the men said, grabbing my wrist. I glared at him, pulling it back, "No I am NOT!" He frowned before leaning down, taking me in his arms. I squirmed, kicking and flailing in hopes that he would put me down. He looked over at the almost calm waters, which now reflected the light of the sliver of a moon in the sky. I let out a cry as he threw me into the icy depths, feet away from the sheet I sat on only moments before. I quickly moved once again to get a breath of air, glaring daggers at the man once I opened my eyes. "You're dea-!" I froze as something brushed against my leg. Glancing down at the water with large eyes, I only seen my dim reflection in the ripples. I began hyperventilating again, forcing my arm movement to keep my head above the dark liquid. I flinched as a stinging sensation took over my right leg, along with an odd pulling. I let out a silent scream, to terrified to actually make any noise. The other man walked to the edge of the ice sheet, grabbing my arms and pulling me up. On my thigh, a large Sea Lamprey hung by it's rows of teeth. I gasped, shaking violently from shock as the man whom helped me grabbed ahold of it's tail. Placing a hand on my shoulder, he gripped it firmly before yanking the parasitic fish off, tossing it into a box we had brought with us. "Welp, now we have a snack." He said, closing the lid. I bit down hard on my lip as the pain lingered. Tears streamed down my cheeks, dripping onto my chest as I wept quietly. Who are these people? Did they just use me as bait?! Why am I here.. The woman that brought us here began to laugh before pushing me, along with herself, back into the water. I growled as another panic attack began to set in. As I began swimming back to the ice sheet, I again felt something hit me. But this time, it was hard and collided with my arm. I shrieked again, jumping back before frowning. I quickly got back onto the ice before taking a deep breath. I shot my hand into the water, grabbing ahold of whatever it was. I'm sick of this place, so whatever this is, it's gonna pay. Pulling my hand up, I grabbed ahold of my flashlight. Shining it on the item, I nearly dropped it. A skull. Not a fish, but seemingly a mammal. "Wow! Nice catch kid." The man who threw me the first time said as he swam. I set the skull on the ice, staring down at it, "What.. What is it?" The woman laughed, "Who knows. Maybe you just discovered a new species. That or an undiscovered extinct animal." I frowned, shining the light around it. Perhaps I'll end up like this creature if I stay here any longer.. -- "Don't stop! Don't stop! We're in luck now!" -- I opened my eyes to the sound of my boyfriend calling me, earning a sigh of relief. --