Chapter XIV: In Deep Water (14/14)Mature

Sayara heard her from behind, spun around with eyes full of fear and shouted, 'get out of there! There's something down -,'

'Aaah!'Laguna screamed as the hand gripped her ankle and dragged her down. They all watched frozen in terror as she disappeared below the surface, the water thrashing around her as she struggled. She came up for a moment, 'HELP!'Then she was gone.

'Laguna!' shouted Sayara, hurrying to the edge only to be pushed back by Erin.

'No. Stay back,' she ordered, fighting out of her coat and preparing to leap in herself.

'Look!' screeched Tayna, pointing to the edge nearby, and they saw that ice was forming, crackling as it spread at an unnaturally fast pace, not paper thin, but as thick and solid as stone. Silex held out his hand, power emanating from his fingertips. The ice cracked, splitting into segments, but moments later it magickally sealed back together.

Tayna drew her wand from her coat pocket, pointing it at the lake and shouting 'uchikudaku!' Where she'd aimed, a hole was blown through the ice, which was at least a foot thick. Water spurted from between the crack, turning to ice and fixing it like glue, rising through the hole and plugging it.

'What do we do?' Andrel asked, his voice fast with panic.

'I - I don't know,' Erin spluttered, shaking her head with disbelief at everything that was happening. Nearby, they could see Laguna, bashing on the ice, her palms white and pressed against it, unable to break through. She called out to them, but her voice was soundless.

Will felt power surging through him, lifting him to his feet and forward, onto the ice. It didn't tremble at his weight, against it he seemed to weigh nothing. The skin of his feet peeled from the surface, stinging red raw, but he paid it no heed as he sank to his knees beside Laguna. He watched as a pale, grisly hand snaked up from behind her, clamping over her mouth and digging its nails into her cheeks to proclaim its ownership. A second arm, swathed in black with the sleeves torn and fraying wrapped around her throat, forcing a stream of bubbles from her lips. Will raised his arm aloft, a word he had never known sounding in his own voice.

'Hasta!'  

Slowly, he felt something materialise in his hands, something metal that grew larger to fit his fist. It extended in a swirling spectrum of colour, pointed at the end, and Will struck down just as it fully materialised. The spear was made from pure silver, the end so sharp that it broke through every inch of ice. Chips appeared around the entry point, turning into cracks that spread faster and grew larger until the ice collapsed beneath him. 

Will looked down as the ice cracked across Laguna's terrified face, but as it split apart, so did she. The water shimmered with a strange, white glow as the ice tipped and he fell between. He expected to be dragged unprepared under the water, but his knees hit the bottom quickly, water surging up his nose and no further. 

He turned, still able to see everybody on the grass, watching him with consternation. The spear was held loosely in his hand, the tip stuck into the ground, the lake had become just a couple of feet deep.

Laguna was nowhere in sight.

The End

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