While Eric and Sam unloaded the car, Dave took Alan down to the lake to show him around. Dave had bought the cabin a year ago and was proud of it.
“Isn’t this fantastic? We picked a great weekend for this getaway, are you digging this weather, or what?” Dave was grinning away.
“It’s awesome, man. How’s that water for swimming?”
“That’s the best part, man. Nothing like a night swim here. The water is plenty warm after a hot day like this. We should take a swim later tonight.”
“That sounds great.”
They went back to help with the rest of the unloading and getting the cabin set up for the weekend. Taking Eric aside, Dave made sure Alan was out of earshot.
“So you brought your snorkel, right? I’ve baited the hook; he’s keen to have a swim after dark. This is gonna be a great prank. I’m glad you thought of it.”
Eric was smiling. “Oh yeah, I’ve got it. He’s gonna get the fright of his life. Hope he’s got a good sense of humour.”
They spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and telling stories. After awhile Dave drove into town to get some steaks for the grill and to stock up on beer. Eric and Sam decided to make sure Alan was still keen.
“Hey Alan, Did Dave mention how nice the lake is for swimming? You brought your trunks with you, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, sure did. Should we go now?”
“No, let’s wait till after dark, it’s great out there in the moonlight.”
The rest of the day was round after round of male bonding, great food and copious quantities of beer. After sundown Dave gave a sign to the others to put the prank in play and the game was on. Eric got up and stretched.
“Hey guys, I’m gonna make a quick run into town, I’ll meet you guys in the lake. I think it’s time for that swim.”
He left the cabin and the others changed and headed for the lake. Dave and Sam could barely contain themselves. They all dived in, and as promised the water was warm and inviting. They swam around for a while and then stood waist deep and just basked in the warm evening moonlight and talked.
Alan was looking around. “Hey, shouldn’t Eric be back by now?”
Dave brushed it off. “Hell, he’s probably chatting up some chicks in town, trying to get them to come out to the cabin. He’ll be here soon.”
Alan was about to respond when his eyes went wide and he screamed and fell into the water. He was kicking frantically and yelling for help. Dave and Sam did their best not to bust out laughing and waded over to where Alan was thrashing around.
“Hey, man, what’s up? What’s all the screaming about?” Dave did his best to sound concerned.
“Oh my god! Something grabbed my ankle. I was being pulled down. I kicked it with my other foot and it let go! We gotta get outta here!”
Scrambling for the shore, Alan didn’t see his friends high-fiving each other before they got out of the water. They all headed back to the cabin. When they got there Alan was white as a sheet.
“Man, that was insane! What the hell could it have been? I could feel fingers around my ankle, and when I kicked it, it was slimy. Glad I wasn’t alone.”
Dave put on a concerned face. “This is weird man. Nothing like that has ever happened. Wonder what it could have been?” He smirked at Sam when Alan wasn’t looking.
Alan was shaking. “I don’t know, but I’m glad it’s over. I’m gonna go take a shower.”
When he left the room Dave looked at Sam.
“Wonder where Eric is? He should have had time to dry off and come in by now.”
The door opened and in walked Eric with blood running down his face from a cut on his forehead.
Dave ran to his friend. “What happened man? Did he kick you in the head?”
Eric shook his head. “What are you talking about? I went out around the back way to sneak into the lake through the woods and I tripped over a root and hit my head on a rock. I’ve been out cold for I don’t know how long. I just came to a minute ago. Where’s Alan?”
Dave and Sam stared at each other, each feeling icy fingers stealing up their spines, Dave wondering how much he could get for the cabin.