Adria Bailton

Wyld FLASH March 19th 2021

They pull me down, the hands that come up unseen from the lake while I float on my back. There are no signs saying beware.

Did I step into a horror movie?

Are these zombies? No. No announcements on the radio of people suddenly turning cannibalistic. No strange occurrences of dead raising up.

Are these ghosts? Are they the ghosts of drowning victims? Murder victims? Again, there are no signs. No rumors. No urban legends.

The hands rose as a solid mass, coiling about each other like snakes. How many bodies must be under the surface for this many hands to ensnare me?

Under water, my lungs don’t burst from lack of air like I expect. It’s as though the hands give me life. Instead of fighting, I relax into their pull, the feel of soft skin and callouses against my toes, my heels, my calves, my thighs. I’m surprised that the hands lack prunes, that they feel no different than mine as I entered the water.

I sink back, and the hands caress my torso, my neck, cover my face.

I exhale the remaining breath from my body. What will I become? Will my hands join these for another unsuspecting bather? I accept my fate.

The motion changes. Hands that pulled me down now push me up. I clear the surface. My face is released. I gasp air. They drift lower, a caress of my shoulders, my back, my waist, weaving a trail down my legs until the last finger releases my toe. I swim to shore and collect my towel. “There should be signs,” I mutter.

Author Bio: Adria does science for a day job in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and spends the rest of her time writing, gardening, or cuddling with her dogs. Visit her at and on Twitter and Instagram @AdriaBailton.

If you loved this story as much as we did, please tell the world on Facebook, Twitter or other fine places.

Sign up for our newsletter with free flash

Success! You're on the list.