The Drowning Game:

It was a foggy summer morning at Camp Chippewa. The tight fabric of my swim trunks felt uncomfortable against my skin as I stood away from the three boys bullying Charlie. It wasn't as if I didn't want to help him, because I did. It was because if their attention was diverted, then I would be on the radar and trust me that was not a good thing. Charlie understands and doesn't hold it against me.

When they were done with Charlie, I stepped closer to the dressing room, hoping that I wouldn't be seen. Unfortunately, it seemed that Lady Luck wasn't on my side. One of the boys saw me and started to run towards the water. The sound of heavy footsteps alerted me to their pursuit. When I reached the edge of the water, I stopped. I barely knew how to swim and I didn't want to go into the water unless absolutely necessary. When I slowly turned around the boys had already caught up to me, sneers firmly placed on their mouths.

"Well, look at this, boys. David's all alone. Do you think he would want to play with us?" Matt asked in a sugary sweet tone. He was the ringleader of the trio with pale skin, black hair, and brown eyes that glittered with malice. Of course, the camp directors didn't see it, but I did.

"Of course he wants to play with us. Who wouldn't want to play with us?" Scott, Matt's second-in-command, exclaimed with a grin.

"You're right. So, will you play with us, David?" asked the third-in-command, Phil.

I wanted to say no so badly, but I knew that if I did this then my beating would be even worse. So I said the word that would seal my fate.

"Yes," I said, my voice hardly above a whisper.

"Good. Let's play Drowning," Matt said, his shark grin growing even wider.

Scott and Phil grabbed my arms and forced me to my knees, my head dangling towards the water. I took a big breath as I saw Matt's hands coming down to put my head in the water.

The water was freezing. That wasn't surprising because our state was famous for its chilly summers. I stared mindlessly through the murky waters, wondering when Matt will grow bored of this. A couple minutes passed when I started to feel a tight sensation in my chest. I started to struggle against Matt's hold. I needed to get air. Quickly! I struggled harder and Matt's hold got tighter. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I opened my mouth, sucking in the big gulps of the brackish water. My lungs started to fail me and my eyes started to close. I knew that I was going to die. My struggling lessened and I felt calm. I stayed that way until my heart stopped beating.

Future campers know all about David. They know that the next group for swim class found his body floating on the lake. Some say they can see him leaning against the dressing room, eyes alert for invisible bullies. Some say that he never existed. What do you believe?