Creepypasta #1031: Something Fishes For People In Champagne Lake
The following letter
was delivered to my PO box 6 days ago with several ten-cent stamps more than 50
years old. It was typed by electric typewriter and folded neatly in thirds.
There is business card in the center of the letter for a used Pontiac lot in Ox
Bow Washington; there is a blue ball-point arrow pointing to a body of water in
a mini map on the back. The letter has been transcribed verbatim:
“June 17th, 1995
FROM: Gilbert Sena, Sr. (Nom De Plume)
TO: Howard Moxley
RE: Advertisement in June’s issue of PersistentPress,
page 444: “Sell or trade me your secrets. All deals negotiable, practical and
Dear Mr. Moxley,
The world as we know it will be ending in God’s great second
flood soon, so there is no reason in holding secrets anymore, no matter how
large. I can’t tell you my real name or the real name of this lake, only the
code name we used- Champagne, formally Opium Lake. I think the people in charge
are on the lookout for the particular coordinates, so I marked the location on
the card. It’s not on street maps anymore, but a smart lad like you can figure
it out without a problem.
I guard a lake where something fishes for people. No one has
ever seen the fisher. Some think it lives somewhere in the vents that open at
the bottom of the lake. Sometimes I believe the water itself is alive. No one
from my family ever needed to see the fisher, as evidence surrounded the lake
in the form of things humans truly desire.
My great grandpop Chester was the first to make contact with
the Indians near Champagne Lake. The first nations feared the lake and stayed
at least a half a day’s journey from it, and would only say this one thing of
it: “do not trust anything that comes in or goes out of it. Nothing survives in
While it was true the water of the lake was unnaturally free
of even a slick of algae, my family saw the money in setting up a mill to fell
the 1000 year old giant cedars and float them down to the city for a fat
payout. Greed is strong, strong enough to make a man ignore the strangest
things, including myself.
My family offered good miller pay with no questions asked,
attracting hordes of criminals and those wanting to stay unknown. My family
would never had made as much money as they did without the underground
flow… not a single week passed where not less than a dozen men would lose
their lives to visions of their loves struggling to swim in the center of the
lake, calling their names, using their REAL voices. The lake reads your
memories like an open book. The lake made some men see boats filled with
whiskey and narcotics, guns and gold. It will make you see anything in order
for you to swim in. Once you do, you are never seen again.
The mill was forced to shut down by the feds in 1930 after
95 men went in mass night dive; the only survivor said there was a “glowing
doorway of light at the bottom of the lake”. Life has grown back around the
lake, whom the lake also effects; I saw a mother elk paddle into the water to
save a fawn, probably one that was lost to her long ago. Any and all fallen
trees, dead animals, debris ash and fingernails alike vanishes, into what we
think are volcanic vents below the lake.
My grandpop showed me the origin of the lake, a calcified
bolder with a crack large enough to slide your hand resting up near the lake.
The flow was able to keep the gigantic mile-long lake level by itself.
The water from the rock is pale and tastes like licking the
side of a bolder mixed with pennies. Life seemed peaceful to me because I never
saw an strange thing for the first 2 years, not until was 11 and saw the boat
at the far end of the lake.
I ran as close as I could to it and saw the new
aluminum boat filled with “Happy Birthday!” wrapping paper half-covering a
mountain of game cartridges and consoles. My mother grabbed my arm to shake
loose the idea of EVER stepping foot into the lake.
“It WANTS you to swim
inside” she warned that time, “Preferably to the bottom. You would throw you
life away for toys?”
I always keep a six foot clearance from the shore, but the
lake is cruel and creative as it is relentless. The lake has all manners ways
to lure me in over the years: a golden husky puppy yelping and gargling for
help, frightened with panic and confusion of why I wouldn’t help it when it was
swimming towards me with all its strength. My dream bike rolling down a hill
and right into the shallow part of the lake- if I hurry, I could grab it- or
Becka Hoffman, girl of my dreams, bare chested and hip deep in the in the lake
at moonlight, beckoning with her arms, grinning, cooing “it’s fine to swim in
the lake if you don’t chase anything”. All lies.
It was an enchanting, wondrous hell, but it was
better than any school or a job. I spent all the time I had in what was left of
Champagne Lake. I ran a family gas station at the end of the turnaround and to
warn tourists to turn around for 32 years. Most don’t look into the lake. Some
do. There isn’t much an old man like me can do to stop a young buck who sees
his love drowning in the lake, even if he looks into it for a second or two.
The authorities already knew about the lake and could overlook a few missing
people reports a year, but when 40 people from a music festival came a mile
away came to swim and cool off, 39 of them swam to the bottom of the lake after
“a gateway of loving white light opened in the bottom of the lake”, per one
survivor who couldn’t swim. The only trace of the 39 is a cell phone and a pair
of sunglasses on a branch.
American law enforcement and intelligence agency came to Champagne Lake over
the course of three years and scanned the lake to find it not only devoid of
bodies, but of all life in general- one agent even said that the bottom of the
lake looked like a compulsively clean aquarium. Three separate agencies
demanded that the lake be drained after their scans showed nothing. I was
filling in for an ill elder then, and made the decision to go ahead, not that I
had a choice. I wanted to see the fisher, if it indeed was at the bottom of the
300’ lake, but not before I told them at our first and ONLY meeting that it was
all a lost cause- no matter HOW much water you take out of the lake, the spring
will fill it right back up.
They laughed at me said they already planned it all
out by having two overflows down the mountain and a way to slow the flow. I
warned them of my story my grandpop told me of the worst rains in a century
that flooded the river and the community of Champagne Lake, and that the water,
even as little as a three feet deep, is enough for people to disappear chasing
their desires just as much as if it were Champagne lake itself. The managers
walked out on me as I warned them it’s not a lake at all, it’s living, it’s a feeding creature.
They started work the next day.
cut a trench in the mountain down to an old riverbed while they bolted a plate
over the stream of water from the rock. It worked for a day, when the water in
the lake was low enough to vibrate and for us to hear a deep HMMMMMMHHHNNN hum
that came from the deep in the cracks at the bottom the lake wide enough to
swallow cars whole.
We then heard a creaking shear of metal and the explosion of
a geyser from the bolted the plate to the rock. The skyscraper of water from
the rock was now taller than the trees.
The pressure was too high to cap- no good if we did, all ten
million gallons rushed down the mountain and knocked out most of Ox Bow and
then stopped as suddenly as it began. Those that didn’t drown were chasing
loved ones and pets in the disaster that followed. There are at least 3
Champagne lakes now.
The only thing that remains above water in town is the campground, and myself.
The contractors are trying every crazy trick to plug the weeping crater,
including injecting expanding foam into it and sealing it with a stone
cap. Foam strongerthanthestoneitself they
gloated. It’s working, for now, but I know the water is building pressure. I
can hear it breaking the earth apart me under me. Good. Let it burst and cover
the entire state in this cursed lake. Maybe it can even reach the ocean from
here, then we ALL will be returning to the sea. At least people will see what
they really want before they vanish forever. I hope I’ll never live to see it.
Glad to know another set of eyes on this. That’s all I want.
I found the town of Ox Bow on zoning maps. When I arrived, I
found security fences up but nothing active, not even a line on the fence. In
the distance, I heard a stony groan from deep within the mountains. It sounds
like the entire area is going to erupt at any second.
I found a
place to enter in the south east and followed an old road to a very large body
of water resting between the tree-covered mountains, what was once Ox Bow. The
mirror surface was broken only by the top of a church steeple, I was sure of
that until I saw the canoe aimlessly drifting near the center of the lake. What
I desired most was on it.
—Miserably rainy here today, so I did the right thing and cleaned out my closet. I’m so proud of myself!! I have two gigantic contractor trash bags of clothing to donate….and I still don’t have enough room. Ugh.
—Now I’m getting ready to go to my 35th high school reunion. What the hell was I thinking when I agreed to this?!?!
—in my closet cleaning mania, I found my old electric typewriter from my senior year in high school. Daughter was elated–until she used it. Then she laughed and laughed. Many a night my freshman year in college were spent in the lounge with Diet Pepsi, racing the clock to type out term papers. That typewriter has seen some shit.
—My dog smells like low tide. Someone should give her a bath. But “someone” has been busy cleaning out the closet and getting ready to impress classmates that are 35 years older than the last time she saw them. Sorry, dog. ;)
—This time of year sucks when trying to decide what to wear. Too hot for a sweater, too cold for short sleeves…sweating then chills…maybe I’m just getting sick.
—My super-cool retired summertime neighbor came down for the weekend driving a new black mustang convertible. He just keeps getting cooler. I have a serious crush on him. My husband is threatening to tell him. Gahhh!!
Happy Saturday, boys and girls!! I hope You’re enjoying your day!! ;))
Throughout history, libraries have always been on the cutting edge and the first to make widespread use of the newest technology. The Cleveland Public Library was no exception, as you can see below.
Shown here is Kathleen Dowd, Catalog Department, Main Library, 1937. Miss Dowd is operating one of the Library’s typewriters specially fitted to accommodate two catalog cards simultaneously, enabling rapid and accurate duplication of the usually complex material which forms the card’s contents.
A motor-driven eraser speeds the work in the Catalog Department! Photo taken May 1937. Seriously? Is erasing that hard that you need a motor-driven eraser? I will never again complain about today’s youth…
Shown here is the Library’s multigraph, used for quantity production of catalog cards. May, 1937. The multigraph was an early copy machine that had the distinction of reproducing letters that looked like they were typewritten.
A Library employee using the Telautograph machine, ca. 1925. The telautograph was an early precursor to the fax machine, reproducing hand written information by transmitting electrical impulses from one station to another.
The Library’s Telautograph machine was used to send information between the Public Catalog room (pictured above, ca. 1925) to the Sociology Division and the Technology Division.
One of Cleveland Public Library’s earliest online catalog terminals. The Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) was made available for use by selected Main Library subject departments on an experimental basis in the Summer of 1980. By the end of the year, the OPAC service had been extended to all public departments in the Main Library and Business and Science Building. The Library’s catalog of 1.2 million individual titles was fully online by December 1st, 1982.
Dr. Ervin Gaines, Director and Ms. Marion Huttner, Deputy Director, using the Library’s new Online Public Access Catalog, early 1980′s. To the dismay of many staff and patrons, Dr. Gaines closed the Main Library Public Catalog room on February 1st, 1984. It held 5 million cards at the time and was long regarded as the nerve center of the collections.
[another piece I wrote for the workshop, about 630 words]
[ETA: also went back and did the formatting >.>]
The old mustard-colored monster tickity-ticked on the desk, waiting, impatient. He could find no instance online of Smith Corona taking credit for the Electric Coronet typewriter, only the manual. It was like neither of them existed properly–solid, matter, heavy and ticking away, but unclaimed, unnoticed.
Imagine: Dean talking to Mary about you and him, ending up confessing something he hasn’t dared tell even you. Based on 12x02.
“It’s been kind of weird here with, you know, Mom being back.” Dean sighed, rubbing his eyes It’s like we don’t know how to act around each other, so we just kind of make this small talk and act normal, but it’s - it’s so not normal.” he mumbled, walking around.
“What- what has she said to you?” Castiel asked on the other line.
“Well, that’s the thing. Nothing.” Dean sighed once more “And I- I- have no idea what to do, Cas.” he pursed his lips.
“Well, what have you said to her?” the angel asked back and leaned against the map table.
“I’m- I don’t know what to say to her, you know? It- it’s- it’s like it’s all just too much, and I don’t want to overwhelm her.” the hunter muttered and the angel sighed at the other end.
“Don’t make things needlessly complicated, as you humans tend to do.” he advised his friend and Dean breathed out a chuckle.
“I know Cas it’s just-” he didn’t get to complete his sentence as the angel cut him off.
“And what about (Y/n)?” he asked.
“What about (Y/n)?” Dean frowned, worry etching on his features instantly because, well, truth was that it was just in him as an ever so caring boyfriend.
“I uhm I don’t know, have you talked with her?” Castiel frowned.
“No.” Dean clenched his jaw, blinking “What? Why? Has she told you something that I don’t know?” he got a little defensive and maybe jealous without reason but he couldn’t help it. You always trusted each other, so yes knowing you’d have confided in Cas for something and not him did bother him.
“No, not really. I mean, she was having a hard time with your death and- yeah, but I just- I thought that maybe she is the only one that can give you the solution you need.”
Dean let a small sigh, closing his eyes for a moment “She always does.” he whispered “For everything but I- uh no, not really. I have not talked with her about it. She is- she is trying to take everything in, you know? And I just let her rest, that’s all. I talked a little with her but as of now she wants time.”
“Are you worried about something?” the angel frowned and Dean let a small sigh.
“No, no I’m not.” he let a smile rest on his lips “No matter what I am always sure about my feelings for (Y/n) just like hers for me.”
“Then give her time. Give them both time. They both know how much you care for them Dean, it is better at this. Everything will work itself out, don’t worry.”
Dean smiled softly “Yeah, Cas. Thanks. Uh-” he caught sight of his mother walking in and he cleared his throat “I’ll call you.”
“Any news on Sam?” she asked softly and Dean cleared his throat once more.
“Yeah uh- Um, so somewhere outsi- here.” he dragged two chairs in front of the computer for her to sit “Somewhere outside of Aldrich, Missouri. Cass is going through it with a fine-toothed comb, and I’ve cracked every database I could.”
“Every what?” she frowned and he smiled slightly.
“Right.” he chuckled softly “No Internet your first time around?”
“Our house didn’t have an electric typewriter.” she mumbled and he nodded his head, looking back at the screen.
“Yeah” he muttered and she hesitated for a moment “So… are you afraid of overwhelming me?”
He finally looked up at her, his lips parting for a moment before he spoke in the end “Mom, look, I am thrilled that you’re back.I mean, I’m so damn happy, I-I-I can’t even stand it.” he sighed “I just it’s just gonna take me a second to catch up, you know?”
“No, no I- I understand.” she offered him a smile and he did the same. She fidgeted with her hands for a moment before speaking again “And- and are you afraid of overwhelming (Y/n), or something, too?”
Dean let a soft sigh and leaned back in his chair “Nah” a fond smile formed on his lips “Nah she doesn’t get overwhelmed easily. That’s what she’s told me at least.” he shrugged softly “If I am around she- we always pull it out together, mom. We click, you know?” he chuckled softly and she smiled fondly at him.
“You click?” she smirked, raising an eyebrow and he nodded his head.
“Yeah, we do. We always have, you know? She- she completes me. And I think I complete her. When she can’t be brave, I am for her. When I can’t have hope, she has for me. And she’s always been there. Through thick and thin she- she stood by my side and it honestly surprises even me. She just- she never gave up on me, even when I was supposed to be dead for a whole year she kept waiting for me to come back and, well, I did.” he breathed out a chuckle “I don’t how she does it, but she always holds onto me.”
“That’s what love is, Dean.” she whispered softly, cutting him off and a small shy and nervous smile formed on his lips.
“We- we don’t really use the ‘L’ word but- but- yeah.” he breathed out shakily and Mary smiled fondly at him. Dean would probably never admit it or say it out loud but… wasn’t that how John had been at first? It was in those Winchesters’ genes or something.
“Still… you feel it.” she grinned softly at him and Dean breathed out a nervous chuckle. He wanted to hide it, pretend he was a man and this was all chick flicks like he did with Sam but this wasn’t Sam. This was his mother and for a reason he couldn’t hide a single thing from her.
“Yeah well… how could I not?” he breathed out “I- I mean have you looked at her? She’s just so… perfect. Beautiful. Gosh-” he breathed out “She’s so beautiful. And when she smiles-” he shook his head with a smile “Honestly-” he swallowed thickly “There are times I doubt I would ever deserve something as good as her yet- yet there she is. Sticking with me despite all my damn flaws.”
“Maybe because she doesn’t really care about them?”
He chuckled “Maybe. Or maybe she is incredibly patient and puts up with me all this time. Either way I- I have stopped questioning it. Because I don’t want it to change. I would never even dream of letting her go to anything.” he breathed out and she gave him a small smile.
“How did you two meet?” she asked in a low voice, resting her chin on her palm and he breathed out a chuckle.
“It seemed like it was straight outta some chick flick movie or something.” he breathed out and she raised an eyebrow so he kept going “It was around the time I had gone to Sam in Standford. She was there, and gosh it might not look like that but is she smart.” he breathed out with such adoration it made her heart swell “She bumped into me, and well almost knocked the hell outta me with all those damn books she was carrying.” he chuckled and Mary did the same.
“And she’d been hunting with you ever since then?”
“No, not really. Back then I- I kinda flirted with her. Alright, I did flirt with her. But she being the nerd she is, she just blushed a little stuttered a little more and well I cannot lie- I was intrigued. And not because she was one of the hottestnerds I’d ever met but just because-” he sighed “-I don’t know there was something with her. Something that felt…”
“At home?” she whispered, completing his sentence and he nodded his head.
“Yeah, yeah at home.” he breathed out, looking straight ahead of him “I had never hated having to leave a place so much. After that we- we didn’t meet for quiet a few years.”
“And when did you see each other again?”
“t was during the Apocalypse. She- she had been one of the victims in uh a case with demons. I never found out for what reason they wanted her but- but after that, and after she lost her entire family we- we took her in.”
“And you started getting closer to her.” it was a statement from her side, not a question and the shy smile that Dean gave her only confirmed her words.
“I don’t know when it happened. Be it in between the trials Sam was taking or- or the angels’ falling I- (Y/n) and me came closer than ever. And more than it would ever be possible to. And became a thing.” he shrugged softly and she smiled widely at him.
“And so you fell in love with her.” she whispered and he bit his lower lip.
“And so I fell in love with her.” he whispered as well, an impossibly real mile on his lips and Mary felt her eyes fill with tears.
“But something tells me you are struggling to tell her huh?” she tilted her head to the side and Dean pursed his lips, nodding his head.
“I want to, mom, I just- I’m scared as hell. Everything- everything I let myself care about dies one way or another, except for maybe Sam and Cas. Who have also died a couple time but were lucky to be brought back.”
“Son” she placed a hand on top of his “You can’t hold something like this for fear of losing her. Death will come one day, and it might or might not be in years. But until that happens, you can’t live every day with that fear. Because one day it will come and trust me you will only regret never telling her.”
“I just-” he chewed on his ower lip “-How do I do it? What if- what if she can’t say it back? What if she doesn’t want to?”
“Dean” she chuckled at him and he only frowned “If only you could see the way she looks at you, you’d have no doubt about it.”
“What do you mean?”
“She is in love with you Dean. She doesn’t just care for you or- or has feelings for you. The way- the way she looks at you is exactly the same way I’d look at John, and I know those feelings all too well.” she rubbed her thumb over his palm “And you- you look at her exactly like John would look at me. Don’t waste any time, Dean.”
“But mom I-”
“Son” she said firmly, using her mom tone “Talk to her. Tell to your girl that you love her and- and give her that damn ring you’re looking at every so often for God’s sake. I really want some grandchildren.” she chuckled as he stared at her with wide eyes.
“Mom I- How do you-”
“I’ve seen you, even if (Y/n) hasn’t. Now come on, I am being serious. She will say yes, have no doubt about that. Just as I have no doubt you two will have the most beautiful children.”
An emotional smile formed on Dean’s lips, a nervous one actually “Hell yeah” he breathed out with watery eyes “Especially if they take after her.”
Sooner or later the deadline’s going to come screaming down on you like a goddamn banshee…shut the door, paint the windows black, rent an electric typewriter and become the monster you always were—the writer.
Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at…something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.