I always wake up to the 5 a.m. waves. The sound of them splashing against the rocks by the Murder Dive Cliffs is a peaceful yet scary sound. The Murder Dive Cliffs is where the high school kids jump off from to a world pool of water. It is the scariest yet coolest thing ever. It was the cool spot for all the high school students of Aquatica High. That was until that horrific day in October when six students died and 3 others acquired life changing injuries. They closed off the pathway to the Murder Dive Cliffs and nobody knows exactly what happened but me. I know the secret of the man that came from beneath the ocean. The memory of him seems so vague now in my mind; it’s like he never existed-just like he said it would happen.
It was my senior year at Aquatica High and I was hoping something exciting would happen for once in this ghastly town. Aquatica would seem like a beautiful place to live but when you hear the stories of all the bad things that happened here you’d run for the hills. People disappear or turn up dead here. There is an abundance of unsolved cases that go back 100 years. My brother had this theory that there was a monster in the water that took anybody who jumped off the Murder Dive Cliffs.
“I’m serious Jenna. I read in a book about Aquatica that a lot of people had witnessed something taking people under when they jumped off those Murder Dive Cliffs.” My brother said to me.
“Really, Brandon, you actually believe that crap? A sea monster is terrorizing Aquatica. Don’t be silly.” I said. I mean sea monsters only exist in fiction stories and on Syfy TV. They aren’t real.
“Ok, so let’s jump at night then.” Brandon suggested to me. People who had jumped at night from the Murder Dive Cliffs never came back up. They vanished under those unforgiving dark waters to the uncertainty that is the ocean.
“Fine, but you owe me ten bucks if no ‘sea monster’ takes me under.” I told Brandon.
“You’re on!” Brandon yelled. I had jumped from those cliffs hundreds of times before but for some reason today I had this sick feeling in my stomach. We hooked up with some of my brother’s friend at the climb. It was a cold summer night in August and I was wearing a grey thin sweater with my swim suit underneath and my billabong board shorts. As we walked up the steep pathway I felt like my heart was going to beat out my chest. My brother looked at me and saw the crazed expression on my face.
“You scared, Jenna?” Brandon asked me
“No. Be ready to fork over those ten bucks.” I responded.
“Dude, you still spreading that hocus pocus crap about sea monsters? My man I love you but you’re crazy.” Nick said to Brandon. Nick has been my brother’s best friend since kindergarten. Couldn’t believe I was spending my day with sophomores. All my friends went to the Benton Cabin at Ruder Lakes. The Benton Cabin was a senior favorite because it was the infamous “make-out cabin.” Specifically why my parents didn’t let me go; so I got stuck with my brother and his friends jumping off Murder Dive Cliffs.
The cliffs aren’t that scary-they are actually quite beautiful. The view is amazing. I love the water because it is teal in color but tonight they were tar black and menacing. The waves are a killer though so you must be a good swimmer if you dare to jump these cliffs. The rocks are so soft; almost marble like. However, they are very slippery so you have to grasp at them with your feet so that you don’t fall to your death, hence the name, Murder Dive Cliffs. As we drew closer that sick scary feeling was still tormenting me but I just shook it off.
“We’re here!” Brandon yelled. There were warning signs everywhere. “Unsafe grounds”, “Dangerous”, “Don’t Jump these cliffs”, “Death precedes you if you jump.” So many have jumped off these cliffs; some have come out with major bragging rights and others aren’t so lucky. I was the first girl in Aquatica to jump these cliffs. My jump was so sick. I even jumped from the highest point on the cliff and did a triple twirl in mid-air. It was my freshmen year and I wanted to be cool. After that, I was so in with the guys at surf practice.
“So, Jenna, are you going to jump or just stand there?” Brandon said to me with a smirk on his face.
“Relax, dude. I’m just warming up.” I responded. Truth is, I was scared but wasn’t really sure why. Maybe because I never jumped these cliffs at night. There was a storm coming and the waves were rough. I climbed higher to the mid-level of the cliff. It’s pretty high; about 15 feet. I counted to three as Brandon and his friends cheered and yelled for me to jump.
“Jump, Jenna, Jump!” I heard them taunt. I took of my sweater then took a few steps back. I made for it and sprint for the edge but I slipped, hit my head on the edge, and fell down into the black pit of water. I thought for sure that I was a goner. The water was so cold and it was overwhelming. It engulfed me and I couldn’t get to the surface. I kept on sinking deeper and deeper. Suddenly, I felt something grab by right arm and pull me up. It wasn’t Brandon or Nick or any of Brandon’s friends. It was a man but not quite. He didn’t have legs but a fish tail. His hair was long and glowing red. I was hypnotized by his eyes. They were changing color as he lifted me up towards the surface. One second they were red; the next second they were glowing green. When we got to the surface he slid back down and I got one last look at his fiery red eyes. I was about to say thank you but he disappeared into the dark waters.
“Jenna, are you okay?!” I heard Brandon scream. I turned to see him and the other guys swim towards me.
“We saw you slip and hit your head” Nick yelled.
“I thought I lost you” Brandon said when he got to me. He gave me a bear hug.
“I did hit my head. I thought I was a goner down there but this man saved me” I said.
“What man? We didn’t see any man.” Brandon said.
“It wasn’t actually a man. He had a fish tail and red glowing hair and multi-color eyes.” I said breathlessly. Brandon and his friends erupted in laughter.
“Are you telling us that you were just saved by a merman?” Nick asked me.
“I know it sounds crazy but that’s what I saw,” I said. Then to all our surprise the merman jumped out the water and for a split second we all got a view of his fish-like body. He looked at us then disappeared again under the dark waters. The boys screamed.