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01-Dark_Waters-No_prologue - Dark Waters Chapter One With...

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Dark Waters 2/19/08 Chapter One With the moon high overhead, light spills over Claret Lake, illuminating the water and making it shimmer darkly as the waves roll softly in the night. A speedboat bumps quietly against the wooden dock, and had it been any other night, the quiet rush of air through the high fir trees and gently lapping waves would have been comforting. Any other night, the darkness would have welcomed you, invited you to walk with it down the lake’s edge. The cool night air would have been refreshing on your face, not chilling. The stars above wouldn’t seem quite so far away and you wouldn’t be so alone. You wouldn’t feel the need to get safely indoors and retreat from the windows. Any other night, fear and foreboding wouldn’t have made you alert, scanning the dark trees for what you know is out there, and cause chills to run up your spine. But this isn’t any other night. Tonight, the silence is interrupted by a nightmare. The tall man drags her down the dock, ignoring the cries that escape from the piece of cloth tied tightly over her mouth. Her arms are bound at the wrist in front of her with rope that cuts into them, leaving them scratched and bloody, and he pulls her behind him like a dog. She is wearing the black dress she put on three days ago, the one she was so proud of; the same one that’s soiled now with sweat and dirt. Claire’s white legs shine brightly in the moonlight, making the dark bruises that cover them all the more visible. More rope binds her ankles, so tight that each ankle bone bruises the other one. Her legs ache and her whole body shakes violently from fear and exhaustion, and her feet slip on the 1
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wooden planks as she tries to slow him, to keep him from reaching the end of the dock where the speedboat waits. But he’s too strong, and barely notices her efforts. When he gets to the end of the dock, he tosses her in the boat as though she is a piece of luggage. Claire hits her side hard and her right arm gets caught beneath her. She screams out in pain around the gag, and rolls, trying to get on her back. She can’t hold it back any longer, and she starts crying, tears streaming down her cheeks and taking frantic breaths through her nose. She knows she won’t get away.
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01-Dark_Waters-No_prologue - Dark Waters Chapter One With...

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