Author's Note: Wow, I haven't published anything on here in years. I've had great success with my published work, but I thought it would be fun to post my NaNoWriMo project on here and on Wattpad as I write every day to help keep me motivated throughout the month, so I'll be posting my work daily, (Hopefully) with the exception of Sundays since I don't write on Sundays. I'm hoping that I can not only hit my 50k word count in November, but finish the entire first book. Wish me luck. (Cheerleading totally helps motivate!) And if you'd like to check out any of my published works I write under the pen name Kelly Oram.


I stood on the edge of the dock in my pink polka dot swimsuit, staring out over the small lake. I wanted to play in the water. It was summer now, and the lake was finally warm enough to play in.

Uncle Tom had promised we would go swimming today. I was almost five years old now. I was old enough to swim, and big enough to reach the floating platform in the middle of the lake if Uncle Tom would only teach me how. But instead, he fell asleep in his chair again after lunch. He did that a lot. I felt bad that he was sick, but he wasn't very much fun when he was sleeping.

I looked down at the Disney Princess Barbie doll in my hand and frowned. Ariel wanted to swim too. She liked the bathtub okay, but she was a mermaid. She belonged in real live water like the lake.

I couldn't go in the water right now, but Ariel could. I crouched down and leaned over the dock to let her swim. I had to stretch, but I could reach. Dipping her just below the surface of the cool water, I was mesmerized by the way her hair swooshed under the water. It always looked like it was dancing around her head when it did that.

I didn't hear Uncle Tom come outside. I didn't know he was there until I felt the weight of his quiet steps on the dock behind me. I was going to get in trouble. He didn't like me playing outside by myself, and I wasn't allowed to go near the water without him. I pulled Ariel out of the water and whirled around, afraid that he was going to be so mad, but it wasn't Uncle Tom standing behind me.

I screamed as I tried to back away from the mountain lion and I slipped and fell off the dock. My head went all the way under the water. I was so scared. I didn't know how to swim. Uncle Tom didn't teach me yet.

I waved my arms and kicked my feet trying to find the edge of the dock, but the water was cold and dark. I couldn't see and my chest hurt. I wasn't very good at holding my breath yet. My head reached the surface for a minute and I tried to scream for help but I couldn't stay up. No matter how hard I tried, the water pulled me under again.

I was under water and I knew I couldn't take a breath no matter what, but my body wouldn't listen to me. I was so tired and so scared and I just had to breathe. I opened my mouth and sucked in a lungful of water. I thrashed even harder in the water. I'd never been so frightened. It hurt and I knew I was going to die.

Then something big and soft was beneath me, pushing me up. I grabbed onto it and held as tight as I could as it swam me to the shore. My head popped out of the lake and my stomach heaved. My throat felt like it was on fire. I still couldn't breathe, but at least now I was coughing.

Whatever had saved me nudged me in the back, forcing me to roll onto my side and I coughed up more water. I coughed and coughed until finally I felt air in my chest, and then I started to cry.

I opened my eyes when something cold and wet brushed my face and saw pa large pair of beautiful blue-green eyes staring back at me. The same mountain lion that had scared me had just pulled me from the lake. It had saved my life.