The Devil in the Pool It was sometime after midnight when I just couldn't bite my tongue anymore and I had to tell Logan he was full of shit. "Dude, there is no way you actually believe all that." I blurted out, cutting him off mid-sentence. His eyes narrowed and he made that odd "tsk tsk" sound in his throat that he always made right before he "schooled you" in whatever topic you happened to be arguing about at the time. I always thought that made him seem like a bit of an arrogant ass but eventually, I came to accept it as a quirk of personality he just happened to have.

" And why not?" he shot back. " It's no more outlandish than believing in an invisible man that lives in the sky and keeps a close eye on all the moral conduct of every living person," he said flatly, taking an obvious jab at my Christian faith. I scoffed at the comparison " It's one thing to believe the universe has a creator, it's another thing altogether to say you believe that there is a monster living in your pool, that's just logically impossible and makes you sound crazy."

Logan leaned back in his recliner and sighed as if my ignorance exhausted him. "It's not a monster," he replied. "At least not in the sense we usually think of monsters, it has no teeth or claws and it isn't tangible." "So it's a ghost or something?" I asked. " I don't get that vibe from it," he answered. "What do you mean?" I asked, humoring him. " I mean I've done a lot and I mean A LOT of research into that kinda thing and none of it sounds like what I'm dealing with." he didn't elaborate. "Ok," I said letting that part of the conversation go. "When did you start believing in your pool monster?" I asked expecting him to shoot back with some smart ass question about when I started believing in God. Instead, almost instantly he went completely pale, all the color draining from his face. He was silent for several long moments before he answered.

" When I saw it kill my little brother," he said, his voice barely louder than a whisper. I couldn't tell if he was being serious or not, and that worried me. "Logan..." I was at a loss for words. I was now convinced that his mind had manufactured this belief to cope with trauma, and I just didn't know how I could possibly challenge this delusion without sounding like I was blaming him for the events of that awful day. "It doesn't matter how it sounds," he stated as if he could read my thoughts. " That's what happened." "Logan, Blake's death was horrible for all of us," I said softly. " But.." "But what?" he asked defensively, cutting me off this time.

"We BOTH pulled him out of the water, remember? It was nobody's fault..." "The water was just the murder weapon," he replied with certainty. " It loves water, I don't know for sure why but it does. I used to think it was bound to the pool somehow, now I think It just likes being in there." I wanted to help my friend, but I didn't know how to get around his obvious denial. So I decided that for now, I would play along with his beliefs for his sake. "Show me," I told him. The suggestion seemed to throw him off because he looked at me like I was insane, his every feature displaying genuine dread and anxiety. "You don't want to see It," he said dismissively. "You'd regret it." " If you're telling the truth, I'll regret not believing you even more." I countered ."You think I'm lying?" he asked sitting up. "I think you believe what you're saying." Again he sighed as if I were some simpleton unable to see the facts. "you are really fucking condescending sometimes you know? Fine. Let's go." He stood up from his recliner and gestured that I follow him out of his room and down the dimly lit hallway, out the back door, and towards the far side of the 10-acre property where our destination lay. The pool in question hadn't seen much use since Blake died, but unless you were aware of the tragedy that had taken place in it you probably wouldn't be able to imagine why. It was a thing of beauty built (at no small expense to Logan's parents) to resemble a natural waterfall. It was the kind of thing that was meant to be a symbol of wealth and luxury, but now only served as a reminder of loss and misery. I had always considered myself a logical person, and had always rejected the idea of a place being "haunted" but even I could not deny the sick, twisting feeling in my gut as I walked along the cobblestone pathway leading back to that place. This would be my first time back here since Blake... passed away, and I was uneasy. Nevertheless, I did my best to push that feeling to the back of my thoughts and press forward. What Logan needed was to face his trauma and how could he do that if I refused to? We eventually made it to the shallow end of the pool and walked along the poolside to a shed that held among other things a stack of towels, goggles, and swimming trunks. We took turns using it as a changing room then stood silently at the water's edge for a time. "So... what now?" I asked. Logan turned to me with a grave look in his eyes.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" His tone illustrated his earnest belief that this was the lair of some kind of demon. I didn't hesitate. "Yes." His eyes sunk down to face the pavement and he said "alright" when I knew he really meant "It's your funeral." Without another word, he proceeded up a set of stairs built into a rock formation at the deep end of the pool, which acted as a kind of diving board. I followed him and listened quietly to his instructions. "It's nearly impossible to see this thing outside of the water, So you're going to have to submerge yourself completely to catch a glimpse of It." he said in a very matter of fact manner. " I don't know if It hurts people because It has to for some reason or if It just inflicts pain for fun, But I need you to understand that this thing means you harm, So once you see It, no matter how fantastic or amazing It looks, you need to get out of the pool as quickly as possible and, whatever you do, don't make eye contact." "It has eyes?" I wondered aloud though I suppose it would have been better to ask him how he knew all of this. " Just don't look at It for too long."

he said ignoring my question. then he stepped aside and held out his arm as if to say "after you." I wanted to put all of this behind me so I strolled up to the rock's edge and prepared to jump when for reasons I can't explain I stopped and stared at the water below. It couldn't have been more than 20 feet or so from where I stood to the water, but I felt like I was staring from the top of a skyscraper, and beneath me was a black hole that would swallow me if I got too close. I bit my tongue for the second time that night and told myself to quit being such a baby, and that this wasn't for me. Once Logan saw that this pool was just a pool, with nothing even remotely supernatural to it, maybe he could finally begin to accept his brother's death for what it was, an accident. I jumped off without a second thought, the wind howled in my ears as I went down and I hit the water with a resounding splash as I sunk into the depths below. The water was freezing, and sent a jolt up my spine. With that jolt, I experienced a burst of panic and doubt for the first time. What if I was wrong?

I knew that I couldn't have been wrong, but some small part of me couldn't help but ask if I was. What if there really was some kind of beast in this water that defied explanation, and I , like every horror movie idiot ever, had just thrown myself at its mercy for no other reason than to prove a point? Once I felt my feet hit the bottom of the pool, I allowed myself to open my eyes. Through my goggles, I saw only darkness. Well, I could vaguely make out the steps over in the shallow end of the pool that led back to dry land, but other than that there was only darkness and of course water. I was relieved. I swam back up to the top and once my head was above the surface I called up to Logan "There's nothing in here!" I yelled. He ignored me and started screaming frantically."GET OUT, GET OUT OF THE POOL NOW!" I stayed as still as I could in the water and calmly repeated myself. " There is nothing in this water Logan, it's just a pool." than to demonstrate my point, I started swimming around nonchalantly. He continued screaming for several minutes before he just stood and stared in disbelief that I was ok. this went on for about a half hour before he finally spoke up. "There is... really nothing there? you don't see anything?" he asked sounding like he just couldn't process it. I looked back up at him and said: " Come see for yourself!"

With a lot of hesitation, Logan meekly let himself fall into the pool. He then thrashed up to the surface in a panic, as if he were having an anxiety attack. I swam over to him as fast as I could and tried to calm him down or at least get him out of the water. " Logan! listen to me! there is no monster in this water!" I yelled. All at once, he calmed down and the look of panic on his face vanished. The look that replaced it was one completely devoid of emotion, with the exception of the unsettling ear to ear smile he now displayed. " That's where you're wrong Caleb.," he said. "I'm in here now." "What?" I asked confused. " You know, you are just as stupid as Blake was." he laughed.

That was when he grabbed me by the throat with force I had no idea he was capable of and shoved my head under the water. I struggled against him as he put me in a choke hold and I with horror that he was trying to drown me. Adrenaline surged through me and I did the only thing I could think to do, I reached behind my back, grabbed ahold of his junk, and squeezed as hard as I could. He screamed in agony and released his grip. without even thinking about it, I turned around and socked him in the face, feeling bones crack when I did. He fell backward in a daze and I used the opportunity to grab him by the throat and hold him. He struggled and kicked but I held him still. At first, he fought me ferociously, air bubbles rising to the surface rapidly, then less and less breached the surface as water filled his lungs. Until he was almost still, staring at me with eyes that said " Please Caleb, don't." In that moment, I realized what I was doing, and I relaxed my grip. Almost immediately, I felt a searing pain in my chest and looked down to see a knife sticking into my ribs. As I went into shock, I looked back at Logan and saw him staring back at me with those same soulless eyes, " This is why you don't make eye contact." he said with a smirk. As everything faded to black, my only thought was that there had been a devil in the pool after all.