Robert and Trevor were walking through the snow. It was a sunny day and the lake was frozen. They were wandering across the ice, smearing away the snow to look for sunken treasure illuminated by sunshine in the shallows. Eventually, they found a rusty chain coiled up in the weeds, with its other end disappearing deep into the recesses of the lake.
The ice began to crack. Robert was lucky enough to jump ashore when he heard the springy, alien sound. But Trevor fell into the water. Robert scrambled to the edge of the lake and watched Trevor’s yellow jacket disappear into the depths.
Thinking fast, he attached a ball of twine from his backpack to a tree and dived into the water. His hands found nothing in the frigid blackness, and wound up groping their way along the twine back to the surface. Robert emerged nearly frozen to death and Trevorless. He collapsed on the bank in a heap of sorrow and ice.
But Trevor emerged.
“Rob!” he screamed. “Sorry. I’m okay. I found a pocket of air under the ice, and had trouble finding my way back to the hole.” He was soaked and shivering violently. They hugged for a long time and laughed about how lucky they both were.
Walking home, Rob noticed that Trevor’s footprints were becoming a dark red. He inquired and Trevor waved him off. “I’m fine!” he wheezed. “I must have cut my shin on the ice.”
But he wasn’t fine. The footprints grew into a darker and darker red until, eventually, both of Trevor’s pant legs were soaked with blood and there was a trail of crimson footprints.
Robert ran ahead to get help in a panic. He found Trevor’s father back at the house and explained the situation. At once the huge man got up from their dinnertable and started out into the sunset with Robert, along the path to the lake.
But Trevor was nowhere to be found. And there was no blood in the snow.