A Memory of a Lifetime
Author's Notes: Hi, everyone. This is probably the first fic for a relatively unknown film called Magic in the Water, which was released to theaters in 1995 and starred Mark Harmon, Joshua Jackson, and Sarah Wayne. I saw this movie on digital cable a few months ago, and I loved it. I had always wondered how Ashley Black, one of the main characters, might have looked back on her memories of her trip to the remote lake in British Columbia. The idea for this one shot was born. I couldn't remember every single little detail about the film to include in this fic, so I'd appreciate any input on parts I may have gotten wrong. Any constructive criticism is welcome as well.
I sit at my dorm room desk at three o'clock in the afternoon studying for a chemistry exam at Ellington University in Ellington, Colorado. My room is on the fourth floor, and I have the right side next to the window. I have a very nice view of the skyline, and I can watch sunsets. My roommate has the left side of the room, and she is not here at the moment. She's attending one of her afternoon classes and has only one more to go after that. We are planning to go out for pizza tonight. I really like her. She's very nice and loves to talk about stuff. She can be a little loud sometimes, but isn't everyone that way every now and then?
I look at a picture of me standing with my father and brother in front of a lake. This picture was taken ten years ago during a month-long trip to British Columbia. I was in middle school then and very curious about the world around me. This trip was the best one of my life. Before then, my father was a workaholic. He seemed more interested in his work as a psychiatrist than he was in Joshua and me. Afterward, he became very attentive to us and spent as much time as he could with us every time he came to visit. Joshua is attending another college studying to become a doctor. I am aiming to become a nurse. Our father is so proud of how far we have come since we were young. So is our mother, and she is very proud of him for being there for us.
The trip to the lake is special because I met Orky, a legendary creature that is said to reside there. The legend had attracted much tourism to the little town the lake borders. The town was called Glenorky, named after him. To this day, only my father, Joshua, a few other people, and I know of his true existence. Everyone else believes he is just a legend. Orky is dear to my heart because he saved my life after my brother, another boy, and I tried to stop a businessman from polluting his home. I didn't know him for long, but he brought my family closer together than we had been in a long time. My parents divorced a little bit before this trip, and my mother was the one who persuaded my father to take Joshua and me with him.
My family and I rented a cabin next to the lake. My father buried himself in his work for a book he wanted to write, leaving Joshua and me to spend time by ourselves. One night, I began to wonder if Orky really was real. I did see some people who claimed to have encountered him, including two men who claimed they lost an arm to him. Wanting to see if he was real, I left seven Oreo cookies at the edge of the dock. The next morning, something weird had happened. I found the cream fillings inside the Oreos were gone. I couldn't believe it. How could someone lick the cream filling clean out of an Oreo and keep it intact? Who would leave them there? Some water splashed me in the face, and I heard loud droning and bellowing.
I was convinced that Orky was real and told my father and Joshua, but they thought I was imagining things. I was saddened they didn't believe me. Why wouldn't they? I know a person wouldn't leave empty Oreos on a dock. Of course, I couldn't understand how a legendary lake creature liked them. Most people love Oreos, and some animals like them too, though they aren't supposed to eat them. I guess Orky could like them. I tried to convince my father and brother he was real again. I ended up getting into an argument with them. Joshua told me to grow up and forget about Orky. I was very saddened that my only brother acted so mean to me like that. We hadn't always gotten along, but we were closer than most siblings were at any rate. He'd always protected me from bullies and wouldn't let anyone mess with him.
I decided to run away. While stopping for a rest, I saw a light in the water and heard the familiar droning. I realized it was Orky and started talking to him. I tossed Oreo cream fillings to him. He seemed to enjoy getting them because I heard him bellow a few times. It was then I saw a boat in the distance dumping barrels into the water, and Orky disappeared. While climbing a rope ladder to get a better view, I lost my grip and fell down. My father managed to catch me, though I ended up landing on top of him. It turned out he had a concussion from a hit on the head. I blamed myself for his condition, but Wanda, a psychiatrist he had met, told me it wasn't my fault. Her voice was comforting, and I took warmth from that. When my father woke up, he said his mind had been inhabited by Orky and had become him for a time. I realized that was the reason he got to me so fast. I felt grateful to Orky for helping him get there time before I got hurt badly.
After my father recovered, he spent more time with Joshua and me. We built a big sandcastle and had a lot of fun on the beach. I loved how he was more devoted to us. It's what every child should get from their father. Many children grow up without their fathers. If their fathers had been there, their lives probably would've been different. Then again, mothers can do wonders for their children. They are known as the caregivers and protectors of children from a cruel world around them. Fathers can be just as loving and protective as they are, sometimes even more so. Later on in the afternoon, Joshua and I met another boy, the son of one of a group of Japanese explorers looking for Orky. He seemed very friendly, though he understood little English. We also got to know a Native American that lived nearby. He took us to a totem that had a mysterious creature at the top and told me Orky came to me because I believed in him. He also said Orky could change people into other creatures and even assume another form.
I found out from the Native American that Orky was sick because of illegal toxic waste being dumped into the lake. Joshua, our young friend, and I discovered that a businessman was going to hatch a plan to convince the locals he had been a fake all along with a mechanical creature that looked nothing like him, just so he could continue dumping toxic waste into the lake. By this time, my father had disappeared, and I didn't know where he was. I was scared he had gotten hurt or worse. It was sick a businessman wanted to ruin such a beautiful lake. Humanity could have such horrible people, yet it could have such good people too. We decided to stop him and took the machine before he could launch it. Unfortunately, we ran into trouble, and the machine malfunctioned.
The machine started to sink, and Joshua, our friend, and I became very scared. It hit the bottom of the lake, and we were trapped. I cried I wanted to go home. So many things were going through my mind. I wondered if I would see my parents again. I prayed to God my father was safe and asked Him to get us out of danger. Suddenly, I saw a large eye appear in the window. The eye was brown and looked very kind. The owner bellowed to us, and we realized it was Orky. I told him I was glad to see him, as were my brother and our friend. Orky swam over to the back of the machine and began to push it. The next thing we knew, we were in his cave. We got out, and Joshua and I saw our father. We ran to him and gave him a hug.
Orky climbed out of the water and bellowed quietly. It sounded a little weak, and I didn't know why. Still, I went over to him and petted him. I thanked him for saving our life, and I told him I loved him. I felt warm inside, and I didn't want to leave him. Just then, I felt blood and gasped in fear. Joshua found another spot of blood that looked like a gunshot wound. Suddenly, Orky started going into convulsions. I became very scared, and I cried for him not to die. My father pulled me back. I begged and begged Orky to stay with us. Unfortunately, he stopped moving and breathing.
I hugged my father and started crying. I didn't want to leave Orky. I wanted to stay with him. He didn't deserve what happened to him. That businessman and his crew were cruel to hurt an innocent creature like him. My father concluded he had been very sick for a long time. A group of rescuers managed to get us out of the hole. Some people started to go down, and I begged my father not to let them. I didn't want Orky's home to be disturbed. The sky clouded over unexpectedly, and a bolt of lightning struck the sand, filling the hole. I was relieved his home would be safe, and I believed with all my heart the Native American I had met days earlier said a prayer to make the lightning happen. I thanked him for it, and I would always be grateful to him for helping me keep Orky's home a secret.
About a week later, I sat barefoot on the edge of the dock. I looked toward the water lapping the shore. My father swam up to the dock with seaweed on his head and said it was a great day for a swim. I looked at him with sad eyes. I didn't want to talk to him. The pain of Orky's death was very fresh and would be for a long time. It's hard to think meeting a mythical creature could have such an impact on someone's life. It did on mine. My father said he wondered what Orky was doing right now. I said nothing because he was dead. My father said just because he was gone didn't mean he had to be.
That night, I left seven Oreos on the edge of the deck. With my young friend at my side, I said a little prayer and went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up and looked at the Oreos. The cream fillings were gone, and I couldn't believe it. Orky was alive and well. I knew things would be okay for him, and I hoped that someone who was having a hard time with their lives would have an experience that could bring light at the end of a dark tunnel. I returned home, knowing my life had changed forever and that my family was closer together than ever before.
I touch the picture and go back to my studies. Even today, I still hear Orky's bellows and drones in my mind. They warm my heart whenever I feel down. The image of his bulky but beautiful form gives me hope when things look bad for my family and me. A memory can last a lifetime. Sometimes, it can extend into the next life. The memory of my trip to that lake and meeting Orky will stay with me forever until the end of time.