They took the same trip to Bear Lake every year. Eight years of consistency that never got old. Daniel, Lily, Paul and Rebecca loved their time away from work and the city. The camping trip had become a ritual and special getaway for the four. This year Paul was more excited than usual. He had just bought a new camper and couldn’t wait to use it. Each prior year they just brought tents along and slept outside. Daniel and Rebecca thought having a camper would ruin the experience. Lily, however, was hoping that this would give her more time alone with Paul. In the end Daniel and Rebecca gave up and decided it couldn’t hurt to try something new. If you never broke tradition you would never have any excitement.
From their city Bear Lake was almost four hours north. It was a very peaceful lake surrounded by forest. Usually the group didn’t see anyone else at the lake, if they did it was most likely only for a day. The lake got the name because of how many bears a person could see around it. Lily was always nervous that a bear would attack them but after eight years they never even came into contact with one. The bears typically stayed on the opposite side of the lake and never seemed to give a second glance at the group.
They usually left for the lake at seven a.m. but today Daniel was late. When he finally showed up he told the others about a new lake he heard of. Everyone was against the idea of trying a new lake. Rebecca thought the camper was already enough of a change, they didn’t need to go to a different lake too. Daniel was very persuasive however and after some convincing he got everyone to agree to at least check the lake out. He told everyone that if they didn’t like the new lake they could just continue on to Bear Lake being that the new lake was on the way.
They arrived at the new, unnamed, and uncharted lake within a couple hours. As soon as they arrived Daniel started to unpack the camper. He figured that if he could get everything out of the camper while the other looked around, they would just give in and stay there, not wanting to repack it all. Lily and Rebecca went straight for the lake, they already had their bathing suits on and were in a hurry to jump in the water and relax. Paul however was still not so sure about staying here. His first thoughts were that since this lake was only a couple hours outside of the city that it should be well known. The fact that he could find neither markings on the map about it nor any signs around the lake made him more than a little nervous. He immediately figured the lake was some sort of waste dumping grounds.
Paul’s search around the lake for any signs of waste came up with nothing. He decided the next best thing was to inspect the water. Noticing that Lily was already in the water he jumped in as well and started toward her. Rebecca and Lily had been swimming out toward the middle and stopped about half way there. Paul thought the water seemed fine so far and plunged under. He was very good and holding his breath and planned on swimming underwater all the way to Lily to scare her. As he got nearer to the two girls he noticed that the bottom of the lake was no longer visible, in fact he couldn’t remember ever seeing the bottom. Abandoning his original plan he came to the surface just a few feet from Lily. Still wondering how deep the lake was it took Paul a few seconds to notice that Lily was talking to him.
Lily was trying to challenge Paul to a race to the bottom of the lake. The first to reach the bottom and come back up with a rock was the winner. Paul had always been the better swimmer and love winning competitions and agreed to it under the condition that the loser would be the one to cook dinner that night. Lily agreed with confidence. Paul was unaware that Lily had been taking swimming lessons and practicing once a week for the past year just so she could one up him. Not being the best swimmer Rebecca decided she would be the judge in case of a close race.
On Rebecca’s mark Lily and Paul dove under, both swimming as fast as they could to reach the bottom. Rebecca waited at the surface guessing it would take both of them about 30 seconds to get to the bottom and back. 30 seconds past, a minute passed, a minute and a half passed. Rebecca knew they were both good swimmers and that this was a deep lake, but was astonished they were not back to the surface already. After two minutes Rebecca’s mind began to think the worst and dove in after them.
Daniel was preoccupied with unpacking but had been listening to the others having fun. In the midst of bringing the grill outside the first thing that caught his attention was silence. He could not hear the others anymore. Curious to what they were doing and figuring he had unpacked enough to convince them to stay he trotted over to the lake to see what the others were doing. When he couldn’t see them he figured they were just out exploring the area, it was a new lake. The lake looked extremely tempting but he resisted his urges to jump in and went back to unpacking.
Once Daniel finished he ran straight for the lake and dove in. He expected to see the others out there and thought he would impress them with a big splash. After regaining his composure he saw that there was no one around, but was more surprised that he has just a few feet off the dock and could not touch the bottom. Hopping back onto the dock Daniel scanned the area but there was no trace of the others. Worried he went back to the camper figuring one of them would have their cell phones with them. When Daniel jumped in the water the camper was just behind but when he turned around in that direction he saw no trace of it. Stranger yet he didn’t even see the road they had drove to get to the lake on. Searching the area the only thing Daniel found where the camper should have been was an Indian arrow head. Scared, he started off into the woods in the direction he thought the city was.
Daniel, Lily, Paul and Rebecca never came back to work the next week. Their parents got together a few days later and search party was organized to find them. The search party searched all around the woods of Bear Lake but never found any trace of the group. No one knew they had decided to try a new lake, but even if they had they would not have been able to find an unnamed and unmarked lake that didn’t exist. To this day no one is sure what happen to the group. To find out would be to take a “Journey Into the Mind” of Inexistence and to do so would not be wise.