“Gout is something you get if you’re a character in a Dickens novel,” Tennant said.

“It’s worse… It’s far worse than gout,” I say. It has been dubbed “The Noise” by the public. They say that once you hear the noise, your joints begin to bulge. Then they expand until you can’t move anymore and die slowly and painfully.

People have recently gone missing, according to the news. Because not everyone hears the noise, investigators have spoken with witnesses to learn what happens to these unfortunate individuals. Some describe it as “watching an invisible force snap the body into many pieces.” Others claim that a demon has infiltrated their bodies. Fortunately, there have been no reports of the noise in our area.

Living in a rural part of Nebraska, word spreads quickly among the few people who live in the town, so it would be fairly easy to know if something transpired. At school, students like to make jokes about the incident, claiming that they heard the noise or saw people’s bodies being ripped apart by it.

Anyway, my friend Tennant and I decided that a weekend fishing trip would be a good idea. After a long week of school, a fishing trip doesn’t sound so bad. Listening to the waves sift through the shore, or hearing the birds chirp in tune with the wind, are just a few of the amazing things about being outside.

As the weekend approached, we arose at 5:30 a.m. to get a head start on the day. We jumped into the car, grabbed our packs and fishing gear, and drove to the lake.

Tennant and I were on our way to Owanjila Lake. It is well-known for its largemouth and smallmouth bass. Despite the fact that it is well-known in the area, it is usually deserted due to its location in the middle of nowhere.

We arrived in Owanjila around 7:00 a.m. The beaten path for the car ended about a quarter-mile from the lake, so we gathered our supplies and walked the rest of the way. We set up our tents and planned our day as soon as we arrived at the shoreline.

“There is a cove just north of here that looks like it’ll probably have some good-sized bass,” Tennant said in excitement.

“That sounds like a good spot but how are we going to get there?” I add.

“If we just pack lightly and leave our other stuff here, we can follow the shoreline until we arrive.”

“I think that might be our best bet.”

It’s a good thing we arrived early because the walk to the location took us about an hour. I was exhausted when we arrived at the cove and needed a rest. However, just as I sat down, Tennant and I witnessed a massive bass, looking to be around 8 pounds, leap from the weeds.

“Holy smokes did you see that!” I announced.

“Yeah that was crazy we need to get over there now!”

On that note, we quickly readied our fishing poles and cast our fishing poles toward the weeds.

I didn’t catch much while we were fishing. Tennant, on the other hand, was pulling fish in left and right. Her pace eventually slowed, and my thoughts shifted away from fishing. I was thinking about the noise as I watched the fishing line sway back and forth in the wind. What could it possibly be? Where does it come from? Why? My mind was flooded with questions about the noise.

A moment later, I felt a rush come through my head. As soon as that happened, Tennant said, “Do you hear that?”

The moment she said that it clicked. It had to be. It was the noise! I didn’t know what to think so I panicked.

“It’s the noise,” we both yelled in synchrony.

My ears trembled. I could feel my insides swell as if stung by a large bee. Then my joints began to pop. It was already too late. The noise had enslaved us. It’s the last thing you’ll ever hear.