They were choking on tentacles that had slithered into their mouths; eyes, white like the monster, blind, from so many years inside. They spoke the language of the thing, so that I was able to understand. And they told me, the monster was a collective mind; it had harvested their brains, even if they were not quite digested.

In time, they spoke the languages of their childhood, French, German, Portuguese, and English; all of which I could understand. And I heard their blood-curdling tales, like my own, that went dark near the placid lake.

THE END

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