The Shape of Water is Humanoid
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It was a dark and stormy night at the lake. Not a soul stirred; all the lakeside cabins were either abandoned for the winter or their occupants were fast asleep. The vermin of the lake were all hiding to wait out the storm; the flora stood tall and strong, not giving up their ground to the relentless winds and rain.

Then the Water Man emerged.

The Water Man looked exactly how his name sounded; a man made out of water, sans the face. As he woke up and left the confines of the lake, one thought ran through his head.

Where is everybody?

Little did the Water Man know everybody was out for the storm. No matter how hard he looked, he wouldn't find as much as a mouse, let alone another man to share his woes with. But the Water Man so badly wanted a friend, and he was ignorant to the fact that he couldn't find one, so he went looking.

The Water Man walked up to a tree and began to knock at its base. If he had a mouth, the Water Man might have said "Knock knock, Mr. Squirrel! It's time to come out and play!" He also might have said "Hello, Mr. Bird! Come down here and talk to me about all of your problems!" But he didn't have a mouth, so he just knocked at the tree, hoping somebody would come down the tree.

Nothing came down the tree, save for a few leaves that hadn't been disturbed enough by the raging storm.

It was a dark and stormy night. This was usual for the area that encompassed Area-389, which was basically an outpost in the region for MTFs to stay at, just in case something anomalous happened. But that had never happened, and thus Steven was free to stay there by himself.

Steven was essentially a skeleton crew, somebody to keep the place running while it wasn't being used. But it wasn't much work to maintain the five-room base, so Steven spent most of his time binging Netflix episodes and playing the latest video games. He had Level 0 clearance, which wasn't much to work with, so he didn't have anything to do.

Steven might have gotten lonely. But it was actually quite relaxing. In two hours, his shift would end, and he would be free to go back to his apartment to socialize with his roommates. But it wasn't that time yet, so Steven ate Papa John's cheese pizza and watched the latest episode of Black Mirror.

Next, the Water Man went to the bear den to find his bear friends. He walked inside the cave, and the Water Man ran into a problem: he couldn't see in the dark. Yes, he didn't have a face, let alone eyes, but somehow, he could still see. Maybe it was echolocation or something. But it probably wasn't.

So the Water Man came up with an alternate solution. He'd get his bear friends to come out. But how? He didn't have a mouth, so he couldn't shout into the cave to get the bear's attention. He could throw rocks into the cave, but he didn't want to hurt his bear friends. And he didn't want to wander around in the cave and get lost. So he did the only thing he could do; he waited outside the cave for his bear friends to eventually wake up.

And he waited.

Steven was halfway through his binge when his fancy new Apple Watch beeped, telling him he needed to exercise. Steven hated having to exercise, but the last thing he wanted was to have to go back to the ER because he had a heart attack.

Steven got onto the treadmill, and set the speed to an even 4.0. As he "ran", Steven felt content. He was on a schedule, and nothing was going to get in his way.

Little did Steven know he was going to get a visit from the Water Man.

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting1, the Water Man gave up. He was turning around to go back into his lake, when he saw a light in the distance. How the Water Man saw that light, nobody knew, but he got very, very excited.

He might have a friend soon.

Steven's little "workout" was interrupted by a knock at the door. At this hour, in this weather? Steven thought to himself? At times, he did get the odd lost hiker or geocacher who he just told to fuck off, as he was standing on private property. Steven slowed down his treadmill, walked off, and went to the door, already mentally preparing his script in his head.

As he opened the door, Steven couldn't be more surprised when he saw a man made entirely of water, standing at the door with a rock. And he was even more surprised when the man came in for a hug.

New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend! New! Friend!

Water Man hugged the balding, overweight man that had come to the door. After a hug that lasted another eternity, the new friend managed to struggle out of the Water Man's slippery grip. After Steven got over his initial shock, he looked down at his watch, and slapped it a few times with his finger.

"Fuck you." the new friend said "there goes two hundred and fifty fucking dollars down the shitter. Get the fuck out of here!"

But the Water Man had already noticed voices coming from the other room. Were there other New Friends in this strange building? He began to stumble his way into the other room.

Steven was still mourning the loss of his Apple Watch when the weird water man slipped past him into the next room.

Hell no. he thought to himself. Ruining his watch was one thing, but if he ruined the delicate equipment kept in the next room over, his boss would chew him out again. Maybe he'd even get fired. The last thing he wanted was to have to go back to working at McDonalds.

Steven ran into the room, only to find that he was too late. The water man already stood there, in love with an episode of Stranger Things.

As he got closer to the television, Steven looked around for things he could use to stop him. But the only non-electronic, non-food object he could find was an old wrench he was supposed to use to repair pipes. So he held the wrench and lobbed it at the water man.

The Water Man was about to give his new new friends a great, big hug when a solid chunk of metal flew through his stomach. It didn't hurt; it was more of a minor annoyance.

The Water Man turned around to see the man from earlier, his new friend, staring at him with focused eyes. After another eternity of a staring contest (which the Water Man won, if you were interested), the new friend slowly walked over and picked up a long piece of plastic with circles all over it. He pressed one of the circles.

Almost immediately, the voices stopped. The Water Man looked over, and saw that his new new friends were suspended in time! The Water Man stumbled backwards, amazed at the scene. How had he controlled time?

Steven saw the water man sent aback at him pausing the television, so he pressed the "fast forward" button. The characters on the screen leaped and ran at incredible speed. The water man seemed even more surprised, and began to hide in a corner.

Steven was kind of amused, so he kept going. At the press of a few buttons, he paused Stranger Things and put on an episode of Futurama. The Water Man huddled further in the corner. Laughing to himself a bit, Steven decided to skip to the middle of the episode, then rewind the clip.

The Water Man was terrified. This man was controlled his new new friends with little more than a flick of his wrist, and now he was forcing them to move backwards and unlive their lives.

The Water Man had met this man before. He must have been another manifestation of the Time Man. The Time Man was the Water Man's brother, and he controlled time. He was a cruel man; he had forced entire civilizations to play their lives over and over again just for his amusement. Back then, the Water Man tried to stop him. But he had paid the price. Oh, how he had dearly paid the price.

So when the Time Man pointed the strange plastic thing towards him, the Water Man couldn't have run away faster, back to hide again in his pitiful lake.

Should I report this? Steven asked himself. it was certainly strange, to say the least, but then that would give this place unwanted attention, and he was getting quite accustomed to his long nights alone…

Nah. Steven said. If the water man gave him more problems, he'd deal with them. But for now, Stranger Things and a somewhat soggy slice of cheese pizza awaited him.

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