(This was my entry for a 300 word short story/creative writing piece competition. I think it’ll help if you know what kelpies are! Probably my favourite mythological monster, they’re supposed to be a shape-shifting water spirit that lives in Scottish lochs, usually looks like a big black horse and has a taste for human flesh)

Balloch. Small, quaint, rural, quiet, surrounded by the waters of Loch Lomond. Dark waters, unsuspecting; the sort of waters that have slurped up one too many drunk revellers. The kelpie doesn’t enjoy eating the inebriated. Their blood emanates alcohol. He’d rather virgin flesh, all sweet and pure. Beggars can’t be choosers, especially not in this day and age, where news of missing bodies is spread far too wide, on the news, and internet, the Twitter. He wouldn’t want people to come looking in the Loch. So, the kelpie stays hidden, feasting off slippery trout and pondweed. 

Yet, every so often, he can’t help himself. He slinks up to the banks. If you were looking, all you’d be able to see was a black snout, rising up and out of the water. His mane fans out below the surface, slippery scaled tale furling out beneath.

A fair maid walking yonder.

Blonde curls, cupid’s lips. He misses the garments of a past age; denim is awfully hard to digest. Nonetheless, he can’t resist raising his head above the water to watch her. She struts along the water bank, eyes transfixed on a glowing object held in her hands. Oh, how he yearns to capture the maiden, and drag her back down to his murky depths. 

Yet, her angelic face is stricken. Half scowl, half anguish. Fat tears run down porcelain skin. The kelpie grimaces, and retreats from the girl, back down to lurk amongst the pike and lamprey. Dinner never tastes so good when tainted with grief; it tends to give off a sour taste.