The small vessel leaped playfully amongst the waves as Sheila held on tightly to the mast, closed her eyes and let her imagination run freely. Normally, the Loch Ness waters were calm but today its commotion was brought about by a brisk eastern wind. The young lady on deck was far from being fearful but rather she indulged her feelings towards the intention that she was finally alone with no one to disturb her in any way, shape or form. No cell phone, no television and above all no doorbell.
As she was enjoying her long-awaited solitude, she was rudely interrupted by a knocking sound and a mysterious voice shouting an assortment of obscenities. What could that be she pondered silently? Turning her head slightly but still maintaining a firm grip on the mast she could see a rough, shaggy looking gentleman boarding her boat.
“Hurry it up woman, get this tub under tow.” He shouted to her. “There’s no time to lose.”
Not understanding what he was talking about she questioned his authority on her boat stressing the words “her boat” as she addressed the elderly man. Taking a second look at him she could see clearly that his hair and beard were as white as the foam on the sea waves.
“What do you want,” she curtly questioned.
“I told you woman get this tub moving, it’s coming now.” Again, his voice had a tone of urgency in it. Feeling this lunatic would surely do her harm if he did not get his way, she immediately started the engine as he had directed.
“There, asshole,” she shouted. “Are you happy now?”
Setting her course towards the nearest land mass she gazed behind her. She could see nothing unusual in the water especially anything that would present a danger to them.
“I see nothing,” she growled at the old man. “There is nothing there at all.”
“Oh yes, its there, trust me,” the man said firmly. “That creature in the water behind us is not human. Least not any you have seen the likes of. You see young lass, that creature is a Kelpie or a water horse. This legendary spirit can change its shape to human form at will. You like literature,” the man quizzed her.
“As a matter of fact, I do,” came her reply in a sarcastic manner.
“That’s good because Robert Burns associated this creature with the devil when he wrote his poem entitled Address to the Devil. The kelpie can be found in just about any sizeable body of water in these here parts. Those people who rented you this boat knew about this creature and should have warned you.”
All Sheila could do is gawk at the man in total disbelief as he talked.
“First off I don’t believe in Loch Ness Monsters,” she injected and then quickly added, “Are we in any kind of danger with this kelpie?”
“Actually yes,” the old man replied. “These water demons’ prey on any human that it encounters. What we have to do is kill this beast before it kills us.”
“And just how do we manage to do that,” she snapped back at the man.
“All the myths which I have heard describe the kelpie as a solitary creature therefore if we kill this one we will be safe, for now anyway. Kelpie’s possess the inapt ability to transform themselves into non-horse forms which includes human appearance. When a kelpie transforms to human form they usually always appear as a male. There was one case where the creature was seen in Loch Lomond area and overpowered and drowned a man and a young boy after jumping out of the stream.”
“I recall hearing about that several years ago.” said Sheila.
“Yep, it killed them alright, killed them both. ‘Another time it adopted the guise of a wise ole man who continually cursed to himself. As the creature was resting on a bridge stitching a pair of jeans a passerby recognized it and struck it squarely on its head.”
“Did it kill him,” she asked.
“No, but it did cause it to revert back to its horse form and quickly scampered back into the nearby local pond. In yet another account the kelpie in human form appeared as a rough, shaggy gentleman, who leaped behind a solitary person, strongly gripped them and slowly crushed the life from the man while tearing him to pieces and devouring his body.”
“Oh my,” said Sheila. “So, what can we do about this water demon?”
“Well first,” said the old man, “we got to make our way to shore as quickly as we can. I see your heading there now. Go faster mate go faster. We’ll be safe there. On land we can find a gun and a silver bullet. Yeah, just as silver kills the werewolf of folk legend it also will kill the kelpie.”
No sooner had he said this than she increased her speed towards the closest land. Sheila’s tension rose the closer she got to land. She watched ahead hoping to avoid any rocky locations but noticed the mysterious stranger must have jumped overboard perhaps in haste to get ashore and find a weapon. The small craft finally came to rest upon the edge of the shoreline. She glanced around but saw no sign of the old man. She quickly leaped from the boat and onto the land. On land she looked up and noticed a beautiful white horse.
“And now young girl,” the horse balked, “I am hungry.”