Loch Ness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Loch Ness was a schoolboy fixation that first began when a grainy black and white photograph appeared in the local news claiming to report a strange sort of entity living in the murky depths of the lake. 

That the photograph as well as the legend was subsequently proven to be a large imaginative leap on the part of the photographer (along with some tricky light effects) did nothing to stop the tourist onslaught that descended on the beautiful countryside where I have lived most of my life. A legend was born and I watched it happen. 

Not that I watched it with much fondness. Everything about it was farcical, including the tourist guides that discussed it as if it was a proven piece of history! It was ridiculous! 

And typically empty headed tourists photographed themselves standing alongside the loch, as if waiting for the photo-graphical jackpot when the click and flash of the camera would be accompanied by a huge upheaval of water, and the beast in the background would offer them his best growl and then disappear back under, having satisfied both the voyeur as well as the naturalist.

Let me go on, this is all good for me. Museums were dedicated to Ness, and restaurants and cafe menus claimed to serve various dishes 'inspired' by it, leading me to actually wonder, had someone bravely fished it out with a giant hook and proceeded to coldly dispatch it to storage, to serve it with gusto and feed more than just tourist imagination? Was that why there was no Loch Ness monster anymore?

Libraries dedicated entire sections to the nonsense, and by the time the media caught up with the folklore, a legend was born with enough momentum to turn a quiet countryside town (my town) into a frenzied tourist trap. Bustling came the bus-loads, looking for signs, and you know, when you look for something, you always find it. There was always enough to fuel the mad, and the rest was pure business.

Thereby grew the legend, the legend fueled the research and very few folks really seemed interested to dredge the bottom, and settle the question once and for all. From a commercial point of view, it would be scarier had a monster not existed there. If nothing were found, all you would get then would be a piece of lake, larger than some others, and it wasn't even clear water. Murky black, with a taste that clung to your insides and changed something in there. But I digress.

Me, I loved Loch Ness. Of the several fascinations I've actively harbored, this one was the most difficult to rationalize. While the cynic in me viewed the myth with much skepticism, the romantic in me felt close to the land, close to the lake. I wondered why people came looking for a monster, when the black, peat colored waters and the shimmer of the evening light on the eerily quiet lake would have been more than enough to satisfy their soul. 

No, this was enough. Let those gullible masses worry about the monster. Loch Ness did not need any of those fairy tales, it existed with a beauty of its own that I felt only I saw. If you stop looking for a fictitious monster, you see what actually is there, which is so much more spellbinding! Having hiked to the Loch and drunk deep from its waters one bright lit night, I shall, I decided, spend a day or two here, 'soaking in' the feel of the countryside before continuing to trek my way through the highlands. 

The beauty of the place, with that full moon lighting up the water was straight out of a fairy tale. The water invited me in. I waded in, warily at first and then more confidently, and then I drank some more of that water, splashed about a bit and then settled down. No fish broke the surface of the water. The ripples I’d caused died away and the place was very quiet. 

Strangely, I didn’t feel cold. I felt at home. It seemed to me like everything around was watching me silently. Or perhaps nobody was a witness. Perhaps no one saw the change. But nothing I try to say to anyone will do me any good. I stay below for most of the day now. 

At night I resurface for air and of course, insects (delicious). 

Not even these idiotic tourists aiming cameras at me and clicking away can disturb my peaceful existence.


Submitted: March 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 nkshirsa. All rights reserved.

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