Bloodied Shallows, Matthew Wilson
Arthur Allen didn’t want a medal, nor the expedition grant; he just wanted to kill Ben Disdon. Of course he said nothing when he found his wife’s love letters and didn’t argue when Ben suggested he traipse around freezing Loch Ness all hours of the night.
Now after all that time, Arthur knew there was no monster beneath the water - only the one trying to steal his wife.
“Get the equipment out the car,” Ben growled. The sun was threatening to hide behind the clouds and if he wanted some good shots of the water then they’d have to set up cameras on a nearby hill with all speed.
“Yes, of course,” Arthur said, took careful aim and struck Ben’s head with the camera tripod.
Certainly he’d wanted to shoot the fellow, in the legs to make him suffer but how could he pass that off as an accident to the cops?
Best to stick to the plan.
Ben had picked him for the expedition for his brains and Arthur didn’t want to disappoint. He watched his team leader grumble, then tumble over and lay down in the mud.
“Now comes the hard part,” Arthur moaned, locked his knees to support his back and started dragging Ben’s stunned body to the water.
Of course it would be a terrible thing to watch his oldest friend tumble out the boat and sink beneath the waves to drown.
He must’ve struck his head on a rock, officer.
Arthur giggled as he remembered how in the early days when he still had hope, he’d suggested everything from the scent of honey to blood to tempt the monster to the surface.
But there was no Loch Ness monster. No matter, this expedition hadn’t been a complete waste - now he’d discovered what had really gone on behind his back.
Maybe Arthur could bring his wife to these waters on some pretense - maybe construct some other accident for the cheating -
Arthur stopped thinking when the sun went out and he groaned.
The weatherman had said this would happen an hour later.
Arthur turned when he heard the breathing, when the monster standing over him dropped wet moss from its fanged mouth. The ancient, heaving thing watched Arthur with hideous yellow eyes and Arthur heard a moan, realising that his mouth was trying to construct words, then he could only imagine fragments.
He struggled to turn, to run for the car, unsure if he would try to escape or snatch his camera to take a pic, but it seemed the mud cementing to his feet weighed tons and he could barely waddle.
He managed to scream once as the creature attracted by the smell of blood fell over him and carried him down into the freezing dark.
By the time the sun went out behind the clouds an hour later, there wasn’t a sign of life to notice it at all.
Matthew Wilson has been published repeatedly in Star*Line, Night to Dawn Magazine, Hiraeth Books, and many more. He is currently editing his first novel and can be found on twitter @matthew94544267.