It started with the clock. The whirring, the grinding, and the popping of gears. Sharply springing and singing out at odd hours of the night. Three rings, ding, ding, dinged. That was when the little girl got out of bed.
The parlor smelled of a fire well spent. The essence of smoke hung in the chilled air, the burning of a tree grown in the Scottish Highlands. It whispered in the dark of bright, bitter winds and shifting mist. It was the eve of Christmas Eve in a year that needed more cheer than others.
The grinding and popping of gears high in the sky, far to the south where bombs dropped on London town. Shadowed in the glen of her grandfathers, the little girl knew no such terror of the skies. Only of the deep in the lake of the glen.
Tick, tick, tick
The little girl closed her eyes and pressed her fingertips to the glass pane. She counted her heart beats, she counted the steady drum of the clock. She opened her eyes and counted the stars reflecting on the lake. A thin layer of ice shined like black pearl in the moonlight. With a huff, she tugged the woolen layer tighter around her thin shoulders and started counting again. It was only a matter of time. Whenever she had visited her grandparents at Christmas, it was only a matter of time. She squeezed her eyes shut and counted.
Tick, tick- thrump
Lids sprang open, she stared at the bank of the frozen loch.
And there it was as it had been every year. The massive horse emerged onto the onyx shore and shook it’s seaweed mane. Powerful body rolling like the breakers with muscle, legs like tree trunks, neck like a dragon’s. The kelpie shook its body once more, razor edged hooves cracking the iced ground as it strode up the shore towards the road. It galloped into the night.
The little girl let her breath go and counted to three. Three times she had seen the creature. Three times she had seen it ride back to the loch, a figure on it’s back. Seaweed mane tangled up the unfortunate victim and they disappeared beneath the water. Three times a drowning victim not found till spring.
Tick, tick, tick- thrump
The little girl peered out into the night, the glass fogging with her breath. The kelpie clopped down the shore. Bare back. It slipped beneath the water without a bubble. Perhaps even the supernatural knew too many had died that year already.
The clock ding, ding, ding, dinged. Four times. With a sigh, the little girl left the parlor and hoped for a different show the next year.
Author's Note: Okay, so that turned out a tad creepier than originally planned...which isn't weird for me. WELL ANYWAY, I have many favorite songs so I just chose a favorite from when I was in high school because it makes me happy. The soundtrack for the movie "Garden State" came out when I was 16 and it was all the rage at school. We all thought we were so cool watching such a hip, Indie film. But this song, 'Let Go' by Frou Frou, wreaked havoc on my dreamy/angsty teenage mindset. My imagination has always ridden the fine line between Bronte Mystery/Austen Romantic and I feel like this song and this piece show that pretty well. Well! That's about it!ns 220.127.116.11da2