The tour boat moved smoothly away from the marina and out into the open water. The loch was rather rough that day following the previous night’s storm and the craft was being tossed on the choppy waves. Those people on the boat, who were not used to water travel, quickly began grabbing for small, plastic lined bags and seasickness pills.
As the small boat sped up to travel into deeper waters, the guide picked up a microphone and began the same speech he had repeated hundreds of times before. Turning to face the day’s tour group of enthusiastic believers, sarcastic skeptics and the more enjoyable vacationing families, he cleared his throat and said, “We are now passing out of the shallow marina and into the deeper waters of the loch. Although there have been a few reports of the monster being seen both in and near the marina, it is believed that she prefers to remain in the deeper waters—protected from prying eyes.” He paused until the chuckling stopped. “Today we are going to travel to the middle, deepest portion of the loch, where many of the sightings are reported to have taken place and where there is an underwater cave that is reported to be the creature’s lair.” Clearing his throat, the guide took a sip of water from a plastic bottle, then said, “’Nessie’, as the monster has long been called, is known to have first been seen in 565 AD, and has been making irregular appearances for more than 1,500 years. While no one can guarantee a ‘Nessie’ sighting on any given day, the creature is most often seen feeding in the turbulent waters after a large storm—like the one which struck the area last night. At the very least, we should be able to see some of the other creatures native to the loch.”
The guide set down the microphone and turned to gaze out over the ship’s bow. A few minutes later, the ship’s captain tapped his thigh and raised a finger. Looking out to where the other man pointed, the guide squinted and could just make out a series of odd ripples spreading out on the surface. Switching on the ship’s radar, the two men could see a contact that indicated a large mass in the water before them. Silently, the men agreed to turn the ship toward the potential sighting, hoping to give the passengers an interesting ride.
Before the guide had a chance to bring the strange ripples to the attention of his passengers, a small boy cried out excitedly—a lisp making him difficult to understand. Waving his chubby little arm in the general direction of the surface disturbance, he said, “Look Mommy, thomething thplathing in the water!” Lifting his round, sun blushed face to his mother, he asked, “Ith it baby Nethie’s bath time?”
The child’s young mother glanced from her son’s smiling face, out to the dark water, then screamed in fright as a large, black, wedge-shaped, reptilian head broke the water’s surface to tower over the boat. The mother’s scream was soon joined by many others and everyone on board stared in fear at the creature glaring down at them from its perch atop a ten foot long neck.
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