It was only a few weeks ago that I went to my grandparent’s cottage next to the loch in Scotland. I will never forget what I saw there… It was a living nightmare that still haunts me this day.
I am a 15 year old boy named Alex after my mother, Alexandra. It was winter break so school was out in America. Me, my mother, father, little brother, and little sister went to visit our grandparents for Christmas. The cottage was a little homey place that could barely hold us. There were 3 bedrooms in the cottage and the basement which had a small room in the corner. It can fit a mattress and a dresser, so we use it as a room when we come up for holidays. Usually my brother would get it since he’s the good child and our parents trust him, but I begged my parents to let me have it for this holiday.
The day after we flew there we got settled in because it was very late when we got to the cottage. After I had put my clothes in the tiny dresser my grandpa had provided me I asked my uncle to take me out on the loch. It was a little cold but the lake hadn’t frozen over so we were still able to go.
My uncle took me on the little motor boat to the small island in the middle of the
small loch my grandparents own. I overheard how since it’s Christmas Eve all of the stores have closed down in town so we went to go hunting. My dad stayed behind since he had a cold.
When we got to the island after about maybe a 10 to 15 minute ride Uncle Connor tied the boat to the dock and we set up our supplies in the little hunting cabin. Uncle Connor sent me out to set up some traps.
When Uncle Connor came outside me was carrying our hunting knifes and his 12-gauge shotgun. I had mine with me. We went a little deeper into the woods and came upon the hunting stand we were going to be using.
We were out there for a few hours before it started to snow. I had shot a rabbit and Uncle Connor had gotten 2. I noticed that it was snowing and told Uncle Connor. We hurried to the cabin to get our gear and head back but by the time we got back to the cabin, checked the traps, gathered our supplies, and got to the dock, the boat had been frozen in place. The ice was thin but we didn’t see the need to get hypothermia tryna get it unstuck. We went back to the cabin to stay the night and called my dad to say that we were staying.
I put the game in the freezer while Uncle Connor went to get some firewood from the pile on the porch. It was almost dark so there wasn’t any point in hunting some more.
We had our left overs from lunch for dinner, played some board games we had lying around, and read some books until we got tired. There were 2 rooms, the game room and a bedroom. Uncle Connor got the bed since he has a bad back and I got the floor. We had 3 sleeping bags. He got one and I got the other 2.
I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard some banging. I thought a critter got into the boat or something and was messing around so I got up, put on my jacket and went to the door to turn on the porch light. What I thought I saw haunts my dreams even today.
I thought I saw an animal with a long, slimy black neck with big eyes on either side of its head. It opened its mouth and I saw long serrated teeth filling it’s mouth. The body was fat with 2 large flippers in the front and 2 smaller ones in the back. It looked like that one dinosaur named plesiosauria from the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
I blinked and looked again to see nothing there. I went out and I saw that the boat had been damaged. So it wasn’t a trick of the light! I saw a ripple from the corner of my eye and saw a head duck under the water. Down at my feet there were sliding tracks from the animal.
I went inside, still a little shaken, and went back to bed. When I woke in the morning I saw that the ice on the loch had melted. Uncle Connor was making breakfast of the goose eggs we found in a nest nearby. He hadn’t looked at the boat yet.
I went to the game room where there was a little stove that Uncle Connor was cooking on. “Uncle Connor…” I said, “I need to tell you something.” “What is it lad?” He asked me. “I heard a noise last night and I went to check through the window and I think I saw a seal damaging the boat.”
He cursed and went to check if the boat could still get back to the cottage. It could’ve but the oars had been chewed on by an animal so they were splintered.
Uncle Patrick had his phone on him so he called my dad and about an hour later he showed up at the dock.
My grandparents had 3 boats. One was a motor boat, the one we took, and the other 2 were just paddle boats for fun. Dad had brought some rope so we could pull the damaged boat along as we went back to shore.
We got back to the cottage a little after noon and played in the snow while the women were in the kitchen making Christmas dinner with the animals me and my Uncle hunted.
We have a small family. It’s just my parents, my grandparents, my uncle and his wife, and us kids. We had a delicious Christmas dinner and after dinner we opened presents.
Later that night we were telling stories and my dad said that his favorite story growing up was the one about Nessie’s cousin. I was familiar with the story. It is my least favorite story of all of the ones I have ever heard. My father started to tell it to us.
“Once there was a farmer down in the lowlands. He lived a little ways away from a loch but he went there everyday to be by himself and pray.”
“One day after a hard day’s work he went down to the dock to pray like he always did. He accidentally fell asleep in his boat. When he woke up it was dark. He was about to get up to go home when he heard a scary noise.”
“It sounded like something between a gurgle of water and a growl. He was cautious because on the news he heard about disappearances near the docks every night.”
“He got up and peaked over the side. He didn’t see anything. He thought maybe it was just a seal or another animal and he walked over to get off the boat. The small boat rocked as if something butted it and the farmer landed on his bum.”
“He thought it was just a rough wave and got off of the boat. He walked to the end of the dock to gaze at the full moon when he saw a ripple in the water. The farmer thought it was just a large fish.”
“He was walking away when he heard the same gurgle/growl that had woken him up. He turned around to see a long shadow rise out of the loch maybe 6 meters in front of him.”
“It was maybe 2 and 1/2 meters tall and 5 meters long. It looked like a gigantic seal with a stretched out neck.”
“‘Nessie!’ He called. ‘Nessie is that you! How glad I am that I am one of the lucky people that you show yourself to!’”
“‘Lucky?’ Replied the monster. ‘Why are you lucky? I am not Nessie. I am Shadow. I am one with the loch. No one can see me until they are about to die.’ The monster called back.”
Then before the farmer could react Shadow, the fearsome loch monster, snapped up the farmer. The only things left behind were his boots.”
“Ever since that fateful night, on every last full moon of the year a person goes missing. The last place the people were seen was the docks and… on the dock are a pair of boots from the missing person…”
The teapot whistles and everyone jumps, thinking it’s the monster. My dad is an exceptional story teller so every time anyone hears him tell stories it makes them feel like every word he says is true.
We continued with all of the stories well into the night. Around 12:30 everyone went to bed. I was still up watching a cartoon when I needed to use the loo.
I turned off the cartoon because after I was done I would go to bed and I went to the lavy. It was the closest room in the cottage to the loch. I had flushed the loo and was washing my hands when I heard a sound…
It was THE sound! It sounded like something between a gurgle and a growl! ‘No, no, no!’ I thought to myself. ‘It’s only your imagination. Your dad scared you with that story. He does every time.’
I hurried and got finished. I was waking out of the lavy when I heard it again! The sound. I got mad at myself for being so childish. It’s only a children’s tale to keep them away from the lochs at night.
To face my fears I went down to the basement to grab a flashlight. When I came up I went to the door that leads to the dock. I opened the door and went outside, making sure not to shut the door behind me.
I closed my eyes and breathed. ‘I can’t belive I’m going to do this!’ I thought to myself. I opened my eyes to look at the sky. To my discomfort there was a full moon in the sky. It was also the last full moon of the year.
‘Don’t be childish!’ I scolded myself. ‘It’s just a children’s tale.’ I walked down to the dock stopping when I was maybe a meter from the edge. I saw something ripple from the corner of my eye. I backed up to the beginning of the dock cause I didn’t want to be at the edge.
In front of me there was another ripple. A big one. I didn’t like where this was going. But I stayed put because I was going to prove to myself that it wasn’t real. This story that has haunted me for most of my childhood is just a tale.
I saw something further out in the loch. It was a ripple. A-a moving ripple… It was coming closer… and closer… until it stopped a few meters in front of the dock.
I saw a head emerge from the water, then a long neck. I was behind a tree at this point. It was scanning the yard. When it got to the tree I was hiding behind it paused. I whimpered like a baby and it smiled.
I was frozen in place from fear. It had long serrated teeth as long a my pointer finger. It’s skin was as black as night. It’s eyes… it’s eyes were pure black. The scariest thing? I could see that this animal was smart. It was giving me a predatory glare.
‘It really is real!’ I yelled in my thoughts. I was paralyzed. Somehow it raised up, making itself bigger. It’s smile got bigger. I heard it’s growl. I couldn’t breath.
Then suddenly, a gunshot sounded. The monster jerked back as if it got shot. It quickly went under the water. My legs failed and I slumped down to my knees.
I heard someone running to me. I saw my dad. He had a gun in his hand. He ran over to me and hugged me tight. He started telling me the story again except differently.
“The farmer had a little boy.” My dad said. “The little boy was sent to fetch his father. When the beast rose up to eat his father it looked at the boy. ‘You’re next.’ It’s eyes seemed to say.”
By this point my dad was crying. “The beast swallowed his dad and disappeared into the deapths of the loch. Never to be seen again.”
“Son.” He said. “That little boy? That little boy was me. I was telling you the story to warn you never to go to the docks at this time. What do you do? You do the exact thing I was warning you not to do.”
He hugged me tighter. His tears were falling on my cheek. “Don’t ever do that again.” He whispered. “I won’t dad. I promise.” I told him.