March 23, 2013
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Slowly my sobs subside as I reach the murky shores. The moonlight is glistening on the peaceful waters, like part of Van Gogh's swirling painting of stars. I look down at my torn black sneakers. I don’t have to hold them down as I slide my feet out—they are already too large. They were white when I bought them, I remember sadly.
They say that the Lochness Monster lives here.
I don't believe them. Oh, there may be a creature in the lake. Perhaps it is as big as they imagine. But it is not a monster.
"You monster!" Is what my mother had screamed at me. "You horrible, troublesome monster!"
No living thing should ever be called a monster.
I wish I had socks. The evening air makes my pale, calloused thin feet wince.
The sand is moist and warm. The water laps at my feet invitingly, soft and cool. Let my mother search for me, I think, a wave of cold fury washing over me as I take a step further. Let her cry and weep. It'll be fast and it'll be over soon. Just like my short swim in this long lake. Yes, it will all be over...! I jump in.

Darkness. I feel like slugs are swimming around me, like I've been pushed into a tank of eels. Everything is shaking, wriggling, thrashing. Perhaps it is just me. I can feel my lungs about to burst, and my head pounding louder than my ears can bear. Then, something firm. Something to grip. Is it a rock? No, it is too smooth. It jerks upwards, and my head bursts above the water, choking and wheezing.
I am riding on Nessie.
I scream, panicking. Looking around me, I realize how fast the creature can swim. The shore is already far away, and her flippers slice through the waters like oars. Wind cuts my dirty cheeks, and I sweep my sopping wet hair out of my face. We are riding together, wild and ecstatic. I throw my arms around its soft grey neck. The light flashes in Nessie's eyes as they radiate freedom and fierceness. But as I stare into them deeply, weeping to have found a friend, I realize something, and my heart stops.
She is a monster.
For a split second, she stares back at me, and I know that she has heard my thoughts.
She dives back under the water decidedly.
And never surfaces again.

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