Holly and Evelina swam happily at eachothers side. They were coming back from a deep dive in the Marianas Trench where most of the sea dinosaurs lived. Recently Holly had learned that not all the dinosaurs had actually gone extinct. When the people of the sea realized that the new race of humans were lethal, selfish beings and could not be trusted the dinosaurs realized the same thing. They were smarter than human history had depicted, they had speech, a society, they were amazing and unlike other animals. Truly should have been considered another type of being as demons, fairies and mermaids were. The merpeople helped guide the ones in the sea to the trench so they could live in peace, far from the new species that plagued their earth.
The fairy people helped the ones on land that would leave. Hostual and a few of the other mermen and maids still alive from that time explained that the ones that refused to go to another world are the fossils the human race found now. It was the same for a lot of supposed mythical creatures. Once they learned of humanities cruelty they all went where they couldn’t be found or were helped by the fairy and demon people to escape somewhere else where they could live without being experimented on, caged, tortured or treated as less than.
Learning this bit of history Holly begged to be taken and as always Evelina was more than happy to show her, any excuse for an adventure and to make her wife happy. They have been married almost eight years at this point and their intense feelings for one another hadn’t dampened in the slightest. It hit Holly as they were swimming back and she paused “wait Evelina”
“yes sweetheart?” She said warmly, swimming to her lover and holding her. “is the lochness monster real? Is he hidden somewhere?” Evelina chuckled “that stubborn old thing, yes, yes he is.”
“what is he? Most think it’s a dinosaur that survived extinction” Evelina seemed to be thinking hard “It’s hard to say what he is really, I guess he’s sort of a dinosaur demon thingy. You see he isn’t originally from this world. Um, see, the gods sent him here. I guess…sort of to ground him. He was to stay here 3 and a half million years. That time has long since been up but he stays. You wont find him where the humans look though, he visits there a lot because thats where his mate died, he goes to mourn. He lives somewhere completely different. He’s very kind, just makes poor choices when he’s angry. Would you like to meet him?”
“So he doesn’t always look like those pictures?”
“No, he has another form that sort of resembles human. If you saw him in it you’d probably still call him a monster”
“So gods you’re going to have to explain to me too” Evelina loved that even after eight years she had so much to teach her mate. Humans were such bogus creatures and had twisted the earths true history in such confusing knots. “It’s a long journey home and then to Lochner I’ll talk to you about them on the way. Lochner is his name by the way”
Holly couldn’t believe she was going to meet the Loch Ness monster and listened intently as Evelina talked about him and the gods. It was amazing how much was truly unknown to humans now. She wondered what other cryptids were real and if they were also safe to visit. Her head was so full of new information she decided to save those questions for later. “Is there anything I should know of that will offend him?” She asked.
“I wouldn’t talk about his mate too much. He won’t hurt you, but he’ll shut down and make you leave.”
“I won’t say anything about her, I promise. How sad, I don’t know what I’d do if I ever lost you.”
Evelina pulled her to a stop and gave her a quick kiss. “Don’t ever talk about that, it hurts too much to even think about. You can never leave me, okay?”
“I won’t, I promise, I love you too much.”
It was a long journey to see Lochner but Holly didn’t mind. Swimming through the ocean was so beautiful and scenic and they often did this without a destination in mind. As always Evelina tried to keep away from highly trafficked boat areas but every now and then they still had to hide and be still so they wouldn’t be seen. Holly hated Evelinas fear, the fear instilled in her when she was captured for the aquarium. While she still took risks and was wild in all other things she was now almost timid when a human was near. Holly gave Evelina another assuring hug when they could move again.
Holly noticed that the waters of Scotland were noticeably colder than the ones back home and actually shivered. Evelina pulled her closer as they swam and dove a little deeper. Loch Ness lake was still inland from where they were, but as Evelina explained he didn’t lived there, he only visited. “His cave is close, don’t be afraid okay, he won’t hurt you.” Holly just nodded as Evelina pulled her down to what looked like a pit. Her heart raced as she thought about the creature that was no doubt sleeping there. “Stay here.” Evelina said once they were at the mouth. She let Holly go and move part way in. “Lochner, come out, it’s Evelina.”
“Maybe he’s not home.”
“Maybe he…” She turned back to face Holly. “Oh, hello.”
Holly felt a chill move up her spine and slowly turned her head. She found herself nearly nose to nose with a very large Loch Ness monster. “Uh…h…hello?”
“Don’t be afraid of him Holly. He’s sweeter than he looks” She looked directly at him now “My wife wanted to meet you. She was once human so she’s being introduced to so many new things and of course you were one of the things she was curious about. I know you like to be alone but we wont trouble you long if you let us visit” She felt the water do somthing. The nearest she could get to describing what she felt was vibration. The amazing lookin creature that she had once only seen in pictures started to change. Logic told her she was about to see what Evelina had been talking about.
She saw why Evelina struggled to describe him. He was similar to human looking but he still didn’t look like one. Before she knew about all this and even now without Evelina behind her, assuring her this man was good she might have swam as fast as she could away from him in fear. He welcomed them in and the two followed. Holly was surprised when there was suddenly full light. He spoke, startling her a bit “I’m doing that for you two. I can see without this. I don’t mean to scare you so much. Don’t deny I do, I know I do. My senses are telling me that.”
“I’m sorry” Holly actually did feel bad. She felt rude even though she couldn’t help how she felt. He smiled “You were human before. I can also tell that. It’s understandable. If I could take a more pleasing shape I would but this is about as attractive as I get. Any questions? As a human I bet you have hundreds”
“You really don’t mind?”
“Evelina has been a good friend to me twice now. If all she asks in return is me talking to the one she loves I will gladly do it. Always treasure her. Even if you know you’re lucky we don’t always know just how lucky we are until we’ve lost the one we love.”
Holly felt a knot forming in her throat at how sad he sounded. He seemed so kind and gentle and she wondered how he had lost the woman he loved. She took a deep breath, not wanting him to see she was sad. “So, how did you become a myth?”
A smile tugged at his lips. “I may have scared a few people back when the country was old, back when ships bearing warriors sailed the seas. It was out in uncharted waters, a storm hit, but not bad enough to sink a ship. I thought it would be fine to head up and that’s when they spotted me. Even over the storm I could hear them yelling, see them pointing. Even though I couldn’t understand their language, I knew they were calling me a monster.”
“If only they knew you.”
He sighed. “Anyway, the stories grew I’m sure. Then there was Loch Ness, though it was not my home, I had been spotted once by a man who used me in his lie. People go there often in hopes they will see me. Humans are so odd, no offense.”
“None taken, If it’s okay I have a question that might be difficult. If you dont; want to answer please don’t and I apologize in advance” Evelina was a little worried Holly was going to ask about his mate but she didn’t “why do you stay when you can go home now? Evelina says you were only here in the first place as a punishment” He stared at Holly for a long time and neither woman knew if he was going to answer. “You are not to ask about her, not ever, no matter how many favors your mate has done for me but I once had someone to share my life with. Someone who loved me even with the way I look. She…she was a blessing. She died while we were here because she of course came with me for my punishment. If I go home, I have to tell her family I wasn’t worthy of her. That I didn’t keep her safe like I promised. I will have to see that world again and it will do nothing biut destroy me. We talked far too often about when we could go home and now I can’t do any of the things with her we talked about”
He looked as if he was holding himself back from sobbing. It had been countless years since his wifes death and it still seemed to stir up the amount of emotion you’d expect the day after. “I see”
“I shouldn’t be so harsh, but it’s hard.”
“I won’t ask again, I won’t even mention her.” Holly couldn’t look at him, hating she had upset him.
He sighed. “Are you two hungry? I know the swim was long.”
“If you wouldn’t mind feeding us, sure.” Evelina replied as she hugged Holly.
“Stay as long as you wish, my home is your home.”
“I think I’ll take Holly out to explore, she’s never been to this part of the sea. We’ll be back in a bit.”
“Have fun and stay safe.”
When they were far enough away Holly doubted he could hear she asked Evelina “do you think he’ll ever move on?”
“I don’t think so. They had been together for a very long time before she died.” They talked a little more about him then the world around them before they started swimming back. He had the food ready and waiting for them. They ate gratefully and kept the conversation light. They stayed in his home a few days, managing to convince him to go out with them to help Evelina give Holly a tour of everything close to here. Both women thought it would be good for the sea monster to get out a little bit.
With each day he seemed a little more happy but they knew he’d go right back to being shut in his home the second they left. After almost a week Evelina and Holly decided it was time to go back home. Holly hugged Lochner before they left and said “come visit us somtime. Please, do you know where we live?”
“Yes, but why?”
“Because you’re nice and being alone all the time can’t be helping you. I know I’m not supposed to talk about her but I doubt she wanted you to live this way after her passing. I just…please come visit sometime. Maybe you can go on adventures with my wife and I”
“Maybe.” He sounded and looked unsure and Holly just gave him her warmest smile. She hoped he would really think about it.
He saw them out and Holly waved goodbye one more time before turning away. “You’re such an angel Holly.” Evelina said as she kissed her cheek.
“I think if he comes see us then it’ll help. He’s practically hiding himself in that cave, he needs to get out.”
“I think he will, you’re pretty good at helping people.”
“Maybe he’ll fall in love again if he does or at least form a connection. I think his mate would have wanted him too.”
“I really love you Holly.”
“I love you too.”
They tried not to get too distracted as they traveled home. Evelina knew her family had to be missing them. The two planned to go straight to Evelinas parents house when they got back and spend some time there, thinking that they might hit the surface after about a week in their community. When they arrived Evelinas mom hugged them both at the same time “You two stay gone far too long.”
“sorry, we did more than go to the Marianas Trench, she wanted to see Lochner”
“Oh, lucky, she hasn’t taken any of us to see him. How was he?”
“Oh, poor thing” Hostual set a hand on his wifes shoulder “I can imagine the heartache which is why I’m glad your mother stays close to me” Over lunch Holly talked excitedly about their trip. She knew they knew all about the dinosuars but she was too excited not to ramble on about them.
Everyone of their friends listened to Holly’s excitement while they were there, even sharing their own experiences with the supposedly extinct creatures. It was halfway through the week when she and Evelina were approached by one of the city guards while out. “Excuse, Miss Holly, there is a man here to see you and Miss Evelina.”
“A man?” Holly asked.
“Yes, I mean I suppose so ma’am.”
“Does he perhaps look a bit different?” Evelina asked.
“Yes, very different ma’am and he said his name is…”
“Lochner.” Holly said happily. “He’s really here?”
“Yes ma’am, if you would just follow me. He’s waiting just outside town.”
Evelina & Holly followed. They were happy when they saw him. He looked so nervous as waited on them but they knew this was taking a lot for him to do. Holly was the first to hug Lochner “I can’t believe you really came”
“You were right, she’d be upset at me if I threw the rest of my life away. I can’t go back to my homeworld but I thought maybe the first stop was coming here and being social with you two for awhile. Is it okay if I stay?”
“Yes, you’re more than welcome” Evelina answered then hugged him herself. They showed him to their home “You mermaids make the prettiest homes. Fairies really know how to do it too but I love the way mermaids make their homes”
“Thank you, my father and his friends worked hard on it for Evelina and I. Let us show you to your room. It’s yours for as long as you want it”
“I’ll try not to be any trouble.” He said and Holly patted his back.
“You won’t be, we’re very happy you’re here so don’t worry about having to interact with everyone at once.”
Holly wanted him to find some sort of happiness again. Here there was more of a chance for him to meet new people, to make more friends and maybe start over. “If there is anything you need, but you don’t feel like going out please let us know.” Evelina said once they were relaxing in the living room. “I know you might feel like you’re bugging us, but it’s okay and besides we know the city better than you.”
“Just promise me you’ll let me know if I do over stay my welcome” Holly just smiled at him. A couple weeks down the line Lochner went with them to meet Evelina’s family. Hostual was particularly interested in him which was awkward for Lochner the first couple visits but once he did get comfortable it was really nice talking to someone near his own age. He could talk about the old times and how the world had slowly changed with another being who had experienced it.
“Lochner, why don’t you teach?” Hostual said over dinner one night.
“All the young ones around here, you could teach them about the world and how it has changed.”
“I don’t think I’d have the patience. I haven’t spent much time around children and I may frighten them.”
Hostual waved off his concern. “Children are the least judgmental and easier than you think. Make it fun and they won’t lose interest.”
“Daddy, don’t be so pushy.” Evelina chastised.
“He’d be good at it. Take Holly with you, she can help them understand humans.” He looked at Holly. “It would help him.”
“It could be fun.” Holly said. “It’s up to you Lochner, you don’t have too. I know you might want to go home.”
He cleared his throat but seemed to only be thinking. After carefully considering he said “I guess I can try it.”
“atta boy” Hostual said excitedly. The next day Hostual went with his daughter, Holly and Hostual to the school. He was respected and knew they’d instantly accept Lochner if he gave him a reference. Just as he thought it didn’t take long and they wanted he and Holly to start at the next school week if they could. They both saw no problem with that and the school showed them a class room they could use and made sure they knew where everything was.
Evelina loved how excited her wife seemed about all of this. They couldn’t just pick up and go as much but Evelina knew Holly wouldn’t mind for somthing like this. When they went home they checked with Lochner to see if he wanted his own home now or if he was happy with them. “If I’m not bothering you two I would like to continue to stay. I’m not sure if I’m ready for my own home here yet”
“Okay, we love having you here. The two of us just wanted to make sure you were still happy.”
“Thank you so much for your kindness”
Lochner started off slow and nervous with the children, afraid of hurting their feelings by saying the wrong thing, but with Holly’s guidance he saw how amazed they were by his stories and were eager to learn more. Teaching helped fill part of the void in his heart and he actually found himself smiling more often. He even took the time to discuss the world above with Holly, wanting to know how things had changed. He answered all of her questions as well and they both had a silent agreement to stay away from his mate. It was still too hard to talk about, but Holly didn’t seem to mind.
Evelina was proud of Holly. Her patience and understanding had brought Lochner out of his shell and he seemed to be slowly healing. She knew it would take more time, but seeing him smiling and laughing so easily gave her hope. “You’re amazing, you know that?” Evelina said as they settled into bed one night.
“I couldn’t even get him to venture this far from home, but you did it so effortlessly.”
“He seems happier. I have to keep working with him though, I don’t want him going back to being alone. The kids love him, especially when he shifts shape.”
They talked about him and the school until sleep took hold of them. The two women faded happily, loving this new chapter in their lives.
~ The End