Those Returning 


The waves deposited him naked and white upon the shore at Kilcousland beach, which lay about two and a half miles from Campbeltown on the road to Peninver.

His body looked as though it had been bleached by the salt in the sea when I saw it, lying upon the rich golden beach.

Kilcousland beach is formed of both golden sand and a shingle shore, few went there in even the warmest days of summer as it faced directly onto the wide Atlantic Ocean with nothing sheltering it and so there could be a chill wind from the sea on even the best of days.

It was a beautiful beach, that nestled between two rocky outcrops and faced directly onto the Kilbrannen sound and Davaar island and the deep grey Atlantic beyond.

*

Farther out where the Kilbrannen sound deepens into the wide, dark channels of the firth of Clyde before it enters the Irish Sea, a light begins to burn many fathoms down.

It could well have been a diver welding as there are many communications channels that pass under the Irish sea as well as a gas pipeline and probably many other things unknown to me. It could have been a submarine as at that time, the trident nuclear submarine fleet refuelled at the NATO base in Campbeltown but it was not. It seemed like a magnesium flare bursting into life in slow motion, first an intense glare that builds slowing into the brightest of white lights and then maintains its brilliance as it burns but this light lasted only for seconds before blackness returned again.

Normally there was little to be seen at this depth, the sun barely penetrated these deeps even in summer and this was most certainly not summer. Had anyone seen this phenomenon they could probably have come up with a reasonable explanation for it but no one did except for the creature it birthed and it hated the light and the moment of its coming into existence.

It felt all around itself rather than viewed as Its eyesight was not good, it was born of darkness and depth where no light penetrated, it had no shape, no form but somehow immediately knew where it was. It did not know how or why it knew this but it did. The sea was deep here and the ocean floor reasonably uniform, little, grew other than the hardiest of sea weeds.

The sea felt strange, thicker than when the creature last lived, the salt had not changed but something indefinable had, changed beyond measure. The ocean floor was littered with debris of all sorts, even here in the deeps and the creature knew it was these things that had made the sea feel different, it did not know the word toxic but if had it may well have used it. It felt around itself and was pleased to feel that life had not changed, the sea still teemed with life, small creatures that scuttled and moved with the tide seeking food or light or warmth, fish, bottom feeders and the odd predator.

It felt a change in the ocean floor nearby and felt around it realising it was boat, long wrecked and sunken, the hull, what was left of it, covered in sea lice and barnacles. The insides filled with small creatures, crabs and crustacean's, and then it felt it, a larger creature, a predator, big and strong a creature it could work with, a creature it could control.

It watched as the creature uncurled from hiding to snatch a large Haddock from the sea near its nest. Its speed and power were tremendous, its huge jaws clamped down upon the large haddock in seconds and in a similar time it had again retreated to its nest to consume and await its next victim. The Congers of old had been mighty beasts but few compared with this giant.

The creature had no quantifying method for length or girth and so simply knew that it was large and fearsome, it had taken and consumed a large haddock in a matter of seconds.

It reached out and took control of the beast.

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