She saw him laying out on the side of the lake. There was a strand of seaweed stuck in his long brown hair, and his muscles shone as he stretched them from swimming. She had seen him there every day for the past week while walking home, and every day he was sitting on that rock. She still didn’t have the courage to approach him.
The day was hot and her dress stuck to her as she walked. She wiped the sweat from her eyes. Around the far side of the lake, the man dove into the water and started swimming towards her. She noticed how fluid he looked, and how comfortable and natural his stroke was, like he was born for the water.
He stopped before reaching the shore, treading water and watching her. His eyes were a perfect blue-green that matched the waters. He smiled, and she smiled back. Then, after running a hand through his hair, he gestured for her to join him.
The water was cold and wonderful on her hot, sticky skin. She had made him turn around before taking off her dress and sliding in. When she told him to turn back, he dove underwater instead. She felt a pull at her feet and was dragged under.
She opened her eyes underwater, expecting to see him wearing a silly grin. Instead, a monstrous being faced her, half horse, with a long scaly tail. She gasped and swallowed water. Then the kelpie was on her. Its front hooves landed hard on her chest and she was pushed down. Water filled her lungs and her vision clouded at the edges as the kelpie took her deeper.
She was not the first. Nor would she be the last.