The granite cliffs turn the water black earlier in the evening than Ivar had remembered, and the kelpie is grateful.
He’s forgotten much of this place that he once called home. Drifting in the cold spring sea, the piebald creature has had plenty of time to think back on those years. He has not. Instead he thinks of the most recent time he had been here. He’s no longer sure which one he’d been with – brown or speckled or pied – but it does not much matter. All are happy memories for the sharp-toothed creature, and he intends to make more tonight.
It is too risky these days to hunt the Ischian beaches. The nereids seem to be on alert, though Ivar can’t imagine why. It simply never occurs to him it might be the recent theft of the Dame’s children. His mares hardly react to losing their children anymore, and the possibility that Aquaria might miss her children enough to search for them does not cross his mind. Aquaria is not hypnotized, of course.
She will be though, and with that in mind Ivar chooses waters that carry less inherent chance of discovery.
The blackwaters of Nerine are perfect for this.For a few hours he occupies himself with chasing seals, but as the hours creep toward midnight he ventures ever closer to the shore. He is waiting - for what he is not sure - but as the tide pushes him into ever-shallower water he does not resist.
Eventually he stands on the night-black sand, with the waves softly tugging at his fetlocks. The moon overhead blanches his piebald markings and turns the rest of his glittering coat grey, though when the kelpie turns toward a sound behind him the gold of his scales catches the light. It is only a night heron, returning to a nest high in the cliffs. Ivar watches as it disappears into the shadows only to soar out again a few seconds later, having left the silvery fish it carried with a mate and chicks in the nest. It returns to shore to stalk the edge of the tide, and Ivar continues to watch it until he grows bored.
Then there is movement farther down the beach, movement that draws the hunter closer in a way the scrawny fowl never could. The kelpie is selective in his prey, after all, and while his belly is still full of too-slow seal, there is no quieting the primal hunger. His long legs remain in the surf as he moves, his progress slow and unhurried. The full moon aids his progress as the sandy beach grows narrower and he must pick for footholds among the granite that had fallen en mass from the cliffside a hundred years earlier. The waves have begun to soften the rough edges of the boulders, but it will be many hundreds more years before this northern shore is as wide as the rest of the beach.
and i'll use you as a warning sign
that if you talk enough sense then you'll lose your mind