Tuesday 4 October 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 270

This week's picture prompt is an art piece from Jade Cheong from the US. (You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.Jade has confirmed to me that she has changed her Deviant Art page since creating this picture (hence a different website on the picture). She calls it Kelpie. She says about the topic of this piece of incredible artwork - which is actually in acrylic painted on canvas : 

"This is a darker take on the kelpie of Scottish mythology. My research on the stories turned up two varieties. The mischievous white horse that likes to dunk people in their river and the darker one reputed to drown people for dinner. Some variations said they were all otherwise normal looking horses, some said they were black with serpents in their forever dripping manes."

I could hear him in my head, but it turned dark, and I like how it ended. 

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A painting of a dark kelpie, from Scottish folklore, which looks like a horse, but in this image is painted in dark blue and torquite with yellow demonic eyes and serpents in its mane. A full moon can be seen behind it. Art by Jade Cheong


I stood at the waterside a little stunned at what had just appeared. Some might call it a horse, but it looked more like a demon – an attractive one, dark and sleek, its powerful chest muscles defined in the moonlight, with a mane I would have died for; the serpents were a nice touch.

‘Why do you disturb my slumber?’

Its deep booming voice gave me chills. I restrained a nervous giggle; I didn’t think it would like me smirking.

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I didn’t know these waters were occupied.’

‘I am the fifteenth Kelpie King of these waters and I will know your business.’

‘It was such a brilliant moon tonight, I wanted to come down to the water’s edge and look at it as it casts its gleam.’

He glanced over his shoulder at the moon and when he turned back the light of it remained in his eyes – the eyes of the serpents in his mane also lighting up. It was mesmerising and hypnotic at the same time.

‘This night is sacred to us. This night we call for a sacrifice.’

I waited for him to explain what he meant by sacrifice, but he didn’t. I didn’t want to ask. When a few moments had lapsed he spoke again.

‘We must temper the push and pull of the emotions, and give of our heart and soul.’

I wondered if he meant literally or metaphorically. I gazed up at the moon, feeling its light wash over me. I stretched my arms up into the air and wiggled my fingers, delighting in the feel of it. The king stamped his hooves in the shallow water and snorted.

I ran my fingers down the sides of my body, enjoying the feel of the tips on my naked skin. It elicited another snort. He shook his mane. The movement slowed as the image of him reformed, until he was shaking a head of thick long matted black hair, which fell on ebony skin and shined with a white edge under the moon’s glow. His eyes were still bright and intense.

I stepped forward into the shallows and dared to touch his new skin. He breathed what would have been a snort.

‘Is it to your liking?’ His voice rumbled like distant thunder.

‘Yes,’ I said simply.

He pulled me into him, his mouth finding my neck and I smiled as he nuzzled enjoying the embrace. Sacrifice indeed.

I responded, my hands running across his back, as I pushed him back into the water, going deeper and deeper. He let me, as he continued to ravage my body and I knew I had him.

As the water covered us, the moonlight dancing across our entwined bodies, I began to shake, my skin transforming. I felt him pull back, but it was too late, we were too far out.

I wrapped my scaled limbs around him, holding him tight and drawing him under. He thrashed and fought, his body attempting to reform into his Kelpie state, but it was not to be. He was to be mine; my offering for the luna festivities.