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The Tomahawk

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The Sightings at The Lake Pt. 10


My partner and I took the creature to a close by ranch while Malcolm and Elena stayed near the lake. They swore they wouldn’t get too close and that they could both protect themselves, but I knew they’d disobey that eventually. We didn’t plan to be gone too long, anyway.

The rancher stared at the kelpie and reached a hand out for it to sniff and get used to him. He was able to pet it’s muzzle, which it didn’t object to. It didn’t try to harm any of us.

“This isn’t a kelpie.” He turned to us. “She’s a normal horse.”

I looked at my partner and then back to the rancher. “Pardon?”

“She’s just any other mare. A Haflinger, it looks.” He moved the horse’s long out of the way, showing us that she did, in fact, seem to be any other equine. She had a few scars along her face and she was soaked in lake water, but she was completely ordinary. The rancher fed her a treat and she ate it greedily.

“It looks like she’s been mistreated. I’m surprised she isn’t aggressive!” He chuckled.

“So. . . why was she at the lake?” My partner turned to look at me. There was a long moment of silence as I thought to myself–save for the horse’s loud chewing.

“If she’s behaving this well, that suggests she’s trained. No one in town is missing a horse, it’s unlikely she went to the lake by choice. And this also suggests there were no kelpies to begin with.”

“You mean someone just left her there?” The rancher looked back at the horse with pity.

“But what about the disappearances?” My partner tilted his head and shifted nervously.

“I think someone’s tricking us.”