You’ve been here before. You know the facts and measurements, diameters, volumes, transference into examples, illustrations. You’ve seen the tapes, the fakes, you know all the debates. You’ve collected video documentation, journalistic speculation, you’ve read the discussions, studied the theories, you know your history. It is cryptoclidus, plesiosaur, kelpie, pliniped, the culmination of hearsay and expectation, imagination.

The shimmering surface is the barrier between known and unknown, the darkness of the water. Others take their boats out, push tourists around with binoculars pressed to their faces. They fund submarine excursions, force beams of light through the murk. They suck on oxygen, wrap their feet in flippers. Find nothing.

But you aren’t looking for proof. You don’t want to show the world. You want to catch a glimpse, uncertain, a scale or hump, spray of water, for just one moment to pull back the curtain. The rippling mirror is chance, opportunity, the entrancing repose of possibility.

Zetetic separator

—Anton lives in Durham, U.K. His work has appeared in a number of print and online journals. Find him at or @antonjrose

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