Yesterday, as the sun had just begun its decent beneath the horizon, I jogged along the wet shore of the beach neighboring Porthcawl. As always on a Thursday evening, I was running to the bookshop that sat alone and away from the bustle of the village, to pay a visit on Mrs Shellstar, just to make sure that she was keeping in order.
I was aware that I was going to be later than usual, as I hadn’t been able to leave the house as the dog had run off and I didn’t trust her to come back on her own. I had left her at home to avoid further trouble.
As the bright lights of the village became distant and dull, a chill seeped through my raincoat, and sea spray spat at the rims of my leggings. I tugged my hockey club bobble hat further over my ears, and I picked up my pace.
An acrid smell of raw fish and sharp salt lingered with the rising mist. As the moon peered through a gap in the clouds, it crept out of the crashing waves. I felt the presence of something thin; something damp; something flanked by darkness. Stringy seaweed dripped from the shadow cloak that hung limp over the figure’s scaly, half-human half-fish body. As it glided ominously across the wet sand like a fish through water, the sound of the eerie wind choked my ears. The sea mist began to enclose me in a cage of blindness, adrenaline raced like an avalanche through my body.
It was the loudest noise that had ever escaped my mouth. The scream must have been powerful, as the creature flinched. As it receded back to the raging waves, my brain cleared with the mist. I stood stock still, unable to stop shaking. Slowly, I started moving, then quickened to a sprint towards the bookshop until my thighs burned despite the cold. I pounded on the rustic door, until Mrs Shellstar’s frail face appeared, looking worried and beckoned me in. Like a wave of relief, the warmth of the bookshop greeted me and my exploding thoughts. Could it have been? Had I just come face to face with the Malamander?