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The Contract
by Michael A. Kechula

“I’m a sour old bastard suffering from crushing loneliness,” cried Nessie.

“I understand your pain,” Harry yelled through a bullhorn. “But, you’re uglier than sin. Those humps on your back are grotesque. If you weren’t so mangy-looking, you wouldn’t be lonely.”

“It’s not my fault I was born this way. Why wasn’t I born a beautiful butterfly instead of the Loch Ness Monster?”

“Blame it on Fate,” Harry said.

“Do you realize they wouldn’t even give me a part in Jurassic Park? Broke my heart. I told them I’d work for minimum wages. I figured if kids saw me in the movie, they’d realize how nice I am. Maybe they’d ask me to come to their schools for show and tell. But the director wouldn’t have it.


“Well, the actors got fed on the set as part of their contracts. The director said I was so huge, they’d spend almost their whole production budget just to feed me.”

“If you’d didn’t hide in this loch so much, especially when explorers show up, you might get some good press coverage.”

“Why don’t you take me home with you? You come here every week to see me. You always stand way up on a hill as if you’re scared of me. I don’t eat people. I eat algae. If you’re so worried about my welfare, why don’t you build a lake behind your house, put me there, and I’ll live happily ever after. You could even sell tickets so people could come to see me.”

“Great idea! I’ll go home right now and prepare a contract. I’ll be back in a few hours.”

“Wonderful!” Nessie exclaimed, shedding joyful tears. “I won’t hafta be lonely anymore.”

Harry prepared a contract stating he’d get 99% of the proceeds from ticket sales, snacks, and Loch Ness Monster merchandise. He’d tell Nessie that it was a 50-50 deal. She’d never realize he was cheating her. It would never occur to her to ask a lawyer to review the contract. She was a gullible, uneducated dullard who’d believe anything. Scottish taxpayers were to blame. They’d refused to pay for the construction of classrooms the size of dirigible hangars to accommodate her.

Rushing back with the contract, Harry called through the bullhorn. Nessie rose to the surface immediately.

“Here’s the contract. No need to read it,” he said, knowing she was illiterate. “I’m gonna climb down to the shore. I tied a pen to this broomstick. I’ll put it in your mouth so you can wiggle your head and make your mark. That’ll make the contract legal.  And I brought a camcorder to record this, so I’ll have proof that you signed.”

Nessie giggled with excitement as he approached. She bowed her head so he could place the broomstick between her incisors.

When he disappeared, Nessie burped loudly.

“Work’s every time!” she chuckled, as she descended to her lair for an after dinner nap.