Ceto nee Nessie
In the second book of the Witches of Galdorheim series, our erstwhile heroine gets a little help from an unusual source. Did you ever wonder why there are so few sightings of the Loch Ness monster? Well, Nessie vacations on Ultima Thule, which may be the remnants of Atlantis.
She’s not fond of the name Nessie or Loch Ness Monster and prefers to go by Ceto. From http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Ceto :
In Greek mythology, Ceto or Keto (Greek: English translation: “sea monster”) was a hideous aquatic monster, a daughter of Gaia and Pontus. The asteroid (65489) Ceto was named after her, and its satellite (65489) Ceto I Phorcys after her husband. She was the personification of the dangers of the sea, unknown terrors and bizarre creatures. Eventually, the word “ceto” became simple shorthand for any sea monster. The term cetacean represents a case in point. Her husband was Phorcys and they had many children, collectively known as the Phorcydes or Phorcydides. In Greek art, Ceto was drawn as a serpentine fish. Ceto also gave name to the constellation Cetus.
Ceto in Midnight Oil
Ceto and Nessie become one. She’s not a bad, um, person, but much misunderstood. She finds my heroine adrift in the northern seas sitting on a block of ice. Oh, yeah, I should mention that the block contains the body of her father. Ceto finds this all fascinating and helps my heroine dock the ice block at Ultima Thule and find a messenger to send for help from the Witches’ Island of Galdorheim in the Barents Sea.
MIDNIGHT OIL EXCERPT
Kat sat cross-legged on the ice, one hand clutching the rope, and looked down at her father’s face. His eyes were open but unseeing. The deep gash on his forehead didn’t do much for his appearance. She hoped when he reached Siberia for his final burial, the Samis would fix him up a bit. She knew it didn’t matter, but it would make her feel better.
A wave came out of nowhere; the ice block rose and fell almost knocking Kat into the water. She clutched at the ropes and looked in all directions, but the sea remained calm. She frowned, wondering how… Then, a light bulb blazed inside her head when she sensed something large passing under her makeshift boat.
Kat edged herself up on her knees, keeping a tight hold on the ropes. She scanned the water closely, and to her right, she saw a dark shape under the water. A whale, perhaps. Maybe her calls finally got results.
The shape turned and came back toward the ice block. It stayed several feet below, so Kat could only make out a dark shadow as it glided beneath her. The ice block lifted and dropped again. She looked to her left to see a long neck stretched out, followed by a bulky, black body. A short tail emerged from under the block and slapped down on the water. It sprayed Kat’s face with icy droplets but didn’t drench her.
The dark shape rose slowly upward. First, a small head appeared, and Kat thought it might be a seal, and then the long neck emerged. Her mouth dropped open, and her eyes followed the head upward until she had her neck bent back as far as she could. The creature regarded her with huge, dark eyes, seeming too big for the little nob of a head. Its skin was dark gray, almost black. Kat noticed how smooth it appeared. She wanted to reach out to touch it. She thought better of that notion when the creature’s mouth opened and revealed rows of sharp teeth.
A voice spoke inside her mind. “Who are you, little girl?”
“Little girl? Why, I’m almost…” Then, thinking it’d be rude to argue with her only potential rescuer, she finished, “I mean, I’m a witch, from an island…” Kat looked around and waved her hand, “somewhere out there.”
“You wear the skin of a seal, and you can speak to creatures of the sea. Are you, perhaps, a selkie in human form?”
“Selkie? No, I’m just a witch from Galdorheim.”
“Hmm. How came you to be on that block of ice?”
“I’ve answered your questions,” Kat said, peeved at being grilled by a sea monster. “Now you answer one for me. What are you? And where did you come from?”
“That’s two questions.”
“Well, you asked two, so answer up!” Kat sensed she need not be afraid. The sea monster, as she now thought it to be, did not send any warning signals. It was simply curious.
“I am me.”
Kat frowned. While harmless, the creature seemed to have an evasive streak. Why did it show itself to her if it didn’t want to talk?
As if it heard Kat’s thoughts, the creature said, “Very well. The world has called me many names. Sometimes Nessie from where I once lived.”
“You’re the Loch Ness monster? I thought that was just a legend.” Kat stared in wide-eyed wonder at the mythical creature who might, if she could work it out, be her rescuer.
“No legend, but I left the loch years ago. Too many curious people.”
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Kat discovers that an evil forest spirit has kidnapped her brand-new boyfriend. She sets out with her brother, Rune, from her Arctic island home on a mission to rescue the boy. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding that the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.
Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.