The lake was clear and blue, teeming with fish and perfectly healthy. Even the rusty cans and old boots on the bottom were perfectly normal parts of the environment. Well, I like them anyway. A reminder of my enemy.

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm a kappa. Don't ask my name, because I don't have one. Only humans need to name everything that dares to exist. I'm a kappa, a minor water spirit charged with keeping my waters clean and pure, and that's all I care about.

My enemy? That'd be you. Consider it carefully. I'm charged with keeping my water clean. Humans dirty any water they live around, whether through sewage, litter, industrial waste, or just by swimming. Then there's the countless times I've been snagged by a fisherman trying to catch my dinner. Needless to say, that doesn't exactly endear me to your pathetic species.

Of course, I'm aware that there's a few well-meaning idiots out there(hippies, I believe they called themselves) who think that they'll magically undo all the damage your species has caused my lake and others like it. I'm aware of this because I had a group of them tried to worship me a few decades back. I'm still reeling from the LSD they tossed in the lake. Yeah, they mean well, but one of your poets once said that the road to hell was paved in good intentions. I find that to be an accurate assessment.

Of course, occasionally one of you stupid humans gets the right idea, just leaving me alone and maybe tossing in a cucumber or two as an offering. Trust me, you'd do that a lot less if you learned what I do with those vegetables. Especially since I'm a male.

I know, a few of you even think that you know something about my kind, just because a few of us were dumb enough to come in contact with you some 500-600 years ago. You think that I'd be unable to leave my lake, unless I kept some of the water in a small hollow in my head. This is a complete inaccuracy. I can't leave a body of water, but I can travel to any pond, lake, river, or bathtub I choose. One of my favorite hobbies is scaring middle-aged housewives in the nearby village. Their shrieks are music to my ears.

Another myth is that I like children. This is actually true. Your young make for a delicious snack. Unfortunately, the ones in the local village are all protected by that #&ing elf that lives in the spring near my lake(I believe you call her the Harvest Goddess). She's always ruining my fun, insisting that I actually bother to help you pathetic air-breathers. #& that.

Next myth on the list: I like cucumbers. I do, but as I've mentioned, I don't eat them. The rest should click firmly into place in your sick little minds. Yeah, the kappa is a dirty little creature, isn't he? No more than your species, and I'm completely honest about what I am.

That's what really irks me about you humans. Every species on Earth commits atrocities, but you're the only ones who have to lie to each other about it. You were given the gift of self-awareness, and with it the power to do great good, and instead you use it to commit greater evils than any other animal on the planet. You're hopeless, and even a few of your own realize it. But even those dumbasses don't do a damn thing about it.

Yes, I know. You all want to believe that you're doing things to change the evil nature of your kind. Self-delusion is something humans love to indulge in. You're not capable of 'fixing' things, our world is finally rejecting you. I'll enjoy sitting back and watching your extinction, because I'll be around long after every trace of your kind has finally vanished. I'll celebrate when the last of you finally keels over, looking for a mate that died long ago. I just hope that you do it by my lake so I can watch.

Another hook. Wonderful. I'm going out there and giving that angler a piece of my mind this time, I'm tired of fishermen. If they won't leave me alone, I'll eat the next one that comes by. Adults don't taste as good as children, but I'll adapt.

As I grabbed the line, I felt myself lifted out of the water. Suddenly, I felt extremely weak, as I found myself separated from my life-source. I might be able to travel anywhere I want in a body of water, but once out on land I've only got a few minutes to live. As I lay on the dry ground, gasping for air, I briefly regretted never finding another like myself. From what I know, your species hunted mine out a while back, until only I remained. And now it seems that I won't be winning the war after all.

Then, I suddenly felt myself being carried. My eyes blearily opening, I saw a flash of blond hair and some blue denim. Then I was in the air, and a moment later my strength returned as I splashed uncomfortably back into the water. Popping my head up, I tried to locate what saved me.

It was a human. A female. And she looked genuinely concerned, as if she really cared. In all my 300 years of existence, this is the first time I've seen a human look genuinely concerned the first time they saw me. She was quite lovely by your standards, too, long blond hair, deep blue eyes, and a fair complexion marred only by the deep sunburn on her cheeks and arms. She was dressed in overalls and steel-toed boots, and both were coated in mud.

Still, she was human, and no matter what she looked like among her own kind, I've never really seen humans as attractive. The idea of mating with one of those pink air breathers made me shudder. Should've made me shudder. Damn it, she's human!

"I don't like you. Go away," I said. No human has ever received so much from me, I've never deigned to speaking with them before. They're filthy apes, they're not worth speaking to! And yet, this human confused me. Maybe it was the time I was out of water. At any rate, I wanted to be alone. I've always wanted to be alone.

A treacherous thought went through my head. Maybe, if I got my wish, I'd realize that I didn't really want it. Maybe... I'm as defined by people as plagued by them. I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts. That was idiotic, and I'd get myself killed thinking that way.

"I'm sorry, I guess that this is your lake," the human responded. I looked back at her. She looked... apologetic... but that was ridiculous! Humans are the most arrogant things on the planet, there's no way one could apologize and mean it!

And yet, this one did. I ducked back into the lake, deciding that I was spending too much time in free oxygen. I'd jump out on that old farmer later, I hadn't done that in a while. He always went on and on when I popped out of his bathtub, and his ranting always reminded me of what humans really were.

Yeah, I'd forget all about that human girl by the time he was done. Then I could get on with my life. Humans are the enemy, and I can't afford to forget that. After all, I'm the last of my kind.

--

Claire returned home and put her fishing rod away. That kappa she'd saved was kinda weird. Something about the way it looked at her made her feel dirty, like it held her personally responsible for every atrocity humanity had ever committed. She wondered what hurt people had done to it in the past, and what she might be able to...

Ugh. Claire shuddered as she reminded herself that she was thinking about a 4 and a half foot tall green... creature... that wasn't traditionally known for being entirely friendly to humans. She'd heard a few stories about a kappa popping out of the bathtub from Manna and Sasha when she'd stopped to gossip, and their stories had never said anything nice about him.

Him. What the hell was she thinking? Clearly she wasn't. Oh well. Her chores were done today, so she'd clear her mind by taking a nice, long, relaxing bath. Maybe then she could get little green men off her mind. Maybe.

She started the bathwater, and left the bathroom to get undressed. When she came back, it was to a rather... interesting surprise. I think I'll leave the rest to your sick imaginations.

The End

--

Written for the Village Square Forum's Writing Challenge.