Peach Cail, a monster of myth that generations of Irish grandmothers had warned their children against, was living the high life.

As a kelpie, a creature literally formed from the raw, sticky tendrils of a seaweed-like creature older than mankind itself, Peach had always been forced to contend with her raw-seafood smell and dead-green color. That required taking victims on dark nights (or those who couldn’t see too well) and only from downwind. She couldn’t count how many times her smell or texture had left the intended victim fleeing and months if not years of wracking hunger pangs.

While in her relaxed form, a pile of quasi-seaweed at the bottom of a brackish estuary in County Kilkenny, Peach would often reflect on the quaint ways of humans as she sucked the marrow from their bleached bones. Another facet or her kelpie nature was that, due to her smell and color and texture and need to retreat to brackish water every so often, she couldn’t take advantage of her victims’ leavings and dress up to go into town. The estuary could be frightfully dull, after all.

Luckily, her human victims had solved the problems for her. Waterproof foundation makeup took care of the dead-green coloration Peach presented to the world when she molded herself into a humanoid shape. Designer perfume expertly masked the raw-seafood smell. Trendy shades obscured the fact that her “eyes” were dead and blank with no pupils. A fine wig was more convincing than any hair she could mold.

That, along with a canny relocation to New York City in a shipment of bog peat, meant that Peach no longer had to worry about boredom or her prey being tipped off by her kelpie nature. Devouring the occasional meal and pawning their stuff meant that all she needed to rejuvenate herself was a quick dip in a saltwater bathtub in a Manhattan apartment.

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