I was sitting at Eddie’s on Lake Norman one morning, on the patio with my girlfriend Tiara, and looking out at the water, watching fishermen in a small crawler casting their lures, a warm sun dancing across the ripples on the lake and I noticed to the right near the bridge, a shadow that appeared just under the surface. It wasn’t moving very quickly. It was considerably large, maybe the size of a small rowboat, bigger than a fish anyway. I looked away for a minute, returned my gaze and it was gone.
What was it, I don’t know? Tiara didn’t see it. There were clouds in the sky; could it have been a passing cloud overhead? Sure. Could it have been a giant over-sized freshwater jellyfish prowling for a neighborhood dog or cat? Maybe. The unknown is an imagination grabber and mine started to run wild. If you hang around Lake Norman enough you hear things, rumors, gossip, old pirate tales about strange anomalies in the waters of the lake.
At various eateries, coffee houses, or even fishing spots, harrowing stories are told, lurid yarns with boisterous gesticulation of boats being dragged for miles over the open water like Santiago battling the Marlin. “It took my fish right off the hook,” a fisherman stated one day.
The abnormality I am referring to is Normie, the cute cuddly-named underwater monster with a tail that resembles a dragon. Witnesses have also claimed that it looks like a mutant alligator with fourteen eyes and six rows of teeth. I’m kidding. Many friends of friends have seen it, and many have set out in search of it. Adventurers have come from as far away as Japan in search of it, no doubt to catch and serve with Shirako and Fugu. There is a picture here and there of the supposed aquatic beast, but, like the lack of stars in the moon landing photographs, there will be those skeptics, and there are, and they argue the picture is phony and poorly photoshopped, much like their sense of humor.
I was at Lowe’s on River Highway when I heard the tale of Normie back in 2020, easily the strangest year I have experienced since I was born in 1978, at the tale-end of a strange decade, or as Stephen Paul Miller called it, “the undecade.” 2020 was so odd that I wasn’t even alarmed by the rehashing of this story. A mysterious sea-monster extant somewhere in the subaqueous depths of the Brobdingnagian Lake within proximity of a nuclear power plant where documented sightings of unidentified flying objects are even more common, it just seemed apropos. I vexed over it for a day or so and then more or less forgot about it until yesterday at Eddie’s.
Lake monsters and aliens! And you wonder why Hollywood comes here to film so much? Normie made a cameo, but no aliens visited Mooresville in 2020, though maybe they should have. There couldn’t have been a better year for them to arrive. Or maybe they did and one of them sneezed and infected the entire planet with the common cold of Planet X.
Then with the onset of a ferocious respiratory disease wholly attacking the lungs, it was inevitable that every sheet of toilet paper on the shelves of supermarkets would disappear for months confirming the fact that Darwin was completely wrong. Humans can’t possibly be evolved from animals, like Normie, animals have a reason, they kill and eat when they are hungry, and they sleep when they are tired. Humans buy toilet paper when they can’t breathe.
As we sat before our plates of eggs benedict with shredded blue lump crab meat, shrimp and grits, French toast lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar and Kielbasa sausages, a small helping of fruit, and a Bloody Mary, I couldn’t help but wonder if in the next few moments I would be witnessing the three fishermen toppled from their boat and consumed in a fury of churning water and screams.
Reports from witnesses indicate that Normie is carnivorous, though maybe humans aren’t palatable. As it turned out, the large lurking shadow never reappeared, and the fishermen were still alive when we paid our check and left.
Such legends are wonderful, and we all enjoy watching them on television and telling stories about them. Normie even has his own Twitter page (@LKNMonster) last sited at Cowans Ford Dam on Jan. 1, 2020.
The point is that why shouldn’t Normie be real? With that said, should anyone get “lucky enough” to net the behemoth, take a quick picture and throw it back!
Greg Evans is the associate director of communications at King University in Bristol, Tennessee.