Sep. 16, 2017
“I’ve already read th…”
“Read, perhaps, but understood?” The man cut Nick off, lifting his finger in the air to wag it disapprovingly. Nick pulled himself out of the chair with a groan; the pain was gone but his muscles were stiff as if he’d been sitting for days. He rubbed the stiffness from his arms as he walked towards the man. “This is not a creature…”
“It’s a disease,” Nick finished, sighing. “I told you, I’ve read it already.” The man closed the book with a snap and stared at Nick with a smirk on his face. “The author is just claiming that the species needs to be eradicated.”
“Or, perhaps the creature is not a creature at all, but a diseased man. You were scratched, you contracted the disease.” The old man smiled at Nick as the realization rolled across his face. “Here,” he said as he tossed Nick the book. “Maybe you should read it again, unless of course, you know everything.” The old man retired to the kitchen with a smile on his face and began arranging strange ingredients on the counter as Nick slumped back down into his chair to read.
He continued to toil away in the kitchen and periodically brought steaming bowls of green liquid. He seemed to know exactly when Nick was starting to feel ill again and would bring it immediately, keeping whatever sickness was setting in at bay. On one of these occasions, as Nick’s head was starting to ache and his arms starting to stiffen, he noticed something strange on the page as the old man brought his medicine. He nodded to the man and grabbed the bowl, but set it on the small table next to his chair instead of drinking it right away. The old man smirked and wandered back to the kitchen, whistling quietly as he did.
Nick squinted at the page, staring at the rough sketch of the Anunnaki that had been scribbled amongst the text. It’s teeth were large and dripping with saliva, claws curled and fur thick along its entire body. He narrowed his eyes further as his head began to pound. The image suddenly began to animate, slowly at first but quickening as his head pounded harder. It started with a light jog, standing upright like a human being then slowed to a walk. Suddenly, the creature’s head split and the fur slipped off as if removing a jacket. The fur and claws slid to the ground leaving a naked man, almost seven feet tall with a long, slender face, stepping out of the pile on the floor and standing next to it. Next the figure leaned down and lifted the massive hand from the pile on the floor, inspecting the claws. He reached behind him, his hand disappeared behind the text on the page and returned with a small corked vial. The man popped the cork and poured the contents of the vial on the claws. Nick’s head was pounding vigorously and his joints were becoming stiffer every second. He moaned in pain as he squinted at the page; the man looked up and startled Nick as he seemed to make eye contact with him. Then, without warning, the image faded away and the original sketch of the beast returned.
“What…” Nick mumbled, closing his eyes and grabbing the warm green liquid from his side. He gulped it down vigorously as the headache subsided.
“Did you see something?” The old man was standing in front of the chair, grinning.
“The claws…they were poisoned by something.”
“Ah, so we must find the creature’s lair, he must keep an antidote in case…”
“It’s not a creature….it’s a…costume.” The man scratched his chin, ruffling his beard and squinted at Nick. “I’ve been to his home, it’s not safe but I guess we don’t have another option.”
“Say no more!” The old man scurried to the kitchen and started pouring the green liquid into a water skin. “We must go at once!”