Cryptid Challenge

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Which did you prefer?

Poll ended at April 28, 2021, 07:17:30 AM

Love Comes in All Shapes
0
No votes
Little foot
0
No votes
Borehole
3
75%
Corner of the Eye
0
No votes
The Cryptid Hunter
1
25%
 
Total votes: 4

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Wormtongue
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Cryptid Challenge

Post by Wormtongue »

Good day, all
Apologies, someone appears to have stolen a month of my life.
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Love Comes in all Shapes

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LOVE COMES IN ALL SHAPES

“I have to tell you what I just read, I’m really shook.” Kate stormed out of the log cabin and onto the porch where Chris was enjoying his morning coffee and re-reading Sherlock Holmes on his e-reader.

“Oh, yeah? What’d you just read?” He asked, eager to get back to his thickening plot.

“There’s an article in the Washington Post.” Kate adjusted a shoulder strap on her new ocean blue dress.

Chris didn’t want to take his eyes away from the e-reader, but he was afraid that wouldn’t be an option soon. “Hmm. You liking your subscription?”

“Yeah, but that’s not the point. No, listen. This article says that anyone with an intellectual disability is automatically disqualified from an organ transplant.”
Chris’ internal alarm was going off. Kate was really upset about something, and unless he addressed the issue immediately things were just going to get worse. “Oh? Why’s that?”

The songbirds were out in force that morning and provided a melodious backdrop that echoed from every direction. As for the view from the front porch, it would be considered by most, to be astounding: snow-covered peaks on gray rocky mountains that seemed to scrape the sky. A distant waterfall cascaded hundreds of feet before violently crashing into a crystal clear stream, surrounded by pines; lush, green, and straight enough to be the toothpicks of some colossal ancient being.

“I don’t know, but it’s illegal. Apparently, a woman sued one of the organ donation boards and won.”

Against his better judgement, Chris decided to stick to a more pragmatic approach to the topic at hand. “It might be illegal, but I’m sure doctors do it all the time. Now, I don’t know for sure. I mean all of my knowledge comes from House, but I remember a few times there was an organ donation board. They have to make some really tough decisions.”

“Did you hear what I just said? Intellectual disability automatically disqualifies a person from getting a transplant. They say it’s anyone who they can’t be sure can and will take their anti-rejection pills every day.”

“What’s it called? Immunosuppressants or something like that. I get that. I mean, if they don’t take their pills, and their body rejects the heart or whatever, they’re dead anyway.”

“Fuck you. Why don’t you just come out and say you’re abilist,” Kate screamed, scaring away some of the birds in the tree line.

“What? No. All I’m saying is I can see their point, I mean, you said it’s illegal. Fine. Law is law, but doctors have to make tough decisions every day. You have to understand there aren’t enough organs to go around. They have to make sure the people that get that organ aren’t going to die anyway. If it’s between two people, and one isn’t able to take their pills every day, well...” he shrugged not wanting to finish the sentence.

“That’s not what I’m saying. You aren’t even listening to me! They don’t even make it on the list,” she screamed while throwing her fingers up in air quotes around, ‘the list.’

Chris knew his wife well, and he knew that no amount of logic was going to calm her down when she was arguing such an emotional subject. In times like those, a simple question often helped to ease the tension in the room. “What else does the article say about it?”

“It says they also immediately reject anyone with down syndrome,” she answered with a pregnant sigh. “Just because they are born with a chromosome extra do they deserve to die?”

“No, of course not. This is a great high school debate. Ethical, moral, legal.” Although he believed it to be true, he knew that she didn’t want to hear it.

“This isn’t some debate, wait, are you playing devil’s advocate? I fucking hate it when you do that.”

Chris took a deep sip of his coffee in a desperate play for time, time to think carefully about his next words. When he couldn’t sip any longer, he wiped a spilled drop off his chin with the sleeve of his red flannel shirt. “I’m not playing devil’s advocate. All I’m saying is these doctors have to play God every day. They get to decide who lives and who dies. It has to be an overwhelming burden, so I’m sure they have a few filters in place. They have ten files, ten people, and one heart. They are going to try to make sure the person who gets it is not going to squander it away.”

“Well, it’s not right.”

“No, it’s not, and, like you said, it’s not legal, but I can see their point.”

“What about Jimmy? You know they would just let him die.”

“Now, we’ve gotten to the heart of the issue. It’s personal. Yeah, you might be right.” She was, and he knew it before the words left his mouth.

“He didn’t choose to have a bigfoot mother and a human father. It’s not like little baby Jimmy, before he was conceived, decided he wanted me to be his mom. They can’t just let him die because he doesn’t fit their definition of normal.” The thick brown fur on Kate’s arms nearly stood on end as she waited for Chris’ response.

“Jimmy is lucky to have you. We’re both lucky to have you, but this is tough, and there are no right answers. That’s why it would be a great high school debate, like abortion… but that one is so overdone. If you think about it, the same question appears at the heart. Who has a right to life, and who gets to make that choice. It’s emotional, it’s logical. I can’t tell you what is right and what is wrong. That’s something you’re going to have to decide for yourself. In the end, when we see something happening that we know is wrong, the best thing we can do is talk about it, shine a light on the evil.”
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Little Foot

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Little Foot

At Mark and Jane’s trading post which supplied hunting and fishing equipment along with groceries, work cloths, gas and other basic essentials needed in a rural area, a group of Bigfoot hunters talked with two locals about a strange occurrence that has been happening for over a hundred years. However, after the Bigfoot hunters examined the evidence they concluded that the tracks were nothing more than kids walking barefoot, and the stories about this small-elusive creature birthed in imagination.

Kids around here don’t go walking around barefooted! They all wear Nikes!” Carl said. “I never went barefooted when I was a kid----nobody I know ever did!”

Both Carl and Mike stormed out of the Trading Post and Mike had beads of sweat on his forehead. One of the Bigfoot hunters by the name of Kayla, a grad student in biology, came out and stopped them.

“Bob and Eric are so hard headed about things. Just because they have been hunting Bigfoot for twenty years, they think they know everything. Sometimes I think that all they care about is the grant money they get!,” Kaya said. “Those tracks you showed us look like tracks from children I’ve seen in a third world country who have no shoes. They differ very much from a kid just taking off a pair of shoes and walking around barefoot. No, whatever made those tracks never wore shoes. I believe you guys.”

“Thanks. Why just last night I left my garage door open—I know better but I fell asleep on the sofa. The dog went crazy at about 3:00 A.M. woke me and the wife up. You might have noticed that we all have dogs around here,” Mike said. “ Everybody’s on guard for the little thief.”

“Why, yes we all did notice that trend in this community. Dogs are everywhere,” Kalya said.

“Well, I looked over my tools today and my new LED flashlight is gone. Just like that,” Mike said.

“We’re setting up our critter cameras today and going to search with infrared, night vision, acoustical detection, and an ariel drone for the next five days,” Kayla said.

“There is no Bigfoot around here,” Carl said. “Believe me on that one, you all are just wasting your time.”

“Well, I just wanted you guys to know that I do believe you. Whatever it is,” Kayla said.

Carl and Mike got in Mike’s pick-up and started up the road. “She’s okay but those other clowns are nothing but know-it-alls,” Mike said. “If I had more time I’d dress up like Bigfoot and go scare the hell out of them.”

“You don’t wanta do that! Old McDermit has a still up in the mountain, and his 12 gauge is his best buddy, you know that,” Carl said.

“Yeah, you’re right.”

The next three hot nights the Bigfoot hunters lived in the woods, day and night searching and just studying tracks and hairs or feces found-- trying to find their elusive creature that stories and legends and even science coughed up at times. However, at the end of the third day the Bigfoot hunters abruptly stopped their quest. They found something.

Carl got a call from the trading post: “Carl can you come over,” Mark said. “These Bigfoot hunters wanta talk to you.”

“Get Mike and come over, Kayla would like to show you something”

“Be right over,” Carl said.

Mike was working and couldn’t come. Carl pulled in on his Harley, after he entered, the two other Bigfoot hunters, Bob and Eric said, “We were so wrong—so wrong.”

Kayla said, “We found a cave hidden by thick foliage. Our infrared camera picked it up by a significant heat differential . . . then we chopped our way into it. We thought that we found Bigfoot’s lair but what hit our eyes was astonishing. Kayla showed pictures of what was inside the cave. Tools, old mirrors from cars, motorcycle helmets, a headlight that once must have belonged to a model T, cloths rotting, all small object going back into the cave as far as one could see and clusters together. Screwdrivers and wrenches and even some power tools, some very old, some new, and even an old Lionel Toy Train Engine, rusted from years lying there. “You can just imagine our surprise at finding this!” Eric said with Bod agreeing.

“We also heard a loud-aggressive chirping sound when we investigated the cave. The sound came from up in the mountain. Whatever it was didn’t want us there,” Kayla said.

Bob and Eric came over to Carl and said, “Maybe we were too rash with you. Sorry. But you have to understand that a lot of people try to fool us. They make tracks, give us hair from a Bigfoot supposedly . . . fake pictures fake events and fake sightings------ we have to be very cautious. What we found in that cave couldn’t be a joke on us; we could see that much of that stuff has been there for years. Do you know of any hermits that live up there and collect things?”

“No,” Carl said. “But we’re not trying to fool anybody. I never heard of a cave up there.”

“Maybe this thing is a close relative of Bigfoot,” Kayla said.

“We would like to enter the cave and explore it, but we are not cave explores,” Bob said. “Safety first, we learned a long time ago.”

“Tell you what, I got a couple of coal miner friends. I’m sure they could do it,” Carl said.

“Thank you—you see, we are also missing things: critter cameras, and two flash lights, and my vest and . . . .
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Borehole

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Borehole

“So, Captain Meyers, could you briefly summarize what happened a year ago that led to the second mission your team is a part of now? - Just to refresh the memories of our NPR listeners.”

“Sure. In February of 2021 we sent a camera through borehole which we had drilled through the icecap here in Antartica.”

“And what were you planning to find by using this borehole?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Yes, nothing. We believed the camera would drop down until it hit mud, and we were hoping the camera was light enough to rest there on the muddy bottom beneath the icepack taking photos.”

“Got it. You were merely expecting mud – but tell us what happened instead.”

“The camera happened to hit a rock and, after righting itself, it took photos of the vegetation living on this rock.”

“Life, you say? Under Antartica’s icepack?”

“Yes. There were sponges and some stalk-like plants and the whole rock was covered with a micro-bacterial mat on the rock that is inexplicable.”

“And why, in the briefest terms possible, is this life so incredible?”

“Well, being under 3000 feet of ice and 1600 feet of seawater should ensure nothing could survive down there. This rock is also 160 miles from open water so there is zero light to nourish life. But there life was. How are these bottom-feeding plants getting any food? What were they eating?”

“Does your team have a hypothesis to explain it, Captain?”

“All we can come up with is ocean currents carrying nutrient-rich waste from the edge of the ice shelf. But that’s 260 miles from this rock.”

“Which is why your team came back to that same borehole?”

“Exactly. We have a remote-control camera that can send us pictures from any angle...”

“Like the Rover on Mars?”

“Our ‘Rover’ has a light that will shine straight up one thousand feet, so if anything floats by, we’ll be able to see it.”

“Excellent! We’ll leave you to it then, Captain. Best of luck to you and team, way down there on the bottom of the world. This is Kurk Prine signing out.”

Captain Meyers looked around the inside of the small station, into the eyes of his five-member team.

“Why didn’t you tell Kurk about THEM, the creatures we caught on camera swimming past?” asked Shane Tornello.

“Number one: no one would believe us. Number two: THEY might be listening. We don’t know what they’re capable of.” His voice had a nervous tone to it. “What we need to do now is take everything we have, including all the evidence we’ve collected about them, and get out of here tomorrow morning first thing.”

A woman team member in a Yale college sweatshirt leaned forward. “We don’t know how much they can hear through the ice if we broadcast anything. I imagine they’ve been listening to us since the early 1900s. We are the intruders here. They may believe we are invading their territory. Do they see humans as very distant cousins or as interlopers?”

“Sir! One of them is coming into view of the camera,” announced the team member manning a monitor. All five members huddled around to see the new images. A white bulbous figure, between ten and fifteen feet in length, hovered in the frigid water by the camera. Huge black eyes and a slit for the mouth were highlighted on the massive head. As it swam past, the team could see two short legs that ended in flat appendages, more like thick flippers than feet.

“I wonder if they can walk on the ice?” asked the woman. “Maybe that’s why they have legs instead of a tail. Why didn’t we hear about them before?”

“I’ve heard mariner tales about them. Early sailors called them the Ningen. Some ships that sailed these southern-most seas reported creatures 30-feet long that were comfortable in the water or on the ice.”

Suddenly ten finger-like appendages reached out and grabbed the camera, rolling it over in the creature’s elongated bony hands. The black eyes narrowed while focusing on the small machine. The creature ripped the camera free from its lead line and dragged it through the water. Up, up, up to a city of light that glowed below the iceshelf. The creature broke the surface of the water, placing the camera on a cube of ice, one of a multitude of cubes. Thousands of bulbous creatures could be seen lounging on the cubes.

“They must live in air pockets under the ice itself. No wonder they’re able to travel easily in the water or on the ice.”

“Now we know where they live and where the waste-food for those plants on that rock was coming from. But they also know that we see them,” reasoned the Captain.

The woman scientist in the sweatshirt, Abby, was the first to say what they were all thinking: “Maybe we should leave now, immediately, only taking what we need to get back to base, and the video of course.”

“How many in agreement?” asked the radio technician.

But before anyone could raise their hand, the scraping sound of metal being thrown around exploded outside. They raced to the windows to see half-a-dozen Ningens surrounding the station. In the tallest creature’s bony fingers was held a clear stick of ice that was growing brighter by the moment. He pointed it towards a snowmobile and a beam of light shot out, pushing the transport down a ravine, end over end.

“Corporal, send out a general Mayday,” order the Captain. “Even if the Ningens hear it, we’re going to need help. And Randolph, break out the rifles. We’ll hold them off as long as we can, even if we are up against lasers.”

The captain knew help wouldn’t come soon. They were weeks away from basecamp with five hours flight time beyond that to get to headquarters. Captain Meyers wondered what the rescuers would find when they finally got here.
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Corner of the Eye

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Corner of the Eye

It was another strange night. A night like so many other recent nights which could be labeled, strange, for the person known as, Bob.

“Bob, you’re a strange duck. Why are you pouring laundry soap into the coffee pot?” Not a strange question coming from Bob’s coworker, Phil. Afterall, it was definitely odd to see a grown man pour liquid laundry soap into the companies coffee pot.

“Whaaa? Oh, I’m sorry.” It appeared Bob was a bit confused. Both at the question from Phil, and also, for the fact he was standing next to the coffee pot holding a jug of laundry soap. “I don’t understand why I even have this soap. My wife does my laundry for me. I don’t even know how to operate a washing machine.”

“You are one strange dude, that’s for sure.” Phil said this while trying to exit the breakroom as fast as possible. Phil also made a mental note to himself to stay away from drinking any coffee from that pot from now on.

Bob had been having very strange and disturbing c
razy dreams for weeks now. He went to bed tired and he woke up refreshed but he had recently been having some bizarre incidents of doing things he did not remember planning of let alone, doing.

Just a few days ago, he was driving to work and then suddenly found himself waking up in a rental rowboat down at the city park. His car was towed from an intersection where he had apparently abandoned it.

Coming into the room was Cellia, the personal secretary of the boss. She said,“Bob, the boss wants to see you.” Cellia was new to the company and actually found Bob to be boring, if not a bit nerdy. It was shaping up to be another strange day at work, that’s for sure.

Bob walked the short distance to the office of the owner/boss. The company was small by industry standards. A small building that housed around fifty employees, all of whom dealt with being a financing service.

Knocking on the door, there came from behind the door the sound of Bob’s boss, “Come in.”

Entering the office, Bob said, “I understand you want to see me?”

“Yes Bob. Come in, come. Have a seat right there,” more of a command than a question. Bob quickly took a seat in front of the desk. He was fidgeting a bit and wondering what was going to happen. It did not take long for the boss to get right to the point.

“Bob. You’re not feeling well.” Again, more of a command than a question. “Have you accepted yet?”

Baffled a bit by the question, Bob replied, “Have I accepted, what?”

Smiling, the boss said, “Oh come on now, we both know now, don’t we?"

“No. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

With a bit of agitation now creeping into the voice of the boss, he said, “Bob, I don’t have time for this nonsense. You know full well you asked for a deal. So. Are you going to accept the deal or not?”

“Deal? I don’t remember any…” And then it hit Bob. He remembered the deal. He remembered the day of the accident where he lost his wife and son in a car wreck. He remembered how he lay dying on an ambulance gurney and as his torn body was beginning to shut down, the red strobe lights from the emergency vehicles lit up the darkness. Bob saw his reflection in a piece of shattered mirror. He remembered thinking, help me. I need help.

“Starting to remember now? Good, about time. So, are your ready to sign the deal now?” There definitely was a sneer on the face of the boss.

It all flooded back into Bob’s mind now. The accident. The thoughts. The reflection in the mirror. He now remembered the deal just as he remembered who the ‘Boss’ really was.

The deal being discussed was to have a longer life. One filled with the good thing’s life had to offer. Money. Security. Sex. Food. The whole deal costing nothing more than his soul. And the Boss sitting across the desk filing his fingernails with a file and a smirk on his face was the Devil itself.

Such a simple deal. Just sign on the line and his life would be good. However, Bob shivered at the thought and told his boss, “No thanks. I don’t want the deal. You can go straight to Hell.”

“WHAT! You don’t want the deal? Why you ungrateful human. I wasted my time on you for what? Nothing? No Bob, it is you that can go to Hell…”

Bob lay on the gurney bleeding. He saw his reflection in the shattered mirror. Nearby, his wife and son were torn pieces of flesh. Soon all three would be together in death and the world would only remember that one day a very bad accident at the intersection of 1st and Main occurred and three lives were lost. They would never know what Bob had experienced out of the corner of his eye.
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The Cryptid Hunter

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The Cryptid Hunter

Lowan, a dark-haired man about 36 years old, with his rifle in hand, was silently walking through the woods, looking for his prey, with all his senses focused on the possible target.

Located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Interstate 49 in Arkansas, stood the small city of Fouke. The town had never received widespread attention, except for briefly in the early 1970s, and then in 2008, again. Lowan wondered if history wasn’t repeating itself.

There had been some sightings in that area, which was why he had been sent here. He knew he was the right person for this duty, well-experienced and very skilled. A former marine, later a well-paid contractor abroad, he had decided to follow another road. The man was tired of endangering his life in countries no one cared about. It was much better to live within the boundaries of his native country and eke out a comfortable living. However, this didn’t mean his present activity was easy, or not dangerous, at least in part.

As he remembered, the city of Fouke was said to have been the place where the so-called Fouke Monster had been first spotted by the locals long ago, and it had caused quite a few problems at that time. Initial sightings of the creature had occurred in the Jonesville area, where it was blamed for killing the local wildlife. Back then, it was also accused of attacking a local family.

But things had been solved at that time and even later, in 2008, when new sightings were reported several hundred miles to the northeast of Fouke itself.

Now something similar had to be dealt with.

As the tall man kept slowly trudging around, he eventually saw it, not far from a line of old curved trees. The creature looked like a small bear, covered in long dark hair. But that wasn’t a bear! Lowan estimated the creature was about six feet tall with a weight of 200 pounds. The unusual monster was scratching at flowers in the ground and digging-up the terrain in the open.

This was a disaster.

The man raised his weapon, ready to aim at it from a distance, but a voice reached his ears suddenly, before he could shoot.

“NNNo, ssstop! Donnn’t do it, humannn!”

Lowan turned his head towards where the misspelled words had come from and spotted an even larger Fouke Monster. This one was taller, weighing almost 300 pounds, and the long dark hair that covered his body was graying over some parts of its muscular build.

“I warned you! Your kind has been told not to walk in the open after morning comes, or I would be forced to do something. This is what you agreed to with our government,” the man retorted, angrily. “If you show your figure publicly, this might subvert the common view of things, the human view of reality… Mankind doesn’t believe in Cryptids like you, and people don’t want to accept your existence. Humans prefer a simple life without troubles caused by fabled beings no one believes in.”

The other didn’t say anything, looking down briefly.

“So, if you come into the open, scaring young people in a park because of your unexpected presence, I can’t just let it go. I have a job to do. And here I am, to stop you now,” Lowan added. “This means you, and your child.”

“But he’sss ssso younnng!” the aged Cryptid objected pointing at the smaller one. “He ssstill hasss much to learnnn, and I’ll make sssure thisss will nnnever happen againnn, pleassse…”

Lowan froze for a few brief moments, considering the situation. As he looked at those small eyes and the furry young face of the cryptid child, he remembered how unruly he, too, had been when he was a youngster. He was always refusing to follow his parents’ orders, and continuously ran away from home if he was forced to do things he didn’t like.

“Alright,” the man uttered. “I will let it pass just this once. But I won’t accept any more slipups. Your kind is never to appear in the open before night comes, because this is what we agreed to. And this is what you must do! In the interest of humans and cryptids living together in the same area, though separately from each other.”

The furry youngster ran to his parent, and shamefacedly stared at the human who soon turned his eyes towards the path leading outside the woods, and then walked away.

When the parent looked down at his child, his words were hard but also understanding. “What have I told you over annnd over? Nnnever go innnto the openn onnnce nnnight isss over, and nnnever be ssspotted by younnng humannnsss.”

“Uhm, but it wasss a dark day, with annn overcassst sssky. There wasss nnnobody arounnnd, I thought nnnobody would sssee me,” the smaller cryptid said in a sorry tone.

“You sssee, ssson, the humannnsss call usss Cryptidsss and donnn’t wannnt to sssee usss. They like to continnnue thinnnking we are nnnot real. They are afraid if they ssspot usss, asss we ssshouldn’t be a part of their world, in their view. But for usss, it’sss him, that mannn who hunnntsss uss that isss a Cryptid, a rare thinnng, asss humannnsss are typically ssscared to death of usss. But that one isss differennnt, annd dannngerousss! You mussst be wary, annnd nnnever do what I tell you nnnot to do! You mussst promissse you’ll nnnever try thisss againnn, nnnot at thisss hour, nnnot here and essspecially nnnot nnnear the city!”

“Okay, Father,” the young cryptid nodded, a bit disappointed, but also aware of the fact he had put his life in serious danger and disappointed his wise parent.

Then he came back to the thick undergrowth and played all day, hidden by the shrubs and small trees, until night fell. Afterwards, freedom came once again for their kind, eventually…
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Re: Cryptid Challenge

Post by ente per ente »

I voted today... :D
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Re: Cryptid Challenge

Post by Megawatts »

Got my vote in. One I really like!
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Re: Cryptid Challenge

Post by Wormtongue »

Test. test.
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