Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Microstory 847: Crabby

My friend runs an animal shelter; one of those places that specializes in temporary placement for exotic animals that are illegal to keep in this area. One of his veterinarians was working late one night when a gangster walked in seeking medical attention, which the vet obliged. Sadly, the people who had tried to kill him before caught up with him, and finished the job, taking the vet as collateral damage in the process. Even worse, animals were hurt at the same time, and the killers apparently stole a baby monkey from the cage of its now dead mother. Something even stranger happened as a result of this, though. The animals remaining began to exhibit extremely odd behavior, and even seemed to change on a genetic level. A snake broke out of its cage, and became hyperprotective of the capybara. Two birds lost their wings, and grew longer legs, which gave them incredible speed. And then there was a lepon crab—an incredibly rare species already, and so interesting; you know, they have human-like lips?—whose intelligence was increased enough to rival that of a teenage human. Since it was so much smarter than before, my friend knew that it was no longer ethical to deport it back to its home country. The crab seemed keen on me, though, so I agreed to give him a nice home, until he could find a job, and get his own place.

He decided to name himself Monticello, in honor of the street that the animal shelter was on. While notably a little grouchy, he became part of our family, and we treated him as our equal, but we still had to pretend he was our pet around other people, since they wouldn’t understand. We even brought him with us on our trip to the Keserint Islands, which my sister had chosen at random by literally spinning a globe and dropping her finger. Monticello was so excited to finally be back by the ocean, even though his memories of life before the incident were understandably hazy. One night, we were sitting at the hotel restaurant, when my spontaneous sister suggested we look at a Keseriti menu without English translations, then pick something at random. We agreed, anxious about what we would end up with. The waitress looked at my sister funny when she noticed Monticello sitting with us. She didn’t seem bothered by us eating next to a crab, mind you, but only when my sister ordered a native dish called baktopin. That was our first hint something was wrong. We were astonished when our food arrived, and the waitress placed a big ol’ plate of dead crab in front of my sister. We were all horrified, no one more than my sister. Of course, it was an honest mistake, but Monticello was not happy. He leapt up from his high chair, and tried to attack my sister, but I was quick enough to knock him out of the air. He turned around with rage in his eyes and said, “I will kill you. I will kill you all.” We immediately raced upstairs, hastily packed our belongings, and drove to the airport. Thinking we were finally safe, we came back home, and tried to get some sleep. I wake up the next morning to a crab on my chest, ominously snapping his claws in the air. I ask him if he’s going to kill me, but he just points to another creature, sitting in the corner of my room. I recognize it from the shelter at the creature my friend couldn’t name. They evidently found it on the street, and they don’t even know where it’s from. They think it’s a new species entirely. “The bladopod has talked me down,” Monticello says. “We need your help.”

No comments :

Post a Comment