Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Featured Creature: The Thing in the Cave

"I hung my lantern from a nearby support strut and set about to examine the strange opening.  It was emerging from the cave floor at an odd angle, as though it had been grown there.  It was soft and warm to the touch, but had a solid structure that seemed like plastic.  The horned protuberances were covered with small fine hairs that stung my fingers when I touched them, much like a cactus.  The entire structure dripped with the humidity of the cave.  I wiped the sweat from my brow to see more clearly.  I'd looked all about the cave but still could not locate the source of all the steam. 

There was a noise from below.  A hissing screech somewhere between the squealing brakes of a semi and the high pitched call of a parakeet.  I covered my ears and turned away from the trash can sized opening just as it pulsed and spewed a splash of liquid and debris.  I gagged.  It smelled to be on the nicer side of vomit.  Suddenly there was a rushing sucking noise from the hole and then something began extending itself.  I backed away.  Arms and teeth appeared first, followed by more arms.  It unfolded as it extended itself, arms stretching out like archers drawing their bows taut.  It kept emerging from the hole forcing more of the bilge up and onto the cave floor.  I backed up against the other wall.  It turned and looked directly at me and roared once again.  My teeth rattled and the back of my throat closed up.  I ran."

{Sharpie and Uni-ball Vision Elite Pen with tones added in Adobe Photoshop}


Vincent said...

Love the whimsical, organic, ALIEN-esque construction of this guy and the atmosphere in the story adds a lot to the whole experience. The creepiest things always happen in caves, don't they?

Jesse W. Campbell said...

Thanks! I was looking over the Featured Creatures and realized that I hadn't drawn anything mutated at that point. Nothing says mutated quite like too many oddly placed arms. The fiction was kind of spontaneous, inspired by wondering what kind of sound this thing would make. I'm still not completely satisfied with the description, but it is very close to what is in my head.

I disagreed with whimsical initially, but after looking at him a bit, he does kind of look like he's doing a jazz hands dance. He just needs a hat and cane like the alien from Spaceballs and a spotlight. :-) hmmmm...

...and yes on the creepiness of caves. They're really just basements without houses. eep.