Creature of Unknown Origin


like a world away now, but at least I’d remembered my distaste for the color orange, or else Delia

would’ve had me wear this awful burned amber windbreaker. She said the color brought out the

warmth in my eyes. She might’ve been right, but it didn’t change the fact that orange was a horrible


I’d remembered little things like that, but I couldn’t remember anything else, only vague

feelings, like how comforting being surrounded by a seemingly endless forest was to me or the

breathless awe of gazing up at the night sky or my apparent hatred of the color orange, but things

like my real name, the life I’d lived before the ‘bad people’, was still a mystery.

Without a care for direction, I wandered down the path I knew better than myself. Not for

the first time, I wondered what the significance of the creature was.

It wasn’t only a monster of my nightmares, I was certain of that, but nothing I could find

in books or movies or online matched the depiction of my subconscious’ beast. And after one too

many episodes of those monster shows where the investigators try to prove the existence of things

like Big Foot or the big black dog of death, Spencer banned us from watching them. Turns out

researching monsters only led to more nightmares, but at least they’d been better nightmares.

Maybe if I asked him again how everything happened, how he found me, what the ‘bad

people’ wanted, I could figure out my nightmares.

Or… maybe, just maybe, the answers to most, if not all , of my problems were in that file

Spencer never mentions.

I couldn’ t remember the reason why, but I hated file folders like that one, and the secrecy

they seemed to be surrounded by. Perhaps my disdain for them was because of the stark black ink,

notes scribbled in the margins, scrawled handwriting that judged and damned and…

My breath quickened as my pace faltered to a stop. Focused on the blue ink I didn’t know

I’d read a lifetime ago, my eyes screwed shut to better see the memory that had surfaced. Words

like ‘subject’, ‘creature’, ‘natural’, floated in my blurry mind’s eye, all in the same blue ink of a

pen someone would click and click and click . When they were done, their papers would rustle, and

they’d click the pen a final time as the cover of the manila folder flipped closed, locking away the

file’s secrets.

I didn ’t know if my eyes burst open first or if my body lurched into a sprint back the way

I had come before the world blurred around me. All I knew was the hair that stood on end, the

goosebumps that danced on my skin, and the itch I had to scratch. Every step was met with the

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