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The Creature

November 12, 2008

Friday morning, rush hour traffic and suddenly from within the tight curl of the I-94 cloverleaf there arose something first manifest through scent (like blood and apricots) then color (olive green with russet edges). Of course it was more beautiful and loathsome than us. Stupid in ways we don’t allow ourselves to be stupid, brilliant in ways that escape us. But I only learned this later, after the scooping up and dumping onto, after the lair visit and deep conversation, after my betrayal, after the show. At that moment all I knew was relief that something so big had happened without anyone stopping it. When people ask me what I remember most, I tell them about the nature of its skin: moist yet healthy, covered with scales that seemed to imply imperviousness yet failed in the end, as we all know. And I mention the tenderness because that’s part of the last promise I made myself, even as I pointed the chopper towards its home. I am not speaking of the creature’s tenderness, for that is well documented. I mean my own, the way my time with him softened the concrete house of my heart.

by Alice George

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  1. November 12, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I love this story! Brilliant as much for what it doesn’t say as for what it does. Great construction of the conceit.

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