I LISTEN to the forest. I am the forest.
I look at the birds and I listen to them. When I copy the speech of the birds, they listen to me. Sometimes together we talk.
I can feel the river before I hear the river sing. I smell it. I feel my she there, too, and smell her before I see her. She has found something in the river.
It is one of the black rings. She lifts it dripping over the river, and we see that it is torn. The blood of the black rings is a kind of thorn. We have seen that the black rings are the feet of the shells that move. We leave the black ring in the river. There is nothing else to do. I tell her we must go.
Downriver, below tall trees, quietly we feed. But I am wary of the creatures I have seen in the shells that move. What are they? The creatures are the size of children. Most of them pale, sickly, strangely lacking hair. They look and smell strangely wrong. Every time they near, we want to be as far away from them as possible. Always, though, they find us.
The creatures seek us in the forest. They seek us in the mountains and the caves. Always we move deeper, yet always they find us. Sometimes we turn and tell them to go. Then they run in fear. And so we move deeper. Yet always they find us.
I keep my she close to me. Safe in the cave, together we sleep. Our bodies are warm together. Sometimes I watch my she sleep. Sometimes she watches me. When the light outside is gone we leave the cave and listen to the shells that move as we feed...
Well, I think I'm on the freeway now with this one. That's the first trick. What interests me with this story is the shift in consciousness that will occur when a Bigfoot captured by researchers at an Area 51-like underground base in the redwoods undergoes surgical alterations which allow it to speak with human beings and learn about the human race. I'm seeing a short story here, mostly because I don't have time to focus on anything longer than a short story anyway. I've jotted down some loose notes as a guide, but I'm always tricky in the heels, ready to follow the story wherever it goes.
-I see the creatures
-they take me away
-they perform strange operations
-I begin to speak differently
-I begin to understand things I never dreamed
-I realize they have altered me
-my she finds me
-she attacks the underground facility
-when we escape, she sees that I have changed