[Original Novel] The Black Pool, Part 4


Previous parts: 1 2 3

Just a bunch of dour, humorless spoilsports in their view, whose input on any matter of emotional importance is never welcome. “Experts” are another story. That’s any white or Asian man in nice clothes who argues in favor of their own ill formed opinions, with a command of the English language far enough in advance of their own that he sounds intelligent and credible, but not so much that he comes off as snooty.

These buffoons regularly appear in so-called documentaries about the existence of mermaids, the alien origins of Bigfoot and so on with “Expert” under their names at the bottom of the screen. It’s these “experts” the locals are referring to when they use the ambiguous “they”.

As in or . Which it turns out was the poor fellow’s interpretation of The Last Dragon, an openly fictitious mockumentary which speculates about how the anatomy of dragons might work if they existed.

Doesn’t matter. He saw it, it sounded serious and authoritative, so in his mind he’s got a rock solid basis for making such a claim. There’s no use arguing. He’s got that vague but convincing memory to latch onto.

Even if you take out your phone and show him the exact program he’s talking about to demonstrate for him that it was never meant to be taken as fact, he’d shrug and say something like “close enough”. As if it was a reasonable mistake anybody could’ve made, and you’re the asshole for taking it seriously enough to settle the matter.

It’s maddening and never, ever worth the hassle. When you wrestle with a pig, you both get filthy, but the pig enjoys it. I learned that the hard way when I took a night class on programming.

A well built fellow in a pink polo shirt with a popped collar was impressing the anorexic blonde with the disproportionately huge bust seated next to him by explaining that time is the fourth dimension.

Not realizing the tar baby I was about to become entangled with, I muttered that time isn’t objectively the fourth dimension (since it isn’t as though they have numbers carved into them) and that there exist spatial dimensions in excess of the three familiar to us as well, one of which could be accurately called the fourth.

He “corrected” me, citing a Michio Kaku television special he watched the night before. Didn’t matter that we could both be right. That duration can indeed be added to length, width and height as one of the metrics used to describe a solid that spatial dimensions exist in excess of the three familiar to human experience.

What mattered is that he saw something on TV which sounded credible, so he felt certain that the irritating nerd contradicting his recollection of it couldn’t possibly know better. I drew a tesseract for him. To his credit he recognized it. Most people recognize a tesseract even if they don’t know the term for it.

He scoffed but didn’t explain why. Of course I don’t, but this particular topic was one I happened to know something about.

His posturing further impressed the tits on a stick whose narrow white ass he’d been blowing smoke up before I made the mistake of involving myself.

Maybe I really am the fool. He was presumably balls deep in her a few hours later, while I pulled another all-nighter playing MOBAs and narrowing search results for random internet retards. If you judge a method by the results it produces, impressive sounding horseshit outperforms factual accuracy every time.

The women I did occasionally capture the interest of seemed mainly attracted to the novelty of dating somebody who could string together a coherent sentence without straining himself. I’ve got opposable thumbs, an even number of toes and all my original teeth, apparently rare and enticing qualities around these parts.

A few tugged at my heart. Tempted me to engage, to become entangled. Really sweet, bright, worthwhile girls who had the misfortune of meeting me. Of being fooled by the human shaped outer shell, mistakenly imagining there was still anything of substance left inside.

Even then, they could tell what I was turning into. I don’t blame them for leaving. If I had any scruples I would’ve warned them off myself when we met, but I didn’t. Nothing that I once liked about myself remains. It all burnt to the ground the day I received that phone call while unpacking.

When my blood alcohol level rose to the point where I could no longer silently endure the braying and bleating of barnyard animals carrying on behind me, I stumbled out through the double doors in a blinkered stupor. Is the sun always this painfully bright?

The debilitating level of intoxication made the heat and humidity surprisingly bearable. I was soon drenched with sweat but only noticed when my hand became too slippery to hold onto the bottle. Wait, I paid for the whole bottle? Shit, I’d better finish it then.

Drank too much? Drink more, that’ll fix it. Booze logic at work. I can’t say exactly how I got there, but after a long unintelligible smear of blurry scenery, I realized I was back in the field. I really ought to wear a GPS collar when I drink, so that after I sober up I can have Google Maps show me the route I took. Something like those Billy focused Family Circus comics with the dotted line all the fuck over the yard.

I concluded it was an ideal place to pass out, and was in the process of laying down when I spotted the unmarked van pulling into the parking lot at the far side of the field. I pressed down as flat as I could, but continued watching with rapt interest.

Someone must own this field after all. I worried about how they might react to finding me here, drunk and disheveled. Not for long though. Curiosity quickly supplanted fear as I watched a quartet of men in black suits, white rubber gloves and sunglasses emerge from the vehicle.

Even if I were sober, they were far enough away that I couldn’t make out what they were doing in any real detail. Whiskey goggles only added to the difficulty. What is that, I thought. What the fuck is it?

Some kind of carrion. A dead animal, about the size of a man. Too many legs though! Too many for a bear, or a deer, or anything I know about. Jet black all over. Long spindly legs dragging behind as they heaved it into a body bag, zipped it up, then loaded it into the back of the van.

Fuck me. I studied the label on the bottle but could find nothing to blame for what I’d just seen. When I looked up, one of the agents seemed to stare directly at me. I froze. He turned a few degrees. Then a few more, surveying the field for any witnesses.

Despite my drunken incompetence, just by laying flat in the tall grass, I managed to evade notice. Once fully satisfied that there were no witnesses, all four men piled into the van and drove off. Why during broad daylight? Even in such a state, that seemed odd to me.

Unless they didn’t want to risk anybody finding whatever the fuck it was that they bagged up and made off with. Didn’t want to leave it rotting out here even a second longer than necessary, heading out to retrieve it the moment somebody called it in.

Cops? No, no. FBI? Maybe. Spooks of some kind. I don’t know enough about the agencies which handle hush hush, cloak and dagger type shit to venture a guess at who employs those men. Just that they weren’t the sort of fellows I should introduce myself to.

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