The Spotted Beast: Chapter 1, A High Value Target continued (2)

Michael H. Varhola

“I have no legs,” I said to the apparitions, my mind numb with the shock. “How can I help you if I have no legs?”

They ignored me, and continued as if I had not spoken. Were they really here? I wondered, or was I hallucinating?

“You are Tsawenhohi. You see what is. Our dreams say you can also see what will be. We are your people, the People of the Island. We need you. You must save us from the Snakes - but it is too late for that now. We are already destroyed. You must go back farther. You must go back to the beginning. You must save us from Echon — Echon who brought the Spotted Beast and so many other ills. He made the People afraid and turned them against each other. That is what broke us down. The Snakes could not harm us when we stood as one. Save us from Echon and the black strangers. Our dreams say you can do this."

"Then we will destroy the Snakes,” he added quietly - and I could sense the emotion that underlay the determination in his voice.

The man's eyes gleamed with an intensity that verged on of madness. And when he spoke of the Snakes, there was fear, but there was something else as well. There was a deep and abiding hatred. 

It was so all real, the smell, the voices, the appearance. It had texture. It was solid. If this were a drug-induced hallucination, it surely was a doozy. I could talk to the nurses about backing off a bit on the morphine, but strangely I was not convinced that was the answer.

And they were still here, talking, entreating. They were so like my father — rattling on, and always expecting more than I could really deliver.  Save the People? I couldn’t even save lieutenant. And I didn’t have any legs.

I closed my eyes. “Who were the People?”  Did I care?

I remember wishing they would just go away. But their voices seemed increasingly more insistent, almost irresistible. Now it seemed that they were drawing me into the warm, welcoming darkness — and I wasn't sure that I wanted to fight it. 

I just kept sinking, sinking.

* * *

Hallo!  Wer bis' du?”

Somebody was shaking me.