They came out of the shadows, looking like dark red-haired gorillas. I tried to get to my feet in a hurry, but fell once or twice. I had to get in front of the Sharkwoman. I had to protect her. So what if these were gorillas. I had seen worse. But as the gorillas approached, they suddenly rose up and I realized that they were not just ordinary gorillas. Because they did just rise up a few inches, as if they were just straightening their back, but instead they rose by dozens of feet, nearly hitting their heads on the ceiling. That was when I noticed that their bottom half was like that of a centipede.
One of the gorillapedes dove at me and I tried to dodge, but wound up collapsing to the ground. It circled around me. Its legs forming a perimeter around me. The gorillapede continued to spin around me and the legs got closer and tighter around me until they were wrapped around me. I tried to struggle, but it just tightened its grip, squeezing away my breath. The creature turned its body to growl in my face.
One of the other gorillapedes moved toward the Sharkwoman. I tried to scream at it to stop, but I had no breath left. The gorillapede curled around the Sharkwoman cautiously, but when she remained unmoving the creature grabbed her. But they didn’t kill us there. Instead they carried us away, me, the Sharkwoman, and even the dead cabbage monster.
They carried us to their village where dozens of gorillapedes came out to watch us being brought in. I was thrown into a cage, but the Sharkwoman was dropped onto the ground and the cabbage monster was carried away. What were they going to do to the cabbage monster and worse what were they going to do to us? I worried for the Sharkwoman, but I worried more for myself. As hurt as she was, maybe if she woke up, she could do something. I was trapped in this cage and try as I might there was nothing I could do to get out. No matter how much I shook the bars them, they wouldn’t budge.
Sadly, it seemed they wouldn’t give me the chance to free myself because two of them were already coming our way. I was terrified of what they might do to us until I noticed the chains they were pulling. I followed the chains with my eyes to the monster being pulled behind them. I did not like this creature, the one a city full of half gorilla/half centipede monsters felt the need to chain. It gave me shivers. The creature was tall, perhaps seven feet, and surprisingly slim. It was covered in white fur and had enormous hands and feet. It had fangs and claws, but what scared me the most was the blackness that clung to it like a second skin, like it was some sort of specter, like it was some sort of abomination that was caught between this world and the next. That felt like a strange thing to think. I was a man of science (and sometimes, like now, a woman of science), but I had seen strange sights in this world, ghosts didn’t seem such a stretch anymore.
The gorillapedes led the ghostly creature to the Sharkwoman, dragging it to where she lay unconscious on the ground. I yelled at them to stay away from her! I banged the bars of my cage and tugged at them to try to rip them out, but they wouldn’t budge and no one seemed to care. The gorillapedes ignored me and the specter seemed oblivious to me. It was staring down at the Sharkwoman. As if in a trance, it slowly bent over her. The creature opened its mouth wide and a ghostly substance began to rise from the Sharkwoman, as if it were eating her very soul!
She shook as the spectral essence rose from her into the creature’s mouth and when it was done the Sharkwoman collapsed as if lifeless. The ghostly monster, the soul sucker, roared grimly. When it glared at me, its face was even more hidden in darkness and shadow. It was now more ghost than form. But there was something else in its eyes, as the gorillapedes pulled it away. Something I did not expect to see. Was it possible? Could it really have been… sadness?
I knelt to look at the Sharkwoman. I couldn’t tell if she were alive or dead, but she wasn’t moving. I tried to rouse her, but it was no use. I was surprised however to see her wounds were no longer black, nor was her blood. What had that creature done to her really?
But before I could examine her further, the gorillapedes came to take her away. “Get off of her!” I yelled. One of them roared at me and hit the cage with its hand. I jumped back. There was nothing I could do to stop them. I was trapped.
to be continued…