Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Item: San Pia, CA., 2003

Jersey wrote it all down, later. How we tripped down to the beach the night after the storm. All the way down from his uncle's place on the ridge we stumbled and jumped through and over uprooted tress and all manner of wind tossed debris. The morning air was crisp and clear, almost buoyant, as if the mad squalls that had ripped through the night before had scoured the atmosphere free of any impurities. The sun, shining so brightly upon the storm wrecked beach, only increased the unreal quality of the scene. Especially at the waters edge where we found the carcass.

"Oh my god," breathed Jersey, almost as if he was praying before the huge black mass.

"What is it?" I asked, hoping he might have seen something similar on the east coast.

"A whale?" he offered.

I had seen a beached whale once, a humpback, not dead (as this thing seemed to be) but nearly so when I saw the poor creature. This looked nothing like that animal. Nothing at all. "I don't think so," I said.

Curiosity tempered by caution (for we were not sure the thing was dead) we approached the massive shape.

"You didn't bring a tape measure, did you?" Jersey asked, stopping about a foot from the end of the inert form furthest from the water, surveying the thing's length and breadth.

"No." I answered, thinking that never before could I have imagined wanting a tape measure so badly. The thing, from my vantage point a foot or two behind Jersey, was easily twenty feet in length and half again as wide.The extremity opposite ourselves lay huge and heavy in the gently lapping waves of low tide, while the main bulk stretched in a line vaguely horizontal to the rippling shore and pointing south-east. Judging from it's size and apparent density, we agreed the thing's weight must be measured in multiple tons. The first impression of the animal was one of immensity.

The second was strangeness overwhelming as the sheer size of the thing resolved itself suddenly into a discernible shape before my eyes. A disturbing shape. An impossible shape. A human shape. Almost. If anything human could present such a monstrous picture.

Imagine, if you can, a man (or something like a man) of the great dimensions just described, with smooth black skin shining like leather in the morning sun and cast upon the beach face first - head twisted and buried in sand; huge, webbed feet just dipping monstrous claws in The Pacific. The arms, twisted perhaps beneath the huge body, are not readily visible. But what is that separate black mass near the sand covered face?

Jersey, nearer to the thing than me, used a conveniently long branch of driftwood to prod the smaller (3-6 feet in length), leathery mass poking from the sand near the head.

"What is it?" I asked, knowing even as I spoke (as if this had happened before) what Jersey would reply.

"Tentacles. . ." he said, wonder and disgust trembling in his voice. "They seem to be connected to the head." He moved forward, scrambling to paw the sand from the enormous hidden face.

"Wait!" I called out.

Jersey paused and turned to me. "Let's do this right," I said. "Help me bring some shovels and that tape measure down from your uncle's house." I was grasping, I knew, because I was afraid to go any nearer that thing, was afraid I'd come too close already, but Jersey bought it. I wondered later if he'd been at least half-scared already or if I'd spooked him. In any case, we ran back up to his uncle's place on the ridge where we encountered a different sort of drama and another story.

When we made it back down to the beach the next morning, the thing was gone. Had it been washed back out to sea? Or did it swim?

Transcribed by Richard Cody, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Item: Southern Appalachian Mountains, 1947

“Come on home,” said the little man. “We ain’t got nothin’ but love for you.”

The green blob discharged a pale, viscous substance from the topmost portion of its current elongated oval form and regarded the little man, deciding it was time to eat.

“AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” said the little man.

Transcribed by Richard Cody, 2005