Sam and the Creature (Part One)

Penny Fraccin opened the large bag of sweet and salty Kettle Popcorn from Trader Joe’s and plopped back on the overstuffed LA-Z-BOY. Watching “Dancing with the Stars” was her favorite thing to do on Monday nights, and since they had tossed out that horrid rapper with the two left feet, she had felt unaccountably sad. She knew she should have been content. She herself had phoned in over a hundred times to vote for that soap star she liked, trying hard as she could to make sure the rapper never set foot on that stage again. But the end result left her with no one to criticize, and that meant less fun for Penny.

A ragged scream echoed up from the basement.

“Keep it down, please dear! I can’t hear the set! Oh, bother.” Penny complained to no one in particular.

Downstairs a drugged-out Sam Hayes woke to the same sound, ear-splitting in the enclosed room. He found himself stretched out on a gurney, strapped down so that he could only move his fingers and wiggle his feet a bit. Even the top of his head was held down with an old-fashioned leather strop, like something you’d sharpen the edge of your razor with.

Sam tried to scream but there was a rubber bit stuck into his mouth and try as he might he could not spit it out. He stopped when he started gagging on his own phlegm, coughing and spluttering. A hand appeared from out of nowhere with one of those dental liquid-sucking devices and vacuumed the spit from his mouth.

“Now, if you promise not to yell or scream or act immaturely, I will take that stop-gag out of your mouth. Do we have a deal?” Dr. Fraccin smiled down on Sam, all gentleness and care. The doctor wore his de rigouer thick-lensed, Roy Orbison glasses, a stethoscope round his neck, and a white smock lab coat that Sam noticed had a corny saying on the back: “Science is a Sacred Cow”. Ha fucking Ha Ha.

“Blink one for yes. There, there, that’s a good boy.” Comforted the doc and unstrapped the leather strap holding the bit.

“Please, Dr. Fraccin,” Sam pleaded hoarsely, “this leather belt on my head is giving me a headache.”

Doc Fraccin walked around the gurney to get at the leather strap, talking all the while.

“How does your leg feel, Sam? I was worried that we might have to amputate it.”

Sam’s mouth opened in horror, but the doctor stroked his arm, “Don’t worry, it will be good as new. I was able to set the bone and pump you full of anti-biotics. Lucky for you your ribs did not fracture when you fell down the stairs. Just some bruising. It will hurt for a while when you breathe too deeply, but if you avoid any strenuous situations you should be alright.”

“Strenuous situa—oh, you mean like being tazered, flung down a giant flight of stairs, having my leg shattered, oh, and I almost forgot, being fed to a slimy toad Thing. I will certainly try and keep that advice in mind the next time I answer a bogus ad in Craigslist. You should really be more truthful in your ad, something like: Deranged Psychopathic Doctor with Frankenstein Complex seeks gullible intern willing to be devoured by grotesque creature in basement. Compensation: Life Lesson,” spat Sam.

“Very good, very good. You must have been tops in your Special Ed class. Look, Sam, you got it all wrong my boy. I wasn’t feeding you to Mr. Avery, er, the Creature as you call him. First of all, he doesn’t really eat solid food. He likes to lick things and that takes a little getting used to at first, I’ll grant you that, but you see, Mr. Avery has no teeth,” instructed the doctor.

“I don’t get it. Where am I? Back in your basemenet on Post Street? Jesus Christ! The fucking cops should be swarming all over this place by now. What the fuck?” swore Sam to himself.

“Well, first off, the police came much later, and my wife explained to them that my intern had slipped while going down the stairs and they left after a little Earl Grey and some danish butter cookies. The EMTs were too busy with real emergencies and didn’t look too hard in the corner where our friend Mr. Avery had conveniently covered himself up. They did note an odd fish smell, but that was the end of that. When you were wheeled into Emergency at California Pacific, the nearest hospital from here, as fate would have it, I was the current resident and was paged immediately,” droned the doctor, as he struggled to unfasten the leather strap holding Sam’s head down.

“Doc, you have to let me go now, please. I need to get home. My mom’s all alone, she’ll be worried sick if it gets too late. I have exams in the morning. Please,” whined Sam, almost crying now.

“Sorry Sam, no can do. But don’t worry about your mum, she’ll be just fine. I’ll make sure to send her a very generous anonymous donation in a month or two.” Chirped Fraccin.

“God damn it, get me the hell out of here!” yelled Sam.

“Now, now. You promised not to yell or make a fuss. Do you want me to put the gag back in?” he held out the rubber bit where Sam could see it. Sam shook his head, frustrated, sobbing now.

“Please control yourself. Show some dignity. It will all be over soon enough,” soothed the doctor.

“You…you promised to tell me what this is all about Doc. You promised.” Whispered Sam.

“So I did Sam, so I did,” the doctor fussed once again with the leather strap, grunting.

“Where’s the crea--- I mean, Mr. Avery?”

The harness on his head snapped as the Doctor finally yanked it free.

Sam peered down and noticed several long, flexible rubber tubes going into his arm, and some even going into his chest. He noticed that the tubes had liquid in them, blood and other liquids apparently, some a fluorescent greenish hue.

“What the---,” Sam stopped short, all the breath shot out from him as he turned his neck to the left and saw another gurney right next to his.

The Thing in the Corner, Mr. Avery, was strapped down into it, his tulip shaped head resting less than a foot from Sam’s own.

to be continued

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