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BLACKMANE Chapter One

FACT: The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act (H.R. 5910) was introduced into the House of Representatives in 2008 (having been introduced into the U.S. Senate one year earlier) but never passed.

FACT: Several states, including Arizona and Louisiana, have proposed laws banning the creation or propagation of human-animal hybrids, also called chimeras.

FACT: In 2004, the United States sought to obtain a treaty from the United Nations banning all human cloning, including the creation of and/or exploitation of human-animal hybrids. No such treaty was implemented.

FACT: The impediments to the creation of such hybrid lifeforms are ethical and financial, not necessarily legal. The incredible cost involved is the primary deterrent.

FACT: The Catholic Church, among numerous religious and human rights organizations, has officially taken a stance in opposition to the creation of human-animal hybrids.

FACT: The technology necessary for the creation of such hybrids already exists.

PART ONE: APEX PREDATOR

ONE

The voice in the darkness spoke, promising death. And, before death, suffering.

“She has taken to her training rather well,” the voice said. “It’s remarkable.”

Blind, but his other senses alive. More than alive. He could hear his own heartbeat, and the heartbeat of the man in the darkness with him. The hissing of the air through the pipes and vents, rattling one of the grates.

And of course he could hear the monster.

Shuffling back and forth, claws going click-click-click on the floor. Snorting and growling, impatient. Impatient for the kill.

The floor felt cold beneath him, the air chilly. The monster liked it cold, he knew. His groin and thighs were wet where he had urinated on himself. Hot and wet, like his tears. He did not want to die. Not now. Not like this.

“Her natural instinct is to rip you to pieces,” the voice said. “But note how she has learned restraint at my command.”

He rolled over, trying to get up, trying not to listen to the voice in the darkness. He had to think now. Think! Nothing else would save him. But perhaps if he could just use reason. If he just had a minute or two to concentrate.

The room smelled. Stank. Like an animal’s den. Many animals, all closed up in a tight space. Of course there were no other animals. Just the monster. And the basement wasn’t cramped; rather it was quite spacious. It was just that the monster was so big.

The monster snarled, a few feet away. The noise made him cry out, a pathetic yelp, and sent another spray of hot urine down his inner thigh. The monster growled, frustrated, thirsty for blood. It could see him in the darkness, smell him. And it wanted to kill.

On his knees now, he found breath enough to speak. To beg.

“Please!” he huffed. “Do not do this!”

The answer came after a tortuous wait.

“I have done nothing,” the voice in the darkness said. “It is you who has brought this upon yourself, Father.”

He shook his head, a useless gesture, but necessary. This being in the room with him now was not his son. It called itself by his son’s name, but it was not him. It was a mockery of the man his son had been.

“What price should a man pay,” the voice said, “for betraying his own family?”

“It was your mother who betrayed me!” he managed, and the sharpness in his voice brought another snarl from the monster. “Everything I worked for she corrupted! What she did to you, you are as much an abomination as that-that thing!”

The monster hissed. The voice in the darkness chuckled. “Oh, Father,” it said.

“No! You are not my son! Not my Amman!”

The monster paced, raking its claws along the concrete floor.

“You were dead!” he spat. “She should have left you dead!”

“‘I am become death,'” the voice said, “‘the destroyer of worlds.'” He laughed. “Do you remember how you used to read to me from the Bhagavad-Gita, Father?”

Footsteps. The thing that was not his son anymore and spoke with a voice that was not his son’s voice walked across the room.

“I am leaving now, Father,” the voice said. “Time to let Daisy have her fun.”

“No!” he sobbed. “Please!”

“If it is any consolation, Father,” the voice said, “I expect it will be quick, if not painless.”

The click of a switch. An electrical chirp, a buzzing sound, steel grating against concrete as the door from the basement slid open. Light spilled in.

It had been better not to see.

“Goodbye, Father,” the thing that was not his son said.

But the man could not speak. He could only stare in mute, exquisite horror at the monstrosity that pawed at the floor, licking its slavering jowls, great black eyes darting from its prey to its master and back, awaiting the command. Waiting for permission to feed.

“Daisy, kill! Kill!”

The monster moved so fast for its size. It seized him in its jaws and began to shake him like a terrier with a rat. At first he felt no pain. He managed one word: “Amman!”

Then pain. The word became a scream. Blood, spewing up from inside him, choking him. No more screams then. Just pain. Then darkness, again. Only darkness.

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763

MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

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