Dreamed 1985/9/5 by Chris Wayan
Monsters from another dimension attack Earth, hunting for a treasure: half-cylinders of a silky, tough, rutilated semi-precious stone. It looks a bit like Tiger's Eye. But they don't look in mines or jewelry stores or even lapidary shops. They impersonate Federal agents and invade the office of a political campaign! They seem to expect to find Tiger's Eye there.
Look, it makes more sense than most of our trans-dimensional monster invasions.
One of the monsters calls in sick. I'm a doctor, so I get to be the first human to examine one of these people. He shambles into my office, looking like a sad old turtle fired from his job as a door-to-door salesman. Gray, tired, discouraged. The alien lies on his back on the foam-rubber floor of my office and complains "I got a rash behind my armpits near the shoulderblades"--not that I see any shoulderblades. I don't listen very well, I'm afraid: fresh out of med school, I'm trying to recall what they said about Turtle Rash. He's definitely part turtle--short, round, with a shell, and flipper-claws, and a bald leather head with an angry, jutting, snapping jaw.
He tells me. The other form's the problem. It keeps coming forth unwanted, like a werewolf at full moon. "I get itchy, and then four heads come out, plesiosaur heads, and... and I EAT PEOPLE!" He says it with a nasty bravado, but his voice sounds fake--like he's compelled, guilty, and out of control, but would rather tell himself he's wicked and powerful.
I tell him "Lie on your stomach on the foam pad and turn into the other form you fear so." Despite myself, I can't believe it when HE STARTS SPROUTING HEADS. They strike at me, but only half-heartedly yet--and half-sized too, AND only half here--glassy and thin. "NOW do you believe me?" snaps the patient, as his other heads snap at me in a toothier way...
I drag the growing plesiosaur into my office and lock him in. Shall I call the cops? The AMA? The SPCA? But while I'm dialing, the office door opens behind me, and I turn to see the tall slender form of my secretary slipping in after some record... I hear a shriek, then crashing.
I rush to the door. The four-headed plesiosaur is holding her off the floor, in one mouth. It grins and waves her at me, like a dog worrying a rag doll. It's not eating her. It's FLAUNTING her!
"So that's what Plesiosaurs live on!" I think. "Emotional blackmail."
Miriel calls in sick--like the plesiosaur. Down with a virus. The stress got to be too much--bit her and suspended her... blackmail! Or maybe it'd be fairer to describe it as a strike--by her body, demanding better working conditions.
Trapped in its jaws, she surrendered. Soon after, she quit that job. And got healthier, and less... snappish.
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