When I was a little girl of 3, my everyday scenario was seeing my frail mother trying to keep me warm and alive. While my father, who was shunned from the society for his macabre experiments with wild animals, would lock himself up in his lab trying to come up with a break through; a fusion of different kinds of animals… in other words, a chimera. As my father relentlessly worked himself in his filthy lab, my mother reached a breaking point and her limbs eventually gave away due to hard work and starvation. She had to succumb to her bed, numb, sickly and on the verge of death. Her pathetic condition could, in no way, appeal to my father’s empathy… he was devoid of it entirely.
One gray day, my father limped out of his lab facing the shadows of the clouds. Looking at my bed-ridden mother, he said ‘Alice, for once, your good-for-nothing mother could finally be of some use’, then he picked up my dying mother in his bony arms and hobbled back into his lab. For nearly a week, I was left in the dark. I saw neither my mother nor my father. I fed myself with whatever leftover and stale bread there was in the food storage. I don’t know how I survived in the dark. Somehow, the image of my mother’s kind face embedded in my eidetic memory and my desire to see her again kept me alive.
As I was beginning to give in to despair, the doors of my father’s lab creaked open. Heavy fog diffused throughout the room from the opening of the doors. From within the mist emerged a lanky man… no… a creature.. with a robust torso but gangly limbs. It had webbed toes with long talons and absurdly long fingers. But the most unusual part of its body was its face. Its face had no eyes, no nose and no ears. Instead it had long dark hair behind its head and an eye on its chest, I noticed it flicker. It had a pale white complexion and wore a yellow sweater. As soon as it emerged from the smoke, it knelt before me and embraced me into a cold hug ‘Oh Alice, my dearest’, it said, baring its sharp needle like teeth.
‘Who are you? Where is mom and dad?’ I asked.
‘ I am your family now, Alice, I am almost everything you are left remaining with, I am everything you need now. Your mom rests within me, and soon shall your dad’
‘I don’t understand…’
‘Look into my heart and you will understand…’ He pointed at the flickering eyeball protruding from his chest. I saw my mother’s eye. It was as blue and vast as the sky. It was filled with kindness and love. ‘They say, that the eye is the window to the soul’ He said.
‘oh… I see… What do I call you then?’
‘You can call me whatever you like, my love’
‘I know! I will call you Mr. Fred. You know, freaky Fred from courage the cowardly dog?’
‘As you wish my dear. I will be anything you want me to be.’
For some time he stared longingly into my eyes. It’s like he could look inside me. It’s like he could see my soul with that eye on his chest. Suddenly I felt insecure and unsettled.
‘I want to see my dad’ I said.
‘And so you shall my dear’ he obliged. He picked me up in his arms and instinctively, I wrapped my arms around his neck and rested my head on his shoulder as he carried me towards the lab.
After such a long time… I felt loved.
Main Antagonistic character based on Valtteri Viitala’s(Mr. Roger) art: His ‘Pet’
Constructive feedback/ criticism will be highly appreciated. I might have made some grammatical mistakes, I dunno. English is not my native language after all. However, I am open to suggestions and let me know if you liked the story. Enjoy ^_^.