Although this is a work of science fiction, one has only to open their eyes to see that there are real monsters in our midst.
Marine biology isn’t exactly a magnet for military financing. But the Harcrest Institute’s startling claims had secured full funding for their Bio-Perception Project: “This isn’t your run-of-the-mill cloaking device. We’re talking total undetectability!”
“Rez” Reslin’s team was tasked with delivering on the Institute’s claim. The key? “Henry.” The most remarkable cephalopod ever found, Henry was able to block signals to all five human senses! Reslin’s patented sensory goggles would allow his team to observe nano-changes in Henry’s skin as it cancelled all visual, aural, taste, scent, and touch signals. But so far, the goggle’s outer protective lens had failed to fuse to the others—without it they disintegrated in seawater.
Rez slid the latest attempt under the microscope, and then dropped a spec of corrosive diatomite onto the sample. This time, the outer lens held, its hydrogenous polymers producing an impregnable wall: “Yes! Ye shall not pass!” Rez shouted.
His team had assembled the new goggles by 5:00 p.m., but no one had tried them on Henry yet. “They should dry overnight,” Rez insisted. “We’ll test them first thing in the morning.”
He lied. The sealant had dried in an hour. But there was something intimate about this moment. “It’s my G-spot!” Rez chuckled.
Henry was nestled in his usual hollow. Rez hit the button that made the fake eel pop out, causing the little octopus to disappear in a flurry.
“And now, to see the unseeable,” Rez whispered. He inhaled deeply and put on the goggles. Then he looked into the tank. Henry was completely visible! Rez reached in and touched him, then screamed, “Hello, G-spot!” He danced like a maniac for fifteen minutes, then rode up and down in the Institute’s elevators for half an hour, singing “Rock Lobster.”
He couldn’t bear to leave the goggles there. So, half afraid and half in love, he slipped them into his raincoat pocket. He’d show his wife Livy that all their marital tension had been worth it!
Before entering his house, he pulled the goggles out of his pocket. “To see the unseeable,” he muttered. Impulsively, he slipped them on. The moment he did, he felt something brush against him. Something cold and alien. A gelatinous body glided past just inches away; its smell made Rez want to tear out his lungs. To his left, three immense multi-lensed eyes lowered themselves into view. Rez shivered uncontrollably as razor-sharp hairs slid against his leg, instantly shredding his pants.
Livy heard the scream from her shower. Wrapped in a towel and dripping like one of Rez’s sea animals, she ran to the front door just in time to see his car screeching away.
Seven hours later, she sat holding her husband’s hand in his private ICU room. There was an IV connected to one arm, and handcuffs connected to the other. The charge was arson, the guards outside told her. Rez had detonated a fire-bomb in the Institute’s lab. Little was left of the multi-billion-dollar Harcrest Institute when the firetrucks arrived. They’d found Rez in his car, weeping, a small aquarium on his lap.
Just moments before Rez opened his eyes, Henry re-appeared in the aquarium next to his bed; Rez had refused to let them take him away.
Livy touched his hand, her lips quivering. “Honey, why…?”
“They’re everywhere,” he said in an agonized whisper unlike any she’d ever heard, “The world…
Is full of monsters.”