An eerie silence fell over that place, and it was not the silence of peace, but the calm before the storm. To leave with all this knowledge within me, was a responsibility. And to die and not share it was far worse than never finding it. So, I packed up my things and journeyed back to the University with the monster’s thoughts inside my brain. I explained myself to the Dean over a glass of scotch and he had a good laugh.

“Philosophers need to get away, now and again,” he said. “It’s in your blood. If you didn’t want to break free from this place, I would be concerned for you.”

And I went back to class, like the dutiful assistant I was, reciting books that I had recited for over a decade. But as the days wore on, my monstrous thoughts returned, wanting to feast on other brains, and they did, during a boring lecture on Being and Time. Students said, it was like I was speaking a different language. So, I had to meet with the Dean again.

“Perhaps, you need to take more time off,” he said. I was losing my mind, the way my grandfather had, but rather than choosing the mental institution, I returned to that lake to kill the thing that was stealing my thoughts.

It was much the way I had left it, and somehow being there brought my mind into harmony. I went to the shack, looking for a weapon, and there, above the door, I noticed a harpoon, overlooked, blackened by the sun. It was perfectly weighted in my hands, as I gathered the courage to climb back into the row boat, gliding into the center of the lake. No shadows moved under the surface, so I started talking to the thing, using the knowledge it had given me, speaking with its ancient tongue. Bubbles popped on the surface as a fountain from the deep moved towards me, eyes the size of portholes gazed with myopic hunger. Twisting tentacles breached the surface like submarines as they darted, snatching at my tiny vessel, a fool, far-out of his depth. I stood in the boat for one confident javelin throw, aiming between its eyes. Launching with all my muscles at a soft mark, as the steel penetrated all the way through. It lumbered and sank, crawling towards the shore, with me in front, moved by the waves of its massive form. I landed in the mud, with its corpse gasping for air; tentacles paralyzed, eyes closed, while I cut the thing with my knife, and all manner of fish swam out. Strange sacks hung among the guts and I cut those too. To my surprise, humans squirmed into the oily mass–men who were paralyzed inside the creature, and I pulled them out.

To be continued…


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