Nightmare

[Creative Writing Specialization:: The Craft of Style:: Assignment 1:: Sensuous Description]

(some context first)

Jet Lakan excused himself as he pushed his way gently through the crowd. He was surprised and annoyed that there should be this many people at 2:30AM. A slow, two-way line of motorists gawking at the scene had even formed on the other side of Buendia Avenue, between the corners of Filmore and Dian Streets. He shook his head disapprovingly as he showed his badge to the two cops on the other side of the crowd. The cops nodded acknowledgement, and Jet stepped over the yellow police tape haphazardly strung around traffic cones to block off half the street. Major Tomas Martinez — Major Tom, as Jet liked to call him — waved him to come over and take a look at the creature in the middle of the blocked-off area. “Not an aswang, that’s for sure,” Major Tom quipped, handing Jet his flashlight, as Jet leaned over and genuflected to get a closer look. Jet agreed — this was no aswang; neither was it tikbalang, engkanto, nor duwende, nor any kind of western vampire or werewolf.

(3-paragraph description follows)

The creature looked like a nightmare. Its head looked like two heads had melted together, with two faces looking simultaneously at an odd, slight angle left and right, their two eyes at the sides between them melting into one white, unblinking blob with two black pupils, and their two mouths merging also at the sides, and not in a wide straight line, but in a crooked, off-kilter line that made their entire expression like that of a severely deformed Cheshire Cat. Its one neck was as wide as two necks fused together. It had two left arms, and while one looked normal, the other one was red-skinned, and covered in shiny, smooth, metallic red scales, and ended with a hand with long black talons. It had one right arm, but another forearm seemed to have grown out of it below the elbow, the outcropping forearm being colored blue, and covered with a thin film of frost. The man-creature was clothed in tattered black robes, with torn sleeves and a torn hem, showing three legs sticking out from underneath, one of which, the second right leg, seemed made entirely of grey rock — and it had what looked like an upside down face on its giant club foot. The creature had a faint smell, a subtle shade of week-old dead rat, that the even the car exhaust pollution in the cool early morning air couldn’t quite hide.

It lay in a shallow crater of shattered asphalt and rock, consistent with witness stories Major Tom had told him earlier, about it having fallen from the sky at around 2 AM. Fortunately, it hadn’t hit any pedestrians or cars when it did crash. If the creature stood up now, by Jet’s estimation, it would probably be seven feet tall, much taller than Jet’s measly 5' 11'’.

Jet hesitantly reached down and touched the creature’s normal-looking left arm’s wrist to check for a pulse. The wrist felt like normal, warm, human flesh, much to Jet’s relief. But no sooner had he touched it, that the creature awakened with a gasp, and exclaimed “MAGIC!” — in more than one voice simultaneously. Jet’s eyes watered at the stench of the creature’s breath. He wasn’t sure but it sounded like at least three or four voices all at once — one deep and gravelly, one high pitched, almost female, and one almost childlike. The creature grabbed Jet’s arm just as he started reeling back from the stench, and its two faces turned to him and said “YOU! You’re a magician!” in that triple/quadruple voice. Major Tom and the other cops drew their weapons, cussing and swearing, but Jet waved them down. “Save us!” It tore open its robe and showed two more faces speaking on its chest and on its abdomen, all looking at Jet. Even the face on its grey rock foot was speaking now. “Freeeeee ussssssssssss!” The creature hissed until it convulsed for a few seconds and collapsed into unconsciousness again.