Title: Specimen 1A
Strange taxonomy with this one.
Down in the dark under the head lamp’s light it appeared to be a simple invertebrate, but once I placed it into the sample jar it began to grow and swell before my eyes. In moments it had expanded to fill the entire container.
Intrigued, I tucked it away in my pack and then went to join the crew, who were headed topside through the rudimentary tunnel system we’d spent the past few weeks creating.
As I emerged from the tunnels a colleague pointed out a strange glow emanating from my pack – a glow strong enough to be visible in the harsh afternoon sun.
Dropping to my knees, I hefted my pack onto the ground and flipped open the top flap. We were momentarily blinded by a bright pink light which died as quickly as it had burst forth.
I carefully placed the specimen on the ground amidst a pile of strangely-colored cycad leaves. Inside the jar the little invertebrate appeared to have devolved into a kind of swirling pink goo. The edges of the swirling mass reflected the light in rainbow patterns, like an oil slick on top of water. It oozed and bubbled along the edges of the jar and appeared to be reacting to the bright light – something quite foreign to this seeming cave dweller.
I barely had time to pull some additional examination implements from my bag when the swirling suddenly stopped. In the center of the goo now appeared an unsettling, almost reptilian eye quite clearly looking back at me. I turned to my colleague to gauge his reaction to what I was sure we’d both witnessed.
Pale ghostly cheeks with sunken eyes and a horrified grimace froze his face in a twisted mess as he dropped to the ground before me.
A swirling sound, like wind-whipped sand filled my ears. A falling sensation and fading light followed soon after…
…what I’d uncovered would become all too clear in the moments to come.
Ink on Watercolor
Fantasy & Whimsy
Original Music & Musical Art by Bart Castle