Inspired by the prompts ‘Montauk Monster’ and a quote from Lao Tzu “watch your thoughts…”.
It padded quickly through the forest, Its sensitive fingers landing on and then gripping the detritus and underlying mulch as It went, listening for the slightest sound which might reveal the location of edible fauna.
It was also sniffing out the autumn air – a smell and sound of birds nearby would reveal a nest, within which would be eggs; smells of fungi closer to the ground would mean an easy meal of truffles.
Smelling the air and listening carefully was also the work of the subconscious as much as the conscious however, and instinct would cause It to be scared or feel a high level of anxiety if there were any bobcats or coyotes around.
This was all a far cry from Its origins, but then It was no ordinary raccoon; in fact It had no earthly business being there at all. The Gestalt was a multi dimensional cloud of energy beings. They didn’t breed as such, their main drive in life was increasing their awareness. Individualism was a mere by-product of coalescence; clumps of quanta drifted into forms which drifted apart again, flowing with the ebb and tide of the constantly changing swarm.
It became aware as It coalesced within the Gestalt hive network that It was a bit different from the Others. Yes, there was the expected sense of individualism that was a consequence of Its having been formed, but there was also a desire, the desire to become a creature of matter and to feel what that was like. The Others viewed such desires as being expected, although to act on them instead of simply letting them pass as one formed was most distasteful, practically the behaviour of a primitive.
Nevertheless, It felt this desire so strongly that it decided to slow down, to separate from the Others, to allow itself to congeal into matter which existed in fewer dimensions. This was quite unruly and distasteful enough, but then It manifested itself inside the body of a small fur covered mammal within a forest upon the third planet from the sun that was within Its locus, nearby what the dominant species called the Catskill mountains within the state of New York.
It stayed there for longer than was strictly necessary to absorb what being matter felt like.
It absorbed all it could of the senses, touching everything it could think of with the animal’s hypersensitive front paws. With the horny skin covered fingers It felt the textured bark of the trees, felt the pulse of sap circulating through its limbs; picked out the soft, squishy flesh of beetles from their shells; pulled rubbery worms from the earth; dipped Its hands into the chill clear water of a gurgling stream and grabbed at slippery, shiny fish.
It scampered around the forest at night, surrounded by the chirping, clicking and buzzing of insects and the smells of nocturnal grasses and flowers, Its eyes well suited to the task of finding Its way around in the dark; darting into shrubs or jumping between trees whenever a predator made their move, the wind ruffling Its fur as It ran.
Of course, being in this form led It to deal with many of the issues taking on this form implied, which led It to think in certain ways and risking becoming the raccoon almost completely, forgetting Its origins or how to return to the cloud.
As if that wasn’t extreme enough, when the warmer season came It then sought out a mate and began engaging in coitus, which It seemingly couldn’t get enough of.
During Its first year, it had a hard time courting the females as It had to watch other males breeding in order to be sure of what to do, even despite having observed these as well as many other creatures whilst in the Gestalt, but after Its initial success It took part in the rituals and acts with gusto and vigour. It fought rival males and strutted around the females, It rubbed Its bone fortified penis against their bodies and waived it under their noses, It let them lick the fleshy stamen all over causing pre-ejaculate to form on the tip, and then pushed it into their hot, wet expectant reproductive orifices.
It enjoyed all of the sensations, and was particularly invigorated by the act and feeling of shooting Its semen into the centre of the females, with the subconscious knowledge that this would make raccoon kits and that this was absolutely the thing It wanted to do right in that particular instant. It was bemused to note that It felt very relaxed after the fornication, and that It no longer felt the same way it had at the moment of ejaculation. In fact, It felt like It wanted to gather materials and resources.
It ended up being part of a group, socialising with other male raccoons when not in mating season, and just enjoying foraging and living the life for a while. After three years had passed, it was again mating season when he happened across a particularly interesting female, one who appeared to be from out of the territory.
He knew that he was a fine catch; due to some genetic meddling he was far superior to any other male anyway, plus he had been intelligent enough to remember enough of himself and what he had observed prior to manifestation to be able to fend for himself more than adequately. He had already sired many strong kits.
Although he had the pick of the females, this one was different from the rest. “Hello”, he thought as he approached her. The raccoon sow looked at him and a female voice resounded in his head “Hello. Are you one of Them?”
Shocked, he reeled back, his eyes wide in alarm. “Are you one of the Others? Did you come to take me back? I’m not ready! I like it here! I want to stay for a bit longer!”
She turned to one side, lowered her head slightly, looked at him and thought “I’m one of Them”.
The Others were not the only network of energy beings within the multi-verse, there was also Them; a different group of energy beings who did not share the same ethos as the Others. While the Others opted for observation and no interference, They were of the persuasion that there could be no true observation without interference. The Others would be observing this encounter of course, as would They. While They might approve of this meeting and encourage it, the Others would be absolutely appalled. It was a wonder that the Others had not removed him already; what held them back?
“I’m one of the Others” he replied.
“You actually chose to manifest yourself here? Why, and why be a raccoon?” she asked.
“Well,” he said, “humans were too restricted in their activities, too many societal norms and rules to conform to; seemed to restrictive to me. Besides, a penis with a bone in it? And these creatures are filthy! They love sex! To be honest, I just wanted to have some fun.”
As it turned out, she had manifested herself into the form of a raccoon for precisely the same reasons that he had (sensory fun and frolics), but he didn’t know about this until right now, and she had bumped into him quite by coincidence.
They rutted with wild abandon and lost themselves almost entirely in their passions, and soon the sow who had come from Them birthed kits, the ultimate manifestation of the ultimate taboo as far as the Others would be concerned; a combination of Them and the Others. Over time, he came to feel strongly that he was part of her and she part of him; that their kits were part of them both; that he never wanted to be apart from either of them. He understood that this, and the feelings of happiness, pride and protectiveness he felt around them might be what the humans called ‘love’.
The Others for their part, unbeknownst to him or his new mate, had been in fierce debate with Them for some time before It had left the Gestalt (since they had seen the possible futures which might arise) and taken Its new form as a he, and had not intervened precisely because it was against their ethos to do so.
Conversely, although They had no qualms about interfering, They did not want to prevent what was happening or what would happen. They wanted the Others to merge with Them, although They would respect and maintain the independence of the Others; so They left the two to do what they would. They saw this as an opportunity, not a threat.
The Others were purists however, and could not stand for this.
One night, an elderly male raccoon approached the family as they played by their den.
He had heard and smelled the older male of course, and so it was no great surprise when he looked up and saw him cautiously approaching his gaze.
“What does he want?” he thought curiously.
“What I want, young one, is to pass on a bit of advice to you and your mate, who is one of Us”.
She turned away from watching her kits and looked up at the outsider. “What’s happening? Is there something we should know about?”
“Obviously, or I wouldn’t be here. Listen to me, both of you. The Others are going to send somebody to eradicate your kits, and possibly to eradicate him”.
She became alarmed, he became defensive. Although he had thought that perhaps the Others would leave them alone, clearly this was no longer to be the case. “What must we do?” he thought at the other male.
“You must leave your gaze; your sow and her kits will join Us. You have no choice in this matter, we will not allow the Others to kill your offspring; they are too important to Us. You must make a choice, join Us, or stay. You have until the next full moon.”
The male returned to the depths of the forest, and disappeared from sight, sound and smell.
He and the sow decided that they would continue their lives until the next full moon, whereupon he would join Them with her and their young.
The Others could not possibly allow their quanta to be contaminated by It combining with Them and then returning to the gestalt hive mind…but neither could they allow one of their own to take their own essence and share it with Them, since it would give Them an advantage should They change their mind and decide to take the Others into their cloud after all.
Drastic measures had to be taken, quickly.
Within the dimensions of the locus wherein the Others dwelt, the warp and weft of space and time shifted as the swarms of energy shifted and took on new forms; preparing to do the unthinkable, to strike. Meanwhile, They, anticipating that this would happen, also prepared to make their move…
It was a moonless Autumn night as he ventured out into the forest. He had woken to find the sow and the kits missing, and, feeling anxious, had gone out to look for them. He smelled the ground carefully, ignoring the smells of food, following their tracks to the edge of the forest until he reached the shores of the big river which he knew ran to the sea. The scent stopped there.
He looked around, sniffing at the air, listening out for the calls of his young or the growl of his mate; nothing. Dejected, he turned around to go back to the forest when razor sharp pain pierced his flanks, gripping the muscle underneath his fur.
Screaming, growling he fought to wriggle out of the grasp of the bobcat which had dug its claws into his flesh. The bobcat leaned down and clamped its jaws around the back of his neck, its teeth closing his jugular veins. He gradually started to lose consciousness.
As he blacked out, he wondered if his family had joined Them, or had been killed.
The bobcat took pleasure in giving into instinct for a moment, and shredded the fur from the corpse with Its claws. It then picked up the body of the raccoon, being careful not to swallow any blood. It dropped the cadaver into the river, walked into the forest, and disappeared.
On what the humans called 12 July 2008, the skinless, bloated body of a mammal washed up on Ditch Plains beach, in the district of Montauk. It was found by a female of their species, which had the designation of Jenna Hewitt, and which was with a group of its friends. The creature was dubbed the ‘Montauk Monster’.
Ironically, in the initial furore of publicity, some of the humans thought that the creature was an alien.