“Ladies and gentlemen, our last exhibit for the night is something special indeed!”
The master of ceremonies and chief auctioneer rubbed his hands with glee as the cage was brought out, wheeled by two hefty men for strength was indeed needed. For within the cage was what might have been a man, and yet, could not have been. This creature, partly familiar but till essentially alien, dressed in androgyny but with the clear musculature of a man – this creature created an instant hush across the room.
“We’ve never seen the like!” the auctioneer lied. “Captured only a few days ago from a fallen craft, Creature X as we affectionately call him, brings to mind both the intergalactic and the demonic. I hazard to say he is a bit of both given the inter-breeding of the supernatural and the alien of late. In any case, what a specimen, as I am sure you will agree! The perfect antidote for the most jaded of palettes!”
A murmuring of approval rose from the group gathered below the stage, and a small ripple of actual applause punctuated the air.
“What am I bid?” the salesman cried as the approval settled, and the bidding came fast and furious, and high. By the end the dour man in the back – who the auctioneer had to acknowledge had the best taste of all the patrons here this night – made an offer none could best and claimed his prize.
The winner came up to sign the required notary, and for a moment the eyes of the buyer and the seller met. A chill ran through the auctioneer’s soul, looking into such lifeless, greedy eyes. He could only imagine what the man might have in mind for his prized purchase this night.
“Usually,” the auctioneer commented to his assistant once the others had gone, taking their possessions with them, “selling one like that is a disaster for the buyer. They are such deadly creatures overall I find. But, in this case, it’s hard to know between purchaser and prize which is the predator and which is the prey.”
“You didn’t warn him then?” the assistant asked, referring to the purchaser.
“No indeed! One look in his eyes and the words stilled on my tongue. Still, tomorrow no doubt, there will be blood in that man’s house. The only question being whether it is his or that of his purchase.”
The assistant shuddered and crossed himself, staying silent on his innermost hopes. At least if the creature died this time he wouldn’t have to try to capture him again.
And at that thought his phantom right arm seemed to itch, as it sometimes would, to remind him of the first time he had to capture such a beast, and what that took from him.
With any luck, those days were passed, and the beast would be dead.
With any luck.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016