Audrey

Transcribed from recording labeled “Audrey”:

When I first met Audrey McGuire in the bar of a hotel on the outskirts of Los Angeles, she was a fiery shock of red hair poured into a full skirt dress that teased a curvy figure beneath.

Her full, blood-red lips pouted at me as she performed a sob story about needing money for a bus ticket to Indianapolis, to stay with her mother after her husband had raised his hand to her one time too many.

The second time we met, Audrey was a willowy blonde wearing long boots and a short skirt, lying through thin lips about visiting her sister in San Francisco.

Recording stops, continues.

The third time we met, I observed Audrey gracefully flowing from one potential mark to the next, shedding her previous appearance between tables before seamlessly slipping into a new life with a single, gentle touch of each man’s hand.

One moment, she’s an olive-skinned beauty in a cardigan distracting a married man with her piercing blue eyes as she steals his wallet. The next, she’s laughing it up with a group of drunken suits pawing at a pair of milky thighs exposed by the short hem of her fashionable Mod dress.

I never gave a second thought to the way she’d temporarily leave with this or that man as she wore this or that face–sometimes an hour at a time, sometimes for mere minutes. But when some loud, dark-haired stranger in an expensive suit dragged Audrey away by the wrist, the panicked look she shot my way from a hauntingly familiar face convinced me to follow close behind.

Recording stops, continues.

I caught up to Audrey and that dark-haired stranger in the stairwell, just in time to hear a cry of pain closely followed by a drunken voice demanding to know why he had to hear from the boys at the office that his wife was moonlighting as a whore in a hotel bar.

Cynthia. Some poor housewife named Cynthia was probably somewhere cooking dinner for a husband she didn’t know was drunk in the stairwell of a hotel, threatening a frightened woman wearing her face.

And as Cynthia’s face attempted to lie her way out of a literal corner, Cynthia’s husband raised his hand. But as he raised his hand, her face changed. Her left eye darkened and swelled shut. Her bottom lip split and bled. And bruises appeared on her from head to toe.

Whether by fortune, divine intervention, or alcohol, Cynthia’s husband stumbled backward down a flight of stairs and scuttled out the door without another word, looking as if he’d just seen a ghost. Then once we were both sure he wasn’t coming back, I returned to the bar with a woman who looked like my dead wife.

Recording stops, continues.

Over the next several hours and drinks, I found myself lost in the glittering hazel eyes and gentle lines of my wife’s face as she shared the story of a life she never lived with a name she never knew. There was mention of a one-bedroom apartment in Shermer, Illinois, some boy named Reggie, and a kiss behind the high school gym that left her with no choice but to leave behind both Shermer and Reggie forever.

As we danced, the woman I struggled to call Audrey inquired about my work with childish wonder and glee. And as I explained the nature of the microscopic Sutherland Fluke coiled around both her central and peripheral nervous system, how it allowed her body to instinctively reshape itself in reaction to physical and emotional stimuli, she pulled her body closer to mine.

Audrey was gone by morning. And while I’m unsure if I’ve seen her in the years since–or if a person by the name of Audrey McGuire from Shermer, Illinois, ever existed–I do know a lost soul gave a lonely man one last night of happiness. And for that, I will always remember her.

Recording ends.

D’ja Vu’larian

Transcribed from recording labeled “D’ja Vu’larian”:

Feeding exclusively on those threads of time and space intertwined with some poor soul’s untimely, traumatic death, the D’ja Vu’larian’s morbid appetite is seen by some as a cosmic blessing in disguise.

Effectively a wholesale rejection of death itself, these individuals…I hesitate to call them “victims”…regain consciousness sometime in their own past, with only a faint, dreamlike recollection of what transpired.

But much like those affected by a Chronopiller, there is a serious philosophical discussion to be had regarding that lost part of us, devoured moment-by-moment, and now slowly digesting in the belly of some great, trans-dimensional worm.

Recording ends.

Smeltett

Transcribed from tape labeled “Smeltett”:

DR. FINE: The very existence of the Smeltett has been a point of contention for millennia, with records of arguments spurred on by the sudden onset of a foul and malicious odor found in the form of rudimentary cave paintings in both Africa and central Asia.

Current research of the Smeltett leads many to believe that it is the female of the species which is responsible for the foul odor, used in an effort to attract the attention of nearby males, which are believed to be responsible for the… sound also associated with the Smeltett.

Unsurprisingly, all major contributions to research on the Smeltett have been submitted anonymously.

Tape ends.

Wah’wazzat

Transcribed from tape labeled “Wah’wazzat”:

DR. FINE: I hesitate to refer to such a frightening, malicious thing that gleefully toys with its unsuspecting, isolated prey as a mere “creature,” but the Wah’wazzat is certainly one of the most elusive, deeply unsettling entities I have ever encountered.

Because the human mind is fortunately, mercifully incapable of properly processing the physical appearance of the Wah’wazzat, wouldbe victims are left to question the origin and direction of the scattered sound of skittering, rustling, and faint breathing as the Wah’wazzat closes in for the kill.

If not for the fact that the Wah’wazzat is easily and conveniently startled by so much as a quick glance in its general direction, I suspect reports of missing persons would quickly outpace the obituaries in every morning paper.

Tape ends.

Whattamadoon

Transcribed from tape labeled “Whattamadoon”:

DR. FINE: The Whattamadoon itself is hardly a creature worth making note of, as its teeny-tiny, squishy, toothless body makes it incapable of causing any physical, temporal, or psychological harm to any living creature.

However. The Whattamadoon’s web is notorious for snatching up any thoughts blossoming and fluttering about one’s head as they pass through the doorway in which said web is hung.

Fortunately, walking back through the web often allows an unwitting buffet to recover whatever million-dollar idea I totally believe you had before the Whattamadoon can feast upon it.

Tape ends.

Chronopillar

Transcribed from recording labeled “Chronopillar”:

The chronopillar is a ridiculous looking, but wholly frightening creature with the ability to directly interact with the very fabric of time and space.

A single, undisturbed chronopillar has been known to devour upwards of several weeks of isolated space-time, leaving victims unaware that an entire summer has literally (and not simply metaphorically) passed in a blink of an eye.

But as frightening as such an event may be, it pales in comparison to the wholesale rewriting of our timeline whenever a chronopillar survives long enough to emerge from its singularity cocoon as a fully-grown quantumfly.

Recording ends.

Hik’kappu

Transcribed from recording labeled “Hik’kappu”:

Commonly found in the chest cavity of mammals, the numerous needle-like appendages of a fully-matured Hik’kappu not only serve as sensory organs, but also to stimulate what was once believed to be an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm.

Some researchers believe this serves little-to-no purpose, while others claim this is an effort by the Hik’kappu to coax its host into performing a rudimentary mating call.

However, the manner in which the Hik’kappu enters the chest cavity of a given host remains the biggest mystery of all.

Recording ends.

Moh’ko

Transcribed from recording labeled “Moh’ko”:

Perhaps one of the silliest of the countless woozles and wutzits I’ve encountered over these years is the Moh’ko, a solitary, beetle-like creature whose diet consists entirely of the mucus found in the respiratory tracts of primates.

Though mostly harmless to almost all but the very young or the elderly, the Moh’ko’s insatiable hunger has seen it evolve the ability to stimulate the production of mucus by means not yet fully understood.

That said. There is little-to-no evidence to support the claim that the Moh’ko is also responsible for the actions of those individuals inclined to ingest their own mucus.

Recording ends.

Madness Worm

Transcribed from recording labeled “Madness Worm”:

The larval stage of the Madhouse Fly and closely related to the Peeper Creeper, the Madness Worm is a parasite with the unique ability to mimic up to several minutes of any combination of sound it’s been exposed to, often with a preference for human music.

While originally thought to generate such sound on its own, it was recently discovered that this is merely a side-effect of the Madness Worm performing its mating dance in the ear of its host.

Thus while it is very fortunate that the lifespan of the Madness Worm can be measured in hours, this likely means little to the poor, unfortunate soul stuck with more than a simple tune in their head.

Recording ends.

Spiter

Transcribed from recording labeled “Spiter”:

DR. FINE: Similar in appearance and behavior to the common skin mite, the spiter is a grotesque, but minuscule parasite that burrows into and lays eggs beneath its host’s skin. Metaphysically speaking, of course.

But rather than a nasty rash, an untreated spiter infestation frequently results in ever-increasing antisocial and self-destructive behaviors by the host.

However, several hosts possessing great strength of will have been observed to thrive when fully consumed by a nest… at least for a brief time.

Recording ends.