A Monstrous FAQ, Part 1 – Biology


Long ago, when I began recording my existence for all to see, I made a promise that I would answer your questions as they came to me. While I have done some justice within the body of my soon-to-be-published chronicle, there are a few issues that somehow never get raised in casual discourse. Therefore, allow me, gentle reader, to fulfill my vow.

I have grouped the questions into three distinct types: Biological, Historical, and Culinary. Each category will be answered in a separate post. If your personal question fits one of these three categories, feel free to scroll right to it. If your curiosity has gone unsatisfied, place your query in a comment…or wait and see if it eventually appears in the forthcoming texts pertaining to my humble life.

Biological

Can you describe your anatomy in depth?

This question, or some variation to this effect, has been asked a dozen times by all sorts — from scientists and doctors to cryptozoology hobbyists and armchair UFOlogists — and while I do touch upon it regularly, I shall answer it again as it is of such critical importance. It may be that you have just found this page, or scanned my work and come searching. Perhaps you know nothing of my species, and this I will amend. For your safety, of course.

I have made the argument that all myths of monster, ghost, and foul thing more than likely spring from encounters with our breed in the darkness, and I do firmly believe it. I have been the world over and never encountered anything worse than me — with my senses, I should have seen Bigfoot, if they do indeed exist. My species are naturally ugly, can seem to shape-shift, make odd sounds, exhibit malevolence, and depending upon what clothing we wear, I imagine it would be easy to paint us bird-creatures or swamp men.

Humans are not very good witnesses when encountering horrible or terrifying events, regardless.

We are average size, though you must remember, that the average has risen. In ancient times, we were considered somewhat tall. We are thin, wiry, with hard, lean muscle and little body fat. Our skin is rather pale, and sometimes grayish in hue. Our hands are ever so slightly odd — with long fingers snubbed at the ends, capped off with claws that retract if desired. The nail beds are not a healthy human pink, but plum-colored with dark edges. Our feet are equally bizarre, lower arches, more flexible toes, hooked with thick talons that make the climbing of trees a simple thing and the wearing of shoes a most distressing event involving a once-monthly session with a sanding tool. We have no hair, not a single follicle; however, atop our head is a glossy mass of filaments with a life of their own. My best guess, for I have never elected to dissever one and examine it, is that they are some sort of sensory organ. They move in reply to stimulus, and perhaps in some way, they are to blame for many of my seemingly supernatural talents.

I have a disaffinity for electronic devices. That is to say, while I love them and their utility, they despise me. I think that my nerves are not well-insulated, and so my natural field interferes with them. I cannot wear a watch without it dying. I can explode a lightbulb merely by proximity. I can sense devices, even wiring in walls, and sometimes can even perform tricks at will.

I can detect small sounds at great distance and sort through these noises to find but one single note. I can sense things, like pressure changes, the presence of my relatives, and most critically, when I am being watched. I can see in the dark and dilate my pupils quite large on demand.

We are perhaps several times stronger than an able-bodied man, faster than any human in small bursts, and due to the construction of our joints, quite flexible and lithe. We are acrobats, but our endurance is poor. We lack stamina. We expend calories more quickly, eating several times what you do in a day.

An addendum to this question is the notion of phylogeny: what family do we occupy? Without hair, umbilical attachments, or mammary glands, it is a certainty we are not mammals. I know that shallow cuts and injuries do not bleed, but deep gashes ooze a pinkish liquid. Otherwise, the skin knits closed with rapidity. I know that while I prefer warmth, the extremes of cold do little more than make me sluggish and I do not sweat. I can hold my breath for long periods of time, almost fifteen minutes, but must have oxygen eventually. My teeth fall out of my head and grow back easily, and so I am tempted to believe they are not like your teeth. I have yet to find any mind-altering substance that affects me. I do not recall ever having a fever, a cold, a flu, or any other illness. I have no allergies, no aversions, no weaknesses of any kind.

But we are intelligent, and that is dangerous.

I have learned recently certain other facts about our species, but that is best left to the book, if you’ll pardon my adherence to the rules of publishing.

Do you monsters go to the bathroom?/ Do you have sex?

I chose to make this a separate question because, while it has to do with our physical form, it requires its own tactful reply that does away with vulgarity.

I have spent a great deal of time…well, for lack of a more dignified phrase…dissecting humans. Your nether regions are quite complicated, and mating seems to be a strange horizontal dance that borders on two wriggling snakes attempting to thumb wrestle. My breed have no such complications. We have more in common with dolphins or neutered cats. We expel waste. That’s it.

You want to know how we mate. If not by behaving like two marbles attempting to connect at a specific point, while utterly failing each time, then how? I still have yet to do it, and so cannot give specifics. But really, would you want them if I could? Given what you know of how I eat…perhaps we should leave that to your imagination.

Do you get indigestion or food poisoning?

Certain botanicals cause me stomach issues, but never anything debilitating. Before you ask, we can vomit. Though it is something we do when we get food lodged somewhere it doesn’t belong. As for food poisoning, I really don’t know. I think, perhaps, like a dog, I am able to consume carrion. I have limits, in that I can smell when things are “off”. Why would I eat beyond that point?

So if you’ve been wondering why I cook at all, if I am immune to infection, that is your answer. My biology allows me to smell every nuance, taste every spice. I cannot help it. Cooking is my drug, my ecstacy, my passionate  love.

Have you ever lost a limb?

No. But if I fancied being one limb short, I would try that experiment, simply to see if, like a nematode, we could sprout a new one. Perhaps one day, I will cross paths with a member of my species I find odious enough to tie down. If that eventuality arises, I promise to execute an exhaustive study and report my findings.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on my history.

6 responses to “A Monstrous FAQ, Part 1 – Biology

  1. Pingback: Monstrous Myths: The Gorgon | The Creature's Cookbook

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