The Creature Keepers

I had a dream that I was part of an underground organization who was in charge of monitoring beings from another dimension…

Everyday, one of the guys who was in charge would be on his computer watching the formation of one of the creatures. It would play out like a first person shooter game in which his avatar was there in the dimension with the creatures and he could react to what happens. The creature would form out of a giant pillar of flesh and blood. First a hand would appear. Then a glimpse of its leg. Then its face. It was human but it resembled a full grown fetus with skin that was the color of zombies. It also had long nails and sharp fangs. The crew at the underground called him “Dracula” because of his features.

As soon as the creature would wake up, it would notice the avatar immediately and start making for it. On the computer screen, this played out like a horror movie. The director had the option to destroy the beast and he fully believed that this was his mission: to keep the beast in check and prevent it from ever reforming again. The creature edged closer and closer to the avatar, who was fully equipped with an arsenal ready to take him out. Just as the scaly hand was about to reach the avatar, the director pushed a button and a frenzy of gunfire was unloaded. The creature shrieked and then melted into heap of body parts. The whole organization cheered as they achieved another victory!! High fives and hugs were shared all around.

The director anxiously awaited for his score to be displayed. Suddenly, a display shot onto the screen. It read, “FAILED! -16 points!” The room went silent. “I don’t understand!” he said as he turned to me. “We run this program every day and are able to take him out each time, but it always says we fail! What are we supposed to do?”

Later that night, after everyone had left, I analyzed the playback of today’s session. The creature looked terrifying each time and I couldn’t imagine what would happen if they let it live. Then it hit me. What *WOULD* happen if they let it live? I brought my idea to the director the next day. “Are you crazy!?” he screamed. “We’re not letting that guy get out! These programs are linked to our world and if he finds a way through, there’s no telling the damage he could do!” I tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t listen. I had to take matter into my own hands. We were about 20 minutes away from starting the new session for the day. I decided to sneak into the computer room a little early. No one was in there yet as this has become so routine for the guys that they’re used to sitting down at the last minute. I locked the door behind me. At the terminal, I booted up the program and began the session early. I could see the pulsating column of flesh and blood. 10 minutes had gone by. It looked like nothing was happening yet. Just then, a hand appeared from the column… “Can’t this thing go any faster?!” I thought.

Meanwhile, despite my attempts at being discreet, someone had walked by the window to the computer room and noticed me there. He immediately shouted to the director, “HEY! Someone’s in there!!! What’s he’s doing!?” The men began running toward the window and pounding on the glass while trying to open the door. Thankfully, the glass was strong and the lock was tight as a protective measure if anything went wrong in the program. There was nothing they could do at this point.

The director arrived and was in intense rage. “GET OUT OF THERE NOW, YOU SCUMBAG! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING!” he shouted as he pounded on the glass. I could see veins his neck that were about to burst. I had to keep going. I turned back to the computer screen. A leg appeared. A few more minutes. A second hand. The other leg. Outside, alarms were sounding and men were frantically rushing about. I could see some of them equipping themselves with weapons but it’s obvious that they didn’t really know what they were doing with them. On the screen, my avatar remained still. It was a few minutes after the test would normally begin. I waited calmly as the chaos ensued around me. Finally, a head appeared. It looked the same as before. The eyes were shut and the signs of fangs were faint but noticeable. I leaned in closer to the screen to get a better look. The eyes SHOT open and stared straight at me. I jumped back in my seat!

Slowly, the creature began to emerge from the column. It looked tired, as if its been through this process thousands of times. I continued to watch. The beast slowly made his way toward the avatar. I could hear the shouts from the director outside. “You’ve gotta kill it! Shoot it now! Shoot it! Please!! He’ll find a way through and it’ll be us next!!!” I ignored him. I had to see what would happen. The beast was now just a few feet away still slowly making his way forward. He lifted his arm and reached toward the avatar. “Kill him now!” All the men outside were in a frenzy. I continued to ignore them. The handed slipped closer and closer. As he did this, he inhaled deeply, though it sounded like he’d never before really taken a breath. Then, just as the hand was about to reach me, he said in the frailest voice ever, “We have been bred….” The hand reached the avatar’s gun and wrapped itself around it. The director let loose one last scream, “Now’s your chance!! You have to kill it!” I shook my head at him. I was terrified but intrigued. The beast grabbed the gun and moved so close that all I could see on the screen was his face. Just then the gun flew behind him and I could see that my avatar was completely unequipped. With a sigh, he finished his sentence, “…to help you.” The men outside went completely silent and now watched with intense anticipation…

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Published by erichagmann

Arranger / Pianist / Vocalist / Educator / Gamer

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