I punched the GPS coordinates into my phone and followed the directions of the affirming feminine voice. She directed me through busy urban areas and quiet suburbs till I found myself travelling down isolated country roads. After a number of hours I entered a long, narrow tree lined driveway with deep ditches either side. At the end of the driveway was an abandoned security entrance, the gate fallen off its hinges. I drove through the security entrance into a large court yard which fronted a large concrete building. The feminine voice on my GPS intoned ” You have reached your destination” just as the signal bars went blank. No connection.
I approached the front door of the building and entered a long hallway. The end of the hallway opened to a large room, which I took to be the reception area. The room was devoid of all furniture with the exception of a sofa. Laying length wise, head propped on a cushion, closed eyes, legs dangling over the edge of the sofa, was a tall, thin man. As the sound of my footsteps echoed on the bare wooden floorboards the stranger opened his eyes.
“Welcome”, he greeted in a soft, melodious voice.
” Sorry for the intrusion” I replied ” I’m here about adopting an animal. I received a letter”.
“Of course, of course” he said arising from the chair to shake my hand.
“This seems an out of the way place to house animals” I asked “It’s a bit off the beaten track”
” I quite agree” replied the stranger ” the previous owner was a little eccentric and a loner. He wanted to raise his pets in seclusion, far from the maddening crowd “.
“Are you the states representative” I asked “Are you here to administer to the disposal of the animals?”
“Are you interested in adopting one of the pets. I should let you know that they are a little peculiar?”. He smiled enquiringly, his green hypnotic eyes fixed on me intently.
“Peculiar. How?”. I was genuinely puzzled.
“Let’s say the recently deceased owner was a little more than eccentric”. He paused as if considering his words carefully. ” He graduated in medical research and spent his life trying to create a unique species. A hybrid of animal and human. He had some successes before his death”.
I was appalled. “That’s unconscionable. That’s experimenting with the very order of nature and goes against all ethical boundaries”. I was angry and turned to walk out of the room in deep indignation.
“Wait just one moment” he said.
He approached me and I turned to face him. His mouth opened as if to speak, but instead of words a long narrow, forked tongue shot out and landed on my neck.
“This is a little love bite” he whispered ” Just enough venom to put you to sleep rather than to kill”.
I lost consciousness.
I awoke to strange surroundings. I was locked in a cell like room measuring 16 ft. by 24 ft. Concrete floors and walls, with a bed in one corner and a toilet and a sink in the opposite corner. The air smelled damp and musty. The door to the room had a sliding grill at the top which opened to a concrete corridor. I had a splitting headache and felt woozy.
The smiling face of the stranger appeared at the grill.
“Perhaps some explanation is in order. I was the late doctor’s masterpiece. He was very proud of me and treated me like a son. He needed someone to carry on his work. Every great man needs his legacy to continue. The doctor first experimented with injecting human DNA into animals. He came up with some interesting hybrids. But the animal DNA remained dominant and as a result awareness was limited. The doctor then reversed the process by injecting animal DNA into human subjects. Many did not survive. I did. This gave him hope. I became his assistant and so his knowledge passed to me. I am hoping for great things with you. Relax and enjoy your stay, the real work is just beginning.