Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sasquatch is Made of Money

Jeff Anthony had been searching for 9 years for a big foot. Well, another big foot. When he was a 13 year old on a camping trip with his father he saw his first big foot. He had to relieve himself in the woods during the night and as he sat there with his back propped against the tree he stared out to into the woods around him. His mind wondered as anyone’s would and before long, nearly at the end of his activity, he realized he was staring into someone’s eyes.
                His first thought was, “Why is my father watching me poop?” but quickly the deductive part of his mind put it together that whoever was watching him was not his father.
                He tried to pull up his pant, reach into his pocket for his knife, and pick the flash light up off the ground all at the same time, which really no one could do. The watcher stepped through the leaves before him, and it was huge, easily twice the size of 13 year old Jeff Anthony and covered from head to foot in either fur, or a rug. The eyes were real though, they made it look like a guy in a suit. A really tall guy in a suit, he realized it was big foot and just about needed to put his pants back down. The Sasquatch wasn’t after him though, it turned and ran with that over the shoulder look that all the pictures seem to have.

Nine years later Jeff was ranging through northern Canada looking for that same Sasquatch. He has been looking every summer, always making sure to take no less than a week and recently this has been increased to two weeks since school was going so well.  Early on it was difficult to talk his father into it, but fathers are emotionally weak to the earnest requests of their sons to share in their interest so he had been successful every time. As he got older he started to range out on his own which suited his father fine.
                The other fifty-one (now fifty) weeks of the year he would comb through lore and reports trying to track sightings, only four years ago he realized there had to be more than one  or the one could really move when it needed to. Unlike others, he purposely avoided the sighting’s locations; it seemed to him if the big foot had been seen there already it would avoid it. Nothing walking up right like a human, in his mind, could be so stupid as to go back to where people were seen before.
                The woods were a place of tranquility by this point for Jeff. He was used to the sounds, the smells, and ebb and flow of the environment. He was by no means a part of it, as if a welcomed visitor to a bustling city of water, wind, and small mammals he still knew he was separate. The Northwest Territory was an amazing place filled with all kinds of wonder, and some danger. It was best to avoid Moose, perhaps not inherently violent but better not to anger one and bears were something to be careful of. But the regular camping areas were such that the animals had gotten warning from the scent of humans and tended to avoid them.
                He was sitting in one such camp site, he shared it with a dozen or so others he never saw, when the big foot ran by. Well more than ran by, “hauling ass” was the term that popped into Jeff’s head and he had the vague sense of watching a reality TV show about police chasing criminals. It startled him so deeply that he did nothing at first, didn’t move, even his eyes didn’t widen any. It was so unexpected and the large fur covered beast was so quick and skilled it moved right through the edge of his camp and dodged the propped rifle without even disturbing the wind. In fact, if Jeff hadn’t been looking in the right direction as he sat in the chill evening and ate his beans he would not have known his camp had been infiltrated.
                As he shook off the surprise and stood up to pursue he had a disturbing thought, “How many times have they run right by me?”

                Running through the woods of the Canadian outback, in the dark, with only a flash light is by no means anything near winning the Darwin Award for the year but Jeff was pretty sure it put him in the top ten contenders, at least for the North American continent. Branches whipped his face and chest as he chased after the fleeting glimpses of dark fur ahead of him. It never occurred to him he was chasing a creature twice as large as himself and if it decided to turn, its strength only what the large frame would imply, it would have little trouble breaking him in many places.
                The chase seemed to go on through a labyrinth of trees and undergrowth. Every so often Jeff would see the whites of the eyes of the Sasquatch as he chased him, that classic look over the shoulder, and if Jeff had paid attention or wasn’t over whelmed mentally he might have seen the fear in those eyes. He burst into a clearing and his quarry was half way across when bright white lights shone down suddenly from several directions and Jeff became aware of the sound of helicopters. The Sasquatch stopped in mid stride and looked into the sky. Jeff’s momentum carried him several more paces ending his chase only feet from his quarry.
                The big foot dropped its arms to its side in such a fashion as to imply exasperation and uttered something so astonishing to Jeff he lost grip on his understanding of the universe for a few seconds.
                It said, “Shit.”
                “Wait, what?” Jeff was as shocked to hear his own words as that of the big foot. It looked over at him and purposely closed one eye to stare down at him. Up close he could see it was covered in thick almost black hairs that reflected light oddly giving them as dull brown hew.  The eyes were extremely human, a little larger, but nothing foreign or animal and behind them was a wealth of intellect that startled Jeff to his bones. He had always assumed they avoided people out of instinct; he was sure now that wasn’t the case.
                Amazingly he could tell it raised one eyebrow, although he couldn’t have picked out that eyebrow with all the time in the world. “Look, guy, you’re about to get a bad treatment. Don’t hold it against me; you’re the one who thought it would be fun to chase a Sasquatch through the woods.” Jeff’s mind begun to tie itself into a tight knot of protection against the life changes being imposed on him, this felt good to some extent. The helicopters had landed by this time, three of them in total, and half a dozen men exploded from each armed with sub-machine guns, nets, and what appeared to be cattle prods. The big foot put its hands behind its head and fell to its knees. At this point Jeff was so in shock all he could do was try his best to look in every direction simultaneously. One part of his mind was sure the big foot was being stolen from him when it was rightly his, another part was sure he had eaten a bad piece of beef and was standing naked in the middle of a snowy field going crazy, the very small deductive part knew he was in a dangerous situation and he’d better just shut up and not do anything sudden.

Jeff had ridden in helicopters before. He had not ridden in a military helicopter. He had not ridden with a big foot. That day was a day of firsts for Jeff and they were just going to keep coming. The surrealistic nature of the environment meant his mind gripped tightly to something it could process easily; in this case it was the fact that he had no idea that military helicopters would seem so unsafe. The doors were open and there was a general sense of danger when it banked, like it could easily result in a tumble out to the ground below.  Every now and then he would look over at the big foot sitting beside him, literally so close he could smell it and feel the warmth coming off its furry body.  It looked bored and he couldn’t come to terms with that. Nothing that was going on could even vaguely be considered boring or mundane but by all things good he was looking at a bored Sasquatch sitting in a military helicopter in the middle of the night. If he let himself think on that too long he got dizzy and nauseous so he didn’t think about it.
                During one of his looks at the big foot it turned and gave him the purposeful one eyed look it gave him earlier. He almost threw up but instead turned to look at one of the soldiers completely clad in black field uniform. Oddly, the soldier gave him a little wave. This also almost made him throw up.
                The helicopter he was in separated from the other two at some point and his landed in the middle of bright lights and a throng of active people. He didn’t get a good look but as he was politely led from the chopper to a hangar, and separated from the big foot, he did get a glance at what he would swear was a prisoner of war camp and he got so dizzy at this possibility the two soldiers that were walking with him actually had to steady him. They were very nice about it, which made him very nervous.
                The hangar was cozy warm, they took him to one corner where there was the equivalent of a tape outline of a room on the floor and it reminded him of the old TV show WKRP in Cincinnati. There was a table and a chair they sat him in. One of the soldiers asked him if he wanted anything in a modulated voice that made him sound so menacing that he got shaky knees. All he could do was shake his head, the frightening soldier shrugged and walked off.
                After taking a few seconds to rub his face he realized at some point in the chase he had lost one glove, so he took the other off and laid it on the table almost reverently. Next he fought off the urge to urinate with a nearly mythic application of will power. Then he looked around the hangar, or what he could see of it. Mostly it consisted of large things he assumed were vehicles or air craft covered in clean white tarps. At the far corner was a constructed building he assumed was some kind of office. He realized there was absolutely no one else around him, not a guard, not a big foot, not one person. Jeff realized there was nothing stopping him from running away or snooping around. But for some reason he was almost sure he was being watched. He would search his chest every now and then for a red dot from a laser sight he was positive was mounted on a sniper rifle that was pointed at him.
                At one point he was terrified it was on his face instead of his chest because he wouldn’t be able to see it there.
                Eventually he fell asleep. Passed out either from fatigue or fear or just general boredom and eventually he woke up again. He was face down on the table, drool everywhere, and it didn’t look like anything changed. No one had been by apparently and all the fear had gone out of him with a hint of irritation coming into play. He got up and began to wonder around with sniper rifles and scary soldiers forgotten. The white covered anomalous forms called to him so he sauntered over to the nearest and looked around for anyone watching. If he could be a fly on the wall for a few seconds he would have realized how absurdly comical he looked.
                Bending at the knees, back to the covered vehicle, he reached down with is lips pursued to whistle and only just remembered not to. He lifted the edge of the cloth with studied caution and looked underneath.
                He saw tires. Not tires on a wheel, but a pile of tires. A large pile of tires, he lifted the tarp higher and higher and realized that the entire structure under the tarp was a huge pile of stacked tires. He walked to the next closest tarp and under it was just as large a pile of tires. He was through about six when someone said, “Yup, all tires.”, and he nearly died of heart attack. He dropped the tarp like a guilty school kid and turned around to see a man standing a dozen feet away. He was dressed in black and grey military field uniform with a pistol on his hip and a black ball cap on his head. He was clean shaven; blue eyed, and had a crooked grin on his face.
                He walked forward extending a gloved hand, “I’m Captain Rogers, please no super hero jokes, and I’d like to welcome you to Depot 4.” Jeff took his hand out of instinct and the shake was firm but friendly. “Sorry we forgot about you back there, it was a crazy night last night and I just had to get a few things in order before we could talk.”
                The captain started to walk away and Jeff found he couldn’t move. The man actually walked around the corner and was gone a few seconds before he came back and when he did so he almost sneaked around the corner like he wasn’t sure Jeff would be there. He smiled broadly and called to him, “Ha, thought you had rabbited which would have really been weird right? Come on, we can go to the mess hall and talk and you can get something to eat. You may not know it but it’s been thirteen hours since we picked you and Rick up.”
                “Rick?” Jeff was worried again. He didn’t remember his friend Rick coming with him. Rick should still be in session at the university.
                “Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll tell you everything. I don’t get to do this too often so it’s kind of put me in a good mood.” As the captain talked they weaved in and out of the white tarp covered tire piles back to the entrance of the hangar. They walked out an access door and into a bright, sunny, and cool morning that energized Jeff a little. As they made their way across the base towards the mess hall he looked towards large fenced areas with nothing in them, not even buildings. He could have sworn he saw something there last night but there was nothing now. The man he followed must have saw him looking because he said, “Their all asleep now. Well, most of them.”
                The mess hall was as cozy as the hangar and filled with wood floors, well maintained equipment, and almost a restaurant like feel with deep red curtains on the many windows. Captain Rogers picked up a tray and made his way towards the food service buffet, “You’ve gotta try our steak and eggs Roman is friggin’ amazing with eggs and the steak is fresh. We hunt elk for it.” Jeff felt as if he didn’t get the steak and eggs he would be insulting someone with a gun, so he got steak and eggs. He also got a stack of pancakes (without asking for them) and a plate of bacon and sausage. Coffee, milk, and juice and before he knew it he was bearing an offering of great magnitude to his hidden hunger. He didn’t feel like he could eat.  They sat down at a table near the line and as they did two others entered in the same black uniform except their heads were bear and they were chatting with a bored look on their face.  
                “Gentlemen we need some privacy please.” The captain said to them and without a word both turned on their heels and went right back out. Jeff was pretty sure they took up guard positions. The captain looked down at his equally loaded tray, then up at Jeff, then back to his tray. A moment rolled by very slowly where Jeff didn’t speak. He was beginning to think the captain was praying, and then he began to think the captain was waiting for him to pray. Just as he inhaled to ask one of about a dozen questions that the cool air had generated in his mind the man across the table from him looked up suddenly with a real look of concern in his eyes.
                He screwed up his face then sighed, “Okay, Jeff right? Okay Jeff. This is always the hard part. Do I tell you before you eat or after you eat? I can never tell if they’re the kind that is going to get sick or not. So really, what I’m trying to figure out is my odds of cleaning up puke.”
                Jeff became incredibly scared. So scared he was pretty sure he was going to puke anyway even though there was nothing in his stomach but fear. He had a strange thought right then, what does fear look like vomited up?
                Captain Rogers dropped an arm on the table, which was thick wood and barely made any sound, but still startled Jeff so bad he jumped in his seat knocking his fork flying in the air to the floor far behind him. The captain looked embarrassed, “Sorry, really didn’t mean to scare you like that.” He closed one eye in an almost exact copy of what Jeff saw the big foot do, then he started talking again. “Okay, I’m going to go pre-food and bank you can still eat afterwards. First things first, Jeff with all calmness I can muster into you as a stranger with a gun please don’t freak out. But, you are not ever going to leave here.”
                Immediately Jeff wanted to jump up and run somewhere, it didn’t matter where, but somewhere because running probably would feel very constructive in the face of that statement. Instead something took over and he reached across the table and took the captain’s fork so he could eat the eggs. Rogers made a strange face with a downward pull to his mouth and then picked up his spoon. “You can’t leave because you have seen this place. We had to pick you up because you saw us grab the ‘squatch. You saw us grab the’ squatch because we screwed up and didn’t see you running after it. Which I got to say you rarely see anyone run after a Sasquatch… those are some big sons of bitches! I’m not sure if you’re brave or crazy.”
                Jeff had to admit the eggs were amazing, spiced with something and really just easy to eat. Not runny but not over cooked. The steak was a great compliment and he ate them stacked on his fork. Rogers ate a few bites of pancakes with his spoon and continued, “This facility is one of ten such that produce the majority of tires for the United States and Canada.” This sentence actually stopped Jeff in mid bite. “I know, I know, what in the hell am I talking about, right? Well, it turns out that the reason no one ever sees any big foots running around is because we keep them all holed up in one of ten facilities we call Depots.” The captain nodded a little to himself as he talked and munched on pancakes.
                “What are you saying?” Jeff’s egg-steak-egg fork bite was still half way to his mouth. “Did you just tell me I can never leave this place because they make tires here?”
                “Oh, they don’t make the tires.”
                “Who doesn’t make the tires?” The bite was still half way but it wavered at this point, unsure if it should go forth or retreat.
                “The Sasquatch don’t make the tires we just shave them for the rubber.”
                “Wait, what?” the bite was really unsure at this point.
                “I’m going to tell you very plainly, and you are going to have a tour, okay? Then we are going to give you some training, and find you a place in the system here. We are going to do this because we really cannot let you go, and we aren’t a bunch of murderers.”
                The bite started to retreat at this point.
                “The Sasquatch does not have fur in the normal sense as it is produced by furred animals in the sense of it being a protein construct. No, instead Sasquatch has fur constructed from polyisoprene and a keratin, which honestly is a protein but only a little bit of it is in there. Look basically they grow rubber out their follicles where you grow hair. We shave them, well we give them very complicated and thorough haircuts, and we run it through a process to make tires from it. This is kind of like making cloth; the rubber hair is stronger when worked into a tire than one you’d just pour from tree occurring rubber. Do you follow?”
                Jeff nodded, incredibly he did follow and the bite began the assault on his mouth again.
                Rogers nodded also as if affirming yes in fact Jeff was getting it and he wasn’t going to puke that fine steak and eggs everywhere. Jeff noticed someplace in his peripheral vision there was now a line outside the mess hall. People were hungry.  The captain continued, “Okay, so, you probably want to know why the hell we keep them this far north where it’s cold all the time. It turns out that their metabolism is such that the colder the environment the quicker they grow the rubber fur or ‘frubber’ as we call it here. Plus we have to balance it with the fact they will not for any reason at all wear clothing so they are going to be naked in the cold for a  short period of time after being sheared and we don’t want any getting sick from the cold. Northern Canada must have seemed like a good call as it gets good and cold but with proper care it isn’t kill you dead cold.”
                “How in… wait… who found out they had rubber fur?” Jeff had finished the steak and eggs and was considering moving on to the pancakes, or possibly the bacon.
                “A man named Reginald Bofur, strange dude, saw a big foot and wanted to catch one. He did, they are pretty friendly really and when he grabbed it the story goes it just stood there. This was when tires were first being developed. Around 1900 I think but I’m not sure. He kind of saw the big foot as a ranch animal since he made his fortune from wool and looked for ways to make use of it. Soon he figured out the tire thing.”

Rogers looked over his shoulder at the line outside and shook his head, “They’re getting pissy. I hate too but can we wrap up and move on, there is a lot more to it including some government espionage stuff but you can get all that down later.” The captain got up and took his tray to the nearby trash can and Jeff followed suit. When they exited the mess hall they passed a line of forty or so men and women in various uniforms from paramilitary black to the equivalent of mechanics overalls. They seemed in pretty good spirits and a few nodded or waved as he went by, many said nice things to the captain. One flipped him off and he just laughed.
 They made their way across the compound to a smaller building that was two stories tall. Inside they took an elevator down and Jeff saw there were buttons to go down ten basement floors, all marked by a ‘B’ then a number. They stopped on ‘B3’ and for some reason Jeff thought, ‘You sank my battleship.’, and he found it terribly foreboding.
                They walked out into a clean environment painted in drab browns with a surprising amount of lighting, nothing like he expected. Jeff thought for sure there would either be a sterile white and silver or a hallway of broken concrete and blood smears. He certainly did not expect a mix of doctor’s office and social worker’s facility. There were several people walking through the halls in jumpsuits, or jeans and t-shirts, and a few of the same soldiers he had seen earlier and they were clearly patrolling the area.
                “This is the primary facility on base.” The captain started to tell him, “All the other buildings are only surface structures but when they put this facility in place they went down because ultimately you get deep enough underground and it’s easier to maintain a comfortable temperature for the staff and security. This place is really quite state of the art; it just looks like a Dunkin’ Donuts. But I say that and actually we have a donut shop on level five.” He shrugged as if to say ‘what the hell’ and opened a large set of double doors.
                “This will be your barracks, it’s only about half full right now.” As they made their way into a common area he could see several wide-screen flat panel TVs, game systems, a coffee maker, very comfortable looking couches and chairs. In general it reminded Jeff of his college dorm but outfitted by a rich man. Off from the common area were several doors and most were open. Men and women were lounging in their very spacious rooms. Rogers led him to one of the doors on the left and took the key from the door and handed it to Jeff, who held it like he’d been given some strange alien artifact. The break in the activity made him feel warm suddenly and he realized the heavy winter clothing he was wearing was making him overheated and sweaty.
                The room the captain walked into was easily three or four hundred square feet. There was furniture, a television mounted on the wall, a large very comfortable looking bed, and a foot locker filled with stuff from a brand new collection of current media to an electric tooth brush. Rogers moved through the room seeming to check that everything was in order. “We take care of our people here; after all they can never leave again so it’s best we give them a good life for the decades they are going to be here.” Rogers smile was half threatening and more than half sad. It occurred to Jeff that probably meant him too.
                Suddenly dizzy he stumbled and Rogers moved with almost preternatural speed to help him to the overstuffed chair in the room. “I know buddy, it is hard to take in. You go from hunting in the wilds of northern Canada to being some strange factory worker in a super science facility from Weird Tales.  You’ll settle in though, almost everyone does.” And he smiled a real smile this time.
                “Almost?” Jeff heard himself say it, he knew he thought it, but he had not intended to say it. The almost in the captains statement held an edge of danger.
                The captain actually frowned as if it was an intentional carefully planned action. He sat down on the bed and put his hands in his lap, a strange pose for such an imposing man. He seemed to be trying to take a non-threatening pose to not scare Jeff. This scared the hell out of him.
                “It’s like this. Sometimes residents of Depot 4 try to leave. Most of the time it’s a ‘squatch, but some of the time it is one of the staff. Well, really no one can ever leave. No one comes here and leaves again, for real. I know you’re probably thinking there are a few higher ups that can come and go as they please but this isn’t so.” Jeff was thinking that. “The tires are shipped out by underground unmanned rail way. That way no one really knows where this is at and no one will try to steal our big foots… big feets, what would be the plural of that?”
                Jeff just shook his head. “What happens to the ones that run?”
                “Well we catch them just like you saw yesterday. They usually accept getting caught without too much bitching but every now and then one really gets his frubber up and beats the tar out of a guard or two before we have to hit him with tranquilizers and let him sleep the mad off. Most of them don’t stay out long and Depot 4 has never let one get outside the kill zone.”
                “Kill zone?” Jeff felt like the straight man in a two man play.
                “Let’s not talk about that shall we? You won’t be working recovery so it won’t be important.”
                “But what about the people that get away?”
                “You mean the staff, because really Sasquatch are people. Do you really want to know? Also, no one ever gets away.”
                “Yes.” Rogers waited.
                “No.” Rogers raised one eyebrow.
                “Yes. If I’m really stuck here I need to know what I’m getting into if I want to get back to my family.”
                “You don’t have one. You’re dad passed way five years ago and your mother suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s. You have only one friend you’re close to, Richard Matthings, and he will be notified within the next twelve hours of your death by bear mauling. There was even a body at the camp, trust me, and there will be clear enough identification that no one will need to use more than dental records to identify you and the dental records will work.”
                The captain saw Jeff was shaking so he went to a mini-fridge secreted in a cupboard and pulled out a cold lemon lime soda he opened and handed to him. “I’m sorry for your father; it was a very sudden loss with the unidentified heart murmur. I am also sorry for your mother that is a terrible thing to happen to anyone. Richard will be upset but honestly it’s the best we can do. If you’d like I can arrange to have him brought here but I’d wager that wouldn’t interest you.” Jeff shook his head and Rogers nodded in return.
                “Well, not one to avoid the hard stuff here’s your answer. We kill them.” Rogers leaned back on the bad his hands on his legs. It was evident he was waiting to see what would happen next.
                Jeff did the same.
                They waited for a long time.

Elsewhere on the compound Rick was making his way through the burrows. Everything was always clean which was nice, and the cool felt good through his fatigue. He had run for over twelve hours this time, it we good to be out. He wondered absently about the man that had been abducted with him and where the guy was. He might see him later, maybe in shearing, maybe in fabrication. Or he might be dead; it wouldn’t be the first time.
                He started digging into the wall of a large chamber; the two others sitting on rocks reading gave him a dirty look. He just ignored them; he was always kind of a pariah in his tribe and they disliked anything he did usually. Everyone stored in this wall but it was his digging that ruined their day.
                Whatever.
                For some reason the guy was nagging at him. Rick had run a lot, twenty or thirty times and about a quarter of that someone was picked up with him. Why was this guy getting into his fur? He pulled out the plastic bag with the cigars, took one out and stuck it in his mouth, then shoved the bag back into the dirt and bent over scooping up loose dirt from the floor and stuffing it back into the hole in the wall.
                He did this with a lot of grunts and apparent effort just to annoy the readers. One sighed over and over again conveying his disapproval. After he was finished he walked over to the closest, a male about his height but with definitive reddish glean to his hide and a pronounced under bite.
                “Got some fire?” The other rustled around in a hole by the rock he was sitting on and pulled out a zippo lighting Rick’s cigar. “Thanks man.” Rick smacked him so hard on the shoulder that it would have been interpreted as threatening by others but of an expectedly friendly fashion amongst his own. The other nodded his head absently and went back to reading his book.
                Rick made his way out of the tunnels and onto the field, then over to the fence where he leaned against it. People moved about, a few waved and he waved back. He puffed on the cigar until it went out then he just chewed on it.
                For the first time, he didn’t want the guy to die. He never wanted any of them to die, but he had never cared enough to actively want one not to die. He needed to talk to Rogers.

It was the oddest thing watching them shave the Sasquatch. Jeff had been on the job for a little over a week and had been working easy going 6 hour shifts with a healthy hour and half long lunch but he felt exhausted. Jeff’s job was really simple even; he just dumped the buckets of rubbery hair into the bins, most of the time he just sat there and made small talk.
                Made small talk with the other staff and with the Sasquatch, which was, it goes without saying, very weird for Jeff. He had always wanted to catch a picture of a big foot, maybe find a track and take a plaster cast. He most certainly never wanted to watch one get shaved by two guys in blue coveralls while it smoked a poor quality cigar.
                They were surprisingly disconcerting shaved as well. He did all he could to not think about it. You would think that they would look just normal, well, like a person. Well, a large person with an uncanny resemblance to Neanderthal man.
                No, they had skin the color of charcoal with lighter grey spots and the nubs of their fur jutted out from the follicles giving them the appearance that they were pushing grayish brown putty out of their body very slowly. The shavers had to use their big scissors because there was not an effective electric shear for rubber fur that didn’t risk hurting the person being shaved. They worked as a team, one would cut the biggest chunks and leave behind crude work which the next would follow behind and sculpt nicely getting closer to the skin and get as much as was feasible. The Sasquatch would get really angry if the sculpting wasn’t done right, they were extremely picky about their appearance.
                As Jeff sat on a stool looking down into a cardboard box filled with Sasquatch fur he suddenly realized there was someone standing over him. Looking up it was a Sasquatch with a half burnt half chewed cigar sticking out of his mouth. It bared its teeth; Jeff assumed it was a smile and not a threat so he smiled back nervously. The Sasquatch narrowed its eyes and he had a thought for just a second, “Oh, I messed up and this thing is going to kill me.” But instead it shook its head and walked over to the shearing station where the two workers waited with indifference.
                The Sasquatch held its arms out which placed them above the heads of the shear team. As they started to work on it the big foot took a deep breath, “I’m no good at smiling. Never caught on to it.” And it shrugged.
                Jeff realized he was the intended audience and he waved a hand, “No problem. I figured it was a smile, I’m new here so I was just afraid I offended you.”
                “Ah, we’re hard to offend. You gotta get up in our face pretty heavily.”
                One of the shearers glanced over at Jeff, “Don’t bring up recycling man, whatever you do.”
                Jeff cocked an eyebrow as the Sasquatch went rigid, it’s eyes flared and its jaw dropped revealing a large mouth full of molars at the back and fangs to the front. The cigar fell to the ground with a wet flop. It was terrifying looking and Jeff’s heart sped up a few beats but the two shear workers just chuckled. After a brief moment it relaxed again and shook its head, “Nope, not going to do it.” The shearers went back to work; Jeff felt very much like he missed something and just furrowed his brow.
                “Hey buddy, could you hand me that stogie?” Jeff went over and picked up the moist cigar and handed it to the Sasquatch. The Sasquatch shoved the thing back into his mouth wrong end, grimaced and turned it around with his tongue like a magic trick. “You don’t recognize me do you?” Jeff shook his head. “I was the big foot you were chasing a few days ago.”
                Jeff thought about it and didn’t see anything that clicked. He hated to admit it but he had trouble seeing difference in the Sasquatch and knew that was his problem. One of the other staff told him he’s see it in a few more days and suddenly it would all make sense. “Sorry, I don’t… or… well if you say so.”
                “Ah, new guys always get confused, see if this helps.” Suddenly the Sasquatch struck a running pose and looked over his shoulder spitting out the cigar at the same time forming his face into a panicked look. Its sudden change in pose knocked the hat off one of the shearers and they both gave the Sasquatch a dirty look.
                Recognition surged through Jeff’s mind; it was like someone turned on a light in his brain and he could instantly tell that is was in fact the same Sasquatch. The Sasquatch smiled and turned around again holding out his hand. “Glad to meet you, I’m Rick.”
                Jeff took his hand and shook it slowly, “I’m Jeff.”


                

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