Monday, October 28, 2013

IF: Creature

Artist's revised concept sketch

Whoooaa dang!  I've been waiting for the right time to post this one.  I did this about 7 years ago and it comes with a great story.  I'll try to keep it brief but it really is one of those things where "you just had to be there to believe it".  Ok...

I was working for an insulation company in Arizona at the time and it was our job to install the different types of fiberglass in the new homes being built.  It was the job of another individual, let's call him Jimmy (since I really don't remember the kid's name), to load up a moving truck with the material and bring it to us at the different sites.  The loading site was in a dirt lot in the middle of the desert.  All Jimmy had to do was drive the truck to the load site, load the truck, and drive it over to wherever I was.  That was his job.  And since my job depended on the material that Jimmy brought me, I was concerned when one day Jimmy didn't show up.  He had showed up at the office that morning so I knew he was in but he didn't arrive at the house we were working on and wasn't answering his cell phone.  So after waiting long enough we decided to go to the load site ourselves and load up what we could. 

When we got to the load site we saw Jimmy's truck there, but no sign of Jimmy.  The back door of the truck (it was like a U-Haul) was closed and there wasn't anyone in the front seat.  No one in the outhouse.  No one wandering around the desert.  No Jimmy answering to the call of his name.  Then I noticed that the back door wasn't completely shut.  I rolled it open only to find a deranged Jimmy poking a makeshift spear at me and shouting at us to get away and "Get off the ground".  The whole thing felt very much like the movie "Tremors" which I was beginning to think that Jimmy had recently seen and thought was a documentary instead of one of Kevin Bacon's finer cinematic achievements in the science fiction genre.  After a minute we were able to calm Jimmy down.  Not talk him out of the truck mind you, and we weren't about to hop in the back of a truck only to get locked in with crazy Jimmy, but we did get him to stop waving the stick with a nail tied to the end of it at us.

We asked Jimmy what happened and he proceeded to tell us about this ferocious creature that came at him and tried to bite his leg.  After we went through the list of possible drugs he could have taken and he still insisted he was sober (not convincingly though) he described what it looked like with great difficulty.  The closest thing we could figure that it looked like was a horned lizard which he angrily told us it wasn't.  He said it was bright red with hard scales on it's back and eyes that poked out and a long tail.  A desert lobster perhaps?  Apparently not.  I asked him if it was smaller that his shoe and he said yes to which I further inquired why he hadn't just squashed the f'ing thing.  He said that was impossible for some reason.  After the amusement wore off and frustration as to the time and money we had lost because of this issue increased, I asked if he could just draw what it looked like.  This is his exact sketch which I have kept all these years.  It kinda looks like something from The Little Prince.

Victim's original sketch
He insisted that the thing looked entirely more deadly than what he had drawn but that general idea had been captured. 

I took his sketch home and later that evening drew the more detailed concept you see up top.  I took it to work the next day and asked if this is what it looked like.  "Yes!  Oh my God!  That's it! That's what attacked me!" he screamed at the office.  Everyone had a good laugh and teased him about it until he was fired for failing a drug test a week later.  We still laughed about it after, he just wasn't around to tease.  And that's exactly how it took place.  Too good not to tell in my opinion.  If you do have an idea on what Jimmy might have seen, please let me know.  Otherwise we'll continue to assume it was the drugs and the Arizona heat that attacked poor Jimmy that day.