Word Count: 498
Testament to the Truth
I swore I would not give credence to this…this…thing…whatever you may call it. Nothing more
than a hoax, I said. A ghastly trick, designed to bilk the community of its money and its sense of
safety. What kind of man preys upon another’s fears? Who but a scoundrel places monetary gain
over his neighbor’s peace of mind? Exhibiting this hideous monster—he took great glee in
charging for a glimpse.
I saw it, yes. And I saw through it. And yet…even as I knew it for a fraud, I couldn’t help
wondering ‘what if?’ What if it were true?
After much consideration, I began my study of this thing. My research—methodical and
scientific—soon consumed my every waking moment and infiltrated my dreams, insinuating
itself into my life. Although my work had not been approved by the university, I carried it out,
anyway, under the guise of something more academically acceptable. After three years, my wife
left me. I barely noticed her absence, so engrossed had I become in my work, my clandestine
travel and investigation.
Under the precept that fiction often has basis in fact, I ferreted out the evidences, then attempted
to discount and disprove each. Some I could; others, I could not. For every fifty fictitious
sightings, I encountered one possible truth. Eventually, I collected a file as thick as my thumb of
events which, I felt, supported a very different truth from the one I had set out to establish. I
could not debunk the myth.
For years, I denied the creature’s existence. Skeptic though I was, I now am unequivocally
certain he, it, is real. At risk of my reputation, I gladly sign this testament: I saw it. I believe. My
encounter, in the wild, confirms its existence.
Do not mistake my intentions. I do not wish to validate the side-show freak introduced to us by a
money-grubbing showman. I say I encountered the genuine article. It lives among us now, as it
has, perhaps, since the last ice age.
If the showman played on people’s fears and their delight in being frightened, perhaps this was a
good thing. Perhaps it kept them away from the genuine creature, a truly monstrous beast,
capable of ripping a man limb from limb. But this is an unjust portrayal. Never have reports
substantiated a violent nature. More typically, the creature is apt to flee than fight, hide rather
than expose itself. We have little to fear. It is the beast’s safety that concerns me.
The beast. I hesitate to call it such, after devoting most of my life to studying it. I cannot leave
this earth without validating the worth of my research. To say I would gladly give up another
lifetime to this pursuit hardly says enough.
Before I die, I must go on record. Protect this noble beast in our midst. Heed my testament. Go to
the circus if you wish to see freaks. But to find the truth, go out into the world.