The Red Butterfly, Part Twenty – A Boschian Creature
A thing was tugging at my foot. I opened my eyes to the blue sky above, the color of robin’s eggs. I lay supine and the thing continued to gnaw. I lifted my head and a bolt of pain shot through my skull like lightning. An electric storm churning inside my skull. I heard a moan; it was me who produced that sound. The unknown creature began to chew and growl with accelerated desperation. I lifted my head again to see at my feet an enormous skeletal mongrel with an elongated snout; it’s ribs like fish-bones, it’s hide, like worn leather. It was covered in a sorry rug of short patchy hair of an indeterminable darkish color. It was missing an eye. In its place, a dark hole seeping viscous reddish-brown ooze. The animal looked like a thing crawled out of some infernal pit filled with Boschian creatures and was in shadowy opposition to the brightness of the day.
“Hey, get! Get out of here!” I said as I kicked at the thing. It evaded my strike and snapped like a turtle at my withdrawing foot. I kicked at it again and struck it square on the muzzle. It yelped and backed off and bared its black marbled teeth and growled. I rose to my feet as quickly as I could but was felled again by a severe pain in my lower back, the knife wound, come to collect. The dog lunged. I raised my arm across of my face just in time and felt its teeth sink into the thick fabric of my jacket. It was a big dog and as it stood on its hind legs, its snout was level with my eyes and its mouth a terrible flue. The creature’s eyes were wide and wild and unknowing and its jaws clicked and snapped and its hot putrid breath spread over my face like a dark fissile cloud. We tumbled in a corrupt embrace like in some sort of hellish lover’s embrace, the beast on top. I struggled with the thing, held it back with an arm across its throat, the dog jawed, bits of spittle sprayed in my eyes. I dug my knee into its flank and rolled it to the side and booted the thing away and stood as quickly as my battered body allowed. The dog reared, ready to leap again. “Get! Get the hell out of here!” I yelled as I made myself as large as I could, arms spread wide like an totem effigy. The dog lowered its head and rumbled in its chest and backed off. “Go!” I said as I kicked at it. The dog hesitated and bared its teeth, then turned and slunked away down the street. It stopped at the corner and looked back at me. I picked up a loosened cobble-stone but before I could throw it the animal that was barely an animal but some sort of creature from deep inside the hellish guts of the earth ran around the corner and down Calle de Olivar to search out some other victim.