Scorpions of the Undead

The memoir I recount thus is an attempt to purge the demons of my mind from dragging me hither unto the shadowy depths of madness. The terrors conjured up by the knowledge of this tale should bring any sane man to the brink or beyond. It is for this reason that I implore this transcript be burned should its arcane contents be exhumed from their final resting place.

So it began one day early this previous summer that I succumbed to the duties of laundering when my under garments ran short in supply. As is my custom, the articles were prepared and laundered the evening prior, though with apparent dilatory effort for a full day passed before I noted the abandonment of the chore.

It is here that the tale takes an unnatural turn of events.

The laundered items had taken on a peculiar odor from their day’s wait for my attendance. As if soured by milk, they excreted a mildly unpleasant smell. With idle curiosity, for rarely do dampened clothes turn so quickly in the wash bin, I set upon the task of correcting this error with vinegar spirits; lest the odor be everlasting. The second wash commenced and I admonished myself for the earlier failure in memory. Now ever-present of mind, I succeeded in washing and moving said items into the drier.

I was then struck with an unexpected site. There, at the bottom of my laundry, was the unmoving corpse of an arthropod of the order Scorpiones. My imagination reeled with the agony that must have been its dying thoughts as it was thrust about in a churning sea of scalding waters. Perhaps the creature found its way into the warm and moistened materials after the first wash, or perhaps it lived through the first wash only to succumb at the onslaught of yet another fearsome storm by whatever god it knows.

I gingerly lifted the arthropod at its deadly stinger to make a closer examination. A beautiful specimen – fully intact! Alas, I knew too well that its visage would strike terror into the heart of my loved ones and guessed at what courtesy I could bestow it as a death right. As I thought of this, I placed the arthropod onto a small platter to consider for another time what shall become of it. I went about my chores in that carefree way in which one does with the comforting knowledge that creatures in unsuspecting places are found dead! It is said that the venom from such a thing can cause terrible pain and oft the onslaught of illness.

I returned to the drying corpse of my intrigue only to find that it no longer lay in its resting place! What trickery have my wicked felines been up to this day to steal away with; not their quarry, but mine! As the thought occurred to me, there was also that nagging realization that I had not seen the cats all day. Upon this consideration, I lifted the platter gently to discover my unmoving scorpion below. This was an unexpected site and I presumed that in my carelessness, I must have bumped the platter previously. As I went to check the status of its mortality again, the scorpion started and scurried as if quite well alive! That venomous monster, a spawn of only the imagination of demons would conjure, exhibited multiple legged ambulation that one would associate with its living counterpart. I had heard tales of the undead, but they were merely tales read to children to scare and incite their fears. Surely these monstrosities did not exist in our world. Surely the dead’s place remained as left in the ground, or perhaps in the visage of a spectral being as has been recounted by numerous observers. But here, before me, was the very proof in the existence of the undead!

The abomination made me reel in my steps. The horror of such a thing struck terror in my very being. Catching a hold of myself, I wasted little time and recaptured the corpse in a specimen jar. Without it, what proof have I? What dangerous path do I put myself upon by keeping the creature? Perhaps, the world should not be subjected to such a horror so as to bring about hysteria in masses. So I cast about and settled upon the only solution known to my addled senses. The unliving arthropod must be cast out into nature for the natural course of things to run. Far away from anyone, so as not to come into contact with it and release upon the world a plague of undead beings. Surely, an abomination such as this will find its place, or ending, among the order of the natural world. After all, what more can I do to a thing that has been killed twice already?

And the deed was done. The creature was delivered into the shady undergrowth of the dark woods where it may find no company with man. I, left alone in my thoughts and memories, protect the secret of the paradox and stand guard against the world’s knowledge of it…to my own detriment and inevitable dying days. May they come sooner rather than later to end me of this horrible cross to bear! For the sting of the insect left its venom in my mind; although never physically puncturing the skin, it nonetheless worked its magical poisons through all defenses and deep into the recesses of my own insanity.

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