Adventures in Science

Ahh, the rare and mystical Chupacabra. That hallowed beast only second in succulentness to the Mongolian Death Worm. I once tracked the Chupacabra for over 700 miles, on foot, in the Mexican highlands, until Vincente Fox, bemused by someone sneaking into Mexico, personally deported me. Let me tell you this story, chum.

It was our last day in Mexico. Wibbles Hugo, my assistant and heir to the throne of Austro-Hungary, was outside trying to squeeze some water from the notorious Grundle trees, and I was in the tent packing my maps. As I squeezed the last map into a duffle bag, I heard a piercing shriek, followed by the WUMPF of my elephant gun.

“Wibbles!” I cried. “I thought we talked about how my elephant gun is my elephant gun.”

“Mr. Monkeys! El Chupacabra!”

I ran from the tent, clutching the board with the nail through it, only to see a hairless, vampiric being, similar in size to the bloodthirsty koala, gnawing on Wibbles’ skull. He screamed and batted at it with the empty elephant gun, and I began swiping at the little thing. This startled the devilish creature – it emitted a most haunting shriek and hopped away powerfully, pausing momentarily to defecate in my unguarded sleeping bag. I gritted my teeth. That little bastard.

Wibbles Hugo fell to the ground in shock. As his own brains dirtied his polo shirt, I pondered this evil beast, that had set upon us like nothing else. I realized that the sane solution, as always, was simple: Revenge.

“Wibbles. I say, Wibbles! Get up, and reload my elephant gun. We’re going to find that damned beast if it’s the last thing we do!”

“But Mr. Monkeys sir,” Wibbles replied, groggily wiping the brains from his shirt, “I thought we leave?”

“This is personal. It was frontier law back in the Crimea. You don’t mess with someone’s sleeping bag.”

“But…the president!”

“He owes me one, for rescuing him from a certain Russian Guard Patrol at the Siege of Sevastopol. We leave at dawn. In the meantime, let’s patch you up, Hugo.”

As I soldered the last metal plate to Wibbles’ skull, the sun slowly fell, and I could hear the squawks of the eel lizards begin. As the steakhouse aroma cleared, we began to trace the chupacabra.

“Wibbles! These tracks go west!”

“Yes sir Mr. Monkeys, west.”

“He’s going to the Baja, I’m sure of it. Probably to the Uncharted Forest. We have to follow him, Wibbles, or we’re through here. To the DC-3!”

Wibbles hauled our baggage into the aging airliner, wiped the windows down, and coaxed the engines to life. I had traded the other seat for some local trinkets and eccentricities, so I encouraged Wibbles Hugo to hang on to the landing gear strut. We took off, and flew into the setting sun.

We landed in the Uncharted Forest, midway down the Baja peninsula, some hours later. I got my elephant gun and a spear and went to fetch Wibbles. He emerged from the gear door wearing a new knitted vest. As I was about to make a charitable remark on his fine needlepoint skills, the same shriek we had heard before pierced the forest, scattering the wildlife.

“He’s here, Hugo,” I said, handing Wibbles the spear and donning my Stetson. The shrieks grew closer. As Wibbles and I peered around, I saw faint movement in the woods, and suddenly an identical Chupacabra fell screaming from the treetops onto Wibbles’ head, the same pattern as before. I fired my elephant gun again, but the shots missed Hugo and buried themselves in our DC-3, and the recoil flung me against a tree. I watched agape as Wibbles demonstrated his skill in the Zulu spear arts with the creature, perhaps two feet tall, hopped around him, making piercing strikes at his legs. For a good three minutes they kept this horrific dance up, slowing as a tear gas grenade fell from a helicopter overhead. My eyes went runny, but I could see a Mexican customs agent tie up Wibbles Hugo and the damned creature.

“I say, Monkeys m’ old boy,” the helicopter’s loudspeaker boomed. I recognized the voice as that of Vincente Fox immediately. “I dare say I asked you to leave my country at least a day ago, did I not? We have that bothersome Chupacabra, now what say you and Hugosi Wibbleston there scoot along home.

“We can’t, Fox. I shot my vintage airliner.”

“You’re not pulling that one on me again, old boy.”

“Honest, I did. Look for yourself.” There was a gaping hole in one of the Wright Cyclone engines.

“You’ve put me in quite a spot of trouble, old boy. I’ll give you a lift to Mexicopolis, then I expect you to leave my island paradise and never return.”

The helicopter ride was uneventful, if long. The Chupacabra was encased in a metal box, so although I couldn’t see it, I could hear the strange metallic chattering it made. Wibbles was fine, if a little shaken up. He and Fox had a long discussion on the finer points of Zulu spearsmanship, as Fox downed gallon after gallon of tea.

We landed in Mexicopolis at about seven PM. Fox, I, and Wibbles, accompanied by two soldiers bearing the Chupacabra, proceeded to a conference room some ways inside Fox’s fortress. Fox had a scientist come and spray some gas in the metal box, paralyzing the beast. He took it out of the box. My height estimations had been correct, and the thing was indeed hairless. It had inch-long claws on small forearms. The thing that struck me most was the eyes – fierce, red little things. You could see the longing in them to tear the countenance from the front of our heads.

As we talked about the beast, it suddenly sprung up in Fox’s hands, almost immediately wrapping around his head so as to break his neck. I leveled the elephant gun and fired, Fox’s head and the Chupacabra’s hind legs getting carried away in a fine red mist. The deafening roar in the room had hardly subsided when I felt my legs fall out from under me, the Chupacabra hitting them as he bounded around. It attatched itself to Wibbles’ head, tore out the metal plates with a sickening crack, and climbed inside. Wibbles’ eyes flamed red, and he hunkered down.

“Finally!” He said. “Now I am the President of Mexico!”

I brought my elephant gun to bear, hoping there was still a shot left in the barrel.