Monstrous May, Pagham-verse

#MonstrousMay: The Monster’s Wings

1943: Nathan Porter’s Journal


This trip took me along the coastline a little further than I have explored before.

I discovered, some way along, the carcass of a giant insectoid, with a monstrous head like a horse but with a mouth split all the way up the muzzle to the base of the neck, filled with extraordinarily sharp fangs, quite unlike any insect in our world.

The creature had gauzy wings like a dragonfly, translucent and shimmering as I inspected them. The wingspan of this creature is approximately 5 feet across, and 2 feet wide at the wings’ widest part. The wing is veined all the way across, creating uneven window panes of thin membrane like a mosaic of stained glass. They seem to be hinged on the creature’s back, embedded inside a casing not unlike a beetle, although the body seems to be segmented like a hornet. The casing is a brown-green, and covers the thorax.

The sting of the creature is enormous and would surely pierce through a man before any venom could be injected. It does seem to be venomous, as the stinger is hollow and came away when I cut at the root of it like a stubborn tooth. Venom spilled from the sacs to which it was attached, and I have collected samples for testing.

I have also cut away one of the giant wings for further examination of its mechanics and properties. If nothing else, it will make a fine mobile for the nursery, or a kite for the children when they are older.

Other external samples taken: fangs, one of the creature’s eyes, which are round orbs comprised of perfect hexagons, implying a full range of sight, and one limb of the six it possesses intact, for dissection.

I did perform a rudimentary dissection on the spot while I had the opportunity, and discovered the thing has three stomachs. I took samples of blood and attempted to sample the stomach acid but the acid burned through my glass vial. I took samples of the flesh where possible instead, to see what could resist such acidic properties.

I am not sure what the creature died of; there were no wounds upon it, so perhaps it reacted to a change in its environment, such as temperature or adverse weather. It may have starved to death; as far as I could tell, it’s stomachs were empty, although they dissolved my scalpel and other blades as I sliced them open to check.

Note: some stomach acidic spilled out upon the wing, and the wing is scorched in that spot, but has not completely eroded through. What is the wing made of?

Note: the blood is blue, like ink, and has a very similar texture.

Tom Brown (c) 2021 – Ricky In Trouble, illustration from THIRTEENTH

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