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The Disease

By , Kennett Square, PA
“When are you leaving?”

“Now. I should be back in an hour with the meat we need for dinner.”

“Ok. Be safe.”

It was like any other normal hunting day for Sergio, the greatest skilled hunter in the village of Tehuantepec. Every two days, Sergio would hunt for food for the family. Whether it was fish or land animals, he would almost always return within about an hour. After ten minutes of strenuous descent of the mountain, he had finally reached his favorite hunting ground unknown to the other villagers. Usually within about five minutes, he would find a meal for his family and would be returning to his home to roast it over a fire. Today was different, today was much harder, today animals were not present. Sergio was extremely confused. As a result, he had hiked around the valley to the backside, where he had never found food. Every time he had been here, he noticed that the area was surrounded by brush, yet strangely there was a small path leading out of the ground. He knew he needed to find food, he knew he needed to return soon, he knew he needed to enter; and so he did.

Half way through the twenty foot long, thin, brush covered path, Sergio had come to an unusual sign. It was yellow with an odd symbol of a drop of liquid with an “X” through the middle of it. Disregarding the uncanny sign, the skilled hunter decided to proceed. Sergio was amazed at the sight when he had reached the end of the path: there were hundreds of grazing animals and hundreds more drinking from different rivers and ponds. He had rushed to the nearest stream to save time and started to scavenge as many fish as possible. When he had about three caught, Sergio had encountered something that he had never seen in his years as a hunter: an odd, large, orange fish. The fish looked like a tiger; it even had four small legs that extended from the ends of its body. He had noticed that the fish’s fin was trapped underneath a rock. Sergio had firmly grabbed the peculiar fish and pulled it out from under the rock; it then wiggled out of his grip, jumped out from the water like a deer would jump over a fence, stared at Sergio, and hissed. Seconds later, the hunter felt nauseous and mysteriously sleepy. Sergio fell to the ground, slowly shut his eyes, and fell asleep.

When he awoke, the great fisherman was somewhere familiar. He was very drowsy and could not think well, yet in a flash, he realized that he was in his home. He thought to himself, “How did I get here? Was that all a dream?”

“Oh Sergio, I thought you were dead!” said his wife.

“How long was I sleeping?” he replied.

“About a day or so. What happened to you?”

“I don’t know. The last thing I remember was staring deep into an odd fish’s horrid, yellow eyes.

“That’s odd. What did the fish look like?

“It looked like a tiger with fins. It even had legs! I wasn’t sure what kind of peculiar creature I was looking eye to eye with. Could you get me some water; I am not feeling too well?”

Within seconds his wife returned with the last of the water from the large bowl; she handed the water to Sergio and was surprised at how fast he had swallowed it. She thought to herself that he needed more water, so she left home with her bowl in search of the nearest stream.

When the wife had returned to Sergio to give him the water, she noticed something odd about his hands: they were much bigger and harrier and his fingernails were starting to grow at an outrageous speed. Before she could look up at his eyes, the bowl was stuck back into her face. At the same time, she heard the word “more.” The wife was worried about Sergio. She said to him, “Sergio, stay here. I’m going to get you a doctor and some more water.”

Carrying her bowl, she was now running faster than any animal her husband had ever hunted. One mile down the road she had finally reached the house of the town doctor, Mario.
While rushing into the house, she was screaming for Mario. Seconds later Mario had appeared with worry tattooed on his terror-struck face. The wife explained the problem to Mario. The town doctor was as confused as he had ever been; he hurried to gather his things, rushed out the door in front of the wife and yelled, “Go get more water! I’ll be waiting for you at your house!”

When she arrived back at her house with two gallons of water in the large bowl, she was scared to death by the sight of her husband. All of Sergio’s hair, not just on his head, was at least two times as long as the last time she saw him, which was only about 30 minutes ago. She felt the need to give him more water, but before she did she told the doctor, “Watch how fast Sergio drinks this Mario, it is incredible.”

She then handed the water to Sergio, who forcefully took the bowl from her hands. Before the two could blink, Sergio was finished drinking the water. Mario stood, amazed at what had just happened. He told the wife, “That was amazing! I have never seen anything like it. Go get some more water. I’m going to hook up some I.V.s to Sergio.”

She did as the doctor told her to do. The wife was quick to return to the house with another two gallons in the bowl on the top of her head. As she walked through the door, a tear strolled down her cheek. She could not recognize her husband any more: he was now about one foot taller and 100 pounds heavier and also had extremely large hairy feet, hands, and limbs. Once again, she gave the water to her husband and once again it was gone in a matter of seconds. She asked the doctor, “Have you found anything yet Mario?”

“No, this work is far from facile.” he replied. “I’ve never seen anything even close to difficult as this. I’m going to have to do some more tests on his blood. What I need from you is more water. I have noticed when Sergio doesn’t get water, he gets very rough and screams. We may have found ourselves one of the newest diseases on the planet.”

The wife had done as the doctor had told her, but when she got to the stream, she noticed an odd creature lying on the bank. When she had moved closer, she realized that it wasn’t just any strange creature; it was the fish that Sergio had encountered. Recognizing that the fish had not seen her yet, she quickly grabbed two long, sharp, sticks that were perfect for killing. Without hesitation, she charged the fish, stabbed it with the shorter stick and backed off. The fish began to hiss and charge at the woman. The two were now in one on one combat, and the wife knew that she needed to be the victor. She felt that nobody else should have their life ruined by this mysterious fish. After multiple stabs, the fish had died. The wife was joyous of her victory but knew she had to return home. She swiftly scooped up some water into her bowl and hurried back to her house.

Upon returning, she noticed a very unusual silence, one that had never been heard before. As she entered the house with the bowl on top of her head, she stood, shocked at the sight. The bowl had fallen to the floor and smashed against the ground, but the wife disregarded it because of the horrific sight. Mario had reached his demise. There were slashes all over his body, and Sergio, the man with an unknown disease, was gone.

Within a few hours, there were hundreds of investigators, policemen, and news reporters from around the world gathered around the house. After days of intense investigation, no clues were found to signify where Sergio might have gone. The wife was hopeless, all she wanted to do was sleep. In a matter of seconds, she was asleep.

That night she had awoken to a terrible scream in the woods outside. She remembered what the doctor had said and thought that it may be Sergio. She rushed to light her lantern that was just outside of her bedroom, and proceeded into the eerie darkness.

She had started to walk briskly, then jog, then run, and shortly she was at top speed. She was running for only 30 seconds before she tripped over a root of a tree and noticed an odd shape in the mud of the forest: a large footprint, almost two feet long. It had occurred to her that this was the track of Sergio, whose feet had grown to this size. Pleased with her finding, she returned to her house and to sleep.

News of the big-footed creature had spread across the village the next morning. Townspeople, except for the wife, were scared of seeing this “Bigfoot” and were especially terrified to encounter him on a hike in the woods. The woman knew that a person would rarely see him in the state that he is in, as he never liked to be seen even as a normal human

In weeks, news of the monster had spread throughout the country, in months, it had spread to the entire continent, and within a year, there were thousands of “Bigfoot” sightings around the world. Each new sighting was not false in the belief of the wife. She thought that the disease was spreading. Many believe that Bigfoot is a folktale, many think that it is just an ape, but in one small village in Tehuantepec, it is not a folktale: the story of Sergio Garcia is a reality.





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