Freelance: Chupacabra

A Puorto Recan sat down for coffee. Soft Salsa played overhead, and rain thumped against the window beside him. He ordered an Alto Grande- the best money could buy. Staring contentedly at the rich volcanic soil of the rural midlands, he reflected on the exotic qualities of his beverage.

He turned to watch the 8-o clock news. The plump newsreader seemed visibly excited. Though he did not understand her fluent spanish, he could easily discern what the fuss was about. Apparently, rumours were rife about a monster. Termed ‘Chupacabra’ by the media, it was to be blamed for the systematic disappearance of goats and chicken in villages across the Yabucoa state. People who had sighted it described it as being out-of-the-world.

More like out of theirs heads thought the man, smirking to himself. You could never tell how much deception people could bring upon themselves. Would extra-terrestrials take pains to travel a few million light years…in order to gobble up cattle in a place which was in middle of nowhere? For this excellent coffee maybe, but definitely not for adulterated mutton. And after their well-deserved coffee break they might even take time to fix up this desolate place. Bring a bit of sense to these vulnerable people, and all.

Yes, he alone knew the truth. The cattle were being rustled by a band of outlaws with a strange dressing sense. A rough sketch of the Chupacabra popped up on the TV screen- a convincing hybrid of a monkey and a kangaroo. Oh these people and their wild imagination! Our man faced the cashier across the counter with a suppressed snicker:

“Don’t worry about that monster. It has be taken care of.”

Yes, our man had handled the cattle rustlers alright. Infact they were bundled up, awaiting transportation.

He paid for his coffee and walked outside. The air was crisp and refreshing, like rain at the end of a muggy day . He started on foot and walked past the Arecibo radio telescope. A signboard identified it as the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. It was used extensively by SETI – Search for Extraterrestrial Life Institute.

‘The irony!’ he thought as he stepped into his spaceship, smiling.


-Hari Subbiah

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