The Promise

The Promise

“Wendy, you know how much I love you. I would be fortunate to grow old with you by my side.

However, before I can think of a future for us, there is something you need to know… my past!” Ron said in a dreary voice.

As if on cue, the atmosphere changed. Dark clouds gathered. Thunder and lightning struck. Was a warning issued?

“Ron, I love you. I know your present. I have no interest in your past,” Wendy said, trying to walk away.

“Wendy, stop… I insist. 

About five years ago, a little before we met, I went to the Amazon on an expedition searching for stories for a documentary. Deep in the jungles, I came across a primitive settlement non-existent to this world. Probably my skin color saved my life then. As a friendly gesture, I taught them to use a lighter to make fire. That broke all barriers; they welcomed me into their lives. I was allowed to stay with them and observe their lifestyle. 

They had exceptional hunting skills. They wounded a creature unlike anything ever seen before on one hunting trip, about 4 feet tall, with ugly features, razor-sharp teeth, long talons, and scaly skin. Knowing it was a rare find and excellent material for my documentary, I stopped them from killing it.”

Ron paused, gulped some water, and added, “My worst blunder ever!”

“We built a treehouse to keep it safe from other predators and chained it with thick ropes. I nursed it back to health. It was brilliant. It picked up my language and mannerisms and even talked in monosyllables in the one week it was held captive.

Then, it just disappeared! 

I realized much later that it had exceptional camouflaging skills, and while we thought it had vanished, it was right in front of us. We had inadvertently cut open the ropes and set it free.” Ron paused, visibly shaken, reliving the experience.

“Soon after, one by one, the members of the tribe went missing. We set a trap to capture the predator and took turns to keep watch. One night, I saw it rip open a tribal with its bare hands. Before I could raise the alarm, it crawled up to me, licked my face, and hissed in my ear, ‘Talk of this to no one, and you will live.’

‘I promise,’ I said before fainting in shock.

Two days later, after I recovered, I decided to get out from there. My award-winning documentary has no mention of that creature. Even today, I have nightmares,” Ron said, sweating profusely, visibly traumatized. 

After composing himself, Ron got down on his knees and asked, “Now that you know why I wake up screaming some nights, will you marry me?”

“Ron, my dear, I would love to,” Wendy said, with tears in her eyes.

“But… you broke your promise.” 

Ron watched in horror as the contours of her face altered, and Wendy metamorphosed into the alien creature and ripped him apart.

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