We lizard people are a fairly close knit society. There’s so few of us that I know close to everyone who lives in the tri-state area, and definitely, I would have spotted Jeremy at the latest lizard people reunion in our neighbourhood. It’s not like he was new to the neighbourhood, he was my neighbour for the past decade or so. Something was definitely not right.
When Jeremy got home last night I was discreetly observing him while I pretended to tend to my garden. I searched for the casual tongue flick, one that was too fast for ordinary humans to perceive, but there was none. I looked out for the way his hand should have stuck on to that doorknob just that little bit more than a normal guy, but it did not. I tried to smell the faint scent of the nest as his door opened, but not even a whiff came by me as Jeremy closed the door to his house. Something was definitely wrong.
I decided to confront him that very night. Transformed into lizard form and slipped down his chimney and hid in the dark corner of his living room till all was quiet for the night, then I scooched over to the dinner table to await him. If he was one of us he would have been able to sense me, and he would have come.
The cuckoo clock on his wall chimed. It was three in the morning. Soon it was four. At five I stood up to leave, for I had concluded there was nothing to this idle boast of his. And just as I turned I found myself face to face with him. Good old Jeremy. He had been there the whole time, watching, waiting. All around me the world suddenly erupted in a ear-piercing scream, the high pitch cacophony drowned out my thoughts and seemed to stab into the very heart of my brain. Damn those lizard traps and their high frequency sounds, there was no way I would be able to transform back into a human.
A huge crash on my right. I saw Jeremy readying his hand to strike again, newspaper all rolled up into a tight baton. One strike would do me in. One strike would squash my skeleton and my insides. Whoosh. I felt the pressure building up and the wind pushing against me – the strike was coming. Instinctively, I sprang forward. Left right left right. I was at the edge of the table. I covered the last few steps and sprang off.
Not fast enough! Pain shot through my lower back. I knew what had happened even before I turned to look and assess the damage. My tail was off. I could still feel it wriggling and squirming, the lingering, phantom pain of a appendage no longer attached. But I was home free, all that was left was to squeeze through the door. One last bit.
Zhoop. I ran myself right into a glass wall. “Cripes” I thought to myself. This was the end of it. Frantically, I backtracked, but the glass was all around me. Jeremy had me in a jar. Now this was really the end of it. The next thing I knew, the lid had been put on, and I was being taken to a new area of his house. Down the steps Jeremy went – into his basement. There was this low humming sound. It was tuned at just the right frequency to inhibit a lizard person’s transformation to human form. Damn. This Jeremy knew what he was doing.
That’s when I saw it. Rows upon rows, shelves upon shelves, in all of them were stacked small rounded glass jars very much like mine, each with a captive lizard of their own. I looked in horror upon the sight that was in front of me, as the terror of my predicament slowly dawned on me. Desperately, I tapped at the glass, only to hear a low chuckle from my captor. “There’s no escape, my friend. Here, you will join the others to rot for all of eternity. No one will feed you. No one will save you. And when all the lizard people of the world have been exterminated, the cockroach people will rule the land.”