> Quadrupeds
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The Biologist

Is going mad, Under funded, unbelieved, isolated, she may have spent too much time, alone, in the wilderness. In her home, between excursions she is plagued, during the night by visions of Quadrupeds. They stalk through her rooms, peer at her while standing over her as she tries to sleep.

She has reached the point where all of her funding applications are ignored. It is as if the entire scientific community has turned its collective back on her. And there is no one with whom she can talk. She continues her work by drawing on her own savings, and those are running out.

The work is suffering. Where once, her field notes were bright and full of observation, they are now rambling and disjointed. Once crisp photographs have become dull and unclear. Facing another study grant application is too daunting to even consider. She does not wish to lecture any more. Indeed she is not even sure that she could if given the opportunity.Her health, she fears, is failing. On far too many mornings she retches, and will loose her meager breakfast in the sink.

Seeking at 7:30 a tumbler of cheap alcohol to effectively kill the day even before it starts. Always, out of the corner of her eye, a Quadruped stands, as if in judgment, waiting. Where once she was vain about her appearance, she is now, self aware, letting herself slide. “Going to the Quads”, she once joked to a colleague. That person has since avoided her, and has made no excuses for ducking into doorways to avoid her passing.

She knew that her discovery was against the norm, but also knew that she could support it. The notes, sketches and photographs would serve out the proof. She had not expected the cold shoulders, the stony silence from the entire scientific community. “With no one to believe you”, she wrote, “do you actually exist?” On that page in her journal, a cigarette ash made a scorch mark, bright - burning through the depths of her words.