As promised, today I’m bringing you a guest post. Justin Robinson, author of the new novel, Mr. Blank, has written a little something based on my personal request for something spooky. The topic is chupacabras, also known as goatsuckers. Those critters creep me out either way.
But things get even more exciting today. Would you like a chance to win a DRM-free copy of Mr. Blank (in the format of your choice) and a free eReader? I haven’t mentioned this before, (Um, because I forgot I was doing this. Hey, my cat’s sick!), but both of these prizes are just waiting for you! Yes, you!
How to win? Well, it’s a two-part process. To be entered for a chance to win the book, comment on this post with your answer to the question I pose at the end (assuming I approve your comment–spammers and trolls need not apply). My kitty will then peruse the entries and pick a winner, and I’ll announce the winner on (when else?) Hallowe’en.
How a blind cat will do this is a mystery to us all…
To win the eReader? Well, that takes a little more doing. The copy of Mr. Blank the lucky winner will receive is the special Limited Fnord Edition eBook. There are five “fnord”s hidden in the text. Find them all and email Candlemark and Gleam to be entered into a drawing to win that eReader in February! You might also want to follow their blog so you’ll know what’s what as it gets closer to the date.
Buying the book is another option, if you don’t want to take any chances (and don’t need a free eReader). Just click on the book cover. But first, let’s read about chupacabras.
They say that behind every great man is a woman. In the conspiracy world, behind every great story, there’s some mutilated livestock. Like every place with farmland, Puerto Rico in 1995 had its share of mysterious animal deaths, although it’s unclear as to whether there were actually any more than usual. The animals had all the usual signs: missing eyes, internal organs, and anuses; clean surgical cuts; and, most importantly, they were completely exsanguinated. No culprit was identified until the second week of August, when local movie buff Madelyne Tolentino reported the first sighting of the creature later named (much to the delight of everyone) the chupacabra, or goatsucker. Tolentino’s description was remarkably thorough, focusing on the monster’s large eyes, clawed hands, and ridge of spines running down its back. A drawing later done from her description shows a creature that looks remarkably like a feral Grey alien.
Because they know awesome when they see it, the Latin American world ran with this new monster. Reports popped up all around Puerto Rico, eventually spreading throughout Central and South America, even coming into Florida, Texas, and California. Odd details cropped up, associating the beasts with UFOs, Bigfoot-like creatures, and the ubiquitous Greys. In one sighting, a hissing chupacabra made a crowd of people faint and nauseous. In another, hatchet blows on the thing produced an artificial sound, like striking a drum. Its large red eyes were said to have hypnotic powers and it carried with it both the stench of brimstone and trace amounts of radiation. From a folklore standpoint, it seemed to bridge the gap between the demons of yesteryear and modern-day aliens.
Unlike a lot of monsters whose origins are lost to folklore, the source of the chupacabra myth is right there for the looking. I’m going to burst a couple bubbles here. I’m sorry.
Let’s start with cattle mutilations. Now, this might disappoint some people, but apart from your odd rural serial killer, there’s no such thing. I know all the stories about blood-drained carcasses splitting along surgical lines with organs mysteriously gone. Here’s the thing: that’s just what happens when you rot outdoors. The softest tissue gets eaten first, mostly because it appeals to things without teeth like pretty much every kind of horrifying insect scavenger. You can check this disgusting clip if you have the stomach.
All right, but what about all those chupacabra videos that kept popping up? Those are obviously real. And there were corpses found, which any Google image search will show you. So clearly there’s some kind of monster out there. Well, sure. As long as by “monster” you mean “coyote with mange.” Most importantly, if this were actually a chupacabra, it wouldn’t explain Tolentino’s initial sighting.
What about that? We have an eyewitness account of the creature. Sure, it’s a profoundly bizarre one—Tolentino joked with her mother that a creature she spied from across the street didn’t have an anus. So either Tolentino has incredible eyes and a terrifying attention to detail, or she’s misremembering something. And what is she misremembering? That’s easy.
Remember that movie? It was the one that existed entirely for the purpose of getting Natasha Henstridge naked. The description of the chupacabra shares a great deal in common with the monster from Species. Tolentino had seen the film shortly before the sighting and, to make matters worse, gave an interview in which she strongly implied she believed the film to be partly based in fact.
Life imitates art. Bad art. Combine the hoary cattle mutilations with some poor coyotes who need a trip to the vet and a suggestible woman who watched a horror flick, and we get the chupacabra, now the third most famous monster in the world.
But Justin, who are the first and second most famous monsters in the world? Where does Godzilla (my personal favorite) rank? Do “fictional” monsters even count? What do you, dear readers, think? Comment with your thoughts and get a chance to win a free copy of Mr. Blank and a free eReader. And don’t buy all that debunking stuff. You know goatsuckers are real.