Oh the horror of humanity. Their dreadful lowing as they mimble incompetently. The noisome clots of mankind, reeking enthusiastically. Their hateful prattle drove me to a killing spree. But all the murders in the borough could not salve the fire in my mind ignited by their endless empty chatter. Even my habitual practice of mounting their husks in rustic dioramas with concentric alphabetised rings of their innards could not calm me. My hands were bloodied and shaking; I could not even drink to satisfaction. In despair, I fled into the past, to a time free of man babbling without cease.
The time tunnel flared and spun around me. I gripped my time hamster a little too tightly and the universe streamed past, like an over-watered horse. The tunnel whirled and squeezed us out into a puddle of Earth’s past.
There in a world before time was sliced into a dial, numbered, named and made man’s I found love. I met Oo-nag. We met dramatically. I: twelve feet above the ground gazing down through the netting that suspended me. She: spear in hand, clubbing me to a quietude. When I awoke the first thing I noticed were the filthy fingerprints marring my formerly spotless overcoat. Displeasing. However, my second vision of note was the frustrated slapping of fingers and fists in a pre-vocal exchange of thoughts. Using mime, and my Tesla-shiv I made it known that I was a stranger here, akin to a god and that worship would be both appreciated and the best way to evade further jabbing with my ‘lectrickal stick. These intriguingly foul creatures were clearly some ancient cousin of humanity, though few and wretched in number.
Oo-nag soon came to my attention as the least backwards of these shadowy apes, and I took her as my cave bride. Her name I derived from her bestial expression and the clacking of her knuckles upon the ground. The ceremony was as primitive as one might expect although I did attempt to imbue it with some dignity. True, her features might have been as well-defined as a Welsh slag heap; her hair a jungly thatch of diseased creepers; an odour to shame the working man. And yet… and yet indeed. She was mute, silent save for the odd emphatic grunt as are all of her troglodytic clan. I dressed the apish folk in coat and tails, but to little avail; they ate the hats and chased the tails in circles. We lived together happily, she in her dank cave and I in the luxurious if ungainly two-wheeled apartment which I’d stolen from the future. It was an idyllic life. I micro-waved the animalcules out of the hunted and gathered food while my wife cracked open the ashy bones and gnawed the marrow from them.
I believe that for a time I was happy. They were brutish folk but blissfully silent. The sole exception being their lusty matings. They lacked even skill in that matter – ‘tis a wonder their breed’s breeding bred a brood at all. Perhaps this is why men of my time have their manly parts in a visible region – to avoid such pointless spatterings. Their inept rutting drove me to distraction and I set out to educate them in effective mounting.
Their improbable procreative plumbing directed my task towards diagrammatical education. They had crude finger-painting sludge with which they marred their cave walls. I introduced them to paint brushes and oils, and then I shoved them out of the cave before they ate too much of it. I barricaded the cave mouth so that my creation of their Gentlemen’s Guide to Cave Swiving would be spared their curious interruptions. They grunted and thumped in disgruntlement for the barring of their wretched hovel.
Night had fallen and the sun risen before I finished my works. My illustrations of their prehensile recursive appendages and the proper manner for intimate interlocution with their ab-organed wives was complete. The manimals had fallen silent after some hammering in the night. Clearly they had finally realised the importance of my investigation for the sake of their race. Even though it had required that I retain an ageing mating pair (Mrrrungel and Neh) to meet Mr and Mrs Scalpel. Their exploded organs had been well sketched by my fair hand on the walls of their cave. It would undoubtedly improve their chances of offspring and improve the smell.
I knocked down the wall of mammoth bones, brambles and mud (a superlative barricade emulsifier). I… may have become absorbed in my work… the happy hearth area outside the cave was a bloodbath. Scarlet pools with hairy limbs and tatters of face scattered about like a dreadfully neglected beach. I stumbled out aghast into the massacre blinking in the bright sun, just in time to see Oo-nag. I hailed her and she turned to me with a quieting finger upon her lips. Silly girl, she hardly makes a sound anyway. I cried out and bounded towards her, bursting with enquiry.
A shadow fell across the plain. Its owner followed – a vast scaly lizard face descended and toothily snatched off my mud-maiden’s head. Her torso blundered, comically animate until it too was hoicked aloft and consumed. This was a disappointing outcome.
Filled with rage I bellowed at the monstrous reptile and jabbed it with my prickling staff, blasting the beast with Tesla’s art. It squealed and fled, its legs on fire. Damn them, damn them all. My work – wasted. This last pocket of proto-humanity snuffed out by beast-lizards – and all because they were incapable of modulating their throaty choking into a simple cry for help. Curse their baffling biology – were they better prepared to copulate I’d have had no cause to sequester their monster-proof cave.
I resolved to slaughter their butchers, those monsters that rendered my sketchings and study worthless. I, a scholar without subject, a husband without lady-apery. And so it is, many aeons later that we no longer have tortoises. My apologies.