A Certain Talent

Dorothy J. Heydt

"Why did you leave New York? The alligators were relatively harmless, weren't they?"

"So long as you stayed away from the sewers. It wasn't them; it was the things that came out of Central Park. There were too many people there to get hurt; that's why I went to the small towns."

"Where there weren't any creatures?"

"I wish it were that easy." Miss Tolliver reached out and put her hands on either side of the teapot, as if she were cold. "There are creatures everywhere. Every place has its own. Most of them sleep most of the time. But where I go, they wake up. So you've heard of the Wendigo on the shore of Lake Winnipeg, and the alligators in the New York sewers, and the things that walk in Central Park-- though even the New Yorkers think they're only junkies in search of drug money, till it's too late. You've never heard of the little red man of Crowheart, Wyoming, have you; or the eagle women of Fort Grant, Arizona, or the wicker walkers of Shallow Creek, Kansas. Because once I left, they went back to sleep again before they could get into the papers.

"That's why I came here, to Bigfoot country. If I went to, to Twodot, Montana, or Muleshoe, Texas, no telling what I'd waken there. Here, I know it's Bigfoot country, and the Bigfoot is supposed to be mild, and timid, and harmless. So I came here. It was a good idea, while it lasted."

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