Enigmas by

Henry hid behind the dumpster. They were after him; those strange, ungodly things. What they would do to him he didn’t know.

When they were finally gone, he got up and brushed off. He was used to it by now.

Most of the time Henry hung out at the theater watching movies. He encountered a few like himself. But they were deranged. And they all got caught eventually.

It was a nice outside, so Henry strolled through the city. Near the park he spotted an unusual creature. It was a lion; goat; snake; dragon. It saw him. “Hello!”

“Wow, are you a chimera?”

The creature shook its head, “Get that all the time. We’ve been here a while, so maybe mythology took us into account.”


“Are you a ghost?” the creature queried.

Henry smiled, “Yep, been living the life for ten years.”

The creature looked closely at Henry. “You seem pretty put together. Most of the humans I’ve encounter, ghosts, have been lunatics.”

“I’m just living… reliving. You said you’ve been here a while?”

“Yes, we came here from a different planet,” the creature said, “running from the terrible ‘Pa.”

“Is that what those things are?” Henry said.

“Those are harvesters. They collect saturated energy—souls.”

“Wow, so that’s what those portals are.”

The creature nodded, “The portals are where their ships release the harvesters.”

“What do the ‘Pa do with this saturated energy?”

“They consume it… We’ve been safe here until recently. But they found us.”

Henry kicked the dirt. “That sucks.”

“Me and the others will be leaving Earth soon. You are welcome to come with us.” The creature pointed, “My ship it’s right over there.”



The creature looked to its ship.

Henry disappeared. “Not today.”



Nicholas Schroeder is a philosopher, living in New Orleans, who enjoys writing flash fiction with a philosophical bent.



A 1590–1610 drawing of a chimera (sense 1) attributed to Jacopo Ligozzi. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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