Monstrous Femme

He had been pacing the floor before the fire for the better part of an hour, muttering and fortifying himself with brandy. At last, he threw himself into the chair at his writing desk, and with an unsteady hand, took up his pen.

I have wrestled with what I am about to recount these past many months, long days and longer nights of increasing consternation within my soul; but I can no longer go on without revealing what I know—what I, myself, have endured!—and pleading with any who read this account to heed its warning.   

As I sit well past the midnight hour, the fire ebbing and the candle guttering, my inner turmoil is matched by the ferocity of a storm that batters unabated the brick and stone of my home. The memories of my travail have instigated a pain that pounds relentlessly within my skull, its intensity growing seemingly by the minute. It has driven me to the brink, God help me!  Forgive my scrawl as I hasten to record this testament. I pray that my hand does not fail me.

It is the autumn in the Year of Our Lord 18–. My name is Trevor Highsmith, thirty-two years of age and by profession a solicitor. Until a fortnight ago, I had resided in Ascot with my wife Lisbeth and our adopted daughter. Ours had been a quiet life. We kept largely to ourselves, with only a small number of friends in our social circle. To my knowledge, we never gave our neighbors any grounds for quarrel. Those who know me or with whom I have had professional intercourse will attest that I have demonstrated a sound mind, being given neither to fantasy nor dissembling.

Why am I at pains to enumerate these points? Because following the extraordinary events I am about to relate, the world shifted on its axis, and I fear without the proper preamble, those who read this would be quite forgiven for dismissing my story out of hand as too outlandish to be taken with any degree of seriousness.

What has ensnared me commenced five months ago. It was a midweek evening. Dusk had fallen as I was making my way home in a hired hansom, after dinner with a client in London.  Spring flooding had washed away a bridge on the main road to Ascot, requiring the driver to take a more circuitous route through a forested section of the countryside. The night air had grown cold, so I drew a coverlet about my legs and dozed to the rhythm of the horse’s hooves and gentle rocking of the carriage.

After a time—it is impossible for me to state of what duration—I awoke with a start, aware that the hansom was no longer moving. In the illumination cast down by the full moon, I was struck by the odd appearance of the horse, for the animal was frozen in mid-stride! Astonished, I gave my head a vigorous shake, thinking I was yet in a state of somnolence.  Satisfied that was not the case, I turned my attention to the driver.

“Why have we stopped?” I called out.  Receiving no reply, I renewed my query. “Driver, what is the meaning of this? Why are we not moving?” Growing annoyed at again being met with silence, I threw aside the coverlet and alit from the carriage.  What I beheld was no less arresting than my first sight of the horse, for the driver, too, appeared in a state of suspended animation, his mouth partially opened, right arm extended, with the rawhide whip curled in mid-crack.  What was before my eyes at that moment, I could not comprehend, so utterly singular was it.

So, too, were my surroundings. We had stopped in a rather large glade, encircled by dense woods, and I swiftly became aware of the profound silence in which I was enwrapped. It was not mere quietude, as if the forest creatures had, at that moment, chosen to mute their nocturnal chorus; rather, this was a complete and total absence of sound as if, like a vacuum apparatus removes the oxygen from a chamber, it had been totally extracted from the air.  

What was happening to me?

I had no time for speculation before I was taken aback once again. The night had been cloudless, the moon at its fullest. But as I stood, a darkness began to descend over the landscape.  When I became aware of it, I looked up to behold a huge shadow gliding slowly from the west to the east, gradually obscuring the moon and coming to rest, I judged, perhaps a hundred feet directly above me. At first I took it to be a cloud, but I soon realized it was no natural phenomenon for it bore the distinct outline of an object out of the bounds of nature. It possessed a leading edge that was curved, a curvature which continued around its entirety, giving the whole an ovoid aspect. And its size was quite remarkable, overspreading the entirety of the glade. Moreover, its appearance was unaccompanied by the slightest sound.

Again, I had the gravest doubt that I could trust what my senses were communicating to me. Reason told me I was not in the grip of a dream state unless one of a vividness unprecedented in my experience. Perhaps then, by some means, I had fallen into an alternate reality. In my reading, I had touched upon discussions of the existence of such worlds in one or two journals of speculative science but had theretofore given them scant credence. 

It was at that moment I was touched by a new sensation, a prickliness that began with the tiny hairs on the back of my neck. The feeling crept higher and did so with such force as to knock the hat from my head. Simultaneously, as my eyes were trained skyward—and here I beg your forbearance—a space opened in the inky shadow, a square of medium size, instantly permitting a shaft of cold white light to descend around me and begin to draw me upward! Stunned but totally immobile, I marked my progress as I was lifted higher and higher toward the opening in the icy, dazzling light.

At that moment, consciousness slipped from me.


After a time of such duration as was impossible for me to determine, my awareness returned, but only dimly. The white light was now all-enveloping, palpable, buoying me up in a state of suspension. Since there were no discernible features about me, it was impossible to orient my body in space, though I had the distinct feeling of being supine.

Now arrives the most fantastical episode of this story. Presently, still in a kind of twilight consciousness, I beheld two faces possessing physiognomies of the most singular sort: oval in shape, slate in color and perfectly smooth, with large, coal-black eyes deep-set below an outsized head that appeared to enclose an enormous brain. There was little in the way of a nose save for two pin-hole nostrils. The mouth, such as there was one, was but a thin slit which curved downward at each end. These were striking countenances indeed and both were masks of immobility—I detected no movement of any kind upon them—yet these creatures appeared to communicate with each other, of that I did not doubt. As to the manner, I have no other explanation than that they accomplished it through some form of telepathic transmission.

At length, the figures moved away, out of my line of vision, yet I felt they remained nearby; and anon one of the faces again loomed above my own. He—it—seemed to bore into my eyes with its own, and as it happened, I witnessed a transformation: the pupils of deep cobalt blue appeared within glittering silvery irises that spun in a clockwise direction, emitting crystalline sparks! At that very moment I heard, not without but within my head, the words “You are the chosen.” Immediately, I became aware of a wholly new sensation, one I am at pains to describe with the utmost modesty. Below my waist I began to feel a distinct thrilling, an excitation normally associated with intimate contact with someone of the opposite sex. How this was being accomplished I could not say, nor had I any inkling why, but it was nonetheless very real. I found myself powerless in its grip as a crescendo of arousal washed over me and I, again, slipped into unconsciousness.


I was jarred back to wakefulness by the carriage coming to an abrupt halt in front of my home. In her harness, I heard the gray dapple snort and paw the brick pavement.

“Beggin’ yer pardon, guv’nor,” the driver said apologetically. Gingerly, I climbed out of the hansom, sensing the need to get my sea legs back. 

“Tell me, driver,” I began, choosing my words with care, “did anything unusual transpire since we left London?”

“Nary a thing, sir. Trip smooth as silk, as the sayin’ goes.”

“Nothing? Nothing at all, you say?”

“Only the moon and sky above and the road below.”

I paid the man his fare and, with a tip of his cap, he snapped the whip smartly and he and the dapple gray were off, leaving me to stand in utter bewilderment.  


My story now leaps ahead through the intervening months. It is time to bring it to its conclusion. 

Eight weeks ago, Lisbeth and I received word from the Stockbridge Home for Orphans, which is situated on the outskirts of Ascot, that they had taken in an infant girl, a transfer from a similar institution in Wales. A year before, to our dismay, after repeated attempts to start a family, Lisbeth had been found to be barren. Thus began our search for a child to adopt.  It was natural to turn to the Stockbridge Home first, and we soon established a good relationship with Dr. Ian Trent, the director. But though he strove diligently, he was unable to locate a suitable candidate for us. Then, with shocking suddenness, ownership of the home changed hands, and Dr. Trent was summarily dismissed and replaced by one Maj. (Ret’d) Simon Cawthorn. 

The two men could not have been more different. Where Dr. Trent was warm and engaging, Cawthorn was icily remote. Still, he pledged that his efforts to find a child for us would be tireless and, indeed, they quickly bore fruit.

Throughout the long months, I had striven to put the events of that spring night behind me, ascribing them to a hallucinatory state brought on by fatigue, overwork. Of what had happened, I divulged to no one, not even Lisbeth. And, as time passed, troubled as I had been, I had largely succeeded in restoring a sense of normality to my life. The good news of the baby’s arrival I greeted with joy and hope.

On the day we were to bring the child home, we arrived at Stockbridge promptly at the appointed hour and were ushered into Maj. Cawthorn’s office. Quite out of character, he greeted us effusively and summoned a nurse with instructions to fetch the baby.

“She came to us unbaptized and without a name,” the Major said as the nurse entered with the child, “but we have called her our little Rose. Mrs. Highsmith?” He gestured for the nurse to place the infant in my wife’s arms. At that first touch, tears spilled from Lisbeth’s eyes.

“Oh, how beautiful! How precious!” she declared. “And Trevor, I believe she bears the most uncanny resemblance to you, darling. It’s almost as if she were your own. Here, take her and see for yourself.” With that Lisbeth gently put the child in my arms and I looked upon the delicate face of the tiny girl. As I did, I received the shock of my life, for as I gazed into the child’s eyes, they transformed from deep brown into the coloration that was identical to that of the creature who had held sway over me—the same deep cobalt irises within spinning, glittering pupils! An involuntary cry escaped my lips.

“You see what I mean, dearest,” said Lisbeth. I looked at her face, so filled with openness and love.

Was it possible she did not see what I beheld?

“Yes, Mr. Highsmith. There is a distinct resemblance,” Maj. Cawthorn said, his voice dropping, taking on a flat tone. “You are the chosen.” At those words, my eyes snapped to his and—God will judge me if I tell a falsehood—they were identical to the child’s and the alien’s!


It was several hours later that I regained my senses. I found myself in my own bed, tended to by my loving wife.

“Why Trevor, you gave us such a start, fainting away as you did in the Major’s office.  Your joy at seeing little Rose was simply too much, wasn’t it, darling?” I returned her query with a weak smile and nod of the head. What could I say to her? How could I tell her the revelation that had struck me like a bolt of lightning when I looked upon the child and then into Cawthorn’s eyes? It was plain to me that the baby and what had befallen me on the road to Ascot were inextricably linked. I reasoned that the beings who had abducted me were carrying out some ghastly reproductive experimentation, what I feared was a diabolical plan to meld humans with their own race and populate our world with hybrids. To what end? Is it not clear? I am convinced that the goal is nothing less than achieving global dominion!

No, I could say nothing to Lisbeth, could never confide in her that the beloved infant she rocked to sleep each night was in reality the spawn of a race of beings who were not of this earth. Instead, I have held my piece and striven mightily to place my life onto an even keel. 

Alas, I faltered. As time went on and I struggled with my horrible secret, my behavior grew more erratic. There were uncharacteristic moods swings and bouts of heavy drinking, ravings in my sleep that alarmed Lisbeth in the extreme. It finally became too much, leading her to leave with little Rose and take up residence with her parents in the city.

Now, nothing is left but to recount what I know and to give voice to my darkest fears!

I pray to the Almighty it is not yet too late.

On the edge of exhaustion and with trembling hand, he laid aside his pen, aware of the brass knocker on the front door rapping loudly, incessantly, over the tumult of the storm. He rose from his chair, crossed out of his study and made his way down the hall to the home’s foyer. Opening the door, he was met by two members of the local constabulary, their bobby helmets and oilskin capes drenched by sheets of rain.

“Trevor Highsmith?” one of the men asked, loudly enough to be heard amidst the howling wind.


“You need to come with us, sir.”

“Come with you? Why? For what reason?”

“It’s time,” the constable replied as both men turned to face him directly, lest he fail to see their eyes.