Indiana Jones and the Creature From the Black Lagoon

By Komodo13

Adventure / Horror

Prologue


Bedford, CT.
1957

All things considered, married life wasn't so bad.

Indiana Jones hadn't expected it to be the domestic purgatory portrayed on the brain-dead television shows—buffoonery and frustration set to a chattering laugh track—but he also knew that when you've been on your own as long as he had you get used to living by your own rules. Surprisingly, though, life with Marion Ravenwood had required very little negotiation and accommodation. He taught his classes and she ran her small but successful import shop. Their evenings were, for the most part, a model of suburban domesticity-dinner parties with other faculty members, movies at the local cinema, occasional forays into Manhattan for a play or a fancy dinner or a symposium—but every so often they'd find themselves in the local tavern matching each other drink for drink while they reminisced about old times. They were the unusual couple in town— the one that married late in life, the one that took vacations to strange foreign lands most folks had never heard of, the one with the brash, headstrong wife and her professor husband who seemed to have a hint of brutishness about him that was so incongruous in this quiet college town.

This Sunday was shaping up to be a perfectly lovely late-spring day. Indy was reading the newspaper at the dining room table, while Marion was busy in the kitchen frying up some corned beef hash. The windows were open and the warm May breeze carried the smell of the fresh grass into the cozy, war-bond A-frame.

"What do you think about Egypt this summer?" Indy called out. "Drummond's invited us to join his dig outside Giza. He says it's going to be big. That it'll change the way the world thinks of Egyptology."

"Drummond thinks every dig is going to change the way the world thinks of Egyptology." Marion replied over the sound of sizzling and clanking.

"Hey, even a blind pig finds a truffle every so often. Besides we can see Sallah's family again. You could pick up some things for the shop. The fabrics always sell like hotcakes."

"Egypt in the summer? You have to be kidding me, Jones." She emerged from the kitchen carrying two plates of corned beef hash and eggs sunny-side up. Typically, Marion's portion was much more modest than Indy's ("as befitting a lady," she would explain), which would grow with periodic installments imported from Indy's plate. "Soup's on."

"Better than soup," Indy said.

"Wait a minute. I'll get the coffee." She popped back into the kitchen and returned with two steaming mugs.

"Well, that looks like the perfect start to any day," Indy said as he bit into a slice of toast.

"The coffee's a little strong. I overdid it."

"Nothing wrong with that."

"Here," Marion rummaged through the thick Sunday edition and eventually slid the national section out of the pile. "I was thinking about a trip to Florida."

"Florida in the summertime? Sweetheart, it's cooler than Egypt—I give you that—but not by much."

"Yeah, but they have an Oceanarium. Wait…" she leafed through the thin sail of the newspaper until she found the right article, then folded it and put it down next to Indy's plate. "Take a look at that, Doctor Jones. Are you interested in some living archeology?"

Indy scanned the headline: OCEAN CITY OCEANARIUM TO DISPLAY GILL-MAN. And beneath that: SCIENTIST TO STUDY THE MYSTERIOUS CREATURE TO UNDERSTAND POSSIBLE EVOLUTIONARY "MISSING LINK." But the real draw was the photo of the creature being hoisted into its new tank. Abruptly, the late-spring breeze turned cold, and Indy's stomach turned to stone.

"This," he waved the newspaper, "this is not going to end well."

"Why not? They've got a special tank designed an everything."

"They don't know what they have." Indy picked at his hash.

"What do they have?" Marion asked, then noticed the stormy expression Indy's face had taken. "Indy…what do they have?"

Indy met her gaze with heavy eyes. "Something old. And very, very dangerous."

"You know what this thing is?" Marion asked. "They just discovered it, how do you know what this thing is?"

Indy took a sip of his coffee, looked at a spot in the middle of the table, looked back in time twenty years at heavy-canopy jungle, a creaking ship, and dark places hidden amid the trees where the past never died. Then he pulled away from it and told the story…


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