Five short stories about giant monsters. A man victim of a neverending growth process. The slowest and distressing attack that a kaiju ever inflicted on a metropolis. A gigantic ape which frees itself from chains and upsets habits and conscience of an entire citiziens’ community. A loathsome blood-thirsted creature on the way to Romagna beaches. A Japanese hero who tries to save the world from Onis’ invasion.
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Copyright ® 2017 by Andrea Berneschi
Any total or partial reproduction of this work without the author’s previous consent is strictly forbidden. All the characters described in this book are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to real people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. At the same way, any similarity to places and events is to be considered accidental.
Cover by Ivo Gazzarrini
First edition: July 2017
English edition: April 2020
German edition: April 2020
THE GREAT REPTILE ADVANCES
THE DESTRUCTION CAME FROM THE SEA
About the author
One day, the French insurance broker Claude de la Mole accidentally realized to have been slightly grown taller.
Not much, at most four sizes on the tailor’s rule, which he kept rolled up among scissors, clips and screwdrivers. From five feet ten to approximately five feet eleven. Even so, the very idea was enough to make him wonder about the sheer impossibility of it.
At forty-five, he excepted to have stopped growing up; the period of maximum body performance, when you can run faster, play good soccer and generally be a better athlete was long past. Claude already knew in his heart, with an odd mix of regret and resignation (things could have been worse for him, after all), that a calm future waited for him, maybe not so horrible, but it was enough for him to perceive that decline as inevitable. He could only hope to keep his health and strength the longer he could.
And now, this unforeseen event, announced by few but positive tell-tale signs (to sit down in the car, he was forced to shift the driver’s seat back, he slept better in bed if he bended his knees, and he had to pay attention when he crossed his favourite pub’s door not to hit its top with his head...).
Was he the first one to be involved in something like this? Maybe so.
He had never heard about similar events, either among novel’s plots or science-fiction movies.
In the ’50 American movies, human beings became smaller and fought for their lives against spiders and insects, but he had never watched a film where a man dramatically grew taller.
That late bloom made him oddly euphoric. It was an unlikely event, but it had occurred. Was there was any definite reason why it shouldn’t be happening?
We delude ourselves in thinking we have discovered everything about physical laws and chemical processes, as if the flag of science could really waveover a subdued world. But an unexplained event always lurks on us, capable to twist our stronger convictions. Old people with a third teething at the age of 90. Documented cases of prodigious healings. And now him, in his own small (so to speak) fashion...
Those few inches more seemed nothing to him, but they made him feel far from old age and death; he had new skills to develop, new goals to reach, not only bodily.
He felt optimistic and, for some days, he showed the better of himself at work, in evenings with friends, in sport.
Then, he started to feel wary about the good news. Could that be a bad sign, he wondered to himself. To grew taller like that at forty-five. Could those be the last big dance of the flame before it burned down?
He asked a visit to his family doctor, who was as amazed as him by the wonder, but told him that his vital signs were normal. To be safer, he prescribed him some routine tests.
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