Birthing a Chimera
by Joseph Fitzpatrick
Take a perfectly healthy lion’s head of significant autumn gold and place it
on a burlap-brown goat’s body. Then pin a scaly green-muck tail on the rear and
you have one bona fide chimera. For flair, add some wings or claws, give him
three heads instead of one or slap on a shade of purple fur.
Chimeras are like model airplanes and Lego sets with too many pieces. All it
takes is two or more animals (preferably more) diced, chopped, and spliced with
some mental glue.
Chimeras aren’t as rare as everyone thinks. I’m brewing one right now with
an old family recipe passed around campfires and over breakfast toast — always
Dad’s stories, something burning, something dark.
The dictionary defines a chimera (ke •mir´e, ki-) n. 1. An absurd creation of
the imagination, 2. or any similar creature with disparate parts, 3. a grotesque
monster. But monster is so subjective and grotesque, so hard to spell. Disparate
parts — that’s the crux. A goat and a lion, a goat and a man, a man and a horse,
love and hate, humility and arrogance, compassion and malevolence. Mind and
body, logic and emotion, me and . . .
Takes twenty-three chromosomes from each parent to form a healthy fetus —
monster is so subjective and grotesque; so hard to spell.
Joseph Fitzpatrick lives in Chicago and has a creative writing degree from the College of Santa Fe, a school that disappeared into a black hole during the last solar eclipse. His fiction and poetry has appeared in Nth Degree and Glyph.