By Dr. Toby H. Reymohn
Three years. Three years I’ve been deep in the jungles of Borneo, on a hunting expedition. The prey I seek is deadlier than a lion. More ferocious than a bear. Faster than a Toyota! What could this insanely powerful animal be?!? No, it’s not a human, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s much deadlier. My quarry is none other than the dreaded Scalene Triangle.
I’ve always hated math, but when my entire family was killed by a pack of wild circles, it really pushed me over the edge. Using the most expensive weapons I could get on my salary, I hunted the circles to extinction. I quickly befriended a taxidermist, and now my 19th century style bungalow is full of stuffed circles, their faces captured in primal glory. It wasn’t enough, though. Destroying the circles only assuaged the death of my family, but the burning drive for revenge consumed me. I eventually sold all my worldly possessions and went off, far from the reaches of civilization, hunting deadlier and more cunning shapes.
The months turned into years, and my hatred of math increased exponentially. I started attacking harmless rectangles, whose only crime was running into me on a bad day. There was no reason to use dynamite on those poor quadrilaterals! Everyone knows rectangles are herbivores! But even logic couldn’t stop me. I had lost all sense of what was right and wrong. Donning the skull of an octagon and draping the skin of an ellipsoid over my shoulders, I became a legend. Idealized by children, feared by fellow hunters, loathed by mathematicians.
One balmy night, I ran into a rambling, half-drunk half-insane sailor who seemed to share my hatred of math. In his stupor, he told me an unbelievable tale of how his entire ship was capsized by Triangulus Antaeus Aquatus— the Great Giant Sea Triangle. He’d spent decades avenging the deaths of his comrades; and he’d done a pretty thorough job of it, since no one had seen a giant triangle for the last twenty years. As the night wore on he became further unhinged, spouting off about some kind of beast. “It weren’t no triangle. It was the devil hi’self!” rasped the old man as the younger patrons laughingly dismissed him. But I listened intently. “Twenty feet tall, it was! Fast… faster than anythin’ I ever seen. I barely ’scaped with my life.” Looking around calmly, I turned to face him. “Tell me, sir, where might I find this ‘beast’?”
That old fool’s story took me to the four corners of the globe, eventually bringing me here, to Borneo. Once I arrived, I gathered some of the locals into a hunting party, then set out to rendezvous with destiny. I spent months combing the dense forest. Several of my party succumbed to jungle fever, and went mad. They were the lucky ones.
I awoke in my tent right before sunrise to the sound of shrieking. Pushing up the flap, I peered out with a lantern in my hand. After months of searching, my prey... had found me. A giant Scalene Triangle was tearing through my band of mercenaries! Its rock-hard hooves crushed my companions’ spines, and giant teeth- nay, sabers- tore the flesh from their very bones. Knowing my life was in the balance, I grabbed my trusty PolyGun™. Taking aim, I was just about to fire, when all of a sudden...
The Scalene Triangle stopped its rampaging and turned to me. The surviving mercenaries took the opportunity to run away, presumably back to their Bornean village. And so it was just me and the Triangle, facing off over the shattered remains of my campsite. For a while we just stood there, eying each other. Well, not eying. Triangles have no eyes, but they make up for this with their superb sense of hearing, as well as their ability to detect electrical biorhythms.
I fully expected the Triangle to pick up my scent, and charge full on. Instead, the Triangle pawed at the ground, sniffing a few broken twigs. I readied my PolyGun™, but then the behemoth walked slowly over to me. I sensed no malice on its part, but considering it had just trampled about a dozen of my comrades, I refused to lower the rifle. I think it sensed that; once it was a few inches from me, it turned around and lumbered off into the jungle. Before it disappeared into the foliage, it glanced at me sadly with its sightless carapace. Then it was gone.
I threw down my PolyGun™. From that moment on, I swore I would never hunt another shape. Because when I stared into that triangular abyss, I saw myself. I saw all my hate, all my pain. The spirits of my family, and the blasted circles that butchered them. I saw the abyss gazing back at me in all its geometric horror. Loyal reader, I implore you: don’t make my mistake. Don’t spend your whole life fighting. I did, and it drove me to the brink of insanity. Farewell, and godspeed.