ANTI-MAN by Dean R. Koontz

He touched me.

His flesh was cool, but not unpleasant.

“It’s time to begin,” He said. –

My flesh tingled.

His pseudopods thinned down and His flesh entered my body, reached into my cells, up my spinal column . . .

“You will be the first,” He said.

. . . into my brain . . .

“The first of the new race of man,” He said.

“You are changing me,” I said.


Tingling, burning, turning inside me. . .

“I am changing you, Jacob. I am changing you at last . . .”


When dawn came, He released me, withdrew His flesh from my body, and ceased tinkering with my cells. I stood before Him, and things were not as they had been. Things would never be as they had been, for the savagery of Man was a thing of the past. I could see now with different eyes, see new aspects of things as simple as the ice on the walls, the hair on my arms. I had gained new ears, I could hear beyond the range of mortal men. If I listened closely I could hear the very singing of the atoms. There were new odors for my nose to inhale. I knew there would be new aspects to the taste of things now, new qualities to be savoured.

I had been Jacob Kennelmen. I was someone else now. Someone greater.

Without speaking, He told me that it was time to depart. We exchanged last thoughts there in the cold basement, oblivious of the cold, oblivious of all but the touching of our minds. When at last there was nothing more to say, I climbed the steps into the living room and went outside to the sled.

It was snowing lightly. Big flakes.

Without trying too hard, I could see the minute patterns, the lacy edges and holes.

I raised my hands and felt the winds, was conscious of a thousand eddies, a hundred different subcurrents that I would never have noticed before my transformation.

The world was a gem to be cherished, a thing with so many facets that it could never be fully explored.

And there would be the stars.

I looked up. Although it was daylight, I could see the stars hiding in the sky. They could not hide any longer. They would be ours in a decade. The universe in a thousand years. Then . . . I was touched with a deep regret as I contemplated what would come after we had reached the limits of the universe. But I fought down any fear that started to rise. We were different now. When the universe was conquered, we would find other things to grasp and wrestle. Perhaps we would never move into His plane of existence, but what was to say there were not planes below ours that we could reach—or planes parallel to ours?

I took the sled down the mountain to the main ranger station and went in to see the park employee there. I reached out for him. At first, he thought I was threatening him, tried to rise quickly and defend himself. Then I reached out with my mind and grasped him, soothed him.

We stood there for six hours as I did to him what the Jekyll mother body had taught me to do. And he grew.

He grew.

Together, we went forth.

The first of the apostles.

To evangelize . . .

The mystery of His flesh was no longer a thing apart, but an integral portion of all of us . . .

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