We found them.

The most creative people on the planet.

And so we did what any respectable research group would do:
we crept into their studios in the dead of night, fired a barrage of tranquilizer darts, and carted them off for research.

Although, they had a real knack for escaping.

One time, they convinced the security guard that they needed a model for a sculpture entitled “Sleeping On The Job.”

We had to fire him.

Another time they managed to scrounge enough paint to do a full scale mural depicting their cell as empty. They painted themselves into it and ran the moment we went to admire it.

But once we got the kinks in security out we managed to hold them long enough to develop a shrink ray.

No. Our group isn’t interested in atom-sized creatives.
We wanted to get in their heads.

So we did what anyone does with a shrink ray:
We shrunk ourselves.

Then, using a standard q-tip, we entered via the ear canal and followed the stairs up into the brain.

What? Oh, I know you’re not supposed to use q-tips like that. But why let the rules get in the way of good science?

We discovered all sorts of cool things.
I mean, early on we claimed we found black holes and lots of dark matter because the NSF throws money at you for that. And hey, any hole looks black and any matter looks dark when you go spelunking in someone’s head without a flashlight.

But that wasn’t my fault. I digress,

Our explorations lasted anywhere from a few hours, to a few weeks.
But last month, we discovered the Central Control Room.

And that’s when things started to get strange…

Where we expected to find a highly sophisticated caffeine distribution system, what we found instead was unsettling to say the least.

These were our findings:

[clears throat for dramatic effect]

Control room. Dark. Intermittent sparks from exposed wires revealed control panels torn from the consoles. Monitors scattered throughout indicated something was moving from synapse to synapse triggering security breaches all over the place.

We tried one of the terminals that looked relatively intact, but no sooner had we touched the keyboard when a ghoulish howl emanated from a darkened corridor beyond the dim light.

We ran.

Out. Down. Far. Fast. Away. We stopped to catch our breath for just a moment when we saw it. An enormous dragon with four heads and three gigantic tails. It swatted at the air around us before bathing the room in a blast of fire.

One of my colleagues happen to find a hatch on the floor, which, given the circumstances, was pretty convenient.

We dove through and found ourselves suddenly sliding this way and that down a chute apparently constructed by a team of seven year olds. I’m not sure who decided a loop was a good idea, but I’m pretty sure that’s the part of the story where I lost my keys.

We hit the bottom with a thump, and found ourselves surrounded by pack of ravenous hyenas. I knew two things in that moment. One, hyenas are really ugly, and two, I finally understood what the writers of “The Lion King” were going for.

Que more running.

And…I’m not completely sure how we outran the pack of hyenas. But we managed.

When we looked up we noticed that we were in a field with high grass. One of the researches paused to sit on a giant log that disappeared into the brush. Well? How was he supposed to know it was a giant snake?

The thing that happened next scared the living daylights out of me. Not so much because I have an aversion to gigantic reptiles eating my friends, but because certain things just aren’t supposed to happen.

The guy just stood there. Brave, impetuous, complacent for death. We all watched the snake rear up and strike, but at the last second, or…millionth of a second (if there is such a thing), he took out his pocket knife and cut the biggest snake I’ve ever seen right down the middle.


We were dumbfounded.

We walked back to the hyenas, who were all way too excited to see us again, and with a swish swish here, and a cut cut there…paper.

I think one of the researchers snapped a bit, at this point, because the next time I turned around he had turned a hyena into a snowflake.

And the dragon? Paper.

All of them.

And all this time…we ran from paper.

You see, our minds are powerful things, but even at its scariest, most terrifying, most fear-inducing thought process…in the end…is only as dangerous…as paper.