Cryptid

Phillip Jarett Underwood

Abstract

Cryptid is a term from the field of cryptozoology, which ostensibly presents itself as the study of creatures that may or may not exist, such as - but not limited to - Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Jersey Devil. The term itself, cryptid, refers to one of these unknown creatures. The novella presented here concerns a half-Native American man and his struggle to know not only his dead parents, but himself and his place in the world. While cryptids play a minor role within the boundaries of the narrative itself, the novella concerns itself more with the ways in which we define ourselves as opposed to the ways in which we are defined by external sources, and the friction that arises from these often competing systems of self-signification. Furthermore, the novella presented here represents an experiment, on behalf of the writer, in working with forms of narrative longer than the short story.