Last time at Port Fourchon, Louisiana: Sergeant Julius “Mack” McNamara and every other cop on duty in the tiny bayou town made a dusty bee-line toward the Select Oil Company staging site after hearing “shots fired” over their radios. This was a must-attend event in the sleepy community, and no PFPD officer was about to miss it.
When they got to the bayou’s edge and saw the 15-foot-tall, green swamp thing a few hundred yard away, they took the most predictable action of all: They opened fire on it. When the barrage died down, Mack McNamara noticed that every single globule of Big Green that had torn loose from the gunfire had become its own living, breathing creature. Instead of one cryptozoological suspect, now they were dealing with a hundred of them.
Big Green regarded the hail of bullets the way you or I might regard mosquitoes at picnic. Nothing but a nuisance. The blobs of his own flesh—if that’s what you could call the bodily matter of a slime giant—he took considerably more interest in. Gentle as the father of a newborn, he stepped over to the pulsating globs and gathered them into his arms. When he had picked up 20 or so, he kneaded them together into a large slimeball and set it down on the moist earth. It was to the sergeant and his officers’ dismay that the ball Green had formed was now transforming into an anthropomorphic being of about the same height, width, and depth of Papa Green himself!
The new creature walked beside his “father” helping him repeat the process of gathering, kneading, and placing on the ground where each ball would grow, like something out of Jack and the Beanstalk, into a full-fledged member of the Green clan. When all the globules had been thus gathered and combined, five creatures varying in height by at most a foot stalked the bayou calmly, like any family taking a Sunday stroll through the park.
“Aww, to hell with this!” said McNamara. He raised an arm and gestured to no officer in particular to come give him a hand. The sergeant hardly appreciated old Murray Landau’s penchant for passing out, and now they had to lift and carry him over to one of the police cruisers. No time to waste waking him up. Couldn’t in good conscience leave him where he lay.
Three PFPD cops ran over to where Mack stood and Murray lay. Between them they yanked Murray up and hustled them over to the nearest squad car. Sergeant McNamara stomped over to his own cruiser and, before getting in, said “Let’s get the boilin’ blazes out of here!”
My upcoming novel, ULTIMATE ERROR, is about the unintended consequences of a freewheeling petroleum industry. The almost-everyday spills are disastrous to land and marine ecosystems. The cleanups come with their own hidden dangers. Global warming? Threatens no less than widespread catastrophe.