Attack of the Evil Acid Slime Monster
February 6, 2012 § 10 Comments
It was a dark and stormy night.
Rain lashed against my bedroom window and the wind howled unceasingly. It felt like an autumn storm, but it was the beginning of February here in Pennsylvania. I stood in my room, bored, and thinking dark thoughts. The subject of my displeasure was the innocent-looking bookcase in front of me.
“There isn’t a single new book on this shelf,” I muttered in irritation as I pushed aside Pride & Prejudice. “I’ve read all of these books a hundred times. I could quote them all!” The Lord of the Rings trilogy joined Jane Eyre and Jane Austen in the rejected pile. Mark Helprin’s Freddy and Fredericka flopped forlornly on its side. “I hate them all! I hate all my books.” Not even the numerous titles on my Kindle could satisfy my desire. I growled at Rilla of Ingleside, and sniffed in disdain as I scrolled past the Outlander series. Chesterton seemed bombastic, Rothfuss too verbose. “I want a new book!” My querulous tone grew louder. “I’m tired of all of these ones!”
Thunder crashed outside as my tantrum reached an end. Making up my mind with the weather, I punched a few buttons on my Kindle and ended up in the digital bookstore. “I’m buying a horror book.” Yeah… a horror book! The thought appealed to my black mood and seemed to fit the dreary evening.
“But wait, Rose,” I paused to remonstrate with myself. “You hate horror books. You hate horror movies. You cannot even walk to your house in the dark alone without thinking you’re going to be stabbed to death by a really tall, stringy-haired, uncouth masked murderer. Remember when you watched Saw 4? You nearly puked and you still can’t stand tape-recorded voices! You couldn’t sleep for weeks after you were FORCED by Danny and Jaci to see Paranormal Activity. For heaven’s sake, Rose, when your siblings want to scare you, they sneak up behind you and play the Michael Myers theme music on their phones! WHY are you going to read a horror novel?”
“Self,” I said to myself, “there comes a time when a girl just needs to read a horror novel. Now is that time, self.”
“Okay,” the wiser half of my brain said to the (stupid, idiotic, very dumb) other half. “Go ahead. Read the horror novel. Have fun with that.”
Humming happily, I read through a couple of reviews and settled on Dean Koontz’s Phantoms. Sounds scary, right? I thought to myself. Perfect.
Two hours later, I lay in my bed, wide-eyed in the dark, totally unable to fall asleep. Every creak of the house, every rustle of the rats in their cage next to my bed was a sign of impending doom. Death was coming for me. An acidic oozing slime was even now churning its toxic way up the stairs, through the hallway, and over the threshold of my bedroom. It would be a swift killer, quickly slurping its way onto my bed and dripping its acid all over my face. I shuddered in the darkness, envisioning slow mutilated death. I began saying my prayers, making my peace with God, and continued yelling at my (moronic, dumb) self.
After a night filled with uneasy sleep and vague, shadowy dreams of terror, I awoke (still) scared and grumpy (again). My alarm seemed particularly obnoxious as it beeped out a descending tone, informing me that it was 6 AM.
“Arhgjhrghfagrrghklrarghh!” I rose and went to begin my morning ablutions. As I showered, my mind couldn’t help but dwell on how easy it would be for a death-ball of slime to sneak up on me. The sound of its churning approach would be muffled by the running water, and no one would be in time to save my beautiful face from being eaten off. It would be a messy, painful death, I reflected with distaste as I shampooed, but at least my blood would wash down the drain easily enough. Save my mother a bit of labor.
That small amount of selfless sacrifice carried me through the routine until it came time to blow-dry my hair. I stood in front of the mirror, trying as hard as humanly possible not to wonder if the acid slime monster was going to drop from the ceiling onto my head. My mind is the sort that dwells on things, you see. It’s not enough for me to frighten myself by reading about demons and ghosts and acid slime monsters. No, my mind constantly returns to their horrific existence, and most frequently it does this when I’m alone. (You want to know the real reason I still live at home? There it is. I am afraid to be alone.) The slime monster in Phantoms had devoured its victims by spraying them with corrosive acid. My imagination drifted again as I thought about the phrase “corrosive acid.” I pictured myself caught unawares, face contorted in terror as a slimy oozy terrifying THING descended upon me. Would it eat my hands first, to prevent me scraping it off, I wondered. Or would it immediately dissolve my face, burning me horribly and destroying my gorgeousness? Maybe it would slither around my ankles and then slurp its way up onto my torso. Or what if it jumped out from behind the-
The lights in the bathroom shut off. The dryer died at the same time. “AIIIIIIIIIIIIHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed and dropped the blowdryer onto the ground. Everything was black and silent except for the echoes of my shriek. I couldn’t see anything at all. Fumbling for the knob, I wrenched the door open, sure that the acid slime monster had killed the power. The darkness would make it easier to eat my face off. Twenty-five years of life experience and courage went out the window. I regressed back to a child immediately and flew down the dark hallway to my parents’ bedroom.
Once in there, I stumbled to a stop as it dawned on me that there were no lights, no sounds, anywhere in the house.
That’s when it hit me. I knew what had happened.
“Dad?” I said in a quavery voice, sounding about 5 years old. “Wake up. I think I blew a fuse.”