Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | June 27, 2009

Green Slime

Bailey Island, Maine. June 20, 2009.

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As an explorer of far off planets, I know it’s best to steer clear of green slime. Never a good idea, getting too close to that stuff. Best case scenario: it slicks onto your boots and seeps through your suit and you stink like a Kerplusion Sludge Crawler for two weeks. Worst case scenario: death.

So when I clambored down the red cliffs on Eden 2 — great name for a planet made entirely of rocks, huh? Not one green thing for miles and they name it Eden — anyway, when I climbed down, parched and starving from a week with only recycled water to drink (guess where THAT comes from) and stale fortified rice crackers to eat, the last thing I wanted to see was slime.

I was looking for life. That’s my job — I crawl all over desolate worlds of sand and sludge and rock and smoke searching for something with a brain that won’t devour me on sight.

So far, the record is planets – 12, Ferdinand the Great Explorer – 0. At least I haven’t been devoured, unless you count the time this huge tentacled thing on Recess ate my boot and three toes, too.

Here I am at the bottom of the red cliffs, and there it is in front of me — laid out like a hall of gorgeous glass mirrors — water! Every two year old knows… water = life. This could be my chance.

I didn’t even see the slime at first. I know, it was staring me in the face, all bright green and slimy, but I only had eyes for the water.

Down I ran, whooping and screaming and punching the methane-clouded air.

My boot plopped right into the worst of the slime. Wham! I came crashing down, knees smacking into slime-coated rocks, hands stretching out to catch myself and slipping through stringy green stuff.

This is the end, I thought. Here on Eden 2, Ferdinand the Great Explorer meets his doom.

The stench was already rising up around me. Was it poisonous? Was I drawing in breaths laced with other-worldly toxins?

Something squirted me in the face, and I coughed.

It squirted again, and I swiveled my head to gulp the cool, clear water… only to find my saviour was none less than the slime itself. The puddle had made a pair of arms out of itself, and now they were splashing me like two feisty garden hoses.

When a pair of eyes rose up on a third arm, I blacked out.

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