Tami Parker Other Duties as Assigned

Finish The Story – Black Liquid

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Perry and I have been propping each other up on the writing front for a while now, but I’ve loved seeing some Saucy faces in the comments and on Facebook, so I figure we should get the band back together.

Even if just in a small way.

Obviously, no pressure to contribute (or even share your contribution if you don’t feel like it) but if you participate, I’d love to see your story in the comments!

… on a related note, avoid the comments until you’ve written yours, just to be safe. I know I can be accidentally influenced by reading how other people respond to a prompt and I’d hate to accidentally squash your voice.

Also, these prompts are the equivalent of an artist’s sketch.

Repeat, these are WRITING SKETCHES.

Perfection is in no way a goal here. All we’re doing is stretching our writing muscles with something small and flippant.

That being said, the first prompt is …. *drumroll please*

At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we’d spend the money. Our first choice was …

5 comments

  • Tami's Prompt Result:

    At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we'd struck it rich and that we'd be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we'd spend the money. Our first choice was a mansion. You don't share a crappy two bedroom apartment with your best bud for two years of college without dreaming of a little privacy.

    She wanted a fast car. Something foreign and expensive.

    I thought about funding an archaeological dig somewhere and naming a new dinosaur species after myself.

    We'd both worked so hard. First in our families to go anywhere past high school. Certainly the first to dream of something bigger than crappy apartments and ramen dinners.

    We knew we had to keep it secret.

    First of all, we weren't absolutely certain it was oil.

    Secondly, we'd found it out in the middle of the Kaihu — the nature preserve nobody was even supposed to go into.

    We were college kids, though. "Do Not Enter" signs might as well have been red carpets.

    We had to get it tested, first off. I was the logical choice with my internship at the lab. We'd only brought home a canteen-ful, so she went to get another sample (and incidentally, make sure it was still there).

    The first night she didn't come home, I didn't really worry. Oddest thing, though … the jar of oil wasn't screwed shut. I figured I hadn't closed it tightly enough when I took the sample, so I just shut it without really thinking about it.

    The second night, she still hadn't come home. I worried. Called all her friends, even her mom. Nobody had seen her.

    The lid of the jar was loose again. My hands shook as I tightened it. Nobody else had been in the apartment, and I sure as hell hadn't opened it.

    The next day, the morning news detonated with an uproar of how the Kaihu was expanding. Burst through the privacy fence containing it with more than a decade's unchecked growth.

    My stomach churned and I looked at our jar of inky blackness. Something was horribly wrong, but I didn't know what to do about it.

    I tried to go to work, but the whole building was surrounded by the flash of police cruisers and a thick barrier of yellow tape.

    Smoke rose in a plume from the southwest annex. The geology lab. The place I interned at, and had left a small test tube of inky blackness with a coworker for identification during some downtime.

    I drove back home, shaking so bad I could barely fit my key into the keyhole.

    I slammed open the door, then pushed it shut behind me. I checked the blinds, but couldn't see anyone watching.

    The jar sat on the counter.

    The lid was off.

    It was empty.

    A harsh jolt of frozen terror prickled my scalp and slid down my spine.

    "I missed you," said a voice from the kitchen.

    Her voice.

    I blinked, not seeing anyone at first, then she stepped forward and I saw her.

    She held a cup out to me, face smiling and warm. "Sorry I was gone for so long. You look tired. Would you like a drink?"

    She stepped toward me, and I heard myself babbling. Talking about all the crazy stuff going on, and how I'd missed her.

    She stepped forward, nodding understandingly, and handed me the glass.

    It was halfway to my lips before I saw, even in the dim light of the unlit apartment, that her eyes were black.

    I tried to struggle, but she was so strong. All we wanted was something better. Something fair.

    She forced the cup against my lips and I drank and as the fire grew in my belly I realized I had never really understood unfairness.

    Never really known what it was to have been cut back and violated for over a century.

    She smiled at me and I smiled back and together we breathed in the air of the Kaihu.

    We would have justice.

  • This was mines:
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    At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we'd struck it rich and that we'd be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we'd spend the money. Our first choice was a vacation. We all wanted to take a vacation, and could you blame us? We'd been cooped up here in this mining facility for months. No real entertainment, no nightlife to speak of, and most importantly? No women.

    We dreamed big dreams, all of us a little punch drunk at the thought of finally spending some time away from the facility.

    We were fools. All of us, so busy planning and dreaming after the future that we all stopped paying attention to the present.

    Jones was the first to go, the first to be taken, though we didn't even know it at the time. He left the party early, wanting to hit the can. We never saw him again. Though we never saw it take him, it's something we assumed, given the fact that he never came back.

    The first person we saw actually GET taken? Adam. Quiet little Adam. Wanted to call it a night and opened the door to leave the lounge when that black shit flopped up from the ground outside the door and slapped him in the face.

    It was later that we realized it had been waiting for him. That it'd set a trap.

    It set a trap for him and waited for him, do you get what I'm saying? Do you get how fucked up that is? The thing looks like oil. It looks like oil, it acts like oil, but it's alive. It was alive.

    We know now that he got some of it into his mouth. The thing got inside him and…and…it changed him.

    God help us, it changed him.

    You think it can't be real. I mean, this is the sort of shit that only happens in horror movies and video games, you know? The remote facility, a couple guys with little backstories, then some alien thing pops up from the ice to hunt them down and slaughter them one by one, you know?

    Tommy went next. We were trying to leave the room, trying to step around the black shit on the ground. We would have made it past alright, except Adam grabbed Tommy's leg. Tripped him up.

    Yeah, Adam, the guy already on the ground. He was bleeding this black shit from his eyes, leaking it from his mouth, and he snagged Tommy by the ankle, tripped him up, and the black shit got him. Flowed right into his mouth.

    That's about all the rest of us needed. We bolted out of there like bats out of hell.

    We split up, heading down halls, but I saw Jensen eat it. Didn't see how it happened, just crossed paths briefly by the kitchen corridor, black shit coming out of his eyes.

    I don't know if anyone will find this. I don't know if anyone will discover what happened here, but I figure it'd be good to leave a reason as to why my body's frozen in the airtight walk in freezer we had on site.

    I've seen the rest of the guys since then. There's a little window in the door of the freezer and I keep an eye out. They wander by, walking around aimlessly, like fucking zombies or something, all that black shit coming out of their mouth and eyes.

    There were ten of us posted here and I'm all that's left.

    I won't last much longer, though. It's fucking cold in here, and no matter how much I try to keep moving, I can't keep warm anymore.

    Pretty soon, I'll probably just close my eyes and fall asleep.

    I'm hoping that no one that comes looking for us gets taken by that shit, but given that this is probably the only documented warning? And it's here in the freezer with me?

    Well, let's just say that I ain't holding out hope.

Tami Parker Other Duties as Assigned