The Gray Ooze

The gray ooze filtered its way to the surface. As it pushed itself up from some unknown depth separated and filthy with leaves and dirt and all sorts of clinging detrius, it collected into a single form, indistinct, hazy. The stuff sticking to its surface began to melt into the shape, turning gray as it dissolved. It stopped, trembled and began leaning different ways, seemingly spinning from its center mass, as if searching for something. It leaned extraordinarily, the 6-foot tall 3-foot wide semi-cylindrical form balancing precariously on some force then suddenly dropped. It formed a ball and rolled away, determined and dreadful in its new found cause. Quick was the trail it blazed as the new form did not have a sticky like surface, but rubbery, and light; almost as if it didn’t touch the ground because the things it passed over were not effected by any breeze it may have created, nor weight it could have used to smash things in its path. It swerved easily past trees as if eyes were part of this things biology. Soon it came to roads, and trimmed lawns and cement paths. Then came children on bikes or walking and people in cars or people holding green hoses. But the passing of the gray ooze was hardly noted. They may have told you that something caught in the edge of their vision and as they turned to look, to get a more fuller vision, it was gone. Few felt this sensation, and those that did would say that relief came upon them as it went by, not being able to fully define the way their breath came out hushed, to not gain attention. Suddenly it stopped. At the front area of a single home, behind a car, and not a tremble or a tittle crossed its surface. It had its goal set. A man walked out of the front door, stooped and his feet dragged upon the steps he came down. Making his way to the car the ooze was behind, he stopped and looked at the ooze, though he did not see it. A resistance came over him briefly, than acceptance. His shoulders drooped lower, his eyes further downcast, feet heavier than ever, he moved; determined to accept what would come his way because it was destiny. No need to fight here. It never worked anyway. He opened the door to the car, sickened by the mechanical sound of metal sliding past metal and plastic; the solidity of modern society, so firm and fluid. It made him angry and then sad. He touched the rubber and the metal of the door trim, and wanted to cast it from him, but it melded with his hand; so firm, so fluid. He reached out to the fabric, fabric formed over a metal and foam frame that fit his so rightly it stirred the bile building from acid and toast and jelly. Feet shuffle, hips jutting, he purloined himself to the fabric upon fabric sound and feel against his skin as he lowered himself into the bucket that held him as modern machine ferried him to dread and disillusionment of the day. In all this the ooze did not move. It bated its time; slightly moving forward, but then back as an unknown force held it, knowing that man must come to it at this point. The man was now seated, his key in his hand. All of this, all this shape, and sound, and feel got his dander up a bit, but his giving in took over any feeling of rebellion. All the round and curved and bumpiness of the things surrounding him hurt him. His skin was reacting to all the brushing and prodding, wanting to pull away from everything. He closed his eyes in anticipation of the sound of the starting of the car, thinking that closing his eyes could shut out the sound or reaction to it. It began as he turned the key and the car seemed to say brrrriiiiiieeeeffffffffff, hasty, hasty, hasty, hasty, hasty… It spoke to him the joylessness of his life. No, of his job. His job that took over all aspects of everything that brought him joy. Corn and stage and step and trail. Road and wheel and smoke and blade. Screen and hammer and wax and paper. A cavalcade of culture swam through his mind that met when his key flipped a switch that started a spark that moved through the car, that roared of potential all gone in a trail of paper marked with numbers. He reached helplessly, pulled forward the lever and down, until line met R. He was in automatic mode now. The same hand lifted and grasped the top of the other bucket of seat as he turned to face what was behind him… always behind him, let his feet of the pedal and drifted back towards the ooze. It trembled and rippled. As bumper met gray, it slowly disappeared inside the car until the man fully backed into it and it was gone; completely inside the car and now formed into a humanoid like shape next to the man, his hand brushing the ooze as it reached back to the lever and moved it to D. As his foot moved to the longer pedal, he glanced sideways at his guest he couldn’t see, but had surely invited by joining the culture ordinary, same, boring, and he whispered, “I hate you.”

Posted on September 6, 2016, in Strange Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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