“Destroy this,” Dr. Butler Wyman directed, as he handed Rodney Bekker the tray containing the liver-sized organism, “And be careful, it’s a genetic cross between an amoeba and a micrococcus, and if it gets any larger, it could become hard to control.”
Without a word, Rodney took the tray and left the laboratory and walked towards the incinerator. As he did, he watched the viscus object wiggle about as if it were curious about where they were heading.
“Doctor effing blow-hard,” Rodney thought, “Always trying to impress us with big words like genetic, amoeba, micrococcus and stupid shit.”
He pushed the green button that lit the blaze, that in a couple of minutes would heat the incinerator to an intolerable temperature. While he waited for the flame to grow into an orange glow, he grabbed his lunch bag and pulled out a ham sandwich.
The slug-like thing stopped and turned one end towards Rodney, raised up slightly and gave-off what he could only describe as a low-pitched chirp. He cooed as he fed a piece of ham to it, “Ahhh, if you ain’t the sweetest little thing.”
Smiling as he watched as the ham reappeared inside the jello-like body, he decided against destroying it. Instead Rodney placed it in a cardboard box and secreted it behind a stack of cinder-blacks in the corner.
Later that night, he slipped out of the building with the box tucked under his arm and took it home. As he drove through the night, he could hear his new pet squirming about in the box and chirping to be fed.
Once home, he showed it to Mrs. Bekker, who was not happy with his ill-gotten acquisition and demanded, “Get that damned thing – whatever it is – out of my house!”
Rodney headed into the back yard and placed the box on the picnic table, near their swimming pool. He went back inside to see what he could scrounge up to feed it.
He was gone less than 10 minutes, but when he returned to the box, he found it open and empty. Rodney search the area for another 15 minutes before he gave up, placing the food he’d gathered on the grass for it to eat, should it still be around.
One day, nearly three-weeks later, Rodney failed to show up for work. And Mrs. Bekker had not been seen either.
This prompted a call to the police and a request for a welfare check. After gaining access to the home and a thorough search, officers found Mrs. Bekker’s purse in a living room chair, Rodney’s wallet and keys on his dresser and all the doors and windows locked from the inside.
In the backyard, beyond the wooden picnic table, it was noted that the swimming pool was unusually dirty, filled with a greenish algae and a few half-rotted articles of discarded clothing.