Contemporary Sci-Fi Story
|The Invasion of the Tar Balls|
By N. R. Fflow, rj.
It was a dark and stormy night and Ann and Retlaw Fflow were standing on the porch of their seaside home peering into the darkness. Squalls of showers had started coming through the area beginning late in the afternoon. There was an occasional flash of sheet lightning, but no thunder. These summer storms were not unusual along the Gulf coast during humid, warm nights; however, there was an unusual chill in the air inspite of the 85 degree night time temperature. After a brief spell, they retreated into their cottage, had some wine, watched a movie and went to bed. Both had an inexplicable and rare restless night of sleep.
Unnoticed by them and the other 400 residents of the beach side community; a curious event was occuring on the beach. Dark glistening plaques of oily material about the size of a picnic paper plate were washing ashore. These platter like masses seemed to quiver and slowly move not unlike amoebae, without assistance from the water rushing ashore, into groups of ten or twelve and then disperse in seemingly random directions. They seemed to take predetermined positions and then lay motionless in the sand.
The stormy weather had now moved inland. Then as the foggy morning began to dawn, they each began to undulate and quickly roll themselves into amorphous looking, sticky, black, dull, oily tar balls. Of course tar balls over the eons of time have been common on the beaches of the Gulf coast. No one had ever observed this omnious and unexplicable event that had occured during this particular early, foggy, still and calm-after-the-storm morning.
Soon beachcombers began to appear out of the fog in their aimless wandering on the beach sand looking for shells and artifacts washed up by the night time tides and surf. The excited screech of a child could be heard in the distance as something interesting was found in the sand. They surely noticed the tar balls that were there always; but on this particular mid summer morning, some had the uncanny feeling that they were being watched. There were no unusual strangers or other noteworthy changes that they could ascertain.
Later in the morning, the beach patrol reported to their headquarters that they noticed an increased number of tar balls on the beach. Could they be coming from the recent deep water oil well blow- out miles off the Louisiana coast? Tides and currents would not normally bring any liquids or debris from that part of the Gulf to the Texian mid coastal beaches. Just a curosity of nature?
The Coast Guard was routinely called about this observation and they agreed that before the next high tide they would come and investigate and take samples for analysis. It is known that the molecular structure of oily material from the Gulf can pinpoint the region of the Gulf from which it has originated. Different species of living hydrocarbon fauna and flora, over billions of years, have been responsible for the different vast pools of oil found deep beneath the ocean floor. Gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy analysis makes this distinction possible. The main concern being contamination of the Texian beaches by the disasterous oil spill in the Gulf. What would their findings be?
So the saga begins................more to come.
A short contemporary Sci-Fi story by Namreh Retlaw Fflow, Roinuj. Perhaps this story is true!