Literature / Slime

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When Double Dare goes horribly wrong.
Slime is an eco-horror novel written by William Essex ("Author of The Pack," trumpets the cover). Toxic dumpings of rejected PCB near a small town in Iowa result in the creation of a living lake of ravenous toxic waste that consumes everything in its path, beginning with animals in the forest and then moving on to livestock and people. Only bank loan officer Tim Walker, together with the local cops, can stop the oozing green menace.


Tropes used in this novel:

  • Antagonist Title: The living lake of flesh-eating slime provides the main menace of the story.
  • Artistic License Biology: Everything about the slime (which is living PCB), from how it dissolves and absorbs people to how it's even alive. When looked at under a microscope, it is discovered that its individual cells have mouths with tiny sharp teeth!
  • Big Breasts, Big Deal: Jodean Maiden has "the biggest breasts in town." Because Buxom Is Better, it's a source of pride for both her and her husband.
  • Blob Monster: A lake of living toxic waste that eats animals and people. Although given the manner in which it tends to spread itself out into puddles, it's really more of a Muck Monster in some cases.
  • The Cassandra: Chief Simpson's efforts to tell the townsfolk about the slime are met with jeers and jokes about The Blob (1958). Fortunately for his dignity, teenager Terry Ralston comes tearing up in his truck yelping about the slime eating Mr. Turncock's cows, and the citizens finally start listening.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Quite a few people die because they can't resist poking the stuff.
  • Dead Foot Leadfoot: A footless variation in which the vehicle keeps driving without the foot on the pedal; farmer Mike Roberts is absorbed while driving his tractor and trucker Danny Bradshaw while driving his truck, and both tractor and truck continue driving without their owners until they crash.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A sensitive man, Charlie Maiden is so horrified at seeing his beloved herd of cattle being absorbed by the slime that he actually falls to his knees and wails in horror and despair.
  • Domestic Abuse: Salesman Artie Cluteler is a real scumbag. He once forced his wife Carole to have sex with a friend of his while he watched.
  • Coitus Interruptus: The slime gobbles up Carole Cluteler and Rick Kelly while they're in the midst of having sex in the Cluteler house.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: After the slime absorbs its human victims, only their clothes are left behind. This leads to a hilarious moment early on when Jodean Maiden, whose husband Charlie was one of the first victims, finds his empty clothing and thinks he's gone insane, stripped naked and is currently running around the county in the nude.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The novel ends with the revelation that toxic dumping by the same company is still going on.
  • The Ghost: Greg Tusken, the farmer who was paid to allow the chemical company to dump their toxic waste on his land. He never actually appears.
  • Green Aesop: The whole problem started because the chemical corporation was illegally dumping leaky drums of toxic crud.
  • Harmful to Touch: The slime. Even getting the tiniest speck on you is deadly, because that little droplet will begin eating away at you, growing bigger and bigger, until you're completely consumed.
  • Infant Immortality: Played straight, despite the fact the book cover features what appears to be a preteen boy Covered in Gunge.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Completely averted. County Sheriff Sawyer and local police Chief Simpson cooperate amiably.
  • Karma Houdini: The Upper Mississippi River Valley Chemical Corporation, and the men they hired to dump the vats of toxic waste on Tusken's land. Except for the epilogue, they're in and out of the story as soon as they've fulfilled their role of dumping the sludge.
    • Artie Cluteler also somehow manages to survive.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Truck driver Danny Bradshaw gets some of the slime on his hand (because he just had to poke the stuff), and it begins dissolving his arm. His effort to drive into town to get the arm amputated proves futile: he gets absorbed behind the wheel and his truck crashes.
  • Mauve Shirt: Officer Gilder, set up as a Red Shirt, is assigned by Simpson to keep an eye on some of the slime which has taken up residence in Rose Wheeler's garage. In defiance of reader's expectations, he not only doesn't get eaten, but manages to successfully do his job and guard the garage.
  • Our Blob Monsters Are Different: The titular slime is a batch of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) that's gone bad and somehow come alive and transformed into a ravenous flesh-eating lake of green gunk.
  • Police Are Useless: Completely averted. The county and local cops are all very good at their jobs and do their best to protect the town from the title menace.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sawyer and Simpson are both very patient and levelheaded.
  • The Sheriff: County Sheriff Fritz Sawyer.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The slime is bright green in color and is described multiple times as "glistening" and "shimmering."
  • Tempting Fate: When the slime initially tries to eat Charlie Maiden after consuming his herd of cows, it releases him (because it dislikes the cloth of his pants). Relieved after his brush with death, Charlie mistakenly believes the slime doesn't eat humans, and pokes at it experimentally with his finger. Then it grabs and eats him. Oops.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Carole Cluteler cheats on her car salesman husband Artie with her lover, Rick Kelly. Don't feel too bad for Artie, though, considering Carole does it to get revenge on him (see Domestic Abuse above). Artie comes home after the two of them have been absorbed by the slime and, finding the house deserted, concludes Carole has left him for Rick.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Slime