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 way we’d spend the money. Our first choice was to use the money to build a McMansion and book a European cruise through the Mediterranean. But soon our hopes were dashed by the land surveyor who conclusively told us the black liquid was not oil. He didn’t know what it was, with some of the goo smeared on his hands and then his forehead. “It’s better off staying in the ground, whatever it is. It’s not oil. I’ve never seen anything like it!”
Those ominous words rang in my ears for weeks to come.
Tom and I took it upon ourselves to get some good samples of the mystery liquid so we could take it to a lab and get it tested ourselves.
We weren’t scientists. Just a middle-aged married couple with average jobs and cramped ambitions. We just wanted that break that would turn our lives around. So we scooped some of the goo into a cheap glass jar and placed it on the kitchen counter. Tom just stared at it. Outside, the black substance was just that. Pitch black without a hint of violence. But inside it began to take on an ethereal quality The more you stared at it, the more the colors began to appear, disappear, and reappear again. They began to swirl, coalesce, and separate.
Tom got frustrated with the ever-changing goo and went up to bed. I couldn’t sleep as I stared at the liquid, curling, swirling, colors diving in and out. I opened the lid of the jar and peered inside. A sweet scent floated up from the liquid as it transformed from black to a golden, sparkling substance. The glass was warm to the touch. As my left hand rested on the curve of the jar, I was drawn closer and closer to the golden liquid itself. The sweet scent became intoxicating, like fancy designer perfume, lavender, vanilla, and burnt sugar mixed into an intriguing cocktail.
The fragrance seemed to flood my brain and consume all of my senses. I leaned closer and closer still. The liquid exploded and covered my entire face. It was hot, burning my lips, nose, and eyelids. It hardened quickly and formed a mask on my face. I fell against the counter and onto the floor, gasping for breath. My body began to dissolve, first the skin, the muscles, blood vessels, bones. All became a liquid puddle of black goo, which seeped through the kitchen floor.