A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 8 - Page 8

his chest most triumphantly , then set it on his head — still with the goo .
A strangely glutinous gurgle came from around a bend in the corridor , and both of us froze . It is one thing to hunt a monster , knowing beforehand what one will be facing . It is quite another to step around a corner blind , and face an unknown gurgling .
There was a terrible squelching , and the creature emerged from around the bend . We both screamed and Cyprien swung his gun , but as it struck the creature , it was absorbed within its immense bulk . Literally , absorbed . The creature nearly filled the entire corridor . I knew blobs were able to consume any organic matter . They will really only avoid glass , or incorruptible metals , but apparently they can choose to digest whatever they choose , for here the gun just floated serenely in this blob ’ s belly . It could not possibly still be hungry , I thought ; it had eaten a goodly portion of our transportation and part of a pirate crew already .
" Glurb !" the creature said , lifting a gelatinous appendage , and swiping at Cyprien ' s head .
We began to back slowly down the corridor , and to my surprise , the blob followed us , squishing slowly past the corroded pipes . Perhaps , if we could get it up on deck , we could somehow contain it or push it into the sea ? But how to lure it up three levels ? It would never follow us for that great of a distance .
" Gliggle ," the blob said , reaching again for
Cyprien ' s head . " It wants my hat ," Cyprien said . " Oh , who would not ?" I said , ironically , and perhaps a bit rudely . Cyprien pulled off the wicker head-wear and held it out at arm ' s length . The blob surged forward , reaching out for the hat with both its stubby arms . We lured it through the ocean liner most successfully . There was a nasty moment toward the end of the boiler room when it nearly touched my skirts , and another bad moment higher up , when the blob paused to consume half a dining set , and it appeared to grow enough that it might not fit up the final staircase . But those matters were resolved , and we successfully came out on deck .
" Quite the easiest way ," I said , " would be to simply throw the hat into the ocean . I do think it might simply follow it over the side ."
" Miss !" Cyprien exclaimed , pointing down the deck of the ocean liner . I cast my eyes about and was suddenly struck by a peculiar thing : we were the only people on the deck . In fact , there was only one remaining lifeboat . It was full of the ocean liner ' s passengers , and it went dropping to the sea the moment I saw it .
" They have all gone off and left us ," I said indignantly . I should have thought someone might have noticed I was not among the evacuees !
This was nothing to what I saw next ! I noticed a veritable river of water spreading across the deck — straight for my skirt ' s hem . It would have soon been the end of my skirt — for the ocean liner was sinking , and wool could not withstand the water !
" Philomena !" a voice called . It was Brunhilde ! " I could not leave without you !" she shouted , rushing towards me . I was quite pleased to call her my friend at that moment ! I ran to embrace her . I thought for certain all my friends had abandoned me . But here was Brunhilde Bamfield !
" Or my blob !" she continued . She was , perhaps , harboring a rather immense affection for her blob , but I like to imagine it was our close feminine bond , alone , that prompted her to stay .